We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Chase and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy, what do you attribute your success to?
I think Studio LOL has seen success over the years because we work really hard at what we do and we genuinely love it. We love watching kids come up with funny ideas and say the most random stuff. We love getting to see a parent witness their child become more confident. We love meeting a new student who’s maybe a bit quirky and hilarious, and then helping them to find their voice and their “people” in our class. Mostly, we love offering an experience to families that delivers happiness. So I think because we get such a kick out of what we get to bring to the world, it’s been very easy to work hard at it and build a successful program.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Studio LOL was founded by my husband and I in 2010 because we love improv and we love kids. We grew it into a successful program in Los Angeles over a 10-year span, and then opened up the programming nationwide in 2020 by redeveloping the entire curriculum for an online world. That jump was scary, since “online improv” sounds challenging and awkward. But we decided to kind of face up to the challenge with the same spirit of “Yes, And” that we teach our students in class. So we dove in head first, got really creative, and are now serving students all over the country. And these kids LOVE it. It is such a joy to see a whole new crop of kiddos discover improv, many of whom wouldn’t otherwise have access to it in their town. Our favorite part of this new journey with our business is that we feel we’re making a really positive impact on our students’ mental health, an area that’s always been such an important part of the work we do. To be able to show up for these kids every week, be their cheerleaders, laugh with them and encourage them through good days and bad, and really just provide a consistent source of joy — it has certainly felt like the most important season of Studio LOL’s story to date.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big fan of many of the small local restaurants in Los Angeles that have a family-friendly feel. Some favorites are: Dino’s Pizza in Burbank, Henry’s Tacos in Studio City, Reno’s Pizza in Studio City and Toluca Lake, and Blue Grass Night at Viva Cantina in Burbank.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The power of parents talking to and helping each other has attributed so much to our word-of-mouth success and we never could have survived as a business without our amazing local parents in Studio City. We’ve heard so many times from a customer that another parent recommended our class because they were chatting about some sort of issue their child was facing, like struggling to make friends, feeling scared to give a presentation at school, etc. They were told, “Oh, you’ve got to try Studio LOL.” So this idea that parents in the community talk with each other and help guide each other toward solutions when stuff comes up with their kids — it’s always been really special to us. And then when my husband and I became parents, we were able to benefit so much from that network as well. We are so grateful for the parents in our Studio LOL community.