Today in our ongoing series of featuring Dynasty Brush retailers we are featuring Wet Paint Artists’ Materials & Framing, located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Darin Rinne, co-owner of Wet Paint, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to help us learn more about not only his store, but how his business is operating during these uncertain times.
|Wet Paint Artists' Materials & Framing, Saint Paul, MN|
Where is your store located? How long has Wet Paint been in business?
"Wet Paint Artists' Materials & Framing has been in the same two block stretch of St. Paul’s Grand Avenue since its founding in 1976."
Does your store have a motto/philosophy/mission?
"The mission of Wet Paint is to meet the needs of artists at any level of intention. We meet these needs by sourcing and selling a comprehensive selection of the highest quality artists' supplies and related materials at a competitive price, providing knowledgeable, dedicated customer service, and supplementing our core product mix with complementary services and programming. With nearly 300 combined years of art materials retailing experience, Wet Paint is recognized in its community and its industry for retaining a staff of working artists who are as passionate about the supplies they sell as the customers they serve."
How COVID-19 affected the store...
"We decided early on in this pandemic that our first priority is to protect our staff and customers as best we can. Even though we received a “Critical Sector” exemption from the Office of the Governor, we opted to close completely for two weeks. And when we have been open, we’ve only done “contactless” business…curbside pickup, shipping and delivery. Since the Governor of Minnesota has allowed the “lockdown” order to expire after many weeks and a couple of extensions, and retail stores now have the option to bring in their employees and customers while following safety guidelines.
What will this mean for Wet Paint? We’ve discussed this with other stores locally and with our friends at art stores around the country. That’s been very enlightening, as each state moves through this at a different rate and every store is different. Uniformly, though, we are agreed that the nature of this pandemic hasn’t changed. While our hospitals are better prepared for more cases than they were in early April there is still a real and significant risk from this disease to our community and our staff. If infection rates change we might be back into a restricted status at some point, potentially in cycles, for quite a while. We expect that a large number of our customers will still prefer to shop with us without the additional risk of coming into the store so we will need to continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery. We are operating with a reduced staff and have altered many of our processes to make our current system as efficient as possible. Opening our front door to meter in a few people at a time to browse would require additional resources that we frankly don’t have to keep everyone protected…and the shopping experience would be pretty crappy, since we’ve reconfigured everything to make curbside pickup and delivery work well.
We will continue to do our very best to provide great service and products via our contactless methods, and will absolutely innovate everywhere that we can to make that better. But until something significant changes in the way this virus behaves, or can be treated or prevented, we will continue doing business as we have been doing."
A big thank you to Darin for his participation in this post! If you would like to order supplies from Wet Paint Artists' Materials & Framing, be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information regarding placing orders, shipping, store hours, etc. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Keep supporting independent art retailers and to learn more about our entire collection of high quality artist brushes, be sure to visit our website!