By AMBER WOODARD
As a public service, I would like to warn readers that if you go to Fired Up with anyone who is indecisive, be prepared to spend at least two hours there while they try to choose the perfect piece. There are at least 100 pieces from which to choose, so even the most decisive person can become overwhelmed.
Luckily, Dominique Darsinos, owner of Fired Up, has planned for this, and sells refreshments and offers free popcorn. Otherwise, you risk starvation while helping your friend decide what to paint.
Once you make a selection and bring it back to your table, a member of the Fired Up staff will explain the entire process of how to make the most out of your visit and make sure your piece turns out beautiful and unique. There are a variety of stencils, idea books, and paint colors from which to choose. The paint color station, features tiles which show how the colors will look after each coat of paint. This is helpful when choosing paint colors.
Even with the step-by-step instructions and check-ins from the staff, a couple of my group members had some mishaps. Darsinos showed one group member how to start from scratch on her piece. The result was fantastic, and no one could tell that it was a cover-up job. Darsinos makes sure that everyone is pleased with his or her products. “I want to do everything I can to make sure everyone leaves happy,” she says.
One of the most appealing aspects of Fired Up is the cost. Pieces are individually priced from $4 to around $60, and each person pays a $6 sitting fee. The sitting fee includes materials, assistance, clean-up, and all of the popcorn you can eat. There are also six special nights throughout the month, such as date night, family night, and ladies night, when the sitting fee is reduced to $3 or buy one sitting fee, get one free. For little ones ages 5 and under, Fired Up offers a kids corner that is only $5 and gives kids a special corner piece with three paint colors and includes the sitting fee. “The price is comparable to a movie,” says Darsinos. “For $15, you can leave with a really nice piece.” Visitors can also bring their own food and wine, but with so many shelves of breakable items, it might be wise to limit yourself to only one glass of wine.
During the holidays, Darsinos is planning to have ornament specials. “They’ll be little ones that can be personalized and given to teachers,” she stated. She also plans to put holiday specials on the Fired Up website, www.firedupprovidence.com.
While she doesn’t require appointments (except for parties), she does ask that people are seated at least one hour prior to closing time in order to allow themselves adequate time to finish their pieces. All pieces are fired and clearglazed, and they are ready for pick-up a week after completion. Though the hours are long for Darsinos (she works six days a week and an average of 10 hours per day), Darsinos says that she often leaves feeling energized. “The people of Mt. Juliet have been so nice, and I’m looking forward to the future of Fired Up.” After seeing my beautiful finished piece a week later, I think the future of Fired Up is pretty bright.
Amber Woodard is currently a librarian at Cumberland University in Lebanon. She is in two graduate school programs, one at Cumberland and one at UT Knoxville and looks forward to the day when she will be able to read for fun again.