New owners step up their DIY franchise board with a twist |  Franchise mergers and acquisitions

New owners step up their DIY franchise board with a twist | Franchise mergers and acquisitions

After two years of turmoil, a new slate of owners and executives are making changes to the Painting with a Twist and Color Me Mine franchises. The first is the addition of candle making in 20 paintings with Twist Studios, which until now only offered painting parties.

“About 80, 85 percent of our sales are Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 7 p.m. We have more than 230 units in 38 states, so our storefront is 500,000 square feet, and it was largely underutilized from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.” Said Todd Owen, a board with a Twist franchisee since 2014 who bought a stake in the franchisor and is now CEO.

They’ve tested candle making in five studios and “they’ve set up our first 20 now. So you can come anytime and make an absolutely incredible scented soy candle, which has a lot of research and development behind it,” he said. “The best of all is that 90 percent of our customers are women, and 90 percent of our candle buyers are women, so they fit just like a glove.” Additionally, “The drawing and sip separation takes an average of two hours, which is how long it takes for the candle to recover.

Three of the five test studios have “raised $45,000 in AUV, which is incredible on our revenue base,” he said, referring to average unit size. The investment range for a painting with a Twist franchise is $122,000 to $261,000.

Other products are also being tested in the DIY space, such as a spray room in a Colorado studio. “If you go in there,” he said, “it’s crazy, and you’re spraying paint on the canvases. It’s cool in the black light studio.”

Owen said he tried to buy Painting with a Twist in 2018, “to no avail,” and since then the brand has gone through multiple changes. She purchased the board with Twist Bottle & Bottega, with about 20 units at the time, in 2018 and added co-founder Nancy Begley to the executive team as COO. Joe Lewis served as CEO, and was appointed in 2018.

In 2020, Painting with a Twist formed parent company Twist Brands and purchased Color Me Mine, a paint-your-own pottery franchise, and Chesapeake Ceramics, a ceramic supplier.

In July 2021, Louis left Twist Brands to become CEO of a new burger brand Smalls Sliders, in which he also bought an ownership stake. In October, Begley left Twist Brands to become CEO of The Little Gym International. Also last fall, Painting with Twist co-founder Cathy Diano bought fellow founder Renee Maloney, and Owen, Teresa Johnson and Dave Schmora bought the brands.

Read about Bottle & Bottega co-founder Nancy Begley’s move from Twist Brands to The Little Gym

Johnson, a palette with the Twist and Color Me Mine franchise, is now the CEO of Color Me Mine. Chmura is Owen’s business partner at TD Art Supply, which has also merged with the brands and is geared toward providing materials for paint and sip studios.

“The average studio saved about $8,000 a year at the time, in supply costs,” Owen said. “And that put a lot of deposit into the confidence factor, as it relates to myself.”

“Even Joe, when he came along, it took me a long time to get any kind of trust. I got the trust, and I felt very fortunate, to be a member of the franchise advisory board, to listen and help change at that time, and then with TD Art Supply and provide With studio money, I was able to skip this step to build trust.” “It’s really given me a huge benefit. When you talk about change management, it helped me come up faster. It was huge, to move the needle.

Owen said Twist Brands kept the moves quiet for several months, and announced them in September. So far, “the brand hasn’t put anything out about the new ownership set, because we wanted to put things back in order, where we were winning again. Now we feel like it’s time where, let’s go again,” Owen said of the growth trajectory.

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