Our featured partner this week is The Paint Mill’s creative and innovative owner, Lana Riverol. The Paint Mill serves as Yukon’s destination for canvas painting and craft classes.
You recently became a new owner of The Paint Mill. Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in the art class business?
I have always been artistic and was fortunate to have parents that supported me. I grew up being the “crafty one” but saw friends and classmates struggle with what came naturally to me. Through different job opportunities I was lucky to pick up tips and tricks for helping students achieve their craft and canvas goals. In 2015, my husband and I moved to Yukon with our son and soon-to-be baby girl. After a few years living in the city I was ready to take on a new project. Yukon is bursting at the seams with new families like us and we wanted to have a place adults could come enjoy a glass of wine and create some great art! After some prayer, hard work, and collaboration with the previous owner, The Paint Mill was re-created in its new location in April 2017.
What are some of the activities offered at The Paint Mill?
We offer both Crafts and Canvas classes and open studio times. We have Canvas in multiple sizes to paint as well as wooden boards. We also offer DIY beer openers, jewelry hangers, concrete coasters, string art and more!
Your studio offers rental space to host a variety of art class events such as birthdays and corporate functions. What does a fundraiser night entail?
Fundraisers are a big part of The Paint Mill. We love to help our community so we host about one every month. We are open to larger organizations as well as youth sports and others to help as much as we can. A portion of every seat goes directly to the fundraiser and often a small raffle to raise funds as well. You can expect a fun atmosphere and a good time while helping out a good cause.
Why do you support Allied Arts through participation in the OKCityCard Partnership?
When I first found out about that OKCityCard I knew it was something I wanted to participate in. I think it’s a great concept to enhance our community and getting people to try something new, while again supporting a great cause!
What do the arts mean to you? Why are the arts important for our community?
I think the arts are so important to our youth as well as many adults in the community for a lot of the same reasons. They provide an outlet to express yourself and a task to distract you from the worries of the day. Over the years, art for me has been a kind friend to listen and distract. I think it’s important to do things just for fun as well. Sometimes we get so caught up in making that grade or meeting that deadline that we forget to enjoy the company and community of others, and I think art helps us all remember to do that a little more.
The Paint Mill is located at 10 W Main St, Yukon, OK 73099. You can reach them at 405.761.5878 and on their website at http://www.thepaintmill.com. The Paint Mill offers 10% off any open studio class and $50 off birthday parties with your OKCityCard.
Our featured partner this week is Painted Door, Oklahoma City’s premiere boutique in Bricktown. Our OKCityCard Coordinator visited the shop to learn more about its pioneering owner and long-time appeal.
Owner and visionary Avis Scaramucci entered her boutique to greet Allied Arts staff with a crisp white shirt and black puffer vest, hounds tooth slacks, and an enthusiasm for her shop that was contagious. Her right-hand gals, long-time shop creatives Tonia Cook and June Martinez, were organizing new items from market at the front desk and helping customers celebrate “Gal-entine’s Day,” a pre-Valentine’s Day ritual where women can come in and shop for their friends. Painted Door, a boutique at the corner of Sheridan Avenue and Mickey Mantle Drive in Bricktown that specializes in fashion, gifts, and accessories, is a 27-year staple of the Oklahoma City community.
While her shop finds its roots at the heart of Oklahoma City and its blossoming community, Ms. Scaramucci and her team thrive on bringing fresh variety to Painted Door, always with the tastes and desires of visitors in mind. More than 250 vendors are represented by the store’s offerings. It’s currently market season, and staff enjoys browsing merchant wares in Dallas, Atlanta, and New York to find beautiful, innovative items. During a shop tour, Avis shared her memory of one visit to Atlanta when she first discovered the handcrafted Sorrelli jewelry line. While browsing at market, she encountered a woman dressed in “a simple collared shirt and slacks with a large statement Sorrelli necklace.” The juxtaposition of simple and extravagant immediately attracted her to the line.
In 2016, Ms. Scaramucci remodeled the front of her shop, adding showroom windows to display brand-new and seasonal fashion and gifts, as well as a full kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, stove, and oven to allow customers to sample the many foods and party mixes sold by the store. Items include taste sensations such as maple bacon onion jam, dill ranch crackers, and premium party dips. “Sometimes I like to change up the recipes from the way they are listed for tastings. The kitchen allows customers to taste items before they purchase them, and perhaps learn a different way to make them.”
This desire to spark artful creativity in her patrons extends to all of her products. “We like to form an experience for our customers. We try to put unexpected items together in the store to help inspire their own creative styles and ideas.”
One of the most endearing elements of the shop tour was her presentation of the many unique gifts for babies, children, and the young at heart. With the excitement of a kid in a candy store, Ms. Scaramucci displayed items such as charming stuffed animals created by the London-based toy maker, Jellycat, delicate handmade fairy tale characters created by the Swedish company, Maileg, and a new book arrival, Night-Night Oklahoma by English author Katherine Sully.
As an Oklahoma City entrepreneur since 1991, Ms. Scaramucci has seen the community undergo numerous changes, enhanced by strong city leadership, the MAPS initiatives, and the revitalization of Bricktown’s hotel, restaurant and entertainment district. “In 1991, this was a city without a heart. It grew and we have a true community that I love to be a part of.” An avid volunteer and community supporter, she finds the arts to be a vital outlet for expression, and Allied Arts as critical in providing a central point for facilitating support. Painted Door helps to fulfill the needs of her patrons and her city by creating an eclectic and comforting environment for expression.
Painted Door is located in Bricktown at 124 E Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104. You can reach them at 405.235.4410 and on their website at www.painteddoor.com. The shop offers 15% off purchase price with your OKCityCard.
__________________________________________________________________________________By: Laura Cunningham____
Our featured partner this week is Urbane Home & Lifestyle, a sophisticated shop of home furnishings, decor, and more located in the historic Automobile Alley district in downtown OKC. Co-owners Ben Davis and Scott Wagoner work to refine their store offerings with consideration toward metropolitan patrons.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in owning a home furnishings and décor shop?
Before starting Urbane, Scott worked in residential remodeling and spent 15 years in wholesale sales. Ben was, and still is, an urban planner. We both were interested in aspects of design and wanted to open a shop that provided a mix of curated gifts and sophisticated home furnishings geared toward urban dwellers.
How did you come to create your shop’s tagline, “Considered items for a considered lifestyle?”
“Urbane” means sophisticated or refined, and we try to keep those concepts top-of-mind when choosing our product mix. A friend of ours came up with the idea of “considered items” and we thought it captured the essence of what we strive to offer at the shop.
What are some of your favorite pieces currently available at Urbane?
We are told we have a great lighting selection and have thousands more items to offer than we can stock. We just received a new line of lighting last week that I’m really excited about. One in particular is a brass and walnut honeycomb shaped wall sconce. It is so on trend, but is timeless at the same time.
Another line I love is Blenko Glass. I sold this product when I was a sales representative a while back. I’m happy to see a new design team come in and freshen up this American made art glass line. Blenko Glass specializes in mid century modern design vibe. Each piece is hand made, mouth blown art glass. We have the iconic water bottles and the new designs will be arriving soon. Anyone that likes vibrant colors will be taken by this product.
Why do you support Allied Arts through participation in the OKCityCard Partnership?
We really appreciate the arts in Oklahoma City and feel that the OKCityCard is a great opportunity to support culture and creativity in a way that raises awareness of the arts and also provides a great package of discounts for our clients.
What does interior decoration mean to you? Why are the arts important for our community?
One’s home is the primary setting where life happens, and the home’s decor is an outward expression of the personalities and souls of everyone in the home. When we help clients choose home furnishings, we are helping them express themselves.
In the same way, the arts are the outward expression of a community’s soul. The arts provide important opportunities for people to share emotion, communicate and build connections between people. Nobody wants to live in a soulless house or community.
Urbane Home & Lifestyle is located in Automobile Alley at 1015 N Broadway, Ste 100, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. You can reach them at 405.602.2555 and on their website atwww. UrbaneOKC.com.Allied Arts is proud to operate in the same building! The shop offers 10% off retail purchase price with your OKCityCard.
Our featured partner this week is the fabulous Alex Mendez-Kelly, owner of OKC’s “intoxicating beauty experience,” The Makeup Bar. With a makeup consultant’s approach full of fun, innovation, and common sense, Mendez-Kelly also specializes in skincare, body, and fragrance products.
She gave us fascinating insight into her philosophy and vision. Check it out:
In 10 years, The Makeup Bar has become a popular destination in Oklahoma for makeup and skincare. What inspired you to open the shop?
I have been in the beauty biz for 34 years, and The MakeUp Bar has been in Wilshire Village at Wilshire and North Western for almost 17 years. The MakeUp Bar came about in the 1990’s actually. I owned a salon at the time and I had a station I worked out of doing makeup with a private room in the back. As I would head back to wax or facial, I would leave makeup goodies for clients to see and I would say, “I left you some lipstick on the makeup bar!” It stuck and we went with it. As a kid I always loved makeup, and when adults would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them I wanted to own a store with lots of lipstick. It seemed really random for a seven-year-old to say, but I knew what I was talking about.
In the ’90’s, all the big cosmetics were NOT interested in coming to Oklahoma and certainly not to a salon. I mean, really! SO I started to scheme on how I could A) Try to convince these companies that Oklahoma was a viable market and B) Try to work around the salon establishment. That is where the retail-only location – before other stores were here dedicated to beauty – was born. I knew I wanted to be in a niche area, like Western Ave. The Sameras, owners of Wilshire Village, saw our vision, and here we are 17 years later! In the second year of The MakeUp Bar, we introduced our spa element. We have four rooms now where we perform cutting-edge facial treatments as well as spray tans, face and body waxing, makeup lessons, and makeup applications for bridal parties. We also enjoy having after-hours events that focus on different facial treatments and makeup trends.
How do you guide a new client that comes into your shop and seeks makeup advice?
When a new guest walks into The MakeUp Bar, we encourage them to look around a little first. It can be overwhelming! Once we figure out if they need skincare, cosmetics, body care, hair care, or perfume, we try to focus in by asking questions about how much time they like to spend on self care. That can determine how many products, as well as their needs and budgets. We want our clients to feel relaxed and not like they are being oversold! The beauty of coming to the MakeUP Bar, no pun, is that we don’t adhere to quotas. We don’t have to sell you the latest colors just because its popular. We sell you what you need from whatever company we have. If you want everything to “match” we can certainly do that, but we don’t have to.
Everything in the boutique has personally been tested by me. I do loads of research, we especially like indie-owned brands, and ones with great stories behind them! I love getting to know them, the creators, the ma and pa’s behind these brands, trying to get better products out into the market. Sometimes it works and sometimes it fails, but man, when they make it, it is so exciting to see them grow!! We want to champion these small brands, just the way we hope our community champions us!
Can you tell us about some of the new product lines that you have available?
We are especially proud of the last 12 brands we have brought on board. They are all clean brands. Some are organic and some are green. All these terms can be confusing, but the important thing to remember is that they are formulated without harmful, carcinogenic ingredients. In 26 seconds, 67% of what we have put onto our skin is absorbed. This is something to think about next time you put a cream on your face you bought on Amazon. Some of these new brands available are Odacite,` Mun, Rituel de Fille, Vapour, Josh Rosebrook, Lilylolo, Fitglow, Leland Francis (creator is from Oklahoma).
Why do you support Allied Arts through participation in the OKCityCard Partnership?
We love supporting Allied Arts and the OKCityCard. It makes me feel like we are, in some small part, contributing to the awareness of the great art scene that has been growing in OKC for several years now. Allied Arts supports so many communities and such a wide range of creative mediums through such organizations as OKCMOA, OKC Ballet, OKC Philharmonic, deadCenter Film, and so many smaller museums like the Mabee-Gerrer Museum in Shawnee and the Pollard Theater in Guthrie. It also provides opportunities to kids and other burgeoning artists that would have trouble finding the right direction, either with mentoring programs and scholarships. We feel strongly that these programs enrich all of us and our neighborhoods. Wow, if we can help with that, we are all about it. We feel honored to have been asked to be a part of it.
What do the arts mean to you? Why are they important for our community?
Without art, we have no culture and without that, I don’t know who we are. Art can set the tone for the mood of a city; it’s how we express who we are. My husband, Joe and I, feel very strongly that the arts are just as important as the engineering, law, and education professions. Arts are an outlet for kids in crisis or for therapy. Being able to find an art form that you can express yourself in is liberating. Studies show that it helps the other areas of your life as well. I think the question should be not ‘why do we support Allied Arts,’ but ‘how can we not?!’ How can’t everybody?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The thing I love about working with Allied Arts is the fact that they take the time to reach out to local businesses. We are huge supporters of shopping, eating and doing local. The actions can be small, but the impact it creates can be exponential! Buy visiting and spending money at one local place a week, YOU, the individual, can make huge strides on the viability of that local business. Not to mention that those taxes stay in our community at a rate of almost 2 and half to one. That can be the difference in helping our schools thrive.
The MakeUp Bar has been named one of Lucky Magazines’ “best boutiques in North America” and has been profiled in Women’s Wear Daily, along with numerous regional newspapers and magazines.
The Makeup Bar is located in the Wilshire Village shopping center at 7632 N Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73116. You can reach them at 405.810.1226 and on their website atwww.themakeupbar.com. The shop offers 10% off products with your OKCityCard.