Kaye Ball and her long-time friend, Lenny Haynes, opened Brushstrokes n' More earlier this month at 3432 Ft. Henry Drive in Kingsport. It's the city's first 'Paint Your Own Pottery' studio.
By Pam Cox
Kingsport has a new "stress-free" environment for family fun or group entertainment. Brushstrokes n’ More, the city’s first "Paint Your Own Pottery" studio, opened earlier this month at 3432 Ft. Henry Drive.
Owner Kaye Ball was inspired to open Brushstrokes n’ More last October when she visited a similar establishment in Austin, Texas.
"I was in Austin for my son’s wedding, and the girls were taken out to a paint your own pottery studio. I had so much fun and thought Kingsport needs a place like this," Kaye said.
The wedding trip to Austin turned out to be fortuitous for Kaye, who had recently become unemployed after 18 years of working with a major corporation and owning Kandles by Katie for several years. "I sent out resumes and was looking for something exciting to do. I knew the minute I left Austin what I wanted to do," she explained.
Shortly after returning home, Kaye started doing her research and called upon her long-time friend, Lenny Haynes. He had retired from Eastman in 2009 after working for 36 years as a machinist. "I called the most reliable person I knew to join me in this venture, and that was Lenny." The pair formed a partnership and are co-owners of Brushstrokes n’ More.
Kaye and Lenny were looking for a small, quaint storefront in a high traffic area, and the Ft. Henry Drive location was perfect. They spent months painting and renovating in order to capture the "right" atmosphere. "I wanted a place where folks would walk in and feel welcome and relaxed," Kaye said.
Brushstrokes n’ More is light and open with plenty of tables to accommodate "budding" artists. Both Kaye and Lenny stressed, however, that you do not need to have an artistic inclination to paint your own pottery. The shop has idea books, stencils, sponges, and a wide variety of paints and glazes to create your own unique pottery piece.
Staff is available to provide instruction, but only if the customer wants help.
"We explain the basic process and, if the customer wants, provide instruction; but we don’t hover. Instead, we let creativity flow because it is not about the finished product. It’s more about the journey of getting there," Kaye said.
Brushstrokes n’ More Studio is more than just a studio - it's an activity and it’s extremely affordable. No appointment is necessary.
"We offer a new approach to an old idea: Simply choose from our large variety of pottery pieces to paint," with prices ranging from $8 for a small bowl to $50 for a large platter or vase. The studio fee is a flat rate of $5 (plus the price of your pottery) per person per day so take your time and enjoy the experience. Artists should allow one to two hours for painting.
"After you are finished painting, we clean up!ã€€ We will glaze and fire your masterpieces and (they) will be ready for pick-up in about five to seven days," Kaye said.
The paints are non-toxic, washable and food safe.
As Lenny and Kaye worked on the building, people would stop by and see if the store was open. "We have been extremely pleased with the reception of people that have walked in off the street," Lenny said. "They all think this is a great idea."
Prior to the official March 1 opening, Brushstrokes n’ More had a "soft" opening with friends and family. "Painting your own pottery is something fun and different for both children and adults," Lenny said. We are the ideal spot for birthday parties, girls' nights out, bridal showers, baby showers, troop gatherings, field trips, vacation bible schools, and more. "We have a party room that holds 14 people, and we already have the room booked for at least five birthday parties," Lenny said.
The room also includes a refrigerator for customers to bring in their own food and beverages.
Donna DeVault and Joyce Ketron also work part-time at Brushstrokes n’ More. Lenny, Kaye, Donna and Joyce all agreed this is the best job they have ever had.
"We’re having a ball watching the people come in here and have fun," Lenny said.
Aside from in-store painting, Brushstrokes n’ More is also available for "pottery to go" for a company or group that wants to have a teambuilding event.
"You can either pick-up the supplies or we can deliver to your place," Kaye said.
Brushstrokes n’ More is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. For more information, visit the website at www.brushstrokesnmore.com or call 423-765-0352. Be sure to "Like" their Facebook page for studio updates and specials.comments powered by Disqus