May 25, 2017 // Franchising.com // You can’t spell “Heart” without “Art.” In this case, SpeedPro Imaging studio owner Edward Owens, Ed, as he likes to be called, has a big heart and an equally great love of art. A passion for the latter was the reason that hundreds of five to ten-year-olds, their parents, and members of the Alameda, California community took over Owens’ Clement Avenue facility during a recent Friday evening. The evening was penned, “2nd Friday Art Walk.” When it comes to art and helping the kids of the community, Ed found that combination a perfect match…and that’s why he’s thriving with SpeedPro Imaging, the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise.
Ed took a time-out from his professional life and stepped away from corporate life as a construction engineer 17 years ago to raise his 3 children. With his teenage children now able to fend for themselves, he found a desire to get back to work and chose Speed Pro Imaging as that opportunity.
“SpeedPro Imaging was a perfect fit for me because it provided a great combination of community service, technology and creativity in a proven and successful business model,” says Owens. He opened his shop in Alameda, a town located on an island in the shadows of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay in 2015. Business has been thriving since launching his SpeedPro Imaging location and joining the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise family.
For Ed, it’s not all about the bottom line. It’s also about the abstract lines, the lines that can’t be defined, the passion and emotions that art generates. Art is not only what runs through Ed’s veins, it is also what pumps life into the soul of Alameda for many, which brings us to the program close to Ed’s heart, the appropriately named Alameda Arts Program. It’s an art-centric program started by family friends that caters to working families. Ed was there at the program’s infancy in 2012 and has watched it grow into an after-school program with a waiting list of interested students.
As part of the Alameda Arts Program, the students need supplies, which can be hard to come by for some participants. That is when Ed steps in. Ed is a long-time environmentalist. His house was the first in Alameda with solar panels. He’s a proud advocate of recycling and therefore knew exactly where the mistakes and waste his studio created would wind up.
“You know the saying, one man’s trash, is another man’s art,” says Ed. “That motto certainly applies to us. We live in California and don’t like to throw things away in a dump. Rather than going to the dumpster, I knew that the great folks at Alameda Arts could turn the materials into works of arts.”
In March, April and May, just in time for Mother’s Day, students at Alameda Arts used recycled materials, including cardboard tubes, foam cores, misprints and other items to create projects. That includes koinobori fish kites. “It was an impressive sight to see materials that first began as a banner for a company transformed into a majestic piece of artwork created by the beautiful minds of elementary children.”
Those fish kites, were on full display on the evening of May 12. That was the night designated for 2nd Friday Art Walk in Alameda. The town has three major business areas—and Ed’s SpeedPro Imaging studio is in the middle of the island, serving as a connective site for the festivities. Most artists in the area don’t have a space or sufficient space in the area to display their art. Ed is more than happy to fill that void. He and his business served as host for an art display earlier in the year.
On the evening of May 12, his studio was reserved for the kids of the community. From 6pm until 9pm that night, visitors were greeted with music from the Bay Area Music Project, a music program for disadvantaged kids, and more than a hundred pieces of art created by the kids of Alameda Arts.
“It was a great night, tons of participants and lots of people. My whole team was excited to see the kids show off their masterpieces to mom and other members of their family. These brilliant kindergarteners through fifth graders turned refuse into beautiful Mother’s Day gifts.”
It was the looks of pride in the kids’ faces, that left indelible memories for Ed. “The 2nd Friday Art Walk is a great community building event. It gets people in the community out to support art, education and kids.” It also provides a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’”
Ed has spent more than 20 years in Alameda. This isn’t his first dive into philanthropy, and it won’t be his last. “I was raised to give back to the community, it’s a part of who I am.”
Generosity and love of community is part of the fabric of all SpeedPro Imaging franchise owners. For more information on the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner like Ed, please visit http://www.speedprofranchising.com/
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