By Erin Silk
A person calling up Saratoga Paint &
Sip Studio can safely feel that chances are
they’re in for a good time.
The cheerful outgoing message for this
popular art studio and bar announces “Hello!
Hello! Hello! If you are having a Paint &
Sip emergency, hang up now and e-mail us
That’s Catherine Hover, studio owner and
New Orleans native who opened this unique
art studio in April 2012 that calls itself a
“new way to paint the town”.
The concept is funky. The atmosphere is more like a night out than a serious art class. Budding artists at this make-your-own painting studio can grab a drink at the bar with friends before settling down to create.
Hover credits the success of her business with the usual word-of-mouth advertising that comes from happy customers and says social media has given the venture an incredible boost. But, she also brings to the studio a southern hospitality and personal touch that keeps people coming back to class.
“Fifty percent of our patrons are repeats,” said Hover. “I try to remember our guests and call them by name. It’s me they will usually see behind the bar so I like to engage them and find out why they came.”
She says that in today’s digital age, people aren’t necessarily communicating directly with each other anymore and she hopes her studio helps to bring back some of the human contact that is missing.
Hover has an educational background in fashion design and said her business sense comes from her father who is also an entrepreneur. She and her husband fell in love with Saratoga and when they moved to the area in 2012. Hover wanted to find a creative outlet.
“These studios are popping up all over the country,” said Hover, ” and when we realized that Saratoga didn’t have one, it was my ‘ah-hah’ moment, that the area would be the perfect fit for this type of venture.”
Hover likes to encourage creativity in others. Many of Saratoga Paint & Sip’s guests, which include young and older, men and women – even some bachelorette parties – haven’t painted since their grade school years.
“Some people come in without much confidence in their artistic abilities and I like being able to open their eyes and show them they can create something they can be proud of.”
It’s Hover’s philosophy that patrons, and the artists she employs, treat the studio like it’s their own.
“I want people to be able to relax and have a fun atmosphere to create in. I think that the concept fits really well with the Saratoga community and its visitors,” says Hover. Patrons can view the painting schedule via an online calendar that features subjects like “Saratoga Vases,” “New York Starry Night,” and even a “Paint Your Pet” event. These two-hour sessions sell out quickly and can also be booked for private parties. a different artist guides each class.
Hover would like to keep expanding Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio in the Northeast, perhaps as far into Vermont.
“We’ve made Saratoga our home now. we love the area and plan to continue to invest in our community and in the region,” said Hover.
Visit saratogapaintandsip.com to sign up for a session at the Saratoga or Latham studios.