Daytonian of the Week: Tabitha Peters-Guidone

Our Daytonian of the Week is no stranger to Dayton, or likely to you. Tabitha Peters-Guidone is a Dayton born-and-bred business owner and entrepreneur, bringing Decoy Art Studio to life in Beavercreek while organizing the second-annual ArtFest this September. Through her dedication to making art accessible and making creativity a part of your everyday experience and a profitable business, Tabitha brings the spirit of tenacity, hard work and beautiful vision to the Dayton area. 

We grabbed a quick moment with Ms. Peters-Guidone to celebrate her successes at accomplishing the near impossible — turning artistic passion into a sustainable lifestyle and career.

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Tell us your name: Tabitha Peters-Guidone 

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Your age? 34 

What is your job title? Owner & Creative Director of Decoy Art Studio in Beavercreek

What’s your favorite spot in Dayton? Glen Helen. Since I was a kid those trails have brought me much happiness. 

What’s your guilty pleasure? It's lame, but salt. My good friend gifted me sea salt from France that goes on (almost) every meal. 

What’s one word you think people would use to describe you? Hmmm...Unique? 

Tabitha Peters-Guidone at the inaugural ArtFest in Sept 2016. (contributed)

Why did you decide to settle in Dayton? I was born and raised here, graduated from Beavercreek and tried to escape to Orlando when I was 19, but that was short lived. Dayton is where all our roots are, and it's a great area that is always evolving. If you want something to happen, you can get involved and make it happen. 

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How did you get involved with the maker-art scene in Dayton? I was in college working toward a degree in art education when positions were being cut from schools nationwide. I finished my BS in Organizational Leadership and set out to open a studio that supported the local arts — artists, art educators, students and the community. It has been an amazing journey to help others on such a scale... our team, our students, with ArtFest, Greene STEAM and countless other projects and events to foster creativity. 

What was the most challenging part of that? Overcoming the challenges of the general public to understand the importance of art. Yes, you can make a living as an artist or in the creative industry. Yes, it can be challenging but just like with any career, if you have the passion and tenacity, you can accomplish anything. (An ounce of being naive helps to overcome the fear, too!) 

Tabitha Peters-Guidone, Daytonian of the Week, at her business Decoy Art Studio in Beavercreek. The studio offers a plethora of art making classes, drop-in projects, and more. (contributed)

How did you push through the challenge? We had to adapt. Plans changed and new visions came to light. We found that our community wanted more than we had to offer and weren't always ready to jump into a class or had the time. We want everyone to experience how rewarding being creative is. Appreciation comes from an understanding and without either, there is little support so we are out to welcome everyone, educate them with each visit and encourage them to continue exploring. When your heart is in the right place, anything can be accomplished. 

What inspires you about Dayton? That there is so much to learn about. I love going to events like PechaKucha and hearing all the great things people are doing. Tuesday I'll be touring WPAFB and Fisher House hearing from the airmen. Other's experiences and work inspires me to be a better person. 

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If you could change or bring one thing to Dayton, what would it be? That is a tough question because it would be next to impossible... a lake the size of Norris. I love the calmness of kayaking in the coves and would love to look out at it everyday. 

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What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years? Grand. All the projects in the works from various artists, buildings being redeveloped and towns growing. I am very concerned about the sprawl, though. Conserve our green and develop on the grey!

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