Painting Her Way to VIP StatusPinot's Palette
Where’s your happy place? For Val Franchel of Dulles, Virginia, it’s her local Pinot’s Palette studio in Herndon. In June of 2015, Franchel, who has no previous painting experience, took her first class at Pinot’s Palette with her mom and from then on she was hooked. Franchel has since attended at least one Pinot’s Palette event a week- and now has more than 155 paintings to show for it.
“I keep going back, because I enjoy the challenge of painting something different each week and I love meeting new people,” says Franchel. Many of the connections Franchel has made at Pinot’s Palette have blossomed into friendships outside of class. “I go every week, so those people returning for a second event will see a familiar face.”
Franchel enjoys attending Pinot’s Palette with her mom, who lives in Florida. “We plan mom’s visits around the Pinot’s Palette painting schedule,” said Franchel. “And when mom can’t attend, I go home and Skype with her and show her how to recreate the painting.” Franchel’s favorite paintings to date are “Frosty Feathers” and “Moon Goddess.”
Franchel’s walls in her home are adorned with all her masterpieces. And while wall space is shrinking, she plans to keep going to class weekly. Franchel, affectionately known as “VIP Val” by the Dulles Pinot’s Palette team, is the second Pinot’s Palette customer in the country to reach Connoisseur level, the highest spot in the Pinot Perks loyalty program, where customers can earn Corks to receive Perks like free classes, special offers and merchandise.
“VIP Val attended a pop-up Mobile studio event in June 2015 and didn’t miss a single public event leading up to our studio opening in April 2016. Needless to say she became much more than a valued customer. I now consider her to be a very dear friend and a part of the Pinot’s Palette- Dulles team (#bestteameva),” said Robyn McClure, owner of the Dulles Pinot’s Palette. “Like Val, I am not an artist and we have had so much fun painting together and watching our painting skills develop.”
Says Franchel, “Every class is different—some are really quiet and focused and other classes are a big party. I love it, because it’s always a surprise!”