A kick to the leg from her best friend at a girls-night-out painting class was just the impetus Moneek Pines ’01 needed to create her painting party business, ARTrageous Brush and Flow, six years ago.
“The lady gives her intro, and my best friend kicks me and she’s like, ‘This is what you should be doing,’” she said. “That night, I got home and started the business. I stayed up until about three in the morning ordering aprons, paint and brushes, came up with the name, and did my first party a week later in my house.”
HER OWN SPACE
After three years of traveling in her ARTrageous van to churches, block parties and even funeral homes to stage her parties, Pines bought a studio in Germantown. Colorful strips of fabric form curtains in the front windows, and the shop’s orange walls and bright tablecloths are warm and inviting. Pines leads anyone from preschoolers to bachelorette partygoers through painting techniques, using the skills she learned at Moore, teaching them to paint everything from flowers to nudes. (A male model is hired for ladies’ paint-and-sip nights.)
Always smiling and full of energy, Pines likes bringing people together through art. She thinks up creative ways to partner with other local businesses to offer experiences such as Paint with Pancakes, where guests eat while they paint. She’s met people from all over the world by serving as an “experience” site for Airbnb guests.
Her business has expanded and now employs three lead art instructors. Growth has been good, but Pines said she’s running out of room in her studio.
“I want to find a much larger space to be able to hold multiple classes at a time, as well as an art lounge and smaller gallery area,” she said.
DREAM IT, BE IT
While Pines said she felt prepared to teach art thanks to her time at Moore, running a business has been a larger challenge. In 2018, she graduated from the free Power Up Your Business program at Community College of Philadelphia, which brings entrepreneurs and business owners together to learn from one another. She also worked her network of professional contacts to learn what she didn't know.
“If it’s a dream of yours, don’t let anything block you,” is her advice to budding businesswomen. “I feel like there’s always another way, but always follow your dreams, always, and just go for it.”