Blazing New Trails: Brick Pinot’s Palette Opens OpportunityPinot's Palette
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said. Diana Chams seems to embrace the philosophy of the 19th century poet. Instead of meandering down smooth paths, the owner of Brick, New Jersey’s new Pinot’s Palette® craves the steep terrain of opportunities born of challenge.
Diana felt herself joyfully coasting on one of those smooth paths in her roles as a special education substitute teacher, stay at-home mom, and volunteer for a non-profit. But she felt the need to throw her energy and passion into a new challenge. She just wasn’t sure what metaphorical mountain she should try to scale next.
But the challenge found her. Diana was relaxing and enjoying herself at a birthday party (at the Pinot’s Palette Manalapan studio) when she had an epiphany. Impressed by the fun, upscale atmosphere of Pinot’s Palette, she considered that opening a paint and sip studio would present the perfect combination of challenge and excitement.
Diana had always kept the idea of becoming an entrepreneur simmering on her back burner, and she realized it was time to turn up the heat on that dream. So she and her husband researched the paint and sip market, compared competitors, and reached out to Pinot’s Palette headquarters with questions. “We liked what they had to offer and what they stood for,” she remembers.
Landing the Perfect Locale
Diana’s first challenge in her Pinot’s Palette quest was finding a location. The New Jersey studio she initially visited for the birthday party was near her home, where she was established in the community. But with that market taken, she chose a location for her studio that was 40 minutes away. She lacked connections in her future studio’s community, so she started networking before the ink on her contract was even dry.
“Though it took a while to get there, I love my location,” she says of her year-and-a-half wait from initial inquiry to studio opening. “And the community loves us–it’s rewarding seeing people leave the studio with a big smile on their face, excited about a painting they created.”
Diana hopes to establish her studio as a community gathering place, the go-to spot for locals to spend an evening out. And she’s well on her way to that goal. “The community reception has been amazing,” she says. “The Chamber has been a big help–they’re really welcoming, very friendly. People are so excited we’re open.”
New Opportunities to Grow
Being an entrepreneur presents Diana with an ever-ready supply of new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. “I’m surprised at how many different roles I have to play,” she admits. “Some things I’m great at, and some things I’m not so great at. For those, I have to find the right person to do them.” She has realized that time management, especially in the initial months after a studio opens, is important in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
As to those opportunities for growth, Diana never described herself as an artist–until now. “I enjoy painting, but one night an artist cancelled so I had to get on stage and teach a class,” she recalls. “I was nervous but I enjoyed it so much. And the customers loved me! They wanted to book another party with me and that was really exciting.” The experience inspired Diana to paint more, learn more artistic skills, and work towards teaching more classes.
Now in her fourth month of business, Diana relishes the thrill of the challenge. “I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, to be my own boss and set my own schedule. I thought that schedule would be 9-5, but right now it’s more like 9-9,” she laughs.
Just another challenge for her to conquer.