published Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

SpiritedArt classes make pros of all levels

  • photo
    Zaida Cueto, left, and Shauna Whited, right, get pointers from Emily Hopper during a painting Wednesday. Hopper, owner of step-by-step painting studio SpiritedArt, led a class of women through their own renditions of a Tuscany landscape.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
    enlarge photo

Name: SpiritedArt

Location: 1925 Gunbarrel Road

Contact information: Because the store isn't always open during regular business hours, it is easiest to get in touch with owner Emily Hopper by emailing her at SpiritedArtChattanooga@gmail.com. The school can also be reached at 423-531-6278. To register for classes, visit MySpiritedArt.com.

Products/services: Step-by-step painting classes for amateur artists. For $35 for adults and $25 for kids, students are provided with the materials and instruction needed to produce a specific painting.

Age: Opened locally July 7

Getting started: Local franchise owner Emily Hopper got her start with SpiritedArt when looking for part-time work to put her through law school. She fit in so well at the company, she was quickly promoted to expansion manager and promised her own store after three years on the job. "As soon as the time came to go, I knew this was where I wanted to be," she said of Chattanooga.

Target market: Anyone looking for a fun night out. SpiritedArt's goal is to help even the artistically challenged create art that looks professional. Even if the paintings don't turn out great, customers are encouraged to bring their own wine and food to keep the evening casual and fun.

Biggest hurdle: Becoming a part of Chattanooga's night activity scene. "People plan to go out to the movies and go out to dinner," Hopper said. "We want to be part of that social scene." Hopper expects as schools start and life starts to settle down for families, business will pick up.

Biggest reward: Watching customers' confidence grow. "It's really rewarding to see people come in and they're a little scared, but when they leave they're just beaming with pride," Hopper said.

— If you have an idea for a small business feature, contact reporter Carey O'Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.

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