Syosset residents have been enjoying giving their creative and social sides an outlet at Wine and Design, a bright and cheery art studio that caters to both budding artists looking to fashion a masterpiece and those who just want to casually have some fun while slapping paint around on a canvas.
Located on a busy roadway at 35 Jackson Ave., Wine and Design owner Pam Paredes of Jericho first opened her studio’s doors in August of 2014. The studio comfortably accommodates up to 35 people and provides a great opportunity for people looking to indulge their artistic sides while sipping on a glass of chardonnay—or chocolate milk, if you’re a kid.
“Instead of going to a bar and drinking and doing nothing else, you can come here and sit and talk with your friends while trying something new and creative,” she said. “Plus, we have a lot of children’s programs as well, so this is really a great place for anyone to try out painting and have fun.”
Holding degrees in architecture and engineering, Paredes said that she spent a number of years grinding away in the corporate word—including working for Chrysler Motors—but after marrying and moving to Long Island, she eventually felt a change of pace was needed and started looking around for the right opportunity.
An artist at heart—Paredes said that she’s been painting all her life—she decided to heed her desire to reclaim her creative side in such a way that she could earn a few bucks as well, sparing herself a return to the rigid 9-to-5 world she had previously lived. Eventually, she found what she was looking for in Wine and Design, an art studio franchise that she was exposed to when previously living in South Carolina.
“My son went to his fifth-grade graduation party at Art Buzz Kids, which is Wine and Design’s children’s program,” she said. “When I went into the studio and saw what they did, I was wowed. Later, when we moved to Long Island, I knew I wanted to open up my own franchise. I went right out and found a location for my studio and set to work getting it opened.”
After looking for the ideal location for her studio, Paredes finally settled on Syosset, and before long, she found herself running the first—and, to date, only—Wine and Design franchise on Long Island (there are 61 locations and counting nationwide).
What sets Wine and Design apart from other art studios, Paredes said, is the unique combination of artistry and socialization, with classes lead by pros who assign a wide variety of subjects to paint and give just the right amount of individual assistance to their students, with the emphasis being on fun and enjoyment more than anything else.
Children programs, including birthday parties and art camps, are typically run throughout the daytime, whereas adult programs are held in the evening. During those sessions Paredes noted that participants are free to bring their own wine, beer and snacks to add to the atmosphere, although in the future she said that the goal is for Wine and Design to put in its own bar facilities to serve its adult patrons.
“We have different classes Tuesday through Saturday and classes are usually two hours long. Everyone does the same type of painting and the head artist will show you step-by-step how to do it—what brushes to use, what colors to mix, but each person is allowed to do their painting their own way, to make it their own,” she said. “If someone is a beginner, we can sketch out the image on the canvas ahead of time if they want. Most people are just looking to go out and have a good time, and they don’t know how to draw or paint, so by sketching it for them, they can concentrate on mixing the colors and making it unique in their own way.”
So far, Paredes said that response to Wine and Design from the Syosset and surrounding communities has been very encouraging, so much so that she’s is entertaining the notion of opening a second location, with Rockville Centre as a possibility. In addition, the nature of her business means that she shares a beneficial symbiotic relationship with her fellow local merchants, so a local Wine and Design is good for any community, she said.
“Oh, it’s been great. We have our busy days and our slow days, but usually weekends are packed. Friday, Saturday and Sunday I always have so many parties scheduled,” she said. “It helps that we’re in a great area on a busy street and the businesses in this street all help each other. My business being here naturally helps the paint store down the road and the people who come here also go to the neighboring restaurant and pizza parlor before or afterwards, so it all works wonderfully.”
To find out more, visit www.wineanddesign.com/locations/syosset.