How The Expressive Hand in Bella Vista became the ‘helping hand’ for locals during the COVID-19 pandemic
The paint-your-own pottery studio has adjusted by sending out art supply care packages across the city.
Marcie Ziskind has been in charge at The Expressive Hand for over 10 years, and in those years, she has seen other small businesses in the area flourish.
“I've been in the neighborhood for over 36 years and I've seen it develop into something special. I am happy that my husband and I have been around here for so long,” Ziskind said.
The story of Ziskind taking over the Expressive Hand is a unique one in its own right.
“I was not the original owner of The Expressive Hand, in fact I was the book keeper of the owner, I knew her through the deaf community because I studied ASL,” Ziskind said.
She lived not too far from the establishment, and would always pass it on the way to her daily walks.
“I know the neighborhood, I was there when she opened the studio in 2008,” she said.
After a year, the previous owner wasn't interested in running the business anymore, so Ziskind jumped on the opportunity.
“It was easy for me to take over because I knew the books, so I decided to purchase it on Oct. 2, 2009,” she said.
Ziskind and her husband have been owners of small businesses for over three decades, so they were not new to the business world.
“My husband and I own two other businesses so it was something that really came natural to us,” she expressed.
She was also raised by an artist that showed her how to express herself through art and crafts, so she wanted to do the same for the neighborhood.
“We’ve been able to reach to the communities in many many ways, we’ve been able to do a lot,” she said.
Thanks to her love of art and access to supplies, Ziskind has given an opportunity to offer team-building workshops at her establishment.
“It was refreshing to see people going out on dates at my venue, and just seeing people want to come after work with their coworkers,” She expressed.
Things were going smoothly until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.
“Of course my business has been slowed down completely because we cannot offer the same activities that we used to offer,” said Ziskind.
While the studio is closed for indoor activities, pottery-to-go is still open for business.
“I really want to give the general public access to art, art is a vital activity that helps,” she said.
Ziskind also hasn't given up on spreading her love of art throughout the city in the form of art supply packages, which customers can purchase through a big online shopping platform along with the pottery.
“We can wrap up art supply packages and customers can pick it up and paint in the comfort of their home, it's not ideal, but it's something that we are proud of doing,” she said.
In the process, Ziskind is making the pandemic’s quarantine just a little easier for some.
Instead of scrolling through Netflix and trying to figure out what other shows to binge-watch, why not grab an art supply package from The Expressive Hand?
Check out their website to see which package best fits your style!