Franchisee Focus: Elayna D’Ermilio

FranchiseeFocus-Elayna D'Ermilio

Pinot & Picasso Wetherill Park owner Elayna D’Ermilio has been a part of the Pinot & Picasso family for over two years. Her journey from P&P Artist to our youngest studio owner is truly inspiring. 

Elayna chatted with us about her experience so far as a Franchisee with Pinot & Picasso, her biggest challenges and what she loves about the brand! 



How did you first hear about Pinot & Picasso?

“A couple of years ago, I was working for a pretty awesome guy (now a fellow franchisee) tutoring his children. In May 2019, he told me about this business he was opening and offered me a job. That business happened to be Pinot & Picasso Rouse Hill, and I JUMPED at the opportunity because I loved art, and it just sounded so fun. For  the next couple of months, I got to learn what the business was all about and along the way, I got to see first-hand what it took to open one of these studios. In June 2019, I worked as the artist for his grand opening night!”



What convinced you to join Pinot & Picasso as a Franchisee?

Fast forward 2 years, having worked for Hany as both an artist and a manager for the Hills studios, I became interested in investment and business. I spoke with Hany and his wife about this, and they simply asked the question, “Have you ever considered opening your own studios?” I kind of laughed it off at first as I never thought that kind of investment at 21 years of age would be in my reach.

 After doing my research and deciding that I wanted to take the leap, I went for it and signed for Pinot & Picasso Wetherill Park in September 2020. Going into a franchise that I had prior experience with made sense because as a uni student, I was also concerned about taking on the additional commitment. In the end, I knew that managing these studios is a flexible model which can work around any lifestyle.”



What’s it been like working for P&P as both an artist and franchise owner?

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an artist when I was working for Hany. Working is always a blast when you get to do something you enjoy. I did it all – from pop-up functions to marketing events to local business evenings. I wanted to use my experience to mould my staff to the standard I knew worked at previous studios and be as personally involved with my business as possible. 

Due to the size of my studio, we often require two staff members. Nine times out of ten, it is me and one of my other girls. At first, the plan was to work there myself for the first few months and be a backup, but I genuinely enjoy it so much that I don’t think I will ever be able to take a step back!”

 

What was the process like becoming a P&P franchisee?

“After speaking with Hany, he arranged for me to talk to Aaron and James about what the process entails and the financial commitment. After getting all the information, we talked about the location. The Wetherill Park area was perfect for me as it was close enough to home. The territory that came with it had so much potential too. I took some time to explore and think it over, but once the decision was made and the deposit paid, I was on the hunt for a studio! 

This was definitely the most challenging part of my experience, as, at the time, there was not a lot of real estate on the market available. Whilst I was on the hunt, Head Office ensured I was equipped for when the time came. I received my training and began sourcing my staff. My previous experience with the company allowed me to start trading straight away doing pop up functions. This really supported my start as I could get my name out there by going into peoples homes and local businesses. Over that Christmas period, I ran 22 sessions with the help of my parents and partner.

But as they all say, good things come to those who wait! In December, I signed the lease for my dream studio space. Two months of designing and fitting out the studio, and bam! I had my grand opening on February 12th of this year with my first public session on Valentine’s Day!”



What have been your biggest challenges as a franchise owner?

“Being a business owner in my early twenties has also come with its challenges. There was so much to learn in terms of understanding the ins and outs of business ownership. Beyond that, I feared that I would potentially not be taken seriously when it came to negotiating with landlords, approaching fellow business owners and such. I quickly learned that I had nothing to worry about! Coming through as a franchisee of a massive brand like Pinot and Picasso, there is no way people can’t take you seriously. If anything, I was commended for pursuing this side hustle at my age!

This also may come as no surprise, but navigating the current pandemic has also been perhaps the biggest challenge so far. Going into this business last year, I knew that I was signing up with risk as COVID was not over. Still, I could not have predicted that after only 4 months of trading we would be closed until future notice. I had the experience of managing the Hills studios in 2020 during the lockdown, so I was prepared to handle the customer service side of things. Perhaps the biggest challenge now is having a positive mindset. Considering how busy we were pre lockdown, there are only good times to look forward to after getting through this!”



What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?

“Every day is different, but a typical day as a Franchisee would involve answering any email enquiries that have come through overnight first thing, followed by heading over to the studio to clean and set up for the weekend to come. 

Each week, I like to make my way around the area and do some networking. Whether that be grabbing a coffee and some lunch from our local cafe or visiting other business owners at potential pop up locations – it is important to be visually present and put back what you hope to receive into that community!”

 

What’s been your favourite thing about Pinot & Picasso?

“I adore meeting new people which has honestly been the highlight of both my time working as an artist and as a franchisee. As an artist, you get the opportunity to talk to people, ask what brought them into the session, and be a part of their celebration. I have seen many birthdays, hen’s nights, team building events and Christmas parties walk through P&P doors. They always leave raving about how incredible the experience was, particularly those who were sceptical people at first!”



Has becoming a Franchisee changed your life? If so, how?

“Becoming a Franchisee has changed my life in more ways than I could have imagined. Not only do I feel more financially independent and secure than I ever have before (or as early in my life as I could have imagined), I do feel as though I have grown as a person. I learned how to be confident and determined when making difficult decisions, and I quickly learned how passionate you become when you own something. I have never been as proud of myself as I was on my Grand Opening night.”



What advice would give to someone thinking of buying a Pinot & Picasso Franchise?

“Just like going into any business opportunity, you really want to make sure you are as informed as possible about everything to do with the brand, the owners and the overall culture of the company. For P&P, I would highly suggest that you visit a studio and have a go at a session if you haven’t already. Speak to a number of our franchise owners about their experience and ask why they chose to jump on board. Everyone has a different experience, but many of them will tell you that it all stemmed from attending a session, which honestly just goes to show how memorable the experience is. The franchisee community is willing to help!

If you are looking into purchasing a territory that may not be local to you, try and become as informed as possible regarding the culture and vibe of the local community. Find local vendors that you trust! Finally, my most significant piece of advice would honestly be to wait for the perfect studio site to come along. Don’t settle for something that isn’t ideal for you or your customers’ experience in the hopes of opening earlier.”



Does the Pinot & Picasso lifestyle sound like a dream to you? Enquire about becoming a Franchise Owner today!

SOLD OUT in NSW

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First it was Sydney Metro, now it’s the entire state! Pinot & Picasso is officially SOLD OUT of locations in NSW. A feat that is unbelievable for our business that has only been franchising for 2 and a half years! 

This new milestone for Australia’s #1 Paint & Sip Franchise has seen our company grow both interstate and internationally. We’ve started securing more territories in Victoria, South Australia & Queensland, as our first studios in Tasmania and Western Australia prepare to open next month to a brand new audience.

Last week, our first New Zealand studio opened their doors and introduced our unique Pinot & Picasso experience to excited Kiwis! It really is the start of a wonderful journey!

Although NSW might be out of territories, we still have some amazing locations across the country and in NZ available! A big positive of this is that we’ve seen many new Franchisees jump on board and take on the opportunity of owning a studio in another location or state. 

Our HQ team is primed to help any Franchisee make their dream become a reality. At Pinot & Picasso, nothing is impossible and here is just a few reasons why we support anyone looking to own a studio from a distance:

We’re a digital, e-commerce based business!
Being an e-commerce platform, everything we do is managed online or within the digital space. Our website is manageable from everywhere, our advertising and social media spend is encouraged to be placed where we can see results, and all our lines of communication are cloud based. For an operator managing a business from distance, this is a dream.
 
Digital marketing is our jam!
 
We’re the first to admit that we aren’t artists, we’re marketers at heart. Building our business on a digital platform has always made us hyper aware that tracking sales is important. We know where every cent within our franchise business goes, and more importantly how much of that returns. With a strong relationship with our Digital Marketing Agency and years of experience/strategy within the digital space – we provide more and more opportunities for our Franchisee’s to make a healthy return.

Your Pinot & Picasso Life is managed from your pocket!
That’s right, we’ve even got our own app. From tracking attendees, refunds, to creating new sessions and processing payments for functions or large events – this app does it all. We like to ensure that Franchisee’s aren’t fish out of water when edits need to be made so we designed this thing for simplicity. The best part of it all? You can track your weekly sales as they come in.


We asked one of our Franchisees what it’s like operating a studio from a distance. Clinton from Pinot & Picasso Orange said:
“Challenging and rewarding all at the same time. The biggest challenge has been injecting ourselves into the local community and being accepted. This also meant long drives, time away from home and away from loved ones. However, we have met some amazing people on this journey and made some good friends throughout our adopted community. On top of this, we have a sound understanding of our region and can quite confidently call it a second home.”

Interested in finding out how you can manage a Pinot & Picasso studio remotely?

Spotlight on: Darwin

Pinot & Picasso Darwin

Pinot & Picasso is continuing to expand into some awesome locations across this great country. The nature of our business is giving those the opportunity to change their lives by owning a P&P Franchise in a new and exciting place. 

Our spotlight today is going away from the east coast and heading to one of our truly unique territories. We’re talking crocodiles, we’re talking Aboriginal culture, we’re talking warm weather – you guessed it, we’ve got Darwin on our minds!

What’s so great about Darwin? 

Darwin is more than just a city in the Northern Territory. It’s a city full of history, Australian & Aboriginal culture, and above all else, has a fantastic community. 

 

  • It’s deep and rich with Aboriginal culture

Aboriginal culture is synonymous with the city of Darwin. Aboriginal art can be found in every nook of the city as well as surrounding natural landmarks. You can discover stories about the Dreamtime as well through local art and heritage. You can see the vibrant traditional & contemporary art at galleries, markets, and even in street alleys. You won’t miss it. 

 

  • It’s a truly pumping city

The city has many great attractions that encapsulates the uniqueness of Darwin. Smith Street Mall is the number shop stop with luxury boutiques and fine crocodile and pearl products. You can learn about the history of Darwin by visiting their national museum, Royal Flying Doctor Service facility, and the History and Wartime Experience. Want to hold or pat a crocodile? There are some great attractions like Crocosaurus Cove and Crocodylus Park where you can get up-close and personal with freshwater and saltwater crocodiles. 

 

  • Natural wonders are everywhere

You don’t have to travel too far out of Darwin to find some incredible waterfalls and rock pools. Litchfield National Park is a popular destination for swimming and marvelling at the natural landscape. Escape further out of town to the must-see Kakadu National Park. At Kakadu, you’ll find rocky escarpments, vast landscapes, lush rainforests, and crocodiles in their natural habitats. 

 

  • Embrace their markets & festivals

Soak up the Darwin community and buzzing atmosphere with their markets and festivals. While there are many local markets around the city, the one to go to is the iconic Mindil Market. Enjoy watching the sunset and walk along the beach while eating delicious food made by local vendors. 

The local festivals also encapsulates all the wonderful art & culture of Darwin. Festivals like BASSINTHEGRASS, Darwin Fringe Festival, and the Darwin Festival will delight you with great Aussie entertainment and stun you with fascinating art & crafts. 

 

If you’d like to find out more about our studios, locations available or territories – please book a call with us today!

Franchisee Focus: Danielle Weber

Talented artist Danielle Weber is a proud co-owner of our Pinot & Picasso Malvern studio. The Malvern studio was our first location to open in the state of Victoria, which was incredibly exciting for us! We’ve been stoked to have Danielle onboard with us and we chatted with her about her Pinot & Picasso journey as a Franchisee. 

 

What convinced you to join the Pinot & Picasso as a Franchisee?

“The concept seemed like an innovative way to share my love of creating art with many others in the community. I loved the positive, ‘family’-like vibe the Pinot & Picasso crew presented and the way in which an inclusive, fun environment was created in every session for people of all ages and backgrounds.” 

What was the process like becoming a P&P Franchisee? 

“We jumped into the partnership together quite naturally, fitting out the space with our combined efforts – so much so I painted the mural celebrating Picasso with a tribute piece to create a vibe conducive to the conviviality of the Pinot & Picasso experience.” 

What’s been your favourite thing about Pinot & Picasso?
“Getting feedback from family and friends experiencing the sessions and seeing the enjoyment of the participants week after week, including during the difficult times of 2020.”

How has your studio been received by your community?
“The community has embraced the creation of this space with local traders telling me that it brought a much needed ‘breath of fresh air’ to the precinct and added a much needed vibe to the area. Shoppers often pop in to ask about the classes and admire my artworks. Many locals enjoy a chat and share that they welcome the whole concept to their community. This is the most rewarding aspect of my involvement.” 

Since becoming a Franchise Owner with P&P, what benefits have you seen in life and business?
“The biggest benefit has been the opportunity to share the joy of painting with a larger audience. My capacity to share the love of art and the benefits it brings is far greater through these experiences.”

If there was one reason to join P&P, what would it be?
“If you like bringing enjoyment to others, this would be it. Everyone can participate and take something wonderful away with them. All participants are pleasantly surprised that they can produce a work of art, no matter how complex or simple. No one leaves disappointed and the fun to be had is contagious.”

SOLD OUT in Sydney Metro

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What a wild year it’s been here at Pinot & Picasso! From pandemic-proofing our businesses with our widely successful ArtBox program, to running live sessions via Facebook and even branching into Virtual Paint and Sip sessions – it’s been one for the books.

But as we wind down (I mean, figuratively speaking) for Christmas 2020, we’re absolutely stoked to announce that Pinot & Picasso is now SOLD OUT completely throughout the Sydney Metro area. 

P&P Sold Out NSW Metro

This week, we reached agreements for the Ashfield, Cabramatta and Sydney CBD territories which closes out our current opportunities in the greater Sydney area and taking our total sold locations to 46 territories nationwide.

With only Dubbo & Tamworth left on the roster for NSW, we’re still on the look for reliable and hard-working Franchisee’s to purchase these territories and growing the brand in these iconic Australian rural locations. 

Pinot & Picasso is shaping up for a bigger 2021 and with plenty more people climbing onboard the brand and investing in what’s proving to be an extremely sturdy lifestyle business – it’s becoming more apparent that our studios can be run at arms length. 

Interested in finding out how you can manage a Pinot & Picasso studio remotely? 

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