A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Mr. Chad’ wants to ‘make art and be creative’ and at the Creative House of Art and Design, you can too

By Josie Shriver
NKyTribune reporter

In November of 2020, Chad Turner and his spouse, Chuck Beatty, opened the doors to their very own store on MainStrasse in Covington at 609 Main. The Creative House of Art and Design (CHAD) is a safe place for people of all ages to experience professional instruction in art through various services including classes, workshops, parties/events, and summer camps.

After graduating from Columbus College of Art and Design, Turner moved to the Northern Kentucky area for family, where he began his 15-year teaching career. He has taught and been involved with various organizations around the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area, including Holmes High school, Northern Kentucky Montessori Academy, Prince of Peace, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy, and the Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center.

From this involvement, Turner eventually became known as “Mr. Chad.”

While sitting at Left Bank Coffee House in Covington, Turner used a napkin to brainstorm the name for the business he had always talked about opening and eventually settled on CHAD. As a gift to Turner, Beatty had an artist redraw the napkin, and it now hangs in a frame in their store.

Beatty and Turner began selling Turner’s art at Art on Vine, which is where everything really began. It was during the pandemic that Turner lost all of his jobs, so the push for selling his art at places like Art on Vine became critical. During the pandemic, they sold art at the Covington’s Farmer Market as well. Turner eventually bought a laser cutter and began selling the art he was creating using this tool. The art was selling so well, he ended up buying two more laser cutters. He still feels like he cannot make the products fast enough.

With the onset of the pandemic, Art on Vine dissipated. At this point, Beatty really started to push Findlay Market.It typically takes four weeks to hear a response back about being a vendor at Findlay Market, but Beatty would email once a week until he was finally told they could begin selling.

“If it wasn’t for Findlay Market, none of this would have happened,” Turner states, in regards to opening CHAD.

The couple wants to ensure that whoever walks through their doors gets the most out of their experience at CHAD.

“I want art to be affordable for everyone,” Turner says.

All materials are provided, including a place mat. Turner and Beatty hide a Waldo head around the store, and there is a prize for whoever finds it. In addition to this, anyone can walk in and paint a wine bottle for free, while sitting on the back patio.

The two owners have big plans for their store. In the long term, they are hoping to open another location. The Mainstrasse location would be used mainly for events, birthday parties, and paint nights. The second location would primarily be used for classes.

“With the COVID-19 restrictions starting to go away, it might be sooner than that. If we’re able to increase the numbers and find another space, we’ll probably do that sooner rather than later.”

They want to get the community involved in art, by continuing to host more birthday parties and business events. Turner and Beatty really emphasized helping other artists in the community. Turner recalls a friend helping him with a four foot table for Art on Vine, which was the catalyst that led to the opening of CHAD. Turner hopes to continuously pay it forward to help other artists, just as his friend helped him.

This year, they are continuing to do birthday parties and summer camps, while adding trivia night, Pride events, and activities around the holidays. With having the prime location on MainStrasse in Covington, they are hoping to team up with bars and other businesses to not only help promote CHAD but other local places in the area.

“We’re getting a lot of compliments from our neighbors that are doing business because we’re bringing families down here, and it’s increasing their business too,” Beatty says.

Turner and Beatty are always looking for ways to get more involved in the community.

“With [Turner’s] involvement in the community for fifteen years, being Mr. Chad as a teacher, business has been pretty good.”

Beatty is part of the Residents of MainStrasse Association group, which allows him to make connections with other business owners and people in the area. They are looking forward to hosting a DJ for the Northern Kentucky Pride Day on June 6th and really focusing on spotlighting LGBT black artists in the area.

Overall, CHAD is a unique business that provides a safe and creative space for anyone who comes through the doors. It is an accepting and inspiring place, where people want to come back every week.

Turner and Beatty recognize that the only competition they have is themselves, which pushes them to adapt and adjust their business to provide what people want.

Turner said playfully, “[Beatty’s] good at managing people. I’m good at coloring.”

They are always mingling and talking with their customers and artists to ensure that everyone is getting the most out of their experience at CHAD.

“Alone, my goal would be to just make art and be creative, but together, it was awesome to build a business,” Turner said.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment