Craft while you sip in Franklinton

Editor's note: Makers Social is currently closed due to Gov. Mike DeWine's stay at home order. Gift cards are available for purchase on its website.

There’s a lot of painting going on with Meg Pando and her husband, Dave. In February Meg opened Makers Social, a do-it-yourself project bar at the River and Rich apartment complex in Franklinton. This is a bar where you choose a craft cocktail—or beer or wine—and then choose a craft—a wallet, coasters or maybe a dog leash—that you can make during the time you are sipping your drink.

This is Meg’s second entrepreneurial endeavor in Central Ohio. She is also the owner of Studio 614 in the University District. Dave opened the LVL Up Sports Paintball Park in Grove City after returning from a few years in San Diego.

Just before Makers Social opened, we asked Meg a few questions about this new entrepreneurial venture.

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Congratulations on opening your new business. How did you get this idea?
I majored in fine arts at the University of Cincinnati, and my most fond moments there were the late nights in the studio with my classmates finishing our projects at 7 a.m., just in time for an 8 a.m. critique with our professors. Although these all-nighters might have seemed daunting at the time, my classmates and I would stop at the gas station on our way in for a six-pack of beer, some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and a few Red Bulls to hold us over until sunrise. The social aspect of art school quickly brought us together as a family not just to endure the tiresome long nights, but also to make memories during the process.

Tell me a little about how your background led to Makers Social.
I wanted to start with a business plan in an industry already with a history of proven success—the paint-and-sip industry. I started Studio 614, “the traveling art studio,” hosting painting classes at local bars, restaurants and breweries. Now in its fifth year of business with 10 part-time artists, we still maintain a full schedule of painting classes and DIY workshops including paint your pet’s portrait, candle-pouring, string art and more.

What is the favorite DIY craft you’ve ever made?
In college, I made a 3-by-4-foot wooden sculpture of a Swiss cheese slice. With a piece of glass on top, it became my living room coffee table.

You and Dave seem to be quite entrepreneurial. How did you meet?
I can’t say I’m an expert at paintball, and Dave can hardly draw a stick figure, but we do share a common mission of bringing the joy of what we love to Columbus. He came across Studio 614 online in 2015 when he had just moved here from San Diego to build his paintball park, LVL Up Sports, and was building websites on the side for additional income.

After his online stalking of my business (and me), he reached out to see if I needed a new website (and boyfriend). Since we both were building our businesses during our first two years of dating, our relationship was built with a foundation of unwavering support for one another. He has cleared out the inventory at every Michaels arts and crafts during my busy season, and I’ve picked up cases of paintball in other states for a sold-out weekend at the park.

Going on our second year married, we’re now expecting our first baby in just three weeks. The process of preparing for this new business (and baby) has proven that there’s surely no “I” in this team.

Do you anticipate opening additional Makers Social locations in Central Ohio?
Since we’re already close to selling out [our first] month, we might just have to.