This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
WESTTOWN — The goal is for people to come in as strangers, but leave as friends and along the way, have some fun making your own piece of art.
That’s the goal of West Chester’s Painting with a Twist, a company which combines friends, wine, art and a lively instructor to ensure a fun experience for anyone who comes out.
The West Chester location has been in the works since the lease was signed in December 2014 by co-owners Linda Jobling (Wilkens) and John Wilkens.
Painting with a Twist celebrated its grand opening at the Marketplace at Westtown location Monday night with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and plenty of paint.
“It has been a long process, but it has been worth it,” Jobling said. “I’m really excited. We’ve had a lot of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. mornings, so if I can go to bed before midnight, that will be nice.”
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On hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony were all three Westtown Township supervisors – Michael Di Domenico, Carol De Wolf and Thomas Haws, Jr. – along with Township Manager Robert Pingar to welcome the new business.
“We want to welcome Linda, John and Painting with a Twist and hope that this business will be here for a long time,” Di Domenico said. “I’m excited for it myself. I’m going to be coming one evening, that’s for sure. My stick figures are bad, so if I walk out with better than a stick figure, I’m in great shape.”
People in attendance for the celebration of the grand opening ranged from the supervisors and township manager to employees from the Painting with a Twist corporation and also other employees.
“We want to thank everybody, from our local government to our landlords, the folks that helped us actually put this place together – which started out as just a piece of concrete with a ceiling without electric or plumbing – all of our new staff that are here to support us and all of our folks from corporate and also our local franchisees,” Wilkens said.
The idea of bringing Painting with a Twist to West Chester began after Jobling started working with the company over three years ago after leaving her original job.
“I was a teacher and taught art for K through 12 and I enjoyed this job more than my teaching job and I didn’t have to do any grading,” she said. “I decided that I wanted my own.”
Jobling knew she could make it work in the West Chester area after seeing the numerous artists who had no steady jobs in the field.
With the new Painting with a Twist, she can bring jobs to these people.
“I knew people from this area that were artists and a lot of those artists were working regular jobs and there wasn’t much work,” Jobling said. “I thought, ‘Hey, I know this business where I could take artists.’ That was also something close to my heart.”
People interested in coming out to a class can go online to Painting with a Twists website (www.paintingwithatwist.com/west-chester/) and see a calendar of the upcoming classes and what painting will be taught that day or night, along with the hours and prices.
“We also have date nights and private parties, which are very popular for bachelorettes,” Jobling said. “We have birthday parties and kids’ parties.”
The store even features a Paint Your Pet event, where people can paint pictures of their animals.
Painting with a Twist will even host corporate events, which tend to be a hit.
“Sometimes we do a big canvas with smaller canvases put together to make a big picture,” Jobling said. “Corporate events love it because it forces them to work together, but they’re having fun and it’s outside the work environment. It challenges them, but also helps them to express themselves in a different way.”
The idea of having a night out painting with friends or significant others has taken off in recent years, which is part of the reason why Painting with a Twist brought a location to West Chester.
The West Chester location has been promoting its opening for some time and, as of the grand opening, it has over 14,500 “likes” on its Facebook page.
“I think it means West Chester is happy to have us here,” Jobling said with a smile. “A lot of people don’t have the ability or an outlet to be creative. Maybe they did in school, but as adults, we don’t really get to do that. People need to be creative.”