Brandy Padgett-Brown never planned to be a business owner, but when her friend asked her to take over his fine arts and recording studio, she didn’t back down from the challenge.
In November, she started running Psalmist’s Studio at 201 Valdes Drive in Martinez.
“People said it was my destiny to do this. It felt like it was the right thing to do,” Padgett-Brown said.
With a dream to fill the artistic void in the local area, founder Jimmy Getts started the business as mobile voice lessons in October 2010 and opened a physical location in March 2011. He stepped down in November to attend school and devote more time to his family, she said.
Padgett-Brown joined the business as a co-owner and instructor of art and photography when it first opened. Initially, Psalmist’s Studio focused on basic fine arts, piano, vocal and its recording studio, but Padgett-Brown has since added more visual arts. As the business grows, she would like to add drama, sculpting and adult art classes.
“We want to be a hub in the middle of Augusta for the arts. Not just music, but to let everybody see the different sides of art,” she said.
The faith-based business offers music and vocal instruction, including piano, keyboard, saxophone and guitar, to students 5 years old and up. For students ages 3 and up, the studio also teaches art lessons and expressive art for children with special needs.
The recording studio has had nearly a dozen different recording projects.
“We have people recording their own albums, demos or voice overs,” Padgett-Brown said. “Our rates are pretty low. We’ve done a lot of things to keep the overhead from coming back onto the client. We really want to get that next generation or new person out there.”
Carrel Davis, a co-owner and director of audio production, is a published songwriter and international touring musician. Davis worked for James Brown in the early 1990s and has been involved in music for 37 years and youth ministry for 26 years.
Already, Psalmist’s Studio has outgrown its space, and Padgett-Brown is looking for a new location. The studio has 50 students, and she is expecting a spring boom. Still, she wants to keep overhead as low as possible.
Padgett-Brown said her family has run small businesses in Augusta for years.
“It wasn’t new to me, all the little things. But actually being hands on with it, it’s been very challenging. But I’m a fast learner,” she said.
A self-taught artist and photographer, Padgett-Brown had been working professionally as a photographer for six years. She has sold her paintings to clients from Oregon to Florida.
She said that she chose not to receive formal education in art.
“I was always kind of afraid that somebody would try to incorporate too much of their style in me,” Padgett-Brown said.
She hopes to eventually to pass the main art instruction duties to another teacher.
“I’d like to stand back and watch it all grow,” she said.