Get Your Art Buzz On
by Melissa LaScaleia
Bailey Turner discovered Wine and Design when she was a sophomore at Coastal Carolina University. A graphic design major with a minor in studio art, she was looking for a job doing something she loved, and began working at one of Wine and Design’s franchise locations in Myrtle Beach. After graduation she moved to Chicago, and stayed in the same industry with a similar company.
When she returned South, the Wine and Design of her college years had moved to North Myrtle Beach. Seeing a huge market open in the heart of Myrtle Beach, she and her husband, Chris Wilkinson, decided to open their own location in the Market Common while they were still dating.
“We got business married before really getting married,” she laughs.
Wine and Design teaches step-by-step instructions for painting your own painting. Groups of friends or solos get to leave with a painting that they made that same night. The studio offers a selection of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase, but is also BYOB, and encourages people to bring what they want to eat or drink.
“People often bring cheese platters or fruit trays, they sometimes even cater,” Bailey says. “It’s really like a big party where you happen to learn how to paint. People who come in here expect to have a good time. It’s just a fun environment to be in.”
Classes are held daily, and pre-registration is encouraged to give Bailey and her team of artists time to pre-trace the canvases. If somebody wants a totally blank canvas, they’ll provide that too.
They also offer a daily Pop-In & Paint class, for those with unpredictable schedules or spontaneous tendencies. During designated hours, anyone is welcome to come in and paint at their own leisure from a pre-traced or blank canvas, without any teaching guidance.
All of the artwork at Wine and Design is original— either created by an owner of a franchise or an employee of one. It’s all copyrighted— therefore, not something you’ll find reproduced anywhere outside the venue. There are new paintings to choose from all the time, and the artwork is kept in an online gallery database which all of the franchises have access to. Selected paintings are rarely offered twice— only brought back by client demand.
The paintings are picked several months in advance based on what Bailey thinks will be popular seasonally. You can view the selections on their website and pre-register for the painting you choose.
They have a range of other mediums you can select besides canvas: wine glasses, wine bottles, and pallet boards; and specialty classes like Paint Your Pet, as well as an Acrylic Pour class in which you liquidize paint and pour it on the canvas to make abstract designs.
“The emphasis is on texture and color and less on form,” Bailey says in speaking of the latter class.
They are also offering classes and workshops under a new do-it-yourself division.
“Under this category are classes like knitting chunky blankets, and creating stencils from a wood pallet to customize lettering or a design,” Bailey says. “These are more hands on physical activities.”
Wine and Design has two rooms— a larger for public gatherings, and another room in the back for private functions like birthday parties, bachelorette parties, kids parties, and baby showers. Anything that can be turned into a party can be a party here.
They also offer several kids camps over the summer as well as alternating Mommy & Me and kids painting classes on Saturday mornings. Check their calendar for all their latest offerings.
“We’re excited to be in our fourth year and still continuing to bring in new and fun elements to the industry,” says Chris.
With a degree in business and finance from Coastal Carolina, Chris handles the business side which also includes most of the marketing. Bailey works with the calendar, manages the artists, and handles inventory; they both handle customer interactions.
“I truly love my job,” she says. “It’s amazing being able to paint everyday. This is probably the dream job for any artist.
“Everyone who works here either has an art degree or is getting their art degree, so they’re all very qualified to teach. I try to teach a large number of classes because I enjoy it.”
In addition to the teaching, Bailey’s favorite thing about being co-owner of Wine and Design is seeing customers find and discover their creativity.
“98% of the people who come to us have never painted before, or haven’t since elementary school,” she says. “A lot of times they get discouraged and say, ‘I’ve never learned art,’ but they have so much talent. They’re usually a little hard on themselves, but at the end, they’re so proud of their work.”
Bailey and Chris have what’s called a Paint It Forward division, a charity division of their company, in which they donate a percentage of the class proceeds to a charitable cause. Often customers will approach them with a cause, and the two will host a class to support them.
“We especially love being in this community of Market Common,” Bailey says. “We couldn’t have chosen a better area when we decided where to go. We have a lot of support from people who live nearby. I want to bring them creativity. Art is important, especially for people with a 9-5 job, because creating helps you de-stress. And where else do you really get to do art in the community?
“We have a lot of customers who come to us multiple times per week and per month, and this is their therapy session. I think that’s a neat thing.
“We are honored to be voted the #1 Art Studio by the Herald Readers’ Choice Award every year we have been open. And we want people to come and try it out with us even if they’ve tried it elsewhere.”
“Being a Myrtle Beach native, it’s really awesome to start something in your community, and I really encourage people to do the same,” Bailey says in conclusion. “It’s something you may think you’ll never be able to do, but it’s doable. We’re so appreciative of the support we’ve received so far.”