Creating Keepsakes

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Victoria Reding, artist and owner at Creating Keepsakes.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

Victoria Reding, artist and owner at Creating Keepsakes.

“Nothing makes me happier than to see someone finish a painting and say, ‘I can’t believe I did that!’” artist Victoria Reding told the Gazette recently.

Victoria Reding is an artist and the owner of Creating Keepsakes, located within the Randolph Retail Company at 127 Main St., Randolph, NY. She has been teaching painting classes, hosting workshops and popular Paint and Sip classes for nearly 30 years.

“Painting and teaching have always brought me great pleasure, wonderful friends and lots of fun in my life,” she said. “In my heart I always loved art, no matter what else I was doing. So I tell people in my classes that I think I take away as much as they do.”

Great Beginnings

“I originally named my business Creating Keepsakes,” Victoria said, “because in my heart that is what I hope we are doing.”

Victoria studied art under the locally renowned fine artist, William Waite, combining her training with self-taught skills, previous business experience, and a passion for art of all kinds.

“When Cathy and Tom Congdon opened the Randolph Retail Company they asked if I would like to join them here,” Victoria explained. “We had been friends for many years and it seemed like a perfect fit. I used to have a small studio across the street but this move was just right. It was a perfect opportunity for both of us.”

An Invitation

Victoria rarely offers traditional art exhibitions featuring her own work, but prefers to offer classes that encourage her students’ talents. Weekly classes give students an opportunity to practice their own individual style and painting medium, as varied as acrylics, oils, watercolors, pesto and more.

Victoria’s favored medium for her own painting is oil. “But we experiment and play with everything to see what each person finds most interesting,” Victoria said. “All levels of expertise are always welcome.”

Once or twice a month, Creating Keepsakes also sets up a group session in which all of the students learn to create the same picture, specifically chosen for that class. “It’s perfect for a ‘Girls’ night out’ group, too, or for individuals, and it’s fun for people who just cannot make a weekly class,” Victoria said. “We have classes for other occasions, too, like birthday parties, children’s parties, showers, workshops and all sorts of occasions.” Groups often range from 12 to 25 people. Weekly regulars number about 20.

Small Business Success

“Something we, as small business owners, have to concentrate on is providing to our own communities – and people in our surrounding communities – is that we have something that they are lacking and need. As much as we need clothing and food and necessities, this provides a little bit of relaxation and a little bit of pride. That’s what makes my day.”

Victoria and her husband have both been sole proprietors of their own small businesses in Randolph for more than 30 years and they know what it takes for a small business to stay successful. Victoria’s husband is the owner-operator of Pete’s Place, a popular restaurant nearby at 97 Main St. in Randolph.

“So we hope we are providing to the community things that people are interested in, enjoy and need,” Victoria added. “That’s what makes success.”

Learn More

Victoria Reding and Creating Keepsakes invite Jamestown Gazette readers to find out how to sign up for classes, workshops or parties by calling or texting 716-665-1556 or 716-358-3023. On Facebook, look for Redingcreatingkeepsakes or check in at creatingkeepsakes2@yahoo.com.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.