Straight Upp offers unique, creative outlet

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Straight Upp, located in Aggieville, allows patrons to "unleash" their creativity. Staight Upp opened in Manhattan in March 2014, and is planning to open a second studio in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Mason Swenson | The Collegian)

Dell Ann Upp, owner of Straight Upp, knew she wanted to do something fun and creative for the Manhattan community.

“I remember going to a pottery place as a kid,” Upp said. “To me, Manhattan needed something like that, and I wanted to offer (it) to the community.”

Straight Upp, located in the heart of Aggieville, offers numerous activities, from painting to pottery to event planning. People decide on an activity and design something however they want. Upp knows that a business with so many skills and outlets is hard to run, but she is determined to make it work.

“(I) had a hard time zoning in on one specific subject,” Upp said. “(I decided on) a place where we could offer a huge selection of creative activities.”

After purchasing a canvas or pottery piece, painters can decide on whatever design and color they want. The studio also offers different brushes, pens and other utensils for art projects. After completing a pottery project, Straight Upp will finalize them for you.

“After (we’re) done painting, we were able to just leave what we painted and the mess right there on the table,” Sierra Lillie, junior in animal sciences and industry, said. “I then picked up my (art) a week later, after they were fired.”

Although Lillie and her friends only experienced the pottery painting aspect, they are eager to come back to try out other activities.

“Its a great way to let out steam and just be yourself” Lillie said. “(And) a great way to just have fun with friends.”

Upp said she hopes her studio is anything but ordinary and plans to extend the boundaries of Straight Upp Creative Studio to other states and locations. The Upps are opening a branch in Stillwater, Oklahoma in January, but the one in Manhattan will always be the one that started it all.

Combining an event planning business with a pottery and art studio is something that Abby Wempe, director of weddings and events, said she believes is not found anywhere else. The studio is a creative space for all, thought up by a very creative woman.

“Nobody has a vision like her,” Wempe said. “Her ideas are fresh and I know that working with Dell Ann, we’re not going to do something that someone has already done.”

Wempe and the staff said they hope Manhattan will benefit from a place like Straight Upp.

“Seeing how happy the store makes people makes me glad I’m here,” Upp said. “It makes me happy to offer something that makes people happy.”

So whether you’re stopping in for a girls night out, mommy-and-me time or a date night, Upp said that it is a place someone can come to at any day and at anytime and it will always be fun. The studio is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Jamie Teixeira
My name is Jamie Teixeira and I am a senior English and journalism with a minor in Leadership. I am the president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, a tutor at the K-State Writing Center,and a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. My future plans are to become an editor or publisher of children's literature. Outside of school I love to read and cuddle with my kitten, Bert.