Dear PhinneyWood readers, as 2019 winds down and turns to 2020, we are taking the time to highlight some of our incredible neighborhood businesses that make PhinneyWood what it is. We will return to regular news and events Monday, January 6.
Bev Sobelman didn’t take the direct route to becoming the owner of one of Phinney Ridge’s most unique businesses, Versatile Arts. She started coding before she finished her college degree, and spent 20 years working in software development.
In working her way up the ladder, she found herself managing people, spending most of her day in meetings, and “watching people get yelled at” in these meetings. That was her breaking point with the tech industry, and she launched into a personal exploration of welding, yoga, climbing, and other interesting activities.
A circus arts class in 2003 changed everything for her – “I came home literally bouncing up and down with excitement,” she recalled. Over the next few years, she trained locally in aerial arts at locally and in Australia, which evolved into performing, subbing and then teaching.
Bev was hired by SPACE Design-Build Collective in 2008 to perform aerials during an open house, with the intention of attracting people interested in subletting their back room. By then, she knew she had enough potential students to start a studio, and decided that the quirky space with 30-foot ceilings would be an ideal fit. Versatile Arts was born.
Versatile Arts main focus is beginning and recreational aerialists, but is also accessible to professionals. “We’re good at making people successful wherever they are at,” commented Bev. She loves being in Phinney Ridge because it feels like the small town that she grew up in. “Plus, it’s nice to be able to teach a class, then walk down the street for a taco and a margarita.”