Meet Debra Nemec, Leawood’s Pinot Palette


Tell us about what you do, why you do it? I always wanted my own business. I think that’s probably what drives me most. I came from a very entrepreneurial family, had a dad that had his own business from the time I was three years old so I grew up in family business. Originally when I started this business, it was also with my daughter, Kelly Flowers.  We worked together for six years, I couldn’t have started and been as successful without her.

What drew you in particular to this concept? Ten years ago my oldest daughter, who was living in Texas at the time, we celebrate our birthdays together since our birthdays are close to one another. So I had gone down to visit her and because I’m an art major,  she said “I bought these tickets to this event, mom, I think you’re really going to like it.” And it was to a paint and sip. I went and I did, I had a great time. I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush since college, it got me inspired.

How many years has it been? Next April will be eight years since we opened. 

And now you have upgraded and moved and expanded…I always wanted just a little bit larger space. I didn’t like how my old space was configured and this space kind of came about and my lease was running out next door. So the stars aligned and it was just perfect.

How has this year been for you? It’s been a challenge and there’s definitely frustrations, but I feel like once we come out of this, I think business is going to be better because we found that we can still offer the paint and sip experience, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be in our studio. We were able to pivot and create new products that we’d always talked about before but had never really done it.

When friends or family visit you, where do you take them? Of course, Pinot’s Palette! But mostly downtown and I like to try different new restaurants and that type of thing. And art galleries, I love art galleries. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Le Fou Frog.

What’s your favorite art gallery to go visit? I love Gallery Five in Mission Farms.

What’s one you wish you learned earlier in life? There’s so many things. I think that it was okay for girls to be strong and to voice their opinions. And you don’t have to take a backseat. 

How long have you lived or worked here in the area? My entire life! I was born in Manhattan, Kansas and moved here when I was a year old. 

What’s your favorite music or band that you love to listen to or see live when they come around? I’ve always liked the Rolling Stones, but probably Rod Stewart.  Rod Stewart would be my all time favorite.

What’s something on your bucket list? Go to Italy and Spain.  I want to go to Malaga, Spain because that’s where my daughter studied. And actually all along that southern coast and in Greece as well. Santorini is probably my true bucket list.

What is something that makes you proud? My kids. Every single day. 

What’s your favorite hobby when you’re not at work? Probably gardening, like vegetables and also flowers. I love herbs cause I do a lot with herbs and cooking.

Any pet peeves? Not being accountable. 

Do you have a movie that you can practically quote, start to finish? Shawshank redemption. 

There’s an emergency and you have a chance to run back into your home to grab one thing…what is it?  My Thomas Hart Benton collection. It was my parents that I have now. 

What’s an interesting fun fact about you? I was born on February 29th, so I only have a birthday every four years. I just had my 15th birthday this year.

Pinot’s Palette on the web

Pinot’s Palette on Facebook

Do you know someone who is a positive influence in our community? Please let us know, we would love to meet them for consideration to our Artist Project!