Here's our story...
Flash forward about 6 months on a cold and dreary February day in Denver, (February 19th to be exact) I came up from our basement office to have lunch with Alma. I looked at her and said, "Are you having fun?", and she replied, "No, are you?". I said "no" and that's when we decided to run with the idea of opening up a paint and sip studio. I said, "You know, we could open a studio in Maui!" and within 3 hours we had a name (Island Art Party), our domain secured, made calls to leasing agents in Maui, and had a very good outline of our business plan done.
We made a trip out to Maui in May, found our location, and finalized our lease in the fall. We opened for business in March of 2014 and have been growing our business ever since. We love running this business, we love the freedom it affords us to travel, and we love living in Maui.
we'd love to help you start your business!
Our goal is to help you learn the ins and outs of the paint and wine business and save you time and money while getting yours started. Our Paint and Wine Bootcamp teaches you everything you need to know to start a new business.
Franchise Offers: We chose not to go the franchise route because of the costs involved. We felt that since there is no 'national brand' in the paint and wine industry, the only thing we would be getting from a franchise would be the operational methods and an art catalog. Our initial franchise fee would have been steep and the ongoing royalties would negatively affect our cash flow. After taking classes at numerous studios in the Denver area and one in Houston, we determined that we could cherry pick the best practices of each studio, combine them with methods of our own, and produce an operation that is superior to any of the studios we visited. Franchises are not all bad...for some people they work and someday we may even franchise our business. It just wasn't the right decision for us when we started our paint and wine business.
Consulting Offers: This is the route that Alma and I took before starting Island Art Party. Unfortunately, we feel the 'immersion' class that we took fell short in getting us ready to open our paint and wine business. Our approach is to find out what YOU want, and what YOU feel is important to get yourself ready and we will custom tailor our bootcamp to meet your needs.
Here's a quick list of topics we cover in our Bootcamp and how they can help you on your path to success!
1. We are business experts: So many people in this industry are artists first and business people second. While the art is important and we can teach you all you need to know, you must know the business side of your operation and how to run things smoothly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. We can show you how to do all of these things, which will save you both up front expenses and ongoing monthly expenses. Things like how many ounces of paint each painter uses. How to source canvases, easels, brushes, paint etc. Should you get a liquor license or go the BYOB route? Do you know how to pay much less for credit card processing? Do you know the best POS system to use? Do you know the rules of thumb for seating and spacing of seats? These and many, many more questions will be answered for you.
2. Marketing/Positioning: Creating your positioning and identity are the most important items to get right when planning your business. Everything else you do feeds off of these decisions. We will talk to you about your location, demographics and target audience to help you with your marketing plan. Put our 30+ years of business experience to work for you as we brainstorm on how to give you a leg up on the competition and make your studio stand out. Learn the important details that make an impression on your customers and make them willing to spend more in your studio.
3. Life coaching: Not gonna lie...we didn't expect this to be a big part of our BootCamp when we started. Turns out that EVERY BootCamp customer wants to share their dreams and aspirations with us and also know ours. Things like 'when to quit my current job', 'how to run a business with a spouse and stay married for 30+ years' (like us), the age old 'work-life balance' issues, and anything else that speaks to your dreams and priorities are fair game. Often we find that people are searching for validation to make the leap into self-employment and we will always give you our honest opinion of anything you ask.
4. Don't worry if you don't know how to paint...we didn't either and we can teach you! If you're worried about needing to be a great artist in order to open a paint and wine business, please don't! The types of paintings done in this industry are necessarily simple because we need to have a high success rate with our customers. There are many simple building blocks that you can easily learn and practice that will enable you to be an 'expert' in the eyes of your customers. Yes, it will take some practice, but you do not need to be a formally trained artist to be successful.
5. We have a comprehensive art catalog to help you get you started: If you decide to have us help you with painting and teaching, you receive access to our art catalog so you're ready to go from day one. Think how much time and money this will save you when you're starting your business. Each painting comes with complete instructions that include the step-by-step methods, the correct brushes to use, the paint colors used and the amount of paint needed.
6. We can teach you how to create your own art! This is where our 'right-brain' approach will help you expand your library and keep it fresh...without spending tons of money. We will take you through the process of creating new artwork that will impress your customers, including specific techniques to plan and break down the components of each painting. You will learn how to use simple 'building blocks' to create your new designs and how to make them easy for your customers to paint. This will also allow you to set yourself apart from the competition who increasingly are using boring, (sorry, my opinion) old, public-domain artwork as their prototypes.
7. We can show you how to effectively teach a painting class: This is where we can really help! We're not talking about art technique here...we're talking about everything else an instructor does while on stage. You will be given checklists and sample dialogue. You will understand the 'flow' of a typical class, from check-in through completion, and how to use this information to maximize your revenue. We will teach our secrets on how to set the mood and tone of a class, and how to make sure everyone leaves happy and ready to refer you to their friends. Our instructors consistently get rave reviews and you'll get a chance to see them in action!
8. We have a fantastic website and we have worked out a special deal from our designer for our customers. We received bids for our website and our cheapest bid for the complex site we wanted was over twice what we ended up paying for ours. Don't reinvent the wheel...use an existing template with a proven performance record, one that's easy for you to modify, and one that can be up and running in weeks, not months.
9. We are commercial remodeling and construction experts: Nearly every paint and wine studio will need some remodeling or construction done to prepare for the opening. And if you need this type of help, we have a construction module that will guide you through the landmines. Curt and Alma have over 30 years of construction experience and can guide you through all of the roadblocks you may encounter. We completed construction in Maui in approximately 60 days, which is unheard of on this island. Our consulting services don't stop when our face-to-face meetings end...we are happy to provide consultations to help you navigate through the maze of construction issues you may come up against. Whether it's help with specifications, design tips, space planning, or problem-solving, we've got your back and are there to help! These services alone can easily save you $5-$10,000 and months of time.
10. We read the fine print: We have negotiated leases with commercial landlords throughout our business careers. While we are not attorneys and recommend you consult one prior to signing a lease, we can look through your lease and see if we notice any 'red-flags' that could adversely affect your business. Again, we're not attorneys, but every time we've negotiated a lease there's been at least a couple clauses that we've had removed. Typically it's because the clauses said something like, "we can throw you out of the space with one month's notice if we decide your rent is too low" or something else ridiculous like that. Each time we've signed a lease we've been told, "no one has ever gone through the lease as thoroughly as you did".
10. Advertising: The days of 'If you build it, they will come' are over. So many businesses open up with nothing left in the budget to get the word out, and this is one of the top causes of business failures. We will work with you to develop a reasonable budget for initial and ongoing advertising. We will also share with you our experience on the best types of advertising and those types which you should avoid.
11. Search Engine Marketing: I'm not a search engine expert by any means....BUT, at this very moment, (January 27, 2015 at 10:51 AM) if you type in either 'paint and wine business' or 'paint and sip business' into Google, our Bootcamp is ranked number one! This website moved to the first page on Google, Bing, and Yahoo in less than two weeks! You could spend thousands of dollars a month to get a page one ranking on Google. I will show you a few simple techniques to move you way up in the search rankings. With the great majority of people searching online to find businesses, this will help bring in new customers for your studio.
12. Social Media: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google+, Instagram etc. can be huge drivers of customers to your business. We teach how to get off to a good start with your social media choices to get the word out quick about your studio. It's never too early to start letting the world know about your upcoming new business.
14. Financial Forecasting: Whether you're preparing your business plan or submitting for a business loan, you're going to need to know your numbers. We will go over every category of income and expenses with you so you're 100% prepared when you open your studio. We provide cost information, rules of thumb, spreadsheet templates, and everything you need to have your costs nailed down months in advance. Use this information to accurately estimate your initial investment and working capital requirements.
15. Ongoing Support: We stick with you long after you complete our Bootcamp. If you have questions or concerns, we are just a phone call or an email away. We will go the extra mile to make sure you have all the tools for success!
16. We're located on Maui!!! If you're going to travel for a tax-deductible trip (please confirm the deductibility with your accountant) to learn a new business, why not come to Maui! Our Bootcamp is approximately 3 days which can leave you some additional time to enjoy this beautiful island. We know the island well and can give you tips on where to stay and what to do during your free time.
17. You will receive tons of personal attention: We limit each Bootcamp to 6 people so you will get the individual attention you deserve.
the real reason you work for yourself...
Please contact us to see if we can help you with your new venture. We'd love to talk to you!
We offer a complimentary 15-20 minute phone consultation so you can see if we're a good fit for your business plans. Call us at 808-419-6020 and get started!
Curt and Alma Winn