by Aaron Burns

CORNELIUS – Elizabeth Coleman had a revelation after she left a Wine and Design event in Charlotte last September.

Coleman was looking to buy a small business. She had a couple of options before she visited Charlotte’s Wine and Design location, but hadn’t yet decided on the right one. After she left the Charlotte event, Coleman’s decision was made.

“No one wanted to leave. Everyone was having so much fun,” she said.

Coleman, a Mooresville resident who previously directed sales and marketing for the former U.S. Can Corporation, opened Wine and Design this week, off West Catawba Avenue.

The store involves painting events where participants can sip on drinks while they craft their personal masterpiece with company-provided 16x20 canvases, paints, paintbrushes and corkscrews. The events last in the two-hour range. Participants are encouraged to bring their own drinks.

“You don’t need to have any artistic talent,” Coleman said. “Which is good for me, because I don’t think there’s an artistic bone in my body. It’s all about enjoying yourself. You get to meet a ton of new people and make friends with them. It’s just basically different from any other kind of thing I’ve seen around here.”

Wine and Design, which was founded three years ago, also holds birthday parties, fundraisers and kids’ camps. For a different experience, Wine and Design on Wheels takes its painting events to participants’ homes as well as local restaurants.

Coleman said restaurants bring in between $400 and $900 additional revenue when Wine and Design on Wheels hosts an event.

The Raleigh-based company has 23 franchises, Chapel Hill, Cary and Asheville in North Carolina; Richmond, Va.; and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Finding the correct franchise owner for the Lake Norman location is an important part of the expansion process, company co-founder Harriet Mills said.

“I’ve always known Lake Norman was a growing place,” she said. “We are very fortunate to be able to expand there, and I’m confident Elizabeth will do a fantastic job with the franchise. She’s a real go-getter.”

Coleman said the franchise could add six jobs – five artists and an assistant manager.

In addition to providing work for local painters, who provide lessons during painting sessions, Wine and Design’s new location makes it easier for residents to participate.

“You won’t have to drive all the way to Charlotte anymore,” Mills said. “I think it’s going to be a hit from the start.”

Want to learn more?

• Wine and Design is at 18039 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 7, Cornelius

• Classes are intended for people who have no prior painting experience

• Sessions cost $35 per person, which includes materials

• Reservations are required

• Email or visit for more information