How Pretty in Paint Parties Applied a Direct-Sales Model to the Booming Paint-and-Sip Segment
How Pretty in Paint Parties Applied a Direct-Sales Model to the Booming Paint-and-Sip Segment

By forgoing brick-and-mortar locations, the paint-party brand has created a low-cost entry into business ownership

Starting a business from scratch is a notoriously difficult, expensive and risky process. Most new businesses will require an initial and ongoing investment so steep that they will not turn a profit for their first five years. And that’s just the ones that survive; the vast majority do not.

For entrepreneurs who do not have the financial wherewithal to build a new business from the ground-up, there are other, safer options for business ownership. Two of the most popular and well-established of those options are franchising and direct sales. Both options provide branding and business models for entrepreneurs to apply and operate under their own ownership.

The franchise model has been applied to virtually every industry, allowing investors to find a concept that matches their interests and skill sets and start a business quickly and confidently. Direct sales is a bit more narrow in scope, applying in most cases to retail sales — makeup, knives and kitchen accessories are the products most commonly associated with the model — conducted face-to-face, in the homes of prospective customers.

Both franchising and direct sales have their unique benefits. Franchising’s diverse range of segments allows franchisees to find a business they are passionate about, and direct-sales’ minimal infrastructural requirements allow a low cost of entry and maximal operational flexibility.

Pretty in Paint Parties, a rapidly growing concept in the increasingly popular paint-and-sip segment, has combined the best features of franchising and direct sales to create a uniquely lucrative business model for prospective business owners.

Where most paint-and-sip brands rely on brick-and-mortar studios, Pretty in Paint has designed a model in which owners bring the materials and lesson plan directly to consumers’ homes, vastly reducing the infrastructural costs associated with the majority of business models.

“The biggest benefit that comes with being a home-based franchise is the fact that we’re mobile. Our franchisees don’t have to worry about a brick and mortar location or the costs that come with it, including the financial burdens of a studio, rent and payroll for employees who have to manage the building every day. Being a home-based franchise also means that our local owners can hit the ground running as soon as they sign their agreement. When you start your business, the grand opening can be the next day,” said Erica Bridges, Pretty in Paint’s co-founder. “Because of that mobile aspect, the Pretty in Paint Parties business model offers franchisees a heightened level of flexibility. They don’t have to be in a studio day and night waiting for customers. Instead, they can run their entire business from home and book parties around their schedules.”

But unlike with direct sales, Pretty in Paint’s owners are not selling products, they are selling and guiding an experience, one that is marked by laughter and creativity. That key difference has made Pretty in Paint enormously popular among entrepreneurs who are looking for a business they can take a personal stake in.

“One thing that we found very quickly when we started Pretty in Paint was just how many people have been seeking this kind of creative outlet,” Bridges said. “That’s true for consumers, of course, which is why painting parties have become so wildly popular, but it’s also true for business owners. We’ve met so many people who are so excited to find a business opportunity that allows them to use this part of themselves that they had thought they had to set aside when entering the business world.”

Pretty in Paint’s mobile model also provides a flexibility that has proven particularly well-suited for parents, which is little surprise given that it was conceived as a business for and by stay-at-home moms.

“When we first created Pretty in Paint Parties, we were doing it as two stay-at-home moms who were looking for something more,” said co-founder Amelia Courtney. “But because of the responsibilities that we have, we weren’t able to take on a traditional nine-to-five job. Our franchisees have a lot of those same responsibilities. Let’s be realistic, if you’re a parent, your kids will get sick. Not everything goes to plan. When those kinds of things happen, our business model makes it so that it doesn’t derail anything. Parties can be covered by other artists, and behind the scenes work can be shifted to another time. We set out to create a business model that’s as convenient as possible, and now, we’re helping our franchisees make it their own.”

Pretty in Paint’s unique model has made it one of the most popular new concepts in franchising, and the brand is growing quickly. Startup costs to open a Pretty in Paint Parties range from $14,775 and $37,300, and entrepreneurs can now start with a down payment of $5,000. Courtney also says the franchise has had no problem finding eager and qualified candidates to help the brand expand into new markets.

“The business is so much fun, and the investment is so low. It’s an extremely exciting package for a lot of new business owners, and we’re thrilled to have found so many wonderful, talented, passionate people to work with,” Courtney said. “We’re moving into new markets quickly, and we’re excited to continue to find new people to team up with.”