December 18, 2015 | Ronna Dewey, Dish Works
West Chester PA — Chet Reber wasn’t always in the art business. In the past, he worked for an international shipping firm. But Chet and his wife were young and living in Downtown West Chester, a town they had come to love.
What inspired Chet’s West Chester business?
In the year 2000, Chet and his wife decided that they loved the borough of West Chester so much that they wanted to open a business in the downtown area, but they weren’t sure what kind of business they wanted to own. They went to visit a paint-your-own-pottery place and decided on the spot that West Chester needed one of its own. A few weeks later, The Painted Plate opened at 104 W. Market Street, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s The Painted Plate?
The concept of The Painted Plate is pretty simple. First, you choose a pottery piece from hundreds of styles like bowls, lamps, platters, vases and children’s pieces like sports figurines, piggy banks and animals. After you pick your piece of pottery, the staff will help bring out your inner artist. They have ideabooks, stencils, clipart pictures and tools to help you create your own masterpiece. They also have over 70 different glazes, speckled colors and dimensional paints to make your design unique. After you finish the design, the staff will fire the piece in the kiln and you can come pick it up the following week.
Why West Chester?
But why did Chet choose to not only settle down in West Chester but also start a business here? He shared, “My wife and I were living downtown and having a lot of fun. The downtown was vibrant and an up-and-coming spot.” He continued, “We wanted to be a part of West Chester and contribute to the success of the town that we had come to love.”
When The Painted Plate opened, it involved a lot of long hours, but Chet didn’t mind. It gave him more opportunities to be in town. He joked, “I never left the borough for months. I was either at the store, at home or dining out at one of the many fantastic restaurants.”
How West Chester BID Helps:
Chet has high praise for the West Chester Business Improvement District. Through his involvement with the organization, Chet and The Painted Plate have received guidance from both the West Chester BID and other businesses in town. He said, “West Chester is a destination town and there is always something to do. It’s a great town to be a part of as a business owner. We’ve seen businesses like ours come and go in the area, but we have been able to flourish.” He continued, “Without the support of the BID and the other businesses, we would not still be in business 15 years after opening. West Chester is a great town to be a part of.”
The local Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, a membership-based not-for-profit, is also recommended as a great resource for current West Chester business owners and those considering opening up shop.
Explore everything that’s happening in West Chester at DowntownWestChester.com.
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Contact: Malcolm Johnstone