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Pinot's Palette Annual Retreat 2013
Pinot's Palette - Annual Retreat 2013
Craig Ceccanti

Craig Ceccanti - Co-founder and CEO

Craig is a founding member and CEO of Pinot’s Palette, Houston’s first and premier, upscale BYOB Painting Studio. As a pioneer in the newly developed and rapidly expanding Sip and Paint industry, Craig has directed an innovative start-up business with one location to a concept which is now being sold nationwide.

His contributions at Pinot’s Palette have involved strategy, financing, architecting proprietary technology, developing and standardizing operations, fundraising, building a team-based culture and a purpose-driven brand. These efforts have helped Pinot’s Palette attract both local and national media attention from TLC Network, The Business Journal, 002 Houston, Envy, Houston Press, ABC 13, Great Day Houston, among others.

Outside of Pinot’s Palette, Craig stays true to his background in Consulting and Project Management. He actively devotes his time to supporting young entrepreneurs, charities and alumni chapters in the Houston community. Some of his favorite projects include teaching "Marketing for Small Business" at Rice University's Jones Graduate School and coaching at Vintage CrossFit.

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Charles Willis

Charles Willis - Co-founder and President

Charles is a founding member and President of Pinot’s Palette (formerly Pinot & Picasso), Houston’s first and premier, upscale BYOB Painting Studio. As a pioneer in the newly developed and rapidly expanding Sip and Paint industry, Charles has played an instrumental role in expanding both the Houston corporate business as well as developing the business through national franchising.

His expertise has evolved Pinot’s Palette’s growth strategy, streamlining supply chains, developing key markets and strategic management techniques. His project management efforts have helped Pinot’s Palette attract national franchisees as he guides them through the process from introduction, implementation and ongoing support.

Outside of Pinot’s Palette, Charles stays true to his background in Project Management. He actively devotes his time to supporting local charities and alumni chapters in the Houston community and spending time with his wife, Beth, and their daughters.

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Beth Willis

Beth Willis - Co-founder and CCO

Beth is a founding member and Chief Creative Officer of Pinot’s Palette. Beth is regarded as the leading visionary for product development, represents the customer’s perspective, and identifies key consumers trends. Within this role, she collaborates locally and nationally to develop multiple new paintings every month for the Pinot’s Palette library, including any custom paintings requested by Pinot’s Palette customers, and plans the monthly calendars according to customer demand.

In the first days of Pinot’s Palette, Beth presented key evidence for consumer market sustainability of the Paint and Sip business which provided fuel for Charles and Craig to put their plans into action. She is both credited with scouting the Montrose location and designing the Galleria location, including the stylish Picasso room.

Outside of her work with Pinot’s Palette, Beth is a full time Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and mother of two daughters.

Mari Sokolowski

Mari Sokolowski - Franchise Development Director

Mari joined the Pinot’s Palette team in 2011 as Marketing Director, the first full-time hire to the headquarters team. Since 2012, Mari has been directing franchise development from coast-to-coast through managing the national marketing budgets as well as leading the Pinot’s Palette sales efforts from her satellite office in Chicago, IL. Her passion for the industry and Pinot’s Palette brand has helped guide over 22 new franchise partners through the sales process, making Pinot’s Palette the fastest growing paint and sip in the nation. When Mari is not working with qualified candidates, she focuses her time on opening her own franchise studio in Chicago, IL, volunteering and spending time with her family.

Mari graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate degrees in both Marketing (B.B.A., 2005) and Advertising (B.S., 2005), and has marketing experience with national brands like P&G as well as local media start-ups like CultureMap.

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Myka Aultman

Myka Aultman - Franchise Development Manager

Myka has an extensive sales background. Her skills include management, leadership, customer service, business development, and branding. Her experience working for the top distributors in Texas, representing the largest international alcohol brands and suppliers, establishes her as an expert within the wine consumer industry. A Texas A&M University graduate with a degree in International Business and Commerce, Myka is a perfect fit Pinot’s Palette family. Additionally, Myka’s love of different cultures and her work experience in Spain provide a unique international business perspective. An avid outdoor adventure seeker, she brings a new amount of energy and an abundance of ideas to the team. In her spare time, Myka teaches belly dancing, enjoys wine, practices interior design, and spends time with her husband, Chris, and their two pets--French Bulldog, Winston Tubbs, and Labrador, Brilee Bear.

Missy Erickson

Missy Erickson - Franchise Development Manager

Missy brings her expertise in sales and management to the Pinot's Palette team. A Wisconsin native, she graduated in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a B.A. in Marketing and Sales. As the Franchise Development Manager, Missy assists potential franchise partners in their discovery process and helps them determine if Pinot's Palette is a fit for them. When she is not wearing her Pinot’s Palette hat, you can find her at the gym, rocking out at the local karaoke spots, grilling out with friends, enjoying some rays by the pool, or venturing back to the great north to visit family.

Jacqueline Deavenport

Jacqueline Deavenport - Marketing Manager

Franchise Development and National Partnerships

Jacqueline's love of art and franchise marketing have found their home with our Pinot's Palette family. A graduate of Baylor University, Jacqueline began her career in the radio and television sphere as a journalist and assistant producer. After completing her Master’s in Media Management, she found a home in franchising and implemented franchise sales marketing strategies for The Dwyer Group, a holding company for seven service-based franchise brands. Jacqueline brings her love of creative writing and marketing expertise to Pinot’s Palette to help grow the franchise system and brand. In her free time she loves taking time to ride her horse and spending time with her two cats.

Haley Hughes

Haley Hughes - Marketing Manager

Local Marketing and National Partnerships

As one of the nation’s top special event planners, Haley makes having fun an art form. Drawing on her marketing expertise and business acumen, Haley’s expert advice assists franchisees in developing tailored marketing plans to help them grow their businesses. Haley has received a number of professional awards. She was recognized in the Top 25 Planners Nationally by Special Events Magazine, and the Houston Business Journal named her in its 40 Under 40 list of rising, young professionals. In her spare time, Haley enjoys kayaking on Texas’ rivers and relaxing with a glass of wine in the company of her furry companions: Frankie, Linus and Ruger.

Natalie Wells

Natalie Wells - Creative Assets Developer

Natalie joined the team in 2011 as an artist after earning a BFA and working as a self-employed photographer for 5 years. Her background in creative expression and customer service, as well as her passion for expanding the painting library quickly led her to her headquarters position. As our resident graphic artist, Natalie is an ambassador of the brand, developing creative assets for marketing and finding new and innovative ways to visually express the Pinot’s Palette experience. As an artist trainer, she generates training resources, hires and trains artists and provides support to ensure their success. In addition, Natalie manages the Master Painting Library, working to promote the growth and integrity of our painting selections. When she’s not using her creative talents at the office, Natalie enjoys cooking, yoga, wine & beer tasting, playing music with her family, writing songs and spending time with her husband and dogs.

Kristin Humphrey

Kristin Humphrey - Operations Director

Kristin joins Team Pinot with over four years of business management and franchise experience, including Curves for Women, Zumba Fitness, and Bobbi Brown cosmetics. A graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, she took her love for working with people and translated it into helping clients achieve their dreams, whether big or small. As the Director of Franchise Operations, Kristin guides new franchisees from signing day and site selection through leasing. When she is not wearing her Pinot’s Palette hat, Kristin enjoys spending her time with her husband and family, cooking up a storm, hitting up the links, or drinking a glass of chardonnay while pouring over literature for her next culinary masterpiece.

Hannah Padley

Bonnie Brooks - Procurement Coordinator

Bonnie Brooks joined Team Pinot in 2015 bringing procurement and supply chain expertise. Her background includes 14 years at the Texas-based retail grocery super store H.E.B. Grocery Co. For more than 8 years, Bonnie honed her skills working in the Supply Chain and Produce Procurement Department at the Houston based H.E.B. distribution warehouse. In the role of Procurement Coordinator, Bonnie is responsible for fulfilling supply orders for new studio build outs, as well as, fulfilling orders submitted for existing studio locations. She is a Texas native, born and raised in Houston, Texas. Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. In her free time she loves cooking, reading books, researching all aspects of the paranormal and listening to music in all forms. Bonnie lives with her partner, Bobby in the Katy area and has two beloved Huskies named Lyric and Melody.

Eric Wright

Eric Wright - Technology Director

Eric joined Pinot’s Palette in 2012. He holds Bachelor Degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Houston. Eric has worked in IT for 5 years, including 2 years in the role as a software developer at JV Industrial. His primary role at Pinot’s Palette is to make sure the PTS systems and features are performing with high utility. When he is not writing code and fulfilling requests, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching the Rockets and Texans.

Sherry Miller

Sherry Miller - Office Manager

Sherry brings more than 17 years of accounting and project management experience to Pinot’s Palette. In previous positions, Sherry has worked for some of the nation’s top public accounting firms, and has a passion for maintaining accurate records, team building, and improving efficiency. An expert in business finances, Sherry oversees the day-to-day operations of Pinot’s Palette Headquarters. In her spare time Sherry enjoys traveling the world and taking long road trips. Sherry enjoys spending time with her partner, Jeff, her children and grandchildren.

Lori Lockerd

Lori Lockerd - Office Manager

Lori Lockerd joined Pinot’s Palette in 2012 as the Franchise Development Manager and has since progressed into the company’s Office Manager position. She grew up in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Colorado with Bachelor Degrees in Advertising and Fine Art. Following graduation from college, Lori found work with Village Voice Media (known in Denver as The Westword Newspaper). She started her career as an Account Manager for the sales staff, moved into the position of Marketing Coordinator, and found her way to Houston via a promotion to be Marketing Director for the Houston Press. After spending 8 years with Village Voice Media, Lori took leave to start her own social media business. She worked as a small business owner for two years before taking the opportunity to work with Team Pinot. As Office Manager, Lori helps drive the day-to-day operations at Pinot’s Palette headquarters, helping staff to be as efficient as possible so the company can continue to improve its support and grow the brand. She also wears the hat of Event Planner, and is an integral part of the Pinot’s Palette Annual Retreat. In her spare time Lori spends time with her husband, Patrick, son, Owen and daughter, Wren.

Ashley Gardner

Ashley Gardner - Artist Trainer

Ashley quickly accelerated into the Artist Trainer role after starting with Pinot’s Palette in 2010. Since then, she has been instrumental for onboarding and training initial artists across the Pinot’s Palette system. Her photography, event coordinating skills, and painting background has helped her develop the training programs that are successful in our studios across the United States. Ashley is opening a Pinot's Palette studio in Oklahoma City in the spring of 2013. Outside of Pinot's Palette, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and still continues creating her own unique multimedia pieces of art.

Karen Roberts

Karen Roberts - Artist Trainer

Karen was one of the first artists to join the team in 2009 at the original Pinot’s Palette studio in the Montrose area of Houston. Karen’s artistic spirit surfaced at a very young age in her native Oklahoma, but for a number of years she displayed her talents in corporate training, client services management and marketing. For her, customer service has always been a top priority and this translates into training and supporting new Pinot’s Palette artists to be the best in the industry. With more than 1,400 Pinot’s Palette classes under her belt, Karen has a wealth of knowledge to share with the growing Pinot’s Palette team. Outside of Pinot’s Palette, Karen does commission work in mixed media and exhibits her works several times a year. She is currently working on a project designing clothing & millinery from vintage fashions. Karen also enjoys reading, hiking, the beach and spending time with her family in Oklahoma and Colorado.

Miguel Martinez

Miguel Martinez - Artist Trainer

Miguel quickly accelerated into the Artist Trainer role after joining Pinot’s Palette in December of 2013 after graduating from the University of Houston with a BFA in Painting and Art History. Providing a fun and friendly outlet for his love of art and entertaining, Pinot’s Palette proved a perfect setting to work and have fun. Instilling confidence, creating a team oriented environment, and sharing knowledge necessary for providing outstanding customer service, Miguel trains new hires at the corporate and franchise onboarding level. When he’s not facilitating classes at the corporate studios or traveling to train staff at a new franchise, he continues to make art accessible to the public as a Tour Guide at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, all while continuing to develop his personal artwork. Rollerblading along the Galveston seawall, feasting with friends and family, reading fiction, and decadent spa days take up his free time.

Disclaimer and Pre-Disclosure
Entrepreneur Magazine 2014 Franchise 500 List
Entrepreneur Magazine 2014 Franchise 500 List
Entrepreneur Magazine 2014 Franchise 500 List
Franchise Business Review Get Free Report
Franchise Gator Top 100 Franchise
Franchise Business Review 2014 FBR50 Franchisee Satisfaction Award Winner
International Franchise Association