JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A franchise that originally started with the mission of bringing hope to those affected by tragedy is now rebuilding one of its local shops that was forced to close because of Hurricane Irma.
Painting With a Twist first opened-up shop in Louisiana shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the area. Now, there are dozens of studios around the U.S., including a location at 1525 San Marco Blvd.
"Even though there was a tragedy going on, people wanted to have something that would be therapeutic, so here we are," said Geri Bernard, the co-owner of the San Marco location.
Bernard co-owns the local shop with her brother, Josh Bernard.
After Irma, the San Marco location was flooded and was forced to close down.
“It looks like it went up about 3 feet,” said Josh Bernard about the amount of water inside their art studio.
“We’re good at painting, but were not good at flood damage,” Geri Bernard said.
Still, the brother and sister are rebuilding after Irma.
“You can let something like this destroy you or you can have it make you stronger,” Josh Bernard said.
Both owners tell First Coast News it could have been worse.
“We’re grateful that we actually have a studio that it’s just about cleaning up and getting back in here,” Geri Bernard said.
They’ll have to cut into drywall, replace items and disinfect before they can reopen.
“I work with a wonderful lady that is my sister so I’m pretty confident that we will be fine,” Josh Bernard said.
While it will take weeks before they can bring art to the First Coast again, they’re remaining First Coast Strong.
The owners hope to reopen Oct. 7. In the meantime, they started a donation page to help with financial costs of cleanup efforts and restoration of the art studio.