Sarah Dubay first heard about Wine & Design when she had a birthday party at a similar concept in her South Carolina community. She’d been given a gift card at the time of the party, so when the studio rebranded to Wine & Design not long after, she attended another class on a date night with her husband, Bryan.
During that evening of fun, Dubay learned that Wine & Design had franchise opportunities available. Captivated by the idea, Dubay contacted the brand and eventually left her job as a teacher in 2012 to open a Wine & Design studio in Charleston, South Carolina.
“The main thing that stood out to me about the Mount Pleasant Wine & Design, which I actually ended up buying, was how awesome and thriving the studio atmosphere was,” Dubay said.
One of the main contributing factors to that atmosphere was the Mount Pleasant studio’s wildly successful Art Buzz Kids division, a part of Wine & Design’s business model that offers various programs for the under-21 crowd that include summer camps, after-school classes and birthday parties, to name a few.
Dubay shadowed at the studio when she was in the “in-between period” of being interested in investing in the brand, but not yet signed. It was during this time she became familiar with each of the brand’s five divisions, but gained a particular understanding of how lucrative a successful Art Buzz Kids program could be.
“The previous franchisee there actually created the brand’s ArtBuzz Kids division, so I learned from the best,” Dubay said. “I was able to see firsthand what she’d been doing for so many years to make the programs successful, and I think it kind of launched the emphasis I placed on Art Buzz Kids at my own studio.”
As a mom herself, Dubay has always been drawn to the simplicity of Art Buzz Kids: sign up, show up, let your child make a mess in a space that you’re not responsible for cleaning up and they get to leave with an awesome creation. When she opened her Wine & Design studio in Charleston in June 2012, she did so with 10 weeks of summer camps on the calendar. She faced an uphill battle getting the community to recognize a paint and sip business as a space for engaging children’s activities, but through in-studio advertising and word of mouth, Dubay filled her camp schedule and never looked back.
“Since most people don’t think of a paint-and-sip studio as a place for kids camps, we make sure to market it through word of mouth in our classes,” Dubay said. “We also always have Art Buzz Kids paintings up in our studio and make sure our artists call them out. Seeing the paintings and has really helped the division grow. Social promotion is also a huge aspect of our success—when moms see a group of kids at a birthday party in our studio and how simple it is for a party to be done well, it makes a big impact.”
Through a well-executed Art Buzz Kids division, Dubay has been able to enjoy a consistent revenue stream that buoys her business year-round. As far as her advice goes for making Wine & Design’s Art Buzz Kids division a reliable revenue-generator, Dubay said it’s important to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.
“You won't have 20 kids at your camp right away. It’s something that builds,” she said. “The most important part of generating interest is to work hard to ensure the kids that are attending have such a great time that they’re eager to come back. Having the drive and determination to form the connections in the community necessary to make it work is what makes Art Buzz Kids a success.”
Start-up costs for a Wine & Design franchise range from $69,950 to $221,200, including a $25,000 franchise fee. For more information about franchising with Wine & Design, visit https://wineanddesign.com/franchise.