Pinot's Palette is all about fun art, not fine art.
Pinot's Palette is a place where people can go and paint with the help of a skilled instructor while enjoying a glass of wine or snacks they bring for themselves.
She said a lot of people are artists at heart but don't have the skills. At the end of an evening at Pinot's Palette, they leave with something they are not ashamed to hang on the wall.
“It's fun art, not fine art,” she said. But it's high-quality art for something that can be created in two to three hours. She said she has been amazed to see the ability of local artists.
Mrs. Haynie, 46, of Athens, grew up in Dallas and Athens and lived in Tyler for four years. “It's a great thriving town,” she said of Tyler. She worked in educational theater for five years and is attending The University of Texas at Tyler to earn her master's degree in history. She is also the playwright in residence at the community theater in Athens.
Her husband of 21 years, Haynie, 55, is from Beaumont and moved here in 1991. He has been in the insurance business for 30 years and owns Haynie Insurance Services in Athens.
They have four sons and two daughters, ranging in age from 19 to 29, and one 10-month-old grandson. Since their youngest is planning to go off to college next year, Mrs. Haynie said, “This (the business) is our new baby to raise.”
She contacted the owners and started researching the franchise.
Charles Willis and Craig Ceccanti were friends from college and opened the first Pinot's Palette in Houston in 2009. Within a year they opened their second store and put together a business model to franchise the business.
In January, there was one Pinot's Palette franchise and now there are more than 20 around the country. Mrs. Haynie said there are six stores in the Houston area, as well as in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and one planned for Allen. There are also stores in New York, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Chicago and Colorado. “They're expanding out all over,” she said.
Mrs. Haynie will start with nine artists who will go through training with Pinot's Palette and will work for Mrs. Haynie as independent contractors.
“It's kind of a party with paint,” Mrs. Haynie said, adding that there will be music playing and charismatic and fun artists instructing the classes.
Pinot's Palette focuses on customer service, providing the painting materials and the wine glasses. Mrs. Haynie said they want to make it a fun, easy experience.
She said there will be plenty of time to socialize with friends or on a date as there is to paint. She said they also do corporate team building events. And once the instructors are trained, they will also be going out to special events, she said.
Pinot's Palette has a calendar published on their website each month so people can see which painting is available to recreate in classes each night. Two-hour classes on Thursday evenings go for $35 per person; and three-hour classes on Friday and Saturday nights, which offer more intricate paintings, cost $45.
Private parties can also be reserved and the specific painting selected. People can reserve a Saturday morning or afternoon and make it a family oriented affair. They also are looking to host children's camps next spring or summer.
Mrs. Haynie said there are more than 300 paintings in their mass library, or they can even work to create something special for private parties. They also will partake in the franchise's Pet Project, where painters send them a photo of their pet to be placed in black and white on a canvas and painted over.
Pinot's Palette, which sits between Plato's Closet and Tuesday Morning, has room for about 50 people and can take walk-ins if they don't have a full house.
Ms. Haynie said they chose the spot that formerly housed Knotty Girls Stitchery because she felt it was a good central location and provided a lot of foot traffic. She said the space was 3,000 square feet and they cut it down to 1,800 square feet, with her neighbor Plato's Closet taking over the rest of the space to expand.
Pinot's Palette will celebrate its grand opening Friday.
“We've gotten really good feedback,” Haynie said of the business coming to Tyler. “The people, they're excited about it.”