Large windows admit cascades of light, which spill across RSVPaint’s exposed-brick walls and straw-colored hardwood floors. The whisper of brushes against canvases often fills the studio, which hosts a schedule of painting classes led by instructors with experience as professional artists and degrees in fine art. Pupils tote along bottles of beer or wine to most sessions, and RSVPaint provides glasses, bottle openers, corkscrews, and a miniature wine fridge. Glasses jingle together to punctuate proud sighs, elicited by freshly painted masterpieces or accurate guesses as to what one will look like as a fruit bowl in a future life. Clutching new paintings, guests hang supplied aprons back up and begin considering where to display their creations.
Freezing Missouri winter winds howl outside Tropical Liqueurs' fogged-up windows, but inside, the atmosphere is decidedly beach-like. Palm trees and nautical knickknacks decorate the lively interior, but the true stars of this tropically themed watering hole are the frozen-drink dispensers, which churn with colorful, fruity potations. Bartenders load large styrofoam cups with potent slushies made from creative combinations of juices, liqueurs, and fruit purées. They rotate drink selections regularly, spotlighting a toasted-almond concoction one week—packed with coffee liquor, amaretto, and vanilla ice cream—and a daiquiri with fresh strawberries the next. Icy potations in hand, visitors turn their attention to games of pool or flat-screen televisions, which broadcast local sports games or horror movies where local sports games come to a temporary halt when the mascot turns out to be an actual tiger. During warmer months, visitors loll in the sun out on the wooden patio and enjoy the beverages that Inside Columbia hailed as a "Columbia staple" when it dubbed Tropical Liqueurs the Best Place for a Girls' Night Out in 2012.
With 3,400 square feet devoted to the fine art of mud molding, Springfield Pottery hosts the works of well-known clayshapers from across the country. Stop in and peruse a selection of tumblers ($18–$28) and pick up spoons to show babies how to fling caviar with gusto ($5–$42). Purchase a pottery mug from Justin Rothshank ($39) or stock up on wooden bowls from Brad McCullum and outfit miniature dollhouses with makeshift hot tubs ($60–$90).
Photographers Candice and Tiffany can capture high-school seniors, wedding parties, and entire families all within their studio at Paparazzi. The shutterbugs also work as makeup artists, and can make over subjects prior to photo shoots and apply the secret cream that keeps a person from being sucked into the camera. Regardless of the type of session—they also specialize in boudoir and business—the photographers always start with a consultation, during which they work with clients to find the perfect look.
Ever since Salon Deco opened its doors in June 2013, its friendly, skilled aestheticians have worked to optimize each client's natural beauty. Guests can sip glasses of wine while nail technicians groom and pamper hands, decorating fingernails with long-lasting Shellac polish in traditional or funky colors. The aestheticians also enhance eyes with feminine eyelash extensions, beautify skin with airbrush makeup, and cut and color men's and women's hair. Wood floors and floor-to-ceiling glass windows lend the salon a clean, modern ambiance.