Franchisee Focus: Rebecca Auld

Franchise Focus-Bendigo

We’ve talked about operating a Pinot & Picasso from a completely different state, and it is now a reality for some of our franchisees! We spoke to Pinot & Picasso owner, Rebecca Auld, and her experience operating her studio from her home in NSW!

 

How did you first hear about Pinot & Picasso?

I attended this newly talked about place called Pinot & Picasso in Terrigal as part of a mothers group night out. It was our first night out since having our babies and it followed the first lot of long COVID lockdowns! So, you can imagine we were super keen to be out! I was so worried about the painting part as my artist ability stopped at stick figures – I hoped my drinking would pull me through, ha! I hoped it was a bit like playing pool, the more you consume the better the artwork will be. 

To my surprise, I loved the whole experience and was so proud of myself and my masterpiece! The experience made me feel very accomplished all at the same time of enjoying social time with friends, which was so very needed! My artwork (In the Old Gumtree) was placed in the loungeroom of our family home along with some of our children’s artworks. Kooka will soon be displayed in our Bendigo studio as a constant reminder of where it all began for us!

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

I’m not sure we needed convincing as we were very keen to be part of this very clever business model and experience – I mean, who doesn’t want to drink, eat, paint, laugh and make money! After speaking with Aaron and James on a few occasions and also speaking with a couple of franchisees, we just felt it was the right fit for us and our family/business goals. The team at HQ were informative and being able to speak with other franchisees made us feel comfortable, answering all our questions (we did have a lot) and reassuring us of our decision to move forward.

What was the process like becoming a Pinot & Picasso Franchisee?

Pretty seamless really. Once we made the decision on our territory, it was all go, go, go from there! We had access to the information we needed to make some clear decisions and although the legal part is never fun, this seemed to be pretty straight forward. I attended the HQ training which really tied a lot of the early information and operational aspects together for me and then having a direct HQ contact such as Sally has been super helpful as a new Franchisee. I have met with Sally weekly in the lead up to Opening weekend and she has been a saviour in moments that mattered. HQ has done a lot of work developing the systems and processes in order to set us up for the best success!

What made you decide to operate an interstate studio?

There were not many options left for us in NSW and working remotely was not foreign to us in business so we thought why not, let’s look at another state and see what is available. We were given 5 territories as options within NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. We had both travelled to Regional VIC for work and pleasure. My husband and I both appreciate good art and great architecture and both growing up in smaller regional locations (him in the North Island of NZ); we know how important experiences such as P&P are for regional areas. It was as you would say, love at first sight when Bendigo territory was on the table – an absolute no-brainer! 

Pinot & Picasso Bendigo

You’ve done everything without even going to Bendigo. What was the process like from finding your studio to getting it open?

It has been actually very smooth considering we have never stepped foot inside the location or been able to visit Bendigo in the lead up. The local community of Bendigo is very special, which we already knew from being visitors to the region, often taken in as a local during our trips there. We did our initial search ourselves for our studio and found a few options we thought would be a nice fit. We contacted the real estate agent who was able to give us even more information about the properties that made our decision even easier.

Aaron was our go-to person for the studio and he sorted all the negotiations from there, scoring us a great deal for the location. We planned out our opening and fit-out, and had the amazing help and support from Phia, HQ’s Victorian Studio guru! Phia was our feet on the ground as the extended lockdowns in NSW not letting us out of the state anytime soon. She took videos, photos and helped find our builder for us. Phia also helped get our staff up and running! We had a vision for the studio and this was brought to life by our builder and his team of professionals. 

Our studio mural was very important to us as we really wanted it to bring to life the history that is stemmed so deeply in Bendigo. Funnily enough, I had been on the search for a mural artist since our Hello days. However, I placed our ad up for staff and this very quirky and fun loving person applied and told me of her mural she had completed recently in Bendigo – and the rest is history! She brought our vision and studio wall to life, it really is a must see! There is no mistaking which studio you are in when you look at our mural! 

We wanted people in Bendigo to have a city experience without needing to go to the city and we have many people comment to us that the studio definitely gives off that vibe. We decided to add to the Paint & Sip experience and deck out our studio with a luxe lounge area and a selfie mirror, all lit up by a gorgeous chandelier. Our partner florist brough this space to life with an amazing flower wall hang – it has to be seen to be appreciated! 

Hiring staff was my biggest concern during the whole process – something I assumed would actually be my easiest task given my background in business and HR. Being so far away and not being able to meet people personally was more difficult than I thought, as I like to build rapport and have that individual approach to recruiting the right people. We did everything virtual in the end and we have the most amazing team made of local artists and creatives who are ready to bring this experience to Bendigo!

We had the devastating news the week before opening weekend that VIC was to head into Lockdown 6.0. We had already come to terms with the fact that we would not be attending the opening weekend with NSW in lockdown, but to hear we may not even open as planned was gut wrenching. So many people had invested so much time thus far, we wanted it to open for them as much as for us. We had 10 booked out sessions prior to opening, the community was abuzz with the news of our new studio opening in Bendigo, and our staff were excited to get painting with guests. We stayed positive albeit unsure of what would happen and to our excitement, Regional VIC was lifted and we were back into the opening planning mode as quick as we could say Pinot! Opening weekend was so much fun! All the sleepless nights, late nights working and phone calls were all very worth it.

 

What has the community been like towards your business?

We have been overwhelmed with the support from the local community. They have embraced us with open arms and are just as excited (if not more) to have us opening our studio doors in their local area. I was needing to add more tickets, sessions and even went to opening up October sessions due to the level of demand in lead up to our opening. We had sold out sessions for August and September and this mostly before anyone had had a chance to step foot inside the studio (and some of these even purchased during a lockdown!). We will always be forever grateful and thankful for their support. 

As a way of giving back to our local community, we have commenced ‘Local Thursdays’ where $5 from each ticket sold will go towards that month’s local community group/charity. Our mission is to be immersed and connected with our community, always.

 

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

There is so much to love about the P&P experience but if I need to pick one, it’s the feeling of family. There is a real sense of community and family amongst the network. Aaron, James and the team have set it up in a way that although you are part of this bigger Franchise, you still feel valued – whether you have one studio or five! 

We also have many opportunities to come together and learn from each other. I have had other Franchisees reach out to offer support which has truly been a blessing, especially when Lockdown 7.0 happened and I was able to get some hands on support from the team at Ballarat. 

 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about buying a Pinot & Picasso franchise? 

Go for it! We will not be stopping at one studio and cannot wait to get our hands on another studio in the near future. It’s been exciting, tiring, liberating, stressful, and fun all at the same time, but when you see those smiles and hear from guests to say how amazing their experience was, it is all so very worth it. We really are part of something very special – who wouldn’t want to make money while having the best time of your life!?

47 Studios in 24 Months!

Pinot & Picasso Franchising

Not too long ago, Pinot & Picasso celebrated two years since we started franchising. Now, we have opened 47 studios in just 24 months! The buck doesn’t just stop there – we’re on track to reaching 50 studios over the next couple of weeks!

The journey from our first studio to our 47th has been a whirlwind to say the least! Here’s what it looked like!

  • Our first franchise: Byron Bay

After the success of our OG studio in Penrith, we took Pinot & Picasso to one of the biggest tourist destinations in NSW – Byron Bay. The studio opened in February 2019 and it kickstarted our franchising journey. It only took a couple of months until the next franchise signed on. Our Byron Bay studio really started the domino effect here at Pinot & Picasso!

  • Going interstate

A big milestone we reached only three months into franchising was opening our first interstate studio. We headed up to the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland with our Southport territory. We now have 13 interstate studios operating in Queensland, Victoria & the ACT. Our first location in South Australia is launching next month. 

  • The post-COVID boom

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had 13 studios up & running. By the end of 2020, we had a total of 35 locations across the country. That’s right – we had 22 franchises jump on board in the space of six months! SIX MONTHS! This level of growth has continued into 2021 with an additional 12 studios open for business. 

  • Sold out in Metro NSW

At the end of last year, we sold out in the metro area of NSW. This achievement has turned our attention to targeting more territories in QLD, VIC & SA. We’re also looking to dip our toes into the great states of Western Australia, Tasmania & the Northern Territory by the end of 2021. 

  • To 50 and beyond!

We are only THREE studios away from raising the bat for our half-century! To think this landmark will come in under three years of franchising is truly mind-blowing! We have many more exciting locations in the pipeline and cannot wait to announce them over the coming weeks. 

 

Book a call via the button below for more details on available opportunities with Pinot & Picasso.

Studio Growth Soaring in 2021

P&P Franchising

We’re only eight weeks into the new year and we’ve got studios opening all across the country! 

We launched our 36th studio in the lovely town of Orange at the end of January. We’ve got our 37th and 38th studios, Wetherill Park and Surry Hills, opening their doors over the next two weekends. 

We’ll be looking to crack the big 4-0 next month with several studios coming very, very soon – including Canley Vale, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Noosa and Yarraville. 

It’s been super rewarding to see the Pinot & Picasso brand expand in 2020, and we’re already chuffed with the growth in 2021!

We still have plenty of high-value locations available for franchising. While NSW is sold out, there is plenty of opportunities to open a P&P studio interstate. 
 
If you’d like to find out more about our studios, locations available or territories – please book a call with us today!

Interstate Territories now available

With territory stock availability running extremely low in NSW, we’ve opened up a plethora of new and exciting franchise locations in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

For those of you residing in NSW, it’s not all doom and gloom. During 2020, we’ve discovered the versatility of running a business like Pinot & Picasso – opportunities galore! 

We now have several Franchise Owners managing their P&P studios remotely. The digital nature fo P&P allows our Franchisees to maximise the full potential of their territory. The P&P business model is allowing our operators to choose how to live their life – instead of being consumed by it!

Available high value territories include:
 
  • QLD Territories – (Cairns, Toowoomba, Townsville, Mackay, Newmarket, Logan, Morningside, Fortitude Valley)
  • VIC Territories – (Bendigo, St. Kilda, Mornington, Hawthorn, Richmond, Cranbourne, South Yarra, South Melbourne, Pakenham, Frankston, Traralgon)
  • SA Territories – (Glenelg, Northwood, Brighton, Barossa Valley, Gawler)

All locations are geared for the same success (with 180,000 people and 35,000 women of our key demographic present) so we’re of the mentality that anyone, anywhere in Australia can handle the running of a studio regardless of where it sits!

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

5 New Studios Coming Soon

P&P New Studios Oct-Nov

We’re absolutely buzzing to welcome FIVE NEW STUDIOS to the Pinot & Picasso tribe over the next two months! 

We can’t wait to bring Australia’s #1 Paint & Sip experience to these exciting territories and we hope they bring some joy for the remainder of 2020 and beyond. Our new studios are:

 

Ballarat – October 23

South Coast – October 31

Newport – November 13

Marrickville – November 20

Abbotsbury – Open for private pop-up events

 

The team at P&P HQ are forever grateful for the continued support that has allowed us to open over 30 studios in two years. It is mind-blowing!

It’s time to prepare yourselves for your next creative night out! Gather up your closest pals, your favourite bottle of wine and get ready for some good times at Pinot & Picasso!

We’re also heading into our busiest time of the year, so it is best to plan ahead as tickets are selling fast! The P&P team is ready to play host for any function – Christmas parties, Hens Nights, Bridal Showers, Work parties, Birthdays, etc. If you’re interested in sending off 2020 in Pinot style, head to our functions page and enquire today.

Our new franchisees can’t wait to meet you and bring the paint and sip experience to your local community! Ready to release your inner Picasso? Head over to our sessions page and find your local studio today.

Pinot & Picasso
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