DSC_0597He’s been in sales for years. She’s a corporate marketing expert. 

Brian and Karen Norris knew they had a solid background to run their own business.

They just never quite knew what that business would be.

But Karen Norris knew what interested her; the same thing that had always interested her.

“When I was a girl in middle school and high school, I loved doing the murals, or making the traffic safety posters,” she said. “I was the girl who wanted to do art for a living.”

Of course, some well-intentioned adults eventually told her there’s no money in art.

That was before the explosion of paint-and-sip.

Now there’s some money in art.

This Islip couple is jumping on board with Long Island’s first Pinot’s Palette studio, a huge space on the first floor of the sparkling new Village Place apartments, facing Park Avenue just north of West Main Street. 

Click here for the paint-and-sip calendar.

Pinot’s Palette, which offers open paint and wine nights as well as private parties, is a national franchise that’s based in Houston, Tex., where the first shop opened in May 2009.

There are 11 franchises in New York State, but none in Nassau or Suffolk counties.

Karen Norris said it was an easy decision for them to go with a franchise, as opposed to an independent shop. And after an exhaustive search involving much arithmetic, they decided on a Pinot’s Palette.

They both say there’s huge benefits to plugging into an existing operation.

“We’re from the corporate world,” Brian Norris said. “We felt a sense of security with having a franchise behind us. There’s so much stuff that we don’t even have to think about, because it’s done. What we have to do is just get out there and promote.”

Which is right in their wheelhouse.

Karen Norris recently left her job in marketing, a field she’s been in for 20 years. She’ll be the full-time face of the Pinot’s Palette in Bay Shore.

“I had always wanted to do something fun and creative with the arts, I was thinking kids parties or themed parties, and then I noticed a paint-and-sip experience being advertised, and I thought, that’s fun,” she said.

This was about a year ago. She was then spent some time looking and finding that many of the special nights at bars and restaurants for paint-and-sip events were sold out.

“So I said to Brian, I wish there was a physical place around here we can go do this and not just search around town to do it.

“And that search brought us to Pinot’s Palette.”

Click here to check out the events schedule or sign up for their newsletters.

courtesy photos/Vertigo Media Group