While some people may be planning to lose weight, travel more or save more money with in the 2013 New Year, one Covington artist looks to begin a new journey and open a new business.
Lyda Beasley, 52, plans to open up an art studio and gallery in a structure located at her home in Covington. The Newton County Board of Commissioners at its Dec. 18 meeting approved a conditional use permit for Beasley to operate an art studio within an existing accessory structure as part of a home occupation. Beasley, who's a member of the Southern Heartland Gallery in Covington, said a detached garage at her home will be transformed into Lyda's Gallery and Gifts. Her small business will feature her paintings, handmade jewelry, outdoor artwork and other unique pieces that will be available to purchase. Beasley said she hopes to have her new shop up and running in mid-spring. Though she plans to open up a new business, Beasley said this is not her first time owning and operating a business. Beasley said she worked at a Richway department store, which was turned into a Target, for more than 11 years.
She also said she worked her way up at Cracker Barrel to become a district manager, which she said gave her the experience she needed to run her own business.With her experience she opened Lyda's Hallmark in Conyers in 2000.
Beasley said she would take her artwork and turn it into Hallmark Cards, which were for sale in her shops. She operated Lyda's Hallmark in Conyers for nine years and closed the store in 2009. In 2005, she opened up Lyda's Hallmark in Covington, but she said it closed the same year.
"We had to close due to the economy, but I've always loved art. I like to create and I'm a firm believer that if you don't use your talents you will lose them," Beasley said.
Beasley's love for the arts began when she was a young girl living in Roswell, Ga. She said enjoyed painting while in elementary school and her mother would enter her into art shows. "I can remember winning first place when I was in the first grade or kindergarten," Beasley said. "[My mother] just felt like I never painted like a child would paint. So she wanted me to have the opportunity to take art classes. They didn't have art classes for children that young, so she had to go and she would take me with her."
Beasley said her mother enjoyed sketching, her maternal grandmother, who Beasley is named after, loved to paint and her father's sister was a well-known painter. With a family history of artists, Beasley said she is looking forward to continuing her passion and sharing it with the public.
"My biggest thing is probably dealing with people," Beasley said. "I want to get back into being in the public and offering them something that they may need." Beasley is not expecting a huge business and just wants to start off small. She said in the future, she wants to hold art classes in her studio and feature artists once a month.
She said her husband Robin, who constructs and creates artwork by carving, will also help her with the business. She said her grandson, Clay, has also gained a love of the arts and that he gave her a painting that he painted for Christmas.
"What I would like to do is every so often have something special like once a month where you can come meet the artist and that kind of thing. I'm not expecting it to be huge," she said. "I will also be making jewelry and I'll have some outdoor items too. Like chimes. I also want to have outside art paintings that you can hang outside on the patio and around your house, but it'll be nice."