Painting with a Twist franchise review: Franchise owner Jenny Muller
No artistic background? No problem. Running successful Painting with a Twist studios is more about business acumen and customer service.
Jenny Muller really just wanted to spend more time at the beach. So she was one of the first entrepreneurs at the table when Painting With A Twist first started to franchise. “I actually live 10 miles from the original studio, and I kept hearing about what they were doing,” Muller says. “My husband and I had been looking for another revenue stream that would enable us to be at the beach more. And so I dragged him to go do it and he was taken with it, and away we went.” She opened her studio in Pensacola, Florida, the 23rd franchise, in 2010. Today, it’s among the Top 10 producers in the Painting with a Twist franchise system. She shares her journey in this Painting with a Twist franchise review.
Where is your franchise located?
In Pensacola, No. 23 in the system.
How far is the studio from where you live?
About 45 minutes. I actually live in the New Orleans area, so I come back and forth to Pensacola every week.
What were you doing before becoming a Painting with a Twist franchise owner?
We had an electrical wholesale supply for 35 years. I’m in the accounting field and I still do work a couple of days a week in Louisiana.
What is your art background?
Zero. In fact, all my friends said, “You’re buying a what? Jenny, you don’t have an artistic bone in your body!”
But you don’t need any artistic background to own a Painting with a Twist.
What made it the right time to do this? Had you been looking for an investment opportunity?
The business model in 2010 was so clean and I looked at it strictly with the accounting eye. I knew that, compared to our other business, there were very little payables involved, no receivables, no inventory to speak of, and people came to have fun. So it seemed like a totally separate revenue stream from either of the other two businesses that we were in.
What would you say is the most rewarding thing about opening a Painting With a Twist franchise?
Oh, it’s a long list. We’re unlike any business I’ve ever encountered. I thought it was paint and canvases when I bought, I truly did. And the actual business model appealed. But within three months of opening, it was evident to me that something magical happens in every event we hold. People come to us and they don’t know why, but they come for fun. They come to escape.
More and more, I think they come to de-digitize, I know that’s not a word. But it’s unbelievable, the things that you can see happen to people when they sit down and the weight of the world comes off of their shoulders and they can just be themselves. And there’s no screen, there’s no outside interference. And I think in the paint-and-sip industry, it’s what makes us the leader, and it’s what differentiates us from all the others.
The other part of it is, I love seeing artists find a place where they can be themselves, be paid a good wage, and have their talent and their gifts recognized. There’s just not any place for artists to work except the school system. With us, many of them can go on to make a career path within our system.
Where do you find your artists?
Luckily for me, I just put an ad on Indeed. It’s not even a paid ad. There’s a ton of talent in this world. Not every artist can do what we do because they have to be a leader, they have to be outgoing, and many artists are not, they’re very introverted. They have to be able to convey what we do, how to paint in a non-threatening way, and they have to be able to manage their time on stage so that the event finishes on time, and they have to be able to engage with the audience. So it’s a big ticket to fill. When we first opened, we found everybody on Craigslist, believe it or not.
What does your typical day look like?
Well, when I’m here in Pensacola, I’m in my studio basically Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 10, 11 or 12 o’clock until 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 o’clock. It’s a long day. I’m not here on Mondays and Tuesdays and I try not to go into the studio on Sundays, but I would say I probably devote 40 hours a week, or close to it, in the studio. And then, the back end is another 15 hours a week.
I understand you’re on the Franchisee Advisory Council. Can you tell me a little bit about the interaction between the franchise owners?
I feel like we probably have some of the best franchise owners you could imagine as far as being helpful to one another and wanting to see each other succeed. For the most part I think you’ll find that our franchisees are a little bit of a different breed because we’re not a cookie-cutter franchise. We’re not food, we’re not oil changes, we’re not shoes, we’re not anything that ever existed before 10 years ago. So the people that are attracted to this are much more emotionally based, but not in a bad way. This speaks to the people that come into our system.
What do you really need to be successful in this brand?
I think you have to have a strong work ethic. I think you have to realize that this isn’t turnkey, it’s not set it and forget it. Not if you want it to be successful. I think you have to have a modest amount of business acumen, but almost anybody can do what needs to be done to run these studios from the financial end. They have to be willing to put themselves out into their community. They have to be out-of-the-box thinkers. I think they have to be kind and compassionate. Obviously, they need to be organized. They have to be very customer-centric. Once we get them in our doors, it’s the customer service and the experience that we provide our guests that makes our studio successful.
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