TROY — Looking for place to relax with a paintbrush in one hand and a wine glass in the other? An area paint-and-drink studio has opened a new location in downtown Troy.
Raise Your Brush, owned and operated by Laura and Andy Carter, provides step-by-step painting instruction, so guests can create their own masterpieces while enjoying a glass of wine. The studio celebrated its grand opening last week.
Laura Carter has been teaching novice painters for years, but not always in such a relaxed atmosphere.
Carter holds a degree in fine arts from the University of Dayton and taught middle school art for 12 years until she was laid off after a levy failure.
“After the levies fail a couple of times, they always cut the arts,” she said. “And that was me.”
She and her husband had already been considering starting a business, but losing her job was the push they needed to open their first studio.
“I enjoy the fact that I can still teach art and do what I love doing,” Laura said.
The Carters opened their Centerville location — the first business of its kind in the Dayton area — in 2013. When they decided to expand their business, they chose Troy because of the vibrant downtown.
“We just fell in love with Troy and the beautiful downtown area,” Andy said. “There’s a lot going on with all the shops and restaurants.”
They also felt a Troy location would allow them to reach communities in the northern Miami Valley, as other similar businesses are mainly south of Dayton.
Absolutely no experience is required before attending an event, but many first timers can be rather apprehensive about their art skills, Laura said.
“We walk you through it one step at a time,” she said. “Everyone is usually pleasantly surprised when they walk out with their painting.”
The studio offers a selection of beer, wine, and mixed drinks to get the creative juices flowing — “We call that a little bit of liquid courage,” Andy joked — as well as many non-alcoholic options.
The paintings change frequently, mixing seasonal designs with art inspired by classic paintings, Laura said.
“We try to figure out what’s trending in the art world, then sort of pull ideas from there and make it our own,” she explained.
A calendar of events is posted each month listing the next month’s paintings. Raise Your Brush offers special holiday designs, as well as date nights for couples.
“We do a paint your pet event as well, that’s just huge,” Andy said. For that event, customers send in a picture of their pets, which will be sketched onto canvasses and ready to paint.
Paint-and-drink events have become a popular choice for birthdays and bachelorette parties, but Raise Your Brush also hosts fundraisers and business events.
“We do a lot of fundraising events,” Laura said. “It can be for non-profits or charities or even just families in need, and for every person who signs up for those events we donate $10 back to the organization.”
Customes can join public events or schedule their own private parties. Raise Your Brush will also be opening a private party room in the next few months, Andy said. They already taking reservations for that space.
The studio is located at 7 S. Market Street downtown. For more information about upcoming events or how to book a reservation, visit www.raiseyourbrush.com.