When Megan Hines opened the Eat. Paint. Love Studio in Wappingers Falls in March 2013, she planned to generate some income while her other “real” business, an online jewelry company, got up and running. The idea was simple: Gather people together to paint (no experience necessary), and guide them step-by-step through the process so that they have a personal masterpiece to take home at the end of the day. Not only did the idea immediately take off, but within a year Hines opened a second branch in Beacon — and now holds events in Connecticut and New Jersey, too.
“People love it because it’s low stakes and low commitment,” says Hines, a former yoga instructor. “I try not to even use the word ‘class’ because it just sounds so boring. Yes, we paint, and yes, there is a little technique thrown in sometimes — but it’s more about the social atmosphere.” While her whimsically decorated Wappingers studio caters to kids’ events, the Beacon branch, which has a gallery-like look with its wood floors and brick walls, is geared to adult classes, parties, and workshops — from bachelorettes to birthdays. Hines also takes her show on the road, with her “Cocktails and Canvas” events at local bars and restaurants. October pumpkin painting, November wineglass painting, and December ornament painting are on the agenda. www.eat-paint-love.com