Painting with a Twist Franchise Review: Felicia & Kumer Singh of Queens, NY
It’s not just a paint-and-sip business. To the Singhs, Painting with a Twist is a place where people can unwind, have fun and get to know their neighbors
Felicia and Kumer Singh haven’t been in this business very long, but they’ve been in it long enough to know they really, really love it. Case in point: At their Queens, New York, studio, Felicia distinctly remembers the time a guest came in with her girlfriend to celebrate her birthday. “It was in a public event and she got everybody up and dancing with her and had everybody singing happy birthday to her, and by the end of the event everybody knew her name and ended up thanking her for such a wonderful time,” she says. “She’s a VIP now. She comes in, we know her name, we know what she likes to drink, we know where she wants to sit. She’s fantastic. She’s just fantastic.” Kumer has kept his full-time job as an auto technician for now, and the couple are raising 10-year-old daughter Saccia and 5-year-old son Roshan. Hear more about their journey in this Painting With A Twist franchise review.
Where is your franchise located?
Felicia: We own one franchise in Queens, New York. It’s in the Forest Hills neighborhood.
When did you become a Painting With A Twist franchise owner?
Felicia: I became a Painting With A Twist franchise owner in 2017.
What were you doing before that?
Felicia Singh: I was the assistant to the Director of the New York International Auto Show.
What made you think you wanted to own a paint-and-sip franchise?
Felicia: The year before we opened, my husband and I went on a date night and we sat there and we’re having fun and I’m looking around and I’m thinking, “Hon, I think I can do this.” And he said, “You think you can teach a class?” I said, “No, I think I can run this business.” The spark just went from there.
Kumer: Actually, I just kind of blew it off and we went home and she took it upon herself to start doing all the background, finding out about everything else. And lo and behold, she’s like, “We’re doing this.” And I was like, “Okay, I’ll back you up 100%.”
So why did you choose Painting With A Twist as opposed to another brand?
Felicia: We chose Painting With A Twist because everything was transparent when I looked it up. It was right there in black and white: “This is what we do, this is who we are. This is how we started.” It spoke to me on a very intimate level. Women-powered, women doing for other women, two friends founding a company together and then all the charity and fundraising that they did for their friends and everyone around them and their neighborhood. I loved it from Day One.
Kumer: We always do everything as a family. Even the kids, since they were babies, they’ve gone everywhere with us. Starting a business where it brought everybody together, we thought, “You know what? This would be the perfect fit for us.”
How do you feel about the management team and the direction of the brand right now?
Felicia: Right now I think the management team and the direction of the brand is going forward. I think it’s so positive. My husband and I are just thrilled about what’s in the future for us, so I think it’s going to be fantastic.
Kumer: I think it’s wonderful because they’re actually looking at everything that’s beneficial not only as a business itself but for all the different franchise owners, which makes a huge difference.
What would you say is the most rewarding thing about operating Painting With A Twist?
Felicia: Although we’re a paint-and-sip, we don’t feel it’s a paint-and-sip business. It’s a people business. We touch lives. We see them, they come in off their job and they leave it at the door and when they walk into our studio they have so much fun and they leave better off than they came in and that’s all we could ask for. It fills our hearts to see people leaving there happy.
Kumer: Being in business for yourself and having fun. When I walk into the studio, it’s like walking into a party every day. I think it kind of brings out the best in everyone.
One of the company’s slogans is, “Fun art, not fine art.” What does that mean to you?
Felicia: To me, that means you’re having a party within a party. If you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before and you walk into our studio and you’re a novice, you don’t have to worry about anything. The artists are there, they’re all professional. They’ll show you step by step how to do what you want to do, what you want to create. Art is subjective and once they have a good time, that’s all that matters.
How does Painting With A Twist stack up against the competition?
Felicia: We don’t really have competition, I feel, because what we provide our guests is a sense of satisfaction. We provide the energy, the environment where they want to come and have fun. They want to have a good time. We provide that good time.
Is it important to be a people person to be a Painting With A Twist franchise owner?
Felicia: Interaction is extremely important when you’re coming to a studio like Painting With A Twist. People want to feel loved, they want to feel important, they want to be seen, they want to be heard. If I know your name and I know what you like to drink and I know where you want to sit, it makes you feel special. People just want to feel special, and that’s what we want to do for them. We want to make everybody feel special.
So what kind of support does franchise headquarters provide you as a franchise owner?
Felicia: In terms of support, the franchise office provides us with everything from IT to marketing to suggestions on how to market to local business.I think the best advice we got so far was to keep it simple. That’s what’s been working for us.
If we keep it simple and we know our audience and we just give the same love, whether it’s one person or a hundred people, I think that’s going to be the success of us.
What about your own personal art background? Do you have a background in art?
Kumer: My personal art background is stick figures, probably. I did, like, Bob Ross paintings, things like that before, but I don’t think I’m at that stage where I can actually teach a session.
Felicia: I have no background in art, not even a little bit, but building a business with Painting With A Twist was my niche. Like I found it, that was my happy place. We always wanted to build a business. We didn’t know what to do and this was a perfect way to host people and love them and share that and have a thriving business with something that you’re doing that you can always walk away smiling. You can go to work every day and say, “You know what? I love my job.”
How much do you interact with other franchise owners?
Felicia: I interact with other franchise owners relatively often. We have a new business owner that opened about 10 miles away from us. She asked me for advice. I give her as much as I can. Whatever anybody else needs. I feel that it’s worth it because a rising tide raises all ships. We’ll send business her way; she’ll send business my way. Likewise in all the other boroughs like Staten Island, they’ve been phenomenal in helping us.
How large would you like to grow your franchise? Do you want to add more units?
Felicia: I would love to have multiple units. Right now we have one. I’m hoping within the next two to five years to have another two to five units in the Tri-State area.
Are you able to meet your business goals or are you on your way to meeting your business goals with your current studio?
Felicia: With our current studio, I think we’re on our way to meeting our business goals. What I’ve learned in business is that you don’t make a profit right away. It takes time, but with this growth and the way we’re moving forward, I think we’re going to exceed our goals and expectations.
That’s great. What would you say to a prospective buyer, what should somebody know about investing in Painting With A Twist?
Felicia: What potential investors should think about is how the cost of investment is exorbitant with many franchises out there, but with Painting With A Twist, it’s relatively easy. People that have their nine-to-five jobs with a small savings can actually invest in a Painting With A Twist and become successful.
My husband and I were just like that. We both had nine-to-fives and we wanted to do something extra, and then this actually replaced my income from my nine-to-five. So I think it’s an excellent investment. If you don’t have $350,000 to invest in a franchise, but you have a small amount, this is the perfect business for that.
Kumer: I would say it’s a great opportunity because it’s minimal cost as far as getting into a franchise compared to all the different franchises out there. With the background support that you have from Painting With A Twist and their management team, they’re able to guide you through all the steps. They walk you through that gently until you get your bearings.
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