New Kid on the Block: Color Me Mine

“I love art,” says Yanping Chen (above, not wearing an apron), owner of the new Color Me Mine Tribeca on Reade Street. “I appreciate all different kinds of art, especially art that has individual character.” She gestures at the pottery on the shelves behind her. “Every one of these will come out differently—and it will have special meaning.”

This is Chen’s first experience as a Color Me Mine franchisee; she’s an entrepreneur who is currently the founder and CEO of the University of Management and Technology in Arlington, Va. “I’ve always been interested in business,” she says. While she lives in the D.C. area, her husband’s family has been in New York for three generations. Chen first learned about Color Me Mine from her daughter. “I’m part of the original baby boomer generation,” she says, “and in some ways this is another baby-boom generation. People are very family-oriented.”

This Color Me Mine outpost—in the space that was most recently an annex for the architecture firm Grimshaw—won’t be all that different from the one that was on Franklin, although it is larger and will carry a wider range of pottery. The process works the same way: You choose a piece and paint it—perhaps with assistance from the staff, who have experience with art and working with kids—and it gets glazed and fired (in the kilns in the sub-basement) for you. Five or so days after painting it, you can pick it up.

“Everyone has been so friendly,” says Chen, citing nearby business owners who have stopped by to wish her well. “It’s not like that in D.C.”

Color Me Mine Tribeca is at 92 Reade (between W. Broadway and Church), 212-374-1710;

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  1. So they’re back in business, huh? That’s great!!

  2. Not exactly. It’s a different franchisee.

  3. Wish they’d put up a good external sign so it jives with the neighborhood and doesn’t look so fly-by-night. :)

  4. @N Whiting: They actually said a sign would be up in the next couple of days (but I didn’t want to wait any longer to post the item).

  5. I hope they do well and can survive Reade Street! I’ll definitely come in with my kids. We used to go to the Color Me Mine that closed.

  6. Lots happening over there. I don’t remember that lighting or the shelves; opens up the space and defines it in one go.

  7. Really love the juxtaposition of “Every one of these will come out differently” with the Mickey Mouse ears – but she’s right, of course. Check out the “I will be a better Mom” mug next to Elvis! Gotta gift one of those for Mother’s Day. Great photos and write-up.