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Monday profile: Budlove finds harmony of art, dance in new business enterprise


Kristin Colvin Budlove is all smiles as she relaxes in her new studio in downtown Columbus Saturday afternoon.

Kristin Colvin Budlove is all smiles as she relaxes in her new studio in downtown Columbus Saturday afternoon. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff


Sarah Fowler



For local artist Kristin Colvin Budlove, art isn't simply a painting on a canvas. It's a state of mind. 


Married and a mother of three, Budlove, 28, said she has been creating different works of art for as long as she can remember. Whether it's expressing herself through dance or giving new life to reclaimed pieces of furniture, the New Hope native said being an artist is a large part of who she is. 


"I don't think I could ever do anything else," she said. "It's the only thing I've ever done and it just happens to be what I'm good at so it's really a blessing. I don't know what else I would do if I didn't do this." 


After graduating high school and a brief move to Starkville, Budlove moved to Manhattan to follow her passion for dance. She danced at the Broadway Dance Center where her dream of performing with top caliber ballerinas was fulfilled. Now, she hopes to bring the culture that she experienced in New York to Columbus. 


In the coming weeks, Budlove will be opening "The WHEREhouse," a combination dance and yoga studio that will turn into a hangout for teens on the weekend. 


"I want to bring culture in a tasteful way," she said. "I grew up here, I took dance here for a long time. I went to Manhattan thinking I had won all these awards, and I did all these things and I get there and I'm taking ballet with eight-year-olds. I never really learned anything until I moved out of Mississippi." 


Budlove opened a dance studio in West Point in 2008, the original Warehouse Dance Studio. However, due to the slumping economy, she began giving lessons for free when she discovered she didn't have the heart to turn away children who couldn't pay. 


"Over time, it ended up we were teaching most of our kids for free. We went as long as we could then finally we had to shut the doors." 


To help pay the bills, Budlove began selling her artistic creations. 


"I've always kind of dabbled in crafts but it's something that just helped pay the bills when we were struggling from time to time. It's something that I could do and sell it when we needed it and it just kind of took off from there. I started getting orders and it just got bigger and bigger." 


When Budlove decided to reopen her dance studio, she decided to display her art there as well. 


Combining Manhattan's influence with her Mississippi roots, she has created original works of art from items that most people may see as worthless. 


"I find junk on the side of the road or in the thrift shop and just try to find a way to re-purpose it. I try to see it in a different way. Everything that I do is recycled. I may have to go out and buy a piece for it but I try to re-use as much if it as I can," she said. 


"I kind of get addicted to the one that I'm doing at the time and as soon as the next one comes along I feel the same way about it. It's an ongoing love affair," she said. 


What once was a struggling business has now become a reality with fresh life breathed into it by opening a new location. Budlove said calling it The WHEREhouse is a play on words because, for a while, she didn't know where to put her business. Then one day, everything fell into place. 


When Front Door/Back Door owners announced they were closing the front part of the restaurant, CafĂ© Aromas owner Jill Williams left her storefront next door and began moving into the Front Door location. 


Budlove randomly ran into Williams and, hearing of her plans to move, took it as a sign. 


"I don't know how it happened. It all was just so copacetic. It was meant to be. It was like a match made in heaven. Our plans just seemed so aligned." 


"This is perfect," she said. "It's the perfect storm of everything coming together at the same time. The Warehouse from 2008 is now fully being realized so many years later. It's just falling into place."


Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.



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