Monday, September 22, 2014

The Paint & Wine Studio Whirlwind Month of Business!

Hey y'all (or "hi everybody" if you're up north, like we are now), it's been a wild few months. Two months ago we moved from our Houston location of 4 years to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. 800 miles with lots of pets and all in tow. Prior to that we had already scouted and contracted the new studio location, in Maplewood, MO, where we had lived from 2006-2008. It's a hip, urban community that supports small businesses and unique ventures like ours, so it was an easy choice for "The Paint & Wine Studio".
These are our new neighbors -- coffee shops, boutiques, a pizza establishment, brewery, deli,...list goes on, gotta love the midwest!

Anyway, I cut the lease deal before arrival. On the topic of leases -- lately, everyone writes or calls about my paint and wine consulting programs, informing me that " we are about to sign a lease", which is like telling a potential hired attorney "we are about to sign a settlement agreement". Are you kidding me? The studio lease for a sip and paint, let alone any other business, is the single most important piece of overhead which will dictate your profit margin and future, do you want to leave that to its own devices or put an expert on it? I can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches by proofing your contract and negotiating a fair lease agreement, call or email me, enough said.

Anyway, two months ago we rolled into town, new home, new space, two weeks into that I started work on the studio (6 weeks ago). I wanted it to look the same as the Houston studio because I love that place and wanted it to remind me of all the good times there (umm, that's about as nostalgic as I get, so don't expect more, lol), and I knew it worked and customers loved it, so that's what I decided on.

Three weeks in, I was getting the walls and floors done, and it was matching the Houston studio, but I had to be off to Pearland, Texas, to train the instructors and host the Grand Opening of our new studio there. No prob, I packed a few bags and off I went, my paint and sip business client had followed all of my advice and it was all set up, so I did my thing and all went well. Yes, I give the seminar in St. Louis now but you can fly me in to train the instructors and do your Grand Opening of your own paint and wine oriented business at your studio.

"Selfie" with 21 Texan painting friends.

I made it back Sunday, completed the work in 5 weeks for my own studio, not bragging but that is the fastest new studio opening ever. For those of you hellbent on opening in 30 days, I can do it in 60 days, but there's going to be a premium for that!

Friday, September 19th, two months after arriving in STL, we had our Grand (re)Opening, all looked great and went as planned, and we're very happy with our new home, the public is also very excited, we booked 3 private parties, all anonymous through our website because I had geared the SEO (search engine optimization) for St. Louis prior to leaving Houston.

We made the rent in 7 days of sign-ups and hardly trying because I was too busy with decorating, lol. The next 21 days are profit.
Like I said, a whirlwind month, or more. I would love to help you with your paint and wine oriented business so you can save money going into it and succeed. Helping others with their business is our passion, since year 2000, send an email to or call me at 713-409-3373 if you want the best that the industry offers at a fair price and I will hook you up!'

Check out this link to learn about our programs!

Best regards,
Brian & Amy Bullard
The Paint & Wine Studio

Sunday, June 29, 2014

St. Charles Paint & Wine Classes
We're proud to announce the re-branding and re-launch of our client, "Studio Gallo Blu", in St. Charles, Missouri, near St. Louis. Owner Kate Franklin contacted us after two years of operating as a sip and paint business because she felt there were a number of things she could improve on. She was right!

Kate attended our "Total Immersion" painting business seminar, then immediately signed up for a consulting package and hired us to create her paint and wine business website. Our websites sell for $1500, feature an easy to use interface, SEO (search engine optimization), and all of the bells and whistles like inventory control (so you don't overbook your painting classes!).

Check out her new website at

If you are interested in buying your own sip and paint website, or need a new one, please inquire with us by writing

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Paint & Wine Business Consulting - Cheaters

Hi, Brian Bullard here, the industry "paint & wine" business expert. I've seen it all in 28 years of owning and developing all types of art businesses, not much surprises me anymore, I just know what to look for. Professionals know how to get to the root of things quickly. You, like most people that visit this site, are probably an expert at something -- your occupation, career, lifestyle, etc. There are some things you know better than others, that is part of being a professional.

Today, in my duties as a professional in the business, in between building a sip and paint website for one client and coaching another in social media techniques, I decided to do a little Google search on my own paint and wine business. It's necessary to check your own rankings now and then, but also to check on others, that's when I found this--

paint and wine business consulting not a franchise
Do you see something wrong here? I do, it's my own name being used in the "meta description" tag of a competing site. Let's ponder why someone would use my name on their "paint and wine industry" consulting website.... okay, didn't take long, did it? Because I'm the best. You can try to copy my programs or techniques, but you can't be me, you normally can't buy my name either. My info is reserved for my clients and they gladly pay me for it so I can help them develop their own paint and wine oriented business.

The page was indexed and cached by "googlebot" on Jun 11, 2014. It is now June 15, 2014, four days later, and they removed my name. This is an old SEO "black hat" cheating technique I know from 1996 -- cheat, then after index, remove to avoid problems. But now they have a problem!

So, what will I do? Will I trademark my personal name? Hire a lawyer? Waste thousands of dollars in litigation?

No. I'm smarter than that! I'm a pro, I know how to do all of that, and more. I play fair, but I don't put up with abuse. I'm not impressed by this person's website, paintings, or techniques in having to use my name to promote her business. She offers a manual for $1000, a ludicrous price, but maybe it will teach you how to steal the names of professional artists who know what they're talking about.

What brought you here? My number one ranking blog and website for the wine and paint business industry which was created on my vast knowledge of how the web works -- my name, the one I was born with, I own that and all behind it, just like you have yours, it's not for sale.

What these types don't understand is that I went through all of this 20 years ago while I was developing my own seminars in the faux finishing and mural industry. I know all of these tricks, nothing new, sip and paint is in diapers compared to that. 18 years ago, in 1996, I was finding my own name being secretly "spamdexed" to up my competitor's search rankings, thank you.

Thanks for visiting, if you're interested in getting into the business, check out my sip and paint consulting offerings and seminars.

If what you're reading, industry drama, turns you off, I fully understand. Get me on your side now and I'll fight all of your battles, you can host paint and wine class and do the fun stuff.

Lots of nice changes coming up, we're moving to St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, after six years of touring the US and teaching art classes everywhere. Check out the paint and wine website we made for Studio Gallo Blu in St. Charles, Missouri. Owner Kate Franklin came to our Houston seminar and was so impressed that she immediately contracted for consulting and a new website, see the upcoming story on that (she was getting ripped off for $150 monthly in fake SEO fees, as there was no SEO on her sip and paint website!).

As usual, thanks for checking in. I love the paint and wine industry, only job I ever had that keeps me smiling all day and night, I love working with all the people who want to have fun with paint!

Best Regards,
Brian Bullard, Owner,
The Paint & Wine Studio

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Paint & Wine Business Seminar

Training the staff of "Paint in the Hut" in Maryland, July 2013
I've been teaching seminars in the "art & business" for fourteen years now and it's one of the most rewarding things I do at "The Paint & Wine Studio". We've been lucky enough to have people attend from all over the United States. The "clients", as I call them, come for a variety of different reasons. Some want to go full force with their own "sip and paint" business, others want to see if they're cut out for the business or if it meets their expectations, and then there are the ones who see it as a great opportunity to get away and become totally immersed in the dynamic art atmosphere that we offer, hence the seminar title -- "The Paint & Wine Studio's Total Immersion Seminar".

The feedback throughout the years has been tremendous. I've been blessed with great compliments, at the same time I've heard all of the horror stories of people traveling far and wide to a "seminar" only to be bored by a very dry delivery of lacking substance, accompanied by terrible food.

My goal with seminars is to be anything but dry and boring, to strip the information to its essential and "easy to remember" bare bones and reiterate it several times, so it's learned. We get "face time", working with our hands and minds, the clock ticks away and it's a constant, energy-filled race to hold times and fit all of your paintings and questions in. You become part of the team, I don't know where else in the world you can simply walk into a business and learn the ropes in an onsite crash course like this.

My job is to not only to share information but to raise your confidence with a "can do" attitude. The client leaves tired yet "supercharged" about their opportunities in the paint and wine industry. They know the minimum required to successfully operate a sip and paint business and have taken part in that first hand. They can literally, at that moment, walk into any studio, anywhere, and know what the business focus and operations should be.

It's three days and two nights of excitement and dynamic energy in Houston, Texas. I also take the business seminar "on the road" as I did in Baltimore, Maryland, last year, training the local instructors during the day and holding the Grand Opening at night, with a chosen instructor teaching on the 2nd night, with my assistance.

If you want to experience the industry before making major investments, or if you're dead-set on owning and operating a sip and paint business, you can read more details about the "Total Immersion" seminar at this link.

The Paint & Wine Studio Total Immersion Business Seminar

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sip & Paint Branding

There's a big difference between employing a general concept and copying another business. I learned business and branding in Europe, where one first sets out to be proficient in the basic and advanced skills of whatever interests them, what they have a passion for. For me, that was art and painting, so I worked for several companies, with some of the best artists, traveling, all the while learning the business of the art world -- what it takes to be unique and sell.

Corporate team-building event.
I quickly learned that "art" is somewhat, if not completely, secondary to the business of selling any kind of painting. Of course, if you're selling something, whether a product or service, it needs to be of high quality and have a value. A "value" is not to be confused with something discounted or "cheap". The value is the amount of worth, as appraised by the potential customer.

Creating a unique business is not the matter of copying the exact model of a competing business and "painting" it a different color. If this concept is employed, the only thing setting you off from the competition is the price, and inevitably, novices believe if they copy a successful business and offer a lower price they will be successful -- which couldn't be further from the truth.

Being unique involves risks, making your own decisions as to what will be attractive and sell to the potential clientele. The higher the risk, the higher the potential reward --  or possible loss, and that's why there needs to be a rational level and approach to assuming business risks.

When you own a unique brand there's a special pride to it -- it's custom-made, not a copy.

If you're interested in owning a uniquely designed paint and wine oriented studio, please click here for more information.

Creating Your Own Paint & Wine Oriented Studio - Not a Franchise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paint and Wine Locations and Branding

Customers at "The Paint & Wine Studio"
often drive nearly an hour to attend, passing
up several "sip & paint" businesses along
the way. It's all because of our unique brand.
One of the things I hear most often from callers is "there aren't any sip and paint businesses or franchises in our town yet", or, "there's only one and they do a lot of business". That's a fine observation, and it's important to be aware of your environment in the business marketplace, but existing presence should not be the deciding factor in whether to open a "sip and paint" oriented business-- or any other type of business, for that matter.

I like to use the analogy of an Italian restaurant, and you probably have a few of these in your own town. Maybe the simplest level is a "Fazoli's" franchise, drive-thru and all. It's Italian, fast-food style. There might be a sort of small "family-operated" eatery within minutes, not fancy but the food can't be beat, especially for the price. And then you have the "high-end" establishment, which is usually a restaurant named "Tony's", it is in St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, where there's no lack of Italian dining establishments.

Put yourself in the customer's position-- in this scenario you have never eaten Italian food, and driving by a "Fazoli's" franchise you hit the drive-thru and enjoy spaghetti for the first time. It was quick, convenient, in a nearby location and served its purpose. Your friend mentions a Fazoli's near her house, 20 minutes across town. Will you drive there to try it? No, because the successful model of a franchised business is that you know what you're getting no matter where that restaurant or store is -- it should all be the same. You're not driving 20 minutes only to get the same food and service when it's right next door!

But, having a literal hunger to discover what else is offered in the world of Italian food, you ask your friend if they know of any other eateries -- you've already been to the franchise, you know how that tastes. Your friend mentions a "hole in the wall with the best sauce I've ever had", and you make a beeline for it. You're amazed that such a small, family-operated business can churn out such unique and delicious Italian food. Unbeknownst to Fazoli's, they just turned you on to the best marinara sauce in town by existing in the first place, and have probably lost you as a customer.

With a family event impending, and not wanting to take them to the very casual "hole in the wall", you seek out fine dining, Italian style, and phone your friend. "Go to Tony's and you'll think you're in Italy -- they have beautiful canvas paintings on the wall, the finest china and service, the food is presented as art itself, and you can even sit in an actual gondola, imported from Italy, while drinking wine -- it's heaven, a 45 minute drive for you, but the experience of a lifetime!" You could do that or take the family to the Fazoli's franchise, so the choice is obvious.

You may only get to go to "Tony's" twice a year because of the higher price and longer drive, but everyone in the radius is willing to drive the distance and pay more for the experience, so they do good volume. Tony's doesn't care where Fazoli's opens another franchise, in fact, they're happy when another Italian business opens because it leads customers on a trail -- straight to Tony's.

The moral of the story is that business branding, not franchising, is the key to success in any business. To be a success in the "paint and wine" business you need to be different from the rest, not a mere copycat of a franchise, because if you are, your potential customers might as well go to the franchised business -- they know what they get there.

Branding and developing unique paint and wine as well as other "art and entertainment" businesses is just one of our specialties offered through "The Paint & Wine Studio". Please visit this link for more information.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paint and Wine Franchise "Name Fees"

We developed and copyrighted this custom-designed
logo for one of our consulting clients.
The franchisee is paying to use the franchisor's name and logo and this is commonly referred to as a "name fee". Our sources tell us they are informed by competing "sip and paint" franchises that the name fee is $20-25,000 dollars on average.

My question to any potential business owner is if the franchisor's brand is well-known enough to justify the cost. If it's a "McDonalds" franchise, one of the best-known business franchises in the world, you're going to want those "golden arches" flying over the building, and it's worth the cost -- you're buying into a well-established international business franchise that everyone identifies with. 

With "sip and paint" franchises, what you're really paying in a name fee is a supposed track record of that name and logo having local appeal, not a nationally recognized brand by the common consumer, because the majority of customers are not even familiar with the concept of "sip and paint", let alone worried about a brand name. The question is if the franchised name and logo will have appeal in your own local market-- or if you can't come up with your own name and logo that is regionally desirable and brand your paint and wine business, all the while saving you $20,000 plus.

In our consulting program, we help our clients develop their business name, logo, and brand based on many factors, all proven by successful experience. The end result is a paint and wine business, name, and logo that our clients own, 100%, and at a fraction of the price of a franchise. It's like owning a "Burger King" next to a "McDonald's", before anyone knew who either company was, so it's even ground (no pun intended). From there, the client can develop several locations or franchise out their own name as desired.

To learn more about our program, please click this link

Open Your Own Paint & Wine Art Business - Not a Franchise!