So while taking our walk in Kirkwood, we notice a store going out of business. We looked at each other and said, “why not”. The location was great, it was the right size, and the rent was cheap. So with no experience in retail, we signed a lease and opened St. Louis' first paint-your-own-pottery store. We did our research on kilns, glazes, and pottery. Hired some great employees to work in the store including our two youngest daughters, Alison and Emily, and their friends. The only thing left was finding a name. We came up with several good ideas but none seemed to be just right. Our son Shawn, whose favorite animal at an earlier age was zebras, thought we should name it the Painted Zebra. It was the perfect name, fun, unique and one that customers would not soon forget. The Painted Zebra was born.
For the first several years we offered only pottery painting. To our surprise, this actually made enough money to pay our emplyees and the rent. We wanted to introduce gift items and home accessories to the store, but it was too small at this location. As fate would have it, we soon lost our lease due to the expansion of the business next door. This provided us an opportunity to expand to a larger store with a private party room and enough square footage for gift items and home accessories. We have recently expanded our web site to include an online store where you can purchase many of the unique items we have in our store.