By Cassandra Spratling Detroit Free Press.
Detroit just got a splash of color!
The Painting with A Twist shop is the third metro Detroit location and the first in Detroit for owner Michelle Lewis, who opened the Detroit location with her sister Donna Lewis.
The downtown Detroit business offers a place where customers can have fun while painting a picture and sipping their favorite beverage.
The sisters shed tears at the opening that they said was a dream come true.
"I am so excited to be in Detroit ," said Michelle Lewis, who opened her first place in Ferndale in 2010, followed by a Farmington location in 2012. "This is where I was born and raised and I still live in the city. It's also special because as two African American women owners we are able to show folks this is possible. It can be done; it just takes perseverance."
The opening was attended by family members and friends along with Detroit notables such as Detroit Police Chief James Craig, City Councilman Andre Spivey and Council President Brenda Jones.
Jones gave them a Spirit of Detroit Award and helped cut the ribbon for the shop located in the Julian C. Madison Building on Washington Boulevard.
"Many people have vision; few turn that vision into reality," said Jones.
Among the enthusiastic crowd of about 200 was Denise Figurski, 55, special events and volunteer manager for the Neighborhood Services Organization in Detroit.
Figurski said she has organized outings for coworkers to the Ferndale location. "It's a great stress reliever," she said. "When you're painting, you're thinking about what you are doing. You're not thinking about work or home. You're just in the moment.
"When you see what you've created at the end, you're always very pleased. You've stretched your boundaries and had a lot of fun and laughs."
"Lots of us have our painting up on the walls of our offices or cubicles."
Another sister, Marcia Lewis, wore a T-shirt that boldly expressed the mission: "A little bit of PAINT, A little bit of WINE, a whole lot of FUN!"
Rule No. 1 on a list of regulations written on the wall: "Relax! Your painting will turn out fine, we promise."
Motown music seemed to be the theme for the coming-out party. Paintings mimicking Motown records adorned the walls and the two sisters wore jean skirts painted with Motown-inspired designs.
Desmond Jackson, 25, of Detroit, said he's happy to see something new added to the entertainment choices in the city.
"Not everyone wants to go to the club for a good time," he said. "Not everyone wants to go to a baseball game. Some of us just want to do something that's calming and relaxing and fun."
That's the reason Shawny Henton of Detroit celebrated her 49th birthday with friends at the Ferndale location.
"It brings forth your hidden talents," she said. "When you leave, you leave with something you have produced with your own hands. I frequent the Ferndale location, but I'm glad we have something like this to do right here in Detroit."
The Detroit location, as others, is open for group parties seven days a week and offers painting classes.
For reservations or to inquire about the classes, call 313-960-4793 or email paintingwithatwist