Building on its current success and popularity, Wine and Design is proud to announce the opening of its newest franchise location in North Carolina. Wine and Design Asheville will be owned and managed by Ece Okar and will operate Monday through Saturday from 2:30-10:00pm in the Merrimon Square Shopping Center at 640 Merrimon Avenue, Suite 208. The studio’s Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday, November 26th from 6:30-10:00pm.
With a population of over 83,000, Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina and the 11th largest city in North Carolina. The city contains several arts districts, a 30-plus member Asheville Downtown Gallery Association, and has been heralded as a prime arts destination by The New York Times, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, and American Style Magazine. Because of the city’s richness in the arts, Okar knew that Asheville would be an ideal location for a Wine and Design studio.
“I went to Wine and Design with some book club friends one night in February and fell in love with the [painting party] concept,” says Okar. “I love Asheville. It’s a very artsy and creative town, and the people support their local businesses very well. Wine and Design is a great business—the idea that you can create a great painting in two hours and be taught by a talented local artist while enjoying a glass of wine sounded fabulous to me. I thought the people in Asheville would love this concept as well.”
Wine and Design first opened its doors in Raleigh in April 2010 as the dream of longtime friends and business partners Emmy Preiss and Harriet Mills. The wine/painting party concept was a first in the Triangle and has proven so popular, that—in addition to Asheville—Wine and Design has franchises operating in Wilmington, Wilson, Jamestown, Cary, Wake Forest, and Charlotte. Like the other studios, Wine and Design Asheville will offer two-hour painting classes starting at $35 per person.
Wine and Design provides the canvas, aprons, paints, paintbrushes, cups, and corkscrew and attendees provide a beverage of his or her choosing. First-time painters, aspiring artists, or self-proclaimed pro’s browse the studio’s website to find a painting they would like to replicate. Sessions are led by local artists that guide participants through a carefully-orchestrated, step-by-step process that promises “memories and a masterpiece” in two hours.
“The beauty of Wine and Design is that it has broad appeal,” says Okar. “Regardless of your artistic background, our artists will guide you step-by-step through the process that is stress free and fun. I’m not a talented artist, but I do love to paint and I love wine so working with those two hobbies together is a great hit!”
Okar graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She says that she always wanted to own her own business and was just waiting for the right opportunity that would fit her. She says that she is excited to bring a fun and memorable night to every painter in Asheville.
“When a night of watching shows or going to the movies gets old, Wine and Design will be there with a great alternative to make anyone feel like a talented painter and sip on some yummy wine as they do,” says Okar. “Plus, having a painting to take home will be a great way to remember that night. Since our classes will be from 6:30-8:30pm, folks can go out for a late dinner afterwards and talk about the wonderful time they had at Wine and Design!”
In addition to regular painting classes, Wine and Design Asheville will also offer children’s classes and host private events such as birthday parties, bridal showers, corporate events, and fundraisers. The studio plans to begin taking reservations for painting classes at the beginning of November. For additional information call (919) 819-4430.