Melissa Burns has taken her painting classes to clients’ homes for more than a year. Now the clients can start coming to her.
Her new business, The Painting Factory, will open in the coming month at 149 West Herrick Ave., starting with an open house from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 3.
Burns began organizing mobile painting parties in late 2015 and has also taught art classes for children at Lorain County Community College since last year.
The Painting Factory occupies the space formerly held by Hair and Beyond Beauty Salon. It aims to foster the artistic skills of all ages.
“I always had starting my own studio in mind,” said Burns. “I thought Wellington was too small, though. I looked at a location in Medina but it seemed like I would have to be out there too much and my son is still young. I saw this place in Wellington had opened up, so I checked out the rent and signed the lease.”
Painters will be able to take beverages of their choice, including wine.
“Some people like a can of pop, some like a bottle of wine,” said Burns. “You can bring a whole spread of snacks and drinks. If 10 girlfriends get together and want to set up a table of food, go ahead. You can do date night and pack a picnic, whatever you want.”
Updates on the business can be found at www.facebook.com/Melissas.Studio. After posting about the opening, Burns said it didn’t take long for about 26,000 people to view or share the information.
“It just went crazy,” she said. “People have been commenting and calling me since hours after signing the lease. I’ve gotten messages asking for jobs and trying to book parties.”
At Main Street Wellington’s annual meeting Jan. 24, Burns said the specific idea of a painting business in Wellington was raised.
“At the end of the meeting, people were asked what kind of place they wanted to see come to town and they said a painting studio,” she said. “The response from people walking by the window and online is (that) they can’t wait. I’m surprised and happy that so many people are excited and want to participate.”
There are painting shop chains out there but Burns said they often require artists to work within strict time constraints, which can stifle creativity.
“What people don’t like at those places is they feel very rushed,” she said. “You’re in there seven to nine and then you’re done. I’m telling people having parties that I’m prepared to be here for four hours if need be. If you want to be done before that, fine, but I’m not in any sort of rush.”
The building has room to sit more than 50 people per class, though the entrepreneur said she wants to limit sessions to about 25 painters.
“I don’t want people to be elbow-to-elbow and to feel like they’re in a warehouse,” she said. “Once you get over 25 people, you have to start worrying if everyone can hear you. At the big chains, the artist wears a headset and is up on a platform, and that’s just not how I want to do it.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.