- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - Winter Moore started Addie’s Baby Paint and Wine Studio three years ago with just her college paint brushes and materials. Business took off from there.

Initially, Moore’s business began as a graphic design studio. But she wanted to get back into art, something she had done since the first grade.

“So, I started doing some art classes,” Moore said. “Some people told me, ‘Hey, why don’t’ you do the wine-and-paint thing? It seems like it would be pretty cool.’”

Moore thought about it. She had attended paint-and-wine classes before.

“So I said, ‘OK, I’ll see how it works here in this space and downtown,’” she said.

Moore named her business Addie’s Baby Paint and Wine Studio in thoughts of her mother. Addie Moore was Moore’s mother, who died four years ago from pancreatic cancer. Addie Moore always referred to Moore as her baby, hence the name of the studio.

Starting out, Addie’s Baby Paint and Wine Studio would offer classes approximately twice per month, because at the time, Moore was still doing graphic design for her clients.

“And what started happening was, the more people started coming, the more people started requesting more classes,” she said. “So, once to twice a month turned into like once every week, and it kind of tripled into three times a week and then also included private parties and birthdays, and it just kind of grew from there.”

The downtown space on West Evans Street in Florence turned solely into a paint and wine studio. Now Moore teaches five or six times per week, not including private parties. She hosts charity functions once a month where 50 percent of the proceeds benefit a specific charity in the Pee Dee. Moore teaches roughly 70 to 100 people per week.

Arts supplies are provided for each class, and Moore shows students step-by-step how to create the selected painting for that particular evening. Tougher designs are sketched on canvases to make it easier for students to paint. Each session ends with a class photo.

Paintings are different each night, and, Moore said she tries to introduce two or three new pieces each month. The most popular pieces are usually repeated on weekends, Moore said.

“Our customers like to send us paintings and pictures or give us ideas of what they would like to see, and we usually go off that,” Moore said. “We go off of what the customers want, because I can make stuff that I think is hot all day, but if they don’t like it . it’s really with them.”

Moore said sometimes, she comes up with the paintings. She has figured out that many of her customers like Southern-themed paintings.

“They want more traditional things they can hang up on their walls that resemble their houses,” she said. “Like, they want Mason jars and sunflowers and chevron and monograms.”

Moore said her paintings are judged by the area and atmosphere she is in.

The studio has found its place in Florence. Les Echols, director of community and minority enterprise for the Florence Chamber of Commerce, said the Addie’s Baby Paint and Wine Studio is innovating.

“It’s something this community didn’t have,” he said. “It’s visible in other metropolitan communities. She innovated a new trend in the community.”

Echols said the studio has won Business of the Quarter previously for the Chamber. Although he hasn’t taken a class, Echols said his wife, Nicole Echols, has and has even hosted events at the studio. Moore draws a diverse clientele, he said.

“I think she’ll do fine wherever she is,” Echols said. “Wherever she is, or whatever she does, she’ll do fine.”

Moore is now eyeing expansion. She recently has been offering classes at the Black Creek Arts building in Hartsville. She is looking at spaces in Hartsville for a second location and said she should come to a decision by the end of the year or in early 2017.

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Information from: Morning News, https://www.scnow.com

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