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Readers' Choice: Art Start's Arty Parties Take the Cake

From arts and crafts to candle-making, this tiny creative space on Camino Alto was voted the best place in Mill Valley to hold a kids birthday party.

When Susie Ames decided to buy the closing shop and move it to her hometown of Mill Valley, she did so with the appropriate amount of trepidation.

Art Start owner Lisa Kerth was retiring, and Ames, a freelance graphic designer and mother of three, had never owned her own business. Ames opened Art Start in the 45 Camino Alto building that also contains and .

Four years later, Art Start is well known for its arts and crafts work with kids, its candlemaking workshops and Ames’ collaborative painting with kids. But more than anything, Art Start is known as the place to have art-tastic kids birthday parties, a reputation that has helped Ames withstand the usual seasonal fluctuations for her business.

“Birthday parties are definitely our bread and butter,” Ames says. “We thank goodness that we have such a good quantity of childrens birthday parties coming through on a regular basis.”

Mill Valley Patch readers agreed, including one who commented that Ames is “awesome and super creative,” as they backed Art Start as the best place in the 94941 to host a kids birthday party.


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