Entreprenuer brings entertainment to Warner Robins

Guest post by Cara Heard


Warner Robins is home of a trio of businesses bringing entertainment to the Middle Georgia area. Cara Heard is the owner and creator of Lush Art, Lush Lounge, and Escape Artists.

Cara, along with her husband and son, moved to the Warner Robins area in late 2013. Lush Art opened soon after, in November 2013, followed by Escape Artists in December 2016, and Lush Lounge and the newly-expanded Lush Art relocated and opened in November 2017. Now all three businesses are connected at 4993 Russell Parkway in Warner Robins.

Lush Art and Escape Artists are located side by side with Lush Lounge on Russell Parkway
Lush Art and Escape Artists are located side by side with Lush Lounge at 4993 Russell Parkway in Warner Robins. Photo courtesy Cara Heard.

Cara went from being a stay-at-home mom while living in North Carolina to a full-time entrepreneur and business owner. She made the transition in an effort to deal with the changes in her life after moving to a new city without knowing a soul.

Opening three businesses has been exciting, hard, fulfilling, and scary–but it has all been worth it. Meeting amazing people, seeing how happy people become when they are playing, and watching both the staff and the customers grow and gain confidence are rewarding and worth all of the challenges of business ownership.

The goal of all three of Cara’s businesses is to encourage patrons to turn off their devices (electronic and otherwise) and to connect with themselves and other people around them. Cara loves watching relationships form over a common bond of creating something. She likes to get her customers working outside of their comfort zones. Whether through art or games, her businesses are about finding your tribe, working as a team, and shutting the real world out for a small slice of time for relaxation. Her brain is always working on new ideas and sorting out which ones to pursue and which ones to pass up.

Lush Art is a paint and sip art studio. The events are welcoming to everyone who enjoys painting (men, women, and children), but the mainstay will always be providing a place to encourage women, especially moms, to express themselves artistically and meet new friends. Lush Art gives grown-ups a place to escape to, where they can create beautiful artwork in a fun and social environment. As Cara’s first business, Lush Art stays true to her first goal of finding a place to belong as a woman, wife, and mother in a new community.

Hayden Woods showing off his painting from the Lush Art Kids Camp, courtesy Karen Singleton
Hayden Woods showing off his painting from the Lush Art Kids Camp. Photo courtesy Karen Singleton.

When you come to Lush Art, you are treated like family, not like a number going to a corporate office. Art instructors lead the participants in creating one of their many different, original painting designs—and they are constantly creating new designs. But at Lush Art, it is about the experience of painting, not the final product. We want you to build skills each time you come through our doors that you can continue to use when you leave. Skills that aren’t just in painting, skills in how to live life to the fullest.

Escape Artists is an escape room concept business. Groups enter a themed room of their choosing and work together to solve various puzzles in order to escape from the room within an hour. A clock will count down your remaining time, and your goal is to stop the clock by escaping before time runs out. We also employ game masters to personally facilitate your entertaining adventure, and he will give your group up to three clues to help in your escape. You will want to bring your own group when you come to Escape Artists.

If you enjoy a little competition, be sure to check out our leader boards before entering your room and see if you can beat the best times of other groups who have already successfully completed the same themed room. The designs are original to Escape Artists, and we currently have five themes: Bank Heist, Bomb Squad, Get Together Game Show, Poison, and Pirates. Middle Georgians interested in competing in the Pirate theme should come very soon, as we are about to retire that them and it will be replaced with a new concept, which will be announced soon.

Children at a Lush Art painting party
Children at a Lush Art painting party. Photo courtesy Katie Weimer.

We are proud of our new and improved, larger studio space with Lush Lounge in the back for relaxing, connecting with friends, and hosting intimate events. Adult customers who have tickets for either Escape Artists or Lush Art can enjoy the shared lounge before and after their events. Lush Lounge can also be used to host private events, parties, workshops, small retreats, and collaborations with other small businesses. No outside visitors are allowed, though, and you must have an event ticket to enjoy the lounge.

Our manager, Heather DeLoatch, is responsible for overseeing all of the locations, and she is in the Lush Art studio on Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Lush Art can be attended by reserving your seat prior to class through our website, where you will be purchasing a seat in our open session classes Monday through Saturday evenings. These classes are a mix of people with some in small groups, and some coming alone. These typically are priced at $35-40, and include everything you need to create your own art, including step by step instructions led by one of our talented artist-instructors. We offer a military discount on evening painting classes. Drinks are purchased separately.

We are currently experimenting with daytime offerings and if they’re successful we will continue. We offer private events for adults, a “Mimosas with Cara” program one Saturday morning a month, and we also stay busy with children’s birthday parties on Saturday mornings and afternoons.

Jordyn Nicolosi celebrating her birthday party with a painting at Lush Art, courtesy of Tricia Nicolosi
Jordyn Nicolosi celebrating her birthday party with a painting at Lush Art. Photo courtesy Tricia Nicolosi.

Lush Lounge has its own set of events, such as Ladies Nights, Bunco Nights, and Open Studio times, and it is open whenever Lush Art has a class. The lounge is closed on Sundays. We sell beer, wine, hard ciders, frozen pouch drinks, and soft drinks. We also have a selection of board games you can play while you are relaxing with us in the lounge.

Escape Artists is currently opened Friday 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Saturday 2:00 p.m.-10:0and Sunday 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Tickets are purchased in advance through our website booking system. The cost is $30 per person. Groups may have up to 6 members, with the youngest members being 13 years of age, based on the level of difficulty of the challenges. We offer military and public service discounts as a way to honor those individuals in our community.

Both Lush Art and Escape Artists specialize in corporate team building events. We also offer great options for engagement parties, perfect activities when guests come to town, date nights, girl’s night out evenings, deployment parties, bachelorette and bachelor parties, wedding and baby showers. We aim to provide something for everyone and we would love for you to come join us soon.

For more information, please contact us at www.paintwithlushart.com, www.escapeartistswartown.com, or by calling (478) 333-3366.

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