The message may have changed but the rules have stayed the same: What happens at Ladies Night Out stays at Ladies Night Out.

On the last Friday of the month, the Mud Mill in Downtown Lodi transforms into a she-haven for women looking to unwind from their day-to-day responsibilities as they indulge their creativity.

“We started hosting ladies night three years after we opened,” Mud Mill owner Vicki Snell said. “Our customers asked if we could designate one night a month for them to come in, have a drink and paint.”

The inspiration to cultivate a space for women to unwind and get inspired proved to be successful, Snell said.

She added that the night is about camaraderie. She sees it as an opportunity for women in the community to have fun while surrounded by friends, or a chance for people to branch out and make new friends.

“It is not an instructed event, women can just come in, pick out what they want to paint and get right to it. I focus more on the experience of getting out and doing this because the evening is about making lots of memories,” she said.

Snell believes the night is a form of self-care, an opportunity to take care of mental, emotional and physical well-being. Although the night might seem simplistic, she believes it provides women the chance to de-stress and connect with art, while promoting friendship and creativity.

“It is a good way to get back in touch with the arts because art feeds the soul,” Snell said.

A do-it-yourself pottery painting studio that opened in 2004, the Mud Mill has over 300 ceramic designs — from animal figurines to coffee mugs and dinner platters — that the public can custom paint and fire in one of the studio's two kilns.

During Ladies Night Out, participants have three hours of studio time, a catered meal and dessert. Reservations are filled quickly, with most women reserving seats a month in advance, Snell said.

“Some women turn it into a whole night out and grab appetizers or something to drink beforehand,” she said. “At the end of the night, people get a functional piece of art that they can take home and use to remember the evening.”

Tickets for the upcoming Ladies Night Out are not available, however, Snell is taking reservations for the paint night in February.

For more information about the Mud Mill or Ladies Night Out, call 365-9900 or visit the website at www.themudmill .com.

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