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New business looks to spark creativity in Ellsworth

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Community members came to Brush Strokes Art Supply on April 5 to help owner Kayleen Jakes celebrate her grand opening. Sara Tischauser / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Kayleen Jakes held a grand opening at Brush Strokes Art Supply on April 5 with members of the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and the community. Sara Tischauser / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
April's project of the month at Brush Strokes Art Supply is a succulent jar. Owner Kayleen Jakes said she will have a different project each month customers can make. Sara Tischauser / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Kayleen Jakes opened Brush Strokes Art Supply in Ellsworth, which features her own projects on the walls and various art supplies people can purchase. Sara Tischauser / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

For the artistic and creative or those who wish they were more so, a new business in Ellsworth may help people get in touch with their creative side.

Kayleen Jakes, owner of Brush Strokes Paint Party, opened a related business in Ellsworth called Brush Strokes Art Supply in March. She held a grand opening celebration Thursday, April 5.

Some in the area may be familiar with Jakes' painting party business. She said she started that business about four years ago. After listening to her customers, she decided to branch out into an art supply store.

"Mainly I get feedback from customers at painting classes," Jakes said. "[They] wanted something local."

Before her store opened, Jakes said people had to drive quite a distance to get art supplies and she wanted to help people stay local.

"I didn't want them to have to drive an hour to get supplies," Jakes said.

In addition to having art supplies available locally, Jakes said her new business offers a place people can have paint parties if they don't have a place to host one.

"I did want to have options for people who don't have room in their house and don't want to go to bars, to have an option to have class here," Jakes said.

Art was her favorite subject in high school and while she has had no advanced training in art, she is happy to be able to do what she does.

"I was very happy to make a business with it," Jakes said about her love of art.

She often hears from people in her classes that they can't paint. Jakes said many people who say they can't paint are somewhat surprised to have a painting that looks good when they leave. With her new storefront, she hopes to help even more people find their creative sides.

"We have a very creative, crafty town," Jakes said.

During business hours people can try to find a craft/art project that suits them. Jakes can give advice or suggest projects the person may like.

"I was kind of hoping to be a center for asking questions," Jakes said about her new business. "Come down and I can walk them through [project]."

After people have taken one of her painting classes, Jakes hopes the art supply store will provide them with what they need to continue painting.

"Once they come to class [I hope they] get a spark of creativity, artistic on their own," Jakes said. "Want to try things on their own. I'm looking for a way to get the community out and creative."

Every month, Jakes will also feature a project of the month; April's project is a succulent in a jar. Each month she will change the project and people can come in during normal business hours and make the project to take home.

Anyone can rent space at Brush Strokes Art Supply and Country Fit (which shares the same building at 273 N. Morse St.) for parties. Jakes said they can rent the entire space or just part, and they don't have to do a painting class. However, if anyone wants to do a painting class at their party they are more than welcome to set that up with her.

"I'm overjoyed with the amount of parties that have been booked," Jakes said.

Going forward, Jakes plans to keep up with the artistic needs of the community and welcomes all feedback from customers.

"I would like to be their first choice," Jakes said about where people choose to buy their supplies. "I want to stock what people want or need."

For more information on Brush Strokes Art Supply and to view upcoming events go to