To Catherine Hover, the owner of Saratoga Paint and Sip, art is “empowering.”
“It’s nice to see a woman come in who hasn’t painted since the second grade come away with something she is really proud of,” said Hover, who recently opened a second Paint and Sip studio at Newton Plaza in Latham.
Hover said seeing the delight in her customers as they create and interact is one of the best things about her business and also one of the reasons she has carefully selected her nine painting instructors to have that perfect combination of talent and fun personality.
“I really enjoy showing people a good time,” Hover said.
And, Hover added, it would be hard not to have fun being creative in a supportive environment while sipping a glass of wine. In fact, that is why Saratoga Paint and Sip is such a popular destination for parties of all kinds — from bachelorette shindigs to birthdays and family reunions.
Although women tend to make up a large percentage of the clientele at Paint and Sip, they are not the only ones walking through the doors.
Hover pointed to a recent family reunion held at Paint and Sip, where an 82-year-old matriarch and her 13-year-old grandson sat next to each other, happily chatting and painting together.
“At what other venue would you find those two interacting like that?” said Hover.
Hover said a painting class also makes for a “phenomenal date night.”
“It really takes the pressure off,” she said, adding that the studios sell craft beer in addition to wine, something that has proven popular with the men in attendance.
“The guys usually have to be dragged in there at first,” Hover joked, “but by the end of the night, they are having a blast too.”
Hover, who opened the first Paint and Sip in Saratoga Springs in June 2012, said the decision to add the Latham location came from a desire to provide a more convenient venue for her Albany County customers. The Newton Plaza studio opened its doors in September and is already doing a brisk business, with classes selling out two to three weeks in advance.
Although the format is the same, each location has its own personality. Hover said the Latham studio attracts more families and tends to have a more subdued “PG” crowd than its Saratoga Springs counterpart, where many of the customers take classes as a kick-off for a night on the town. Both studios host special events for kids and have family-friendly Sunday classes that take place from 2-4 p.m.
Hover, who moved to the Capital District in 2011, said she originally decided to open Saratoga Paint and Sip because she noticed there just wasn’t anything else like it for miles, even though the concept was pretty common in her native South.
“I had a really strong gut feeling it would work out,” she said.
For more information and class schedules, visit Saratoga Paint and Sip online at www.saratogapaintandsip.com.