Want a Cure for Job Dissatisfaction? Open a Family-Friendly Pinot’s Palette – YorkPinot's Palette
Jeremy Sherwood’s job search requirements were simple. He wanted to own his own business and he wanted a job where he didn’t get screamed at all the time. At the time he started looking for franchises, he had enough experience with the latter.
Although his debt collection business was profitable, enduring all the yelling had become grueling. Jeremy was ready to move on to a more personally rewarding business… he just needed to find the right opportunity. As he searched, he glanced at an Eiffel Tower painting hanging on the wall. He’d painted it himself, when his wife had dragged him to a paint and sip class a year earlier. He reminisced on how they really had enjoyed that evening out.
Suddenly a lightbulb went off: He’d had a lot of fun attending that paint and sip class. Maybe owning a paint and sip franchise would be fun, too. “I thought what they do seems a lot more fun than getting screamed at all the time,” Jeremy says. “And it seemed like a good idea to bring to York County where there’s not much to do.” He did a new Google search, this time for paint and sip franchise opportunities. He found several companies, but he quickly decided on Pinot’s Palette because it was more premium than the competition.
Uniting Work with Family
While entrepreneurship came naturally to Jeremy, it took a little more effort to convince his wife Niki to run the business with him. “I’ve never liked the idea of working for somebody else, never liked putting my financial situation in the hands of someone else,” he says. “But my wife has never been an entrepreneur. She likes the comfort of going to work and knowing she’ll get a paycheck.”
But while Niki’s job in property management offered stability, she could put her customer service skills to good use running a business with Jeremy.
With Niki on board, the couple was ready to embark on their franchising journey. They put in an inquiry with Pinot’s Palette in October of 2015, and they got a call from the company’s corporate office asking them to set up a time for a phone interview.
The couple sailed through the application and interview phases and were invited to the company’s Houston, Texas headquarters for Discovery Day. Jeremey and Niki attended an event at one of the corporate studios and joined in an orientation session that helps determine whether a potential franchisee partner is a good match for Pinot’s Palette and vice versa.
“I really like the fact that with headquarters, they’re very much willing to work with you,” Jeremy says. “At Discovery Day, I didn’t feel like I was sitting in front of a company to interview. It was a really fun time. You actually felt like you were talking to somebody who cared, like a family member, not a corporation.”
Progressing by Leaps and Bounds
Now celebrating their grand opening, the Sherwoods look forward to sharing the Pinot’s Palette culture of enjoyment and family with the people of York. They hope that customers’ excitement over the concept will bubble over into word-of-mouth marketing, making the new paint and wine studio the talk of the town.
And, Jeremy notes, that excitement has been a long time brewing: The construction process for their new studio went somewhat smoothly, but they had to work with their property management company and take into account local laws to define the type of business: bar or BYOB. The Sherwoods’ studio opened as a BYOB establishment. And, in a convenient stroke of luck, their studio is located in the same shopping center as one of those state-run beer and wine stores, making it simple for patrons to pick up a bottle of wine on their way to a paint and sip class.
Despite the bit of red tape, Jeremy says he found excitement in even the simplest construction progress. “The most exciting part, and it’s a goofy thing, was our mop sink in the storage room. When we first came in here, it was a blank concrete slab with blank walls and no plumbing,” he says. “So when I brought my son in here and we went in and turned the handle on the sink and water came shooting out, I had a huge smile on my face.”
Another simple but rewarding moment came when Jeremy and his son were eating at the local Dairy Queen. The people sitting at the table behind them were talking about his studio. “I heard them say, ‘Oh yeah that’s going to be open by the wine and spirits store. You should book a class.’ To hear them talking about us was rewarding. The fact that some random stranger was talking about how much they love the idea and they want to come to a class — that was special,” Jeremy says.
The Sherwoods also find special significance in making their studio a family affair. Their 11-year-old son Christian asked if he could invite his teachers at school to the studio’s pre-Grand Opening “Friends and Family” night. “He’s yapped it up at school,” Jeremy says. “I think he’s more excited than me.” The couple allowed Christian to spotlight their Little Brushes program at the media night event during their grand opening festivities.
But this grand opening isn’t likely to be the last for the Sherwoods. They are setting their sights on opening more studios once the York location is established. “Our goal right now is to get up and running and make sure that if you come to York for paint and sip, you’re coming to the best,” Jeremy says, “We want people to grab some friends, a favorite beverage, and food, and come out to one of best times they’re going to have.”
And while this fun-loving atmosphere encourages boisterous laughter and relaxed conversation, customers should keep one rule in mind, for Jeremy’s sake– no screaming allowed.