When Libbi Poole contacted her sister, Lesley Vitel, last year and said that she wanted to open her own business, Vitel was not immediately on board.
Poole had never owned or operated an independent business before, so Vitel was worried about all the things that could go wrong, but, when the sisters received an email last October that the Painting With a Twist store in Ponte Vedra Beach was for sale, it felt like fate.
Lesley Vitel is a full-time Realtor. She has been in the business for over 15 years and absolutely loves her job, but she was ready for something new and exciting, and she wanted a partner. Her sister, Libbi Poole, is a kindergarten teacher with a background in art and education who currently lives in Georgia. Poole plans on finishing out the year in Georgia, and then making the full move to North Florida once school ends, to dedicate her time to running their new business.
The Ponte Vedra Beach location of Painting With a Twist has been in the area for some time now, but when Poole and Vitel took over the business at the end of 2020, they redesigned the entire shop to fit their vision of making the space more inviting.
Painting With a Twist is a business with a unique take on art lessons. The shop employs artists to coordinate painting lessons for groups, which can be reserved on their website. They offer classes for paintings such as sea creatures, landscapes, cartoon characters, and much more. The “twist” of Painting With a Twist is that guests are encouraged to bring their favorite bottle of wine and snacks along with them to the lessons.
This makes it the perfect place for parties and celebrations, which can be reserved privately on their website, as well.
“People come in and generally leave with something they are proud of,” said Vitel. “Non-artists can still come in and enjoy painting.”
With the pandemic in mind, Painting With a Twist also offers take-home kits for virtual painting lessons, so that guests can experience the fun of adult art lessons from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
According to Poole and Vitel, the business has been doing extremely well since their soft opening in March. The community has responded positively, booking up the Girls Night and Date Night classes week after week.
“This is fun art,” said Vitel,” not fine art.”
The Ponte Vedra location of Painting with a Twist is hosting a grand opening ceremony with a ribbon cutting on April 8 at 5 p.m. To learn more about their classes, and the fun events they host, visit paintingwithatwist.com/studio/ponte-vedra-beach.