The Ultimate Guide To Starting Your Own Paint And Sip Business
Paint and sips have skyrocketed in popularity lately, especially with Covid-19 restrictions pushing more people towards virtual parties over the last couple of years. Now that things are opening up more, you might be considering starting your own paint and sip business in a studio.
A business such as this is all about creativity, creating a community, and bringing joy to others. It’s perfect for those who identify themselves as a “people person” and love to connect with others. Not only that, managing your own business gives you the flexibility and freedom to work on a schedule that works for you.
With an estimated 1000 paint and sip-style businesses in the US and Canada, you’re in great company! And, there are plenty of franchise business models that you can join for hands-on support as you get going.
Below, we’ll run through everything you need to start your own paint and sip business.
A paint and sip is a really fun opportunity to bring groups of people together. It’s the perfect event for celebrations such as birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, anniversaries, or even girls’ nights in!
Paint and sips are generally run by studio owners, and they combine all the fun parts of painting and creating with a selection of delicious wines to enjoy while the attendees paint. The host or artist provides all the supplies and wine, and the participants get to turn up and enjoy.
What’s great about them is there is a wide range of paint and sip ideas to explore, so you’ll never run short of inspiration.
What do you need for a sip and paint event?
As the host, you need to prepare a relatively extensive list of supplies and do the prep-work. Wherever possible, we suggest looking at wholesalers to buy from to keep your costs low, especially if you’re running multiple workshops.
Studio interior Whether you have your own creative space, a shed, or a rented studio, you’ll need to prepare this for your guests. At a minimum, you’ll need:
A central table (or a couple of tables) with sufficient space for each person
Chairs for everyone
A teaching area for demonstrations.
In terms of reusable equipment for each paint and sip, we recommend buying good-quality versions of the following:
Easels (tabletop or standing)
Reusable aprons or covers
Paint palettes or trays
Besides longer-term equipment, there are some additional items that you will need for each workshop you run. We’ve outlined some of these below.
10 x 2oz paints per person or pair
1 per person
Water pots or jugs
1 per person
1 bottle per workshop
Rags, towels or kitchen towel
1-2 per person
1 bottle per person
How to open your own paint and sip studio
If you’re thinking about opening your own paint and sip studio, we’ve got some tips below to point you in the right direction.
Consider a niche
While there are plenty of ideas out there, you might become more competitive if you work in a single niche. Paint and sip events is a niche of creative workshops. But you can take it further and specialize in a specific form of painting such as still life, children’s parties or even having a cocktail bar, rather than the traditional wines.
Find the right location
If you don’t already have a studio or dedicated space, consider an easily accessible location for your workshops. Ideally, you’ll want to choose somewhere that has nearby parking, plenty of space, and local transport connections in case your clients do a little too much sipping!
Check local regulations
Besides only serving over 21s (with ID), you’ll need to check your other local and regional regulations. You’ll need to register your small business and potentially get a liquor license, too, as you’re serving alcohol. It’s also important to check that your studio or rented area is allowed to have liquor on the premises.
Invest in painting supplies
Painting supplies can be expensive. While keeping costs low is critical to your profit and ticket prices, you should consider investing in high-quality supplies that are likely to last for the long term. By buying good brushes, acrylic paints, and high-quality easels, you’re less likely to have to pay for these in the future.
Create a price list
If you’re not sure where to start, we also have a guide to pricing your creative workshop. Remember to factor in the cost of your supplies, rent, organization and admin, and your own time when calculating your price. Paint and sip tickets generally range from $25-$100 for 2-hour sessions. Costs may change depending on the theme of your paint and sip, so create a price list for groups, team building events, and celebrations as well as private parties or couple’s evenings.
Build an online presence
Now that you’ve got somewhere to teach and you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you’ll want to build an online presence to start attracting an audience. Simple places to start include social media platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram. To get started with promoting your paint and sip workshop, you can run competitions, prize draws, and publish posts that are relevant to your audience. Once you have a place where your events will be held, sign up to Google My Business to make it easy for people to find you.
How to come up with a catchy paint and sip business name
Using these tools, some fun and unique ideas we’ve found are listed below. Don’t send us angry emails if they get taken by the time you read this! 😇
Paint & Perfect
Paint & Sip Shack
Simply Paint & Sip
The Sippy Paint Co.
Paint and sip franchising
If you’ve never run a business before and aren’t sure where to start, you can always open your own business using a franchise. This means working under a bigger company that’s already well-known and can support your journey, while you have the flexibility to run your own business on your terms.
Why use this business model
Working as part of a franchise has a huge range of benefits. Also, this varies between franchises:
Advertising and marketing plans
Training on processes as well as how to teach
Help with gaining materials, a place to set up, insurance, liquor licenses, etc.
Support with franchise systems and a grand opening
The opportunity to buy materials and supplies at discounted rates
Large art libraries with the freedom to choose from copyrighted pieces
Help and empowerment from the franchise as well as other franchise owners
Fewer entry requirements — often a passion for people is enough.
Starting as a franchisee will have an initial franchise fee, so speak to each provider to find the perfect fit for you. They often provide a military discount for veterans of up to 20% off startup costs.
The best paint and sip franchises
In the US, there are a handful of well-known paint and sip franchises to choose from.
Painting with a Twist
The number 1 paint and sip franchise, Painting with a Twist has over 300 locations across 39 states in North America. They were the original paint and sip franchise and started with their first studio in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
You may have also heard of Bottle & Bottega, which is another franchise that has now merged with Painting with a Twist. Their focus is on cocktail parties and focuses on all art forms, not just painting. They also create bespoke corporate events and art parties for the public, and they focus on supporting “even the artistically challenged”!
Ranked the number 1 franchise for employee satisfaction, Pinot’s Palette has 80 franchises across the nation. Stemming from a single local studio, they pride themselves on their high levels of customer service, culture, community commitments, and new products.
Wine & Design
Wine & Design boasts having more and better training than other franchises. Besides extensive training, they also send an artist to your business to teach you how to train other artists and attendees. Like Pinot’s Palette, Wine & Design currently has over 80 franchises across the US.
With recent lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, you may wish to take more of your business online. While much of your advertising will be digital, you might also end up running a combination of virtual and in-person paint and sip workshops. Whichever route you go down, we recommend using an online booking system to help you manage your calendar, payments, and to automate some of the administrative work involved in running your new business.
So, now it’s time to get started! Whether you decide to work with a franchise or go it alone, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this article to give you a nod in the right direction. Just remember throughout to create a fun and supportive atmosphere, source materials and beverages that don’t cost the earth, and be as creative as you can!