Wine & Design in Leland Changes Hands, But the Mission Grows
The Long family brings people together for creative fun at Wine & Design Leland.
Gia and Michael Long are consummate examples of analytical thinkers. Both have careers in demanding industries — Gia works for New Hanover County in Information Technology and Michael works in the Operation Department for Brunswick Nuclear Plant — that require constant left-brain cognition. Looking for a departure from that mode of thinking, the pair wanted to explore a more free-flowing, creative endeavor. And with the ease of a brush stroke, they made an investment in a local art studio.
The couple purchased the Wine & Design Leland franchise in late spring of 2018 and held their grand reopening in early June. The company is based out of Raleigh and was featured and backed by Mr. Wonderful of Shark Tank. The Longs made their decision after Gia visited another franchise location during a bachelorette party. “My friends and I had such a good time laughing and celebrating with each other during that experience,” she recalls. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a fun-filled business? We both have very technical careers, and this business provides us with a diverse perspective in our non-creative world.”
Since the Longs took ownership, the business has become a family affair. In this close-knit family, every member has a role to play. “Family is our biggest inspiration at work and at play,” Michael says. “Our three children, Satura (24), Shelbi (19) and Michael (16), have contributed tremendously in helping us get the business up and running successfully.”
Many days you can find Michael answering the telephone, while Shelbi is busy booking classes and parties. Family is such a vital part of their lives that during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, there were three generations of family members present to offer their support.
Wine & Design Leland is a perfect venue for all kinds of family fun. Any age range is welcome, and no experience in painting is necessary. As long as you can successfully hold a paintbrush, you can try your hand at creating your very own masterpiece. During painting sessions, each participant is armed with the typical setup of paints, brushes, paper towels and a cup of water to rinse brushes. Freedom and creativity are encouraged, and there are only three studio rules to abide: 1) There are no mistakes, 2) Be careful where you stick your brush and 3) Have fun!
As the name Wine & Design implies, there are opportunities to have adult-oriented fun with Paint and Sip Parties. These sessions allow participants to organize any size group to paint, bring their own bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company while winding down the day.
Wine & Design offers a range of affordable private and public Paint and Sip Parties for all [adult] ages, groups and talents.
“From girls’ nights out to birthday parties, work teambuilding events to date nights, it’s a fun way for people to create memories and masterpieces,” Gia says. “Bring your friends or significant other and enjoy a glass of wine during one of our two-hour classes, and we’ll provide the glasses, canvases and paintbrushes as one of our local artists guides you through the evening, stroke-by-stroke.”
The Longs explain that the studio is broken into five divisions. The Art Buzz Kids Division has the goal of inspiring children and sparking a sense of creativity and imagination in a fun, interactive setting. The On Wheels Division brings fun and creativity out into the community. By creating a remote paint studio, groups can host parties at a location of their choice with a minimum of 10 people. The D.I.Y. Division gives individuals an opportunity to explore their painting skills through any medium, ranging from home decor with wooden pallets to the perfect handmade gift. These classes include a realm of possibilities. The Paint It Forward Division provides a fundraising opportunity in which a portion of the proceeds can be donated to a favorite charity or organization. Finally, The Team Building Division is great for local businesses to spearhead a collaborative environment for co-workers to bond and promote the exchange of ideas.
Wine & Design Leland is making its mark on the community. The Longs feel that the enjoyment of the painting experience, accompanied by family and friends, food and beverage, will unite the community. The couple is striving to achieve lasting relationships with their patrons and the public and love sharing in others’ happiness about their completed masterpieces.
Want to find visit Wine & Design Leland?
Wine & Design Leland is available for private parties on Mondays. The studio is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 9 pm and Sunday from 1 to 9pm.
1109 New Pointe Boulevard, Suite 6
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