Kenny + Barbara Wong   Founders of Cottage Arts

Kenny + Barbara Wong

Founders of Cottage Arts

our story

I grew up around artsy people.  My mother was an art teacher, seamstress and dancer. Grandma had a perpetual quilt frame set up in her tiny home and was always working on quilts to give to someone needy. Many other family members embodied creativity in my life and inspired my love for creating things. My mother and grandmother began to teach me to sew when I was 7 years old and on summer vacations I'd quilt with aunties as we all gathered in central Oregon. I've had the luxury of taking Home Ec & tailoring classes but also had the privilege learning from beautiful people along the way, such as community women in Mexico & rural ladies on the island of Borneo.                                        

I earned a dual Master's Degree in Elementary Education and Music (1985) and have been teaching ever since. I was in private and public Elementary Education, in California, Texas and overseas. While teaching sewing on the island of Borneo, I developed a Micro- Business within a poorer community that created sustainable income for those ladies.  

After being diagnosed with cancer, I stopped teaching in the public sector.  On my naturopathic road to recovery,  I began to listen to the deep things in my spirit. I'd  had this dream of doing what I'm doing for quite a few years.  I'd process with my husband a lot and he was always there to encourage me to go for it.  During that time I had prophetic  words given to me and I'd keep having dreams and "see" myself doing this. We talked and shared our hearts with close friends.  We felt good about how all the "yes-es" kept coming and how they resounded  inside us.  It was a scary step for me, but I had support from many.

Back in our home of Bakersfield, California, we began to form the concept around what would become Cottage Arts. We had been looking for over a year but knew we wanted to be downtown but couldn't find the perfect fit.I was to meet a friend for breakfast and on a whim I said I haven't been to Cafe Crepes for awhile, so we met there. We were seated and I looked up and saw this "for rent" sign on the window of a quaint cottage in the middle of the bungalow complex. When walking through I could envision teaching spaces, retail and a true embodiment of our dreams. We jumped on it!

We opened shop September 15, 2016 and are thrilled to celebrate our 1 year anniversary soon. 

Our story is just part of the grand vision behind Cottage Arts. Cottage Art’s mission comes from a desire to empower creative women, both locally and broader global community. 

We thank each and every lovely person who has shopped, learned or supported Cottage Arts over the past year. Here's to many more!