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New Wellsburg business offers a creative outlet

RIBBON-CUTTING — Through her new business, the Liv-a-Little Community Center, Olivia Best offers people of all ages a chance to create various crafts, paintings and embroidery. Among those on hand for a ribbon-cutting by the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce were, from left, front: Mary Blum, Paul “Bud” Billiard, Olivia Best, Mayor Sue Simonetti and Joan Beck-Simonetti; and back: Jacie Ridgely, the chamber’s executive director; Glenda Brooks; Colton Fritz, Best’s boyfriend; and her parents, Jim and Annette Best. -- Warren Scott

WELLSBURG — Anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at art or is looking for a positive place for their children to explore their own creative impulses should try the Liv-a-Little Community Center, said Olivia Best, the new business’ owner.

Located at 806 Commerce St., the center offers a wide variety of activities for various ages, from toddlers to adults.

“I have people who are 93 who come to some of my classes,” said Best, a Wellsburg native who said she has always dabbled in art, including painting, mixed media and embroidery.

“I do a little of everything,” she said, adding her classes and activities reflect her eclectic tastes.

Normally held on evenings, they include monthly parties for children, ages 2-5, involving painting and a snack; paint and sips, where adult participants are invited to bring their own bottles; and classes providing instruction in screen printing T-shirts and creating various crafts.

“I always knew I was going to open my own business. I felt this would touch on everything I wanted to do,” said Best.

Whether working with young or old, Best encourages participants to have fun with their projects.

“It happens all the time. People are so worried about whether it comes out right,” she said, adding that usually they are pleasantly surprised by their final product.

Upcoming events include an arm knitting workshop on Monday, Christmas craft night on Thursday, a Santa’s Workshop in which children will create three hand-made gifts, and a “last chance” for adults to create a Christmas gift on Saturday. For information about those and others, potential patrons can visit Best’s website at livalittlecc.org, its Facebook page, or call (304) 650-4256.

Best’s first professional foray with art began with face painting children at area festivals and other special events and she is still available for those.

She also is available to create custom-made digital color illustrations of homes for area residents. They offer a unique memento of one’s cherished home, said Best, who started making them for a local Realtor.

The center also is available for art-theme birthday parties and for rental for private celebrations, such as bachelorette, bridal or retirement parties, family reunions and gatherings of youth-oriented groups.

Best, who said she’s always enjoyed working with youth, teamed with the Brooke High School art department to present a Halloween fashion show that involved about a dozen students in costumes made from recycled materials.

Held with the assistance of her former teacher, Sara Roark, the event was a great success and included acting, music and dance as well as art, she said.

“We’re already excited and planning for next year,” Best said.

The Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new business with a ribbon cutting held during an open house held by Best.

She said the center has received very positive response from area residents who are looking for something different to do.

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