Niles woman to open paint-your-own ceramics studio in downtown Niles

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2022

NILES — A new business aims to provide customers with a fun, creative activity in the heart of downtown Niles.

Bettina and Joshua Payton are putting together the finishing touches on Bee Crafty LLC, a paint-your-own ceramics studio located at 115 N. 3rd Street. 

The studio will feature a variety of paints and ceramics, including plates, coffee mugs, plant pots and more. 

Starting a business is something Payton, a Brandywine graduate, wanted to do for years. A longtime craft enthusiast, she decided to pursue a business centering around ceramics at the suggestion of Joshua.

“It has always been a hobby of mine,” she said. “Recently, I made a couple of rings for our friend for a wedding and all kinds of stuff. I wanted to have my own business of some sort and this was a segue into that.”

After deciding to pursue a ceramics business, the Paytons began scouting locations in February and eventually found 115 N. 3rd St., the former home of The Music Academies where Payton took guitar lessons growing up. The Paytons have been working on renovating the space since the first week of April.

Bee Crafty hosted a sneak peak during last Saturday’s Easter Eggstravaganza downtown. According to Payton, the feedback has been positive.

“It went really well,” she said. “We didn’t really expect to have as well of a turnout as we did. It was pretty fun. I’ve actually had a pretty good startup on our Facebook page. It’s taken off way faster than we thought it would.”

Payton hopes Bee Crafty will officially open its doors this weekend. While hours are not yet set in stone, Payton anticipates being open the first week from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Collaborating with local businesses is something that Payton would like to pursue.

“Eventually, we hope to incorporate the other Niles businesses into what we’re doing,” she said. “Maybe we will get coffee from Brew Ha Ha so people can paint while sipping coffee. Maybe reaching out to Varner’s [Greenhouse and Nursery] for the succulents and stuff like that. We have lots of ideas brewing now. Hopefully, soon we can bring it all to life.”

Payton hopes her new endeavor will offer the community a downtown activity suitable for family events, dates and more.

“We like the community aspect of having a place like this,” she said. “People love doing this kind of stuff with their kids. We love doing it with our son; he likes to grab all of the stuff and get it ready. Obviously, we want to be successful but just having more things that families can do together will mean a lot to people.”