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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dancing School in the Basement

I love the name Dancing Threads Studio. It captures the dynamic nature of my materials, is a little "in" reminder of my passion for international folk dancing, and it's a link to my friend and fellow dancer Pascale, whose Irish tapestry studio also is called Dancing Threads Studio.

However . . .

I've been getting all my ducks in a row so I can teach classes in the studio beginning in Feb. 2009. Created a nifty class catalog and everything. Excellent.

I procrastinated a little (not as excellent) but still was doing things in good time. Getting a little excited . . .

Until . . .

In addition to the business license forms for my city and county I had to send in a "Home Use for Occupation" form. I read the regulations in question to make sure my activities wouldn't cause a problem, filled out the form, and sent it in.

A couple of days later I received a call. The concerned and apologetic voice on the other end regretfully informed me that it would be impossible for me to run a gallery and a dancing school out of my home.


Referring to the brief (owing to the amount of space provided) paragraph where I described my business on the form I assured the concerned person on the other end of the line that I would operate neither a gallery nor a dancing school. I explained that mostly I'd hang out by myself making art but that I occasionally wanted to offer a class, which would never start before 10 a.m. or last past 9 p.m.

Oops! TMI

Mr. Concerned said all business activities had to take place between dawn and dusk. Referring to the regulations, I noted that they specified 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Mr. Concerned said, well, that might be all right, but I really couldn't have a school of any sort in the basement because they just couldn't have loads of people just invading the neighborhood all the time.

Seriously? How big did he think my studio was?

Perhaps sensing the fact that my head was spinning, he suggested that I speak to someone with a little more authority to straighten things out.

In response to her questions, I explained to Ms. Authority that I planned to have fewer than one class per week, and sometimes (as in summer) whole months might go by without any classes whatsoever. I said class size might be around six students and that several of their cars could be accommodated in our driveway. I reiterated that the threads, not the people, would be dancing and that, for heaven's sake, we were a bunch of quilters and felters--how crazy could it get?

I figure what she doesn't know about us quilters and felters won't hurt. :-)

She asked me to e-mail an expanded description of my business activities with all these points in it. I did, and then I waited.

For three days.

Then I called to follow up. Thankfully they had not rejected my petition--they simply had not received it. Once Ms. Authority received it, however, she quickly approved it and wished me good fortune in my endeavors.


So, I'm all official now in TN and studio classes are on for the spring.

My city and county business licenses, my state sales tax form, and . . . my Spring 2009 Class Catalogue! (plus my "Sculpting with the Quilting Stitch" guild flyer and my friend Sharon Ritchie's Tutu Die 4 postcard).


TT said...

I had the same issue, except I had to have a special zoning board meeting. Just R and I showed up, obviously my neighbors didn't care. The upshot was that I could have the business if no more than 2(!) quilters were in the house at one time and they had to park in my driveway. I could go on and on about how crazy this is for my neighborhood, but I won't.

Glad you got approved!

Cindi said...

I remember when you had to do that--didn't you also have to sort of canvas the neighborhood or pay for an ad or something crazy like that?

Funny--you can socialize as often as you want, have as many people over as you choose, and (as many people have pointed out down here) most Bible studies are larger than my classes will be. Try to make a living, though . . .

Ah, well, it all worked out in the end.

C. Olson said...

Perseverance pays off particularly when planning places for preparing pupils to paint with pretty pieces of phiber. (Sorry, couldn't think of a "p" word for fiber.) Mom