Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on May 3, 2022 Updated on November 30, 2023
$6,050 - $13,600
$90,000 - $364,000 p.a.
Time to build
0 – 3 months
$36,000 - $73,000 p.a.
When Renee Maloney and Cathy Deano founded Corks and Canvas in 2007, which later became Painting with a Twist, never in their wildest dreams did they imagine what it would eventually become. Started as an escape from the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, that first shop was just a little New Orleans studio where people could paint, chat and relax while sipping wine.
Imitators like Pinot’s Palette soon followed and now paint and sip is a legit US industry, worth more than $100 million. Some 15 years ago the US was home to zero paint and sip companies — now it’s home to more than 700! You could join the painting party with your own paint and sip business, cashing in on a hot market while helping people get out, have fun and socialize.
But before you pop the cork, you’ll need to learn how the business launch process works. Luckily, this step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to start a successful paint and sip business.
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
Growth forecast – The US paint and sip industry is projected to see modest growth the next five years.
Number of businesses – In 2021, 714 paint and sip businesses were operating in the US.
Number of people employed – In 2021, the US paint and sip industry employed 4.449 people.
Trends and challenges
Trends in the paint and sip industry include:
Purchasing a paint and sip franchise is a potential opportunity for entrepreneurs. Franchise Chatter ranks Painting with a Twist the number one paint and sip franchise opportunity in 2022.
Virtual paint and sip classes are rising in popularity, creating an opportunity for paint and sip entrepreneurs to broaden their potential market.
Challenges in the paint and sip industry include:
Many companies are entering the market, making the industry much more competitive.
If you sell liquor at your paint and sip classes, you will need to have a liquor license. Even if people bring their own, you need to be aware of how much people are drinking due to the potential for liability.
How much does it cost to start a paint and sip business?
Startup costs for a paint and sip business range from $6,000 to $13,000. Costs include studio space rental, space preparation, and supplies.
You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your paint and sip business, including:
Paints and other art supplies like paintbrushes
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$1,000 - $3,000
Studio space rental
$2,000 - $5,000
Space prep and supplies
$2,500 - $4,500
$6,050 - $13,600
How much can you earn from a paint and sip business?
The average price of a paint and sip class is $35 per person. Your profit margin after rent, supplies, and overhead should be about 40%.
In your first year or two, you might hold five classes per week for 10 people, bringing in more than $90,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $36,000 in profit, assuming that 40% margin. As your studio gains popularity, you might do 10 classes a week for 20 people each. At this stage, you’d hire staff, reducing your profit margin to around 20%. With annual revenue of $364,000, you’d make a healthy profit of $73,000. At this point, you might want to consider opening more locations.
What barriers to entry are there?
There are a few barriers to entry for a paint and sip business. Your biggest challenges will be:
Finding a way to stand out in a new and competitive market
The startup costs of a studio and art supplies
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you know what’s involved in starting a paint and sip business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Research paint and sip businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a paint and sip business that has guest local artists teach classes or one that serves alcoholic beverages instead of having guests bring their own.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as a private party paint and sip business, or virtual paint and sip classes.
This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products or services
In addition to paint and sip classes, you can offer private paint parties, sell alcoholic beverages or snacks and hors d’oeuvres.
How much should you charge for paint and sip classes?
The average price for a paint and sip class is $35 per person, and classes typically last two hours. Check paint and sip class prices in your area to make sure you’re competitive. After rent and overhead costs, when you’re running the classes by yourself, you should aim for a profit margin of about 40%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
The target market for paint and sip classes is broad, typically ages 21 to 64, so you should spread out your marketing to include sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. You also could target business owners who might book a paint party as a team event. You can connect with them on LinkedIn or find them on Google or Yelp and call them directly.
Where? Choose your paint and sip location
The location of your paint and sip business can greatly impact its success. Look for a spot in a central and convenient area, such as a busy shopping district or a popular entertainment hub.
Depending on the type of paint and sip business you plan to start, you may also want to consider the proximity to other entertainment venues or dining options, to create a full night out for customers.
When selecting a location, ensure that it meets all necessary safety and regulatory requirements for paint and sip businesses. By strategically choosing the right location, you can establish a profitable and successful paint and sip business that offers a fun and unique experience for customers, while standing out in the competitive entertainment industry.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Paint and Sip Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “paint and sip” or “painting parties”, boosts SEO
Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Canvas and Cocktails” over “Date Night Paint and Sip”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Paint and Sip Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: Brief overview of the entire business plan; should be written after the plan is complete.
Business Overview: Overview of the company, vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
Product and Services: Describe your offerings in detail.
Market Analysis: Assess market trends such as variations in demand and prospects for growth, and do a SWOT analysis.
Competitive Analysis: Analyze main competitors, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and create a list of the advantages of your services.
Sales and Marketing: Examine your companies’ unique selling propositions (USPs) and develop sales, marketing, and promotional strategies.
Management Team: Overview of management team, detailing their roles and professional background, along with a corporate hierarchy.
Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes procurement, office location, key assets and equipment, and other logistical details.
Financial Plan: Three years of financial planning, including startup costs, break-even analysis, profit and loss estimates, cash flow, and balance sheet.
Appendix: Include any additional financial or business-related documents.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to paint and sip businesses.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your paint and sip business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)– Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a paint and sip business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.
You’ll need a liquor license if you’re serving alcohol. Check with your state for requirements.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your paint and sip business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You may want to use industry-specific software, such as My Studio Engine or Event Espresso, to manage your online events, party bookings, ordering, and payments.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
Starting a Paint and Sip business is an exciting venture that combines creativity with socializing. To ensure a successful launch and sustained growth, consider these effective marketing strategies:
Collaborate with Local Businesses: Forge partnerships with local restaurants, cafes, or event spaces to cross-promote your Paint and Sip events, tapping into their customer base for increased exposure.
Leverage Social Media Influencers: Identify and collaborate with local influencers who align with your brand, encouraging them to attend and share their experience on social media platforms to reach a broader audience.
Themed Events and Promotions: Create themed painting events tied to holidays, seasons, or popular trends, and offer promotions or discounts to attract a diverse audience and keep your offerings fresh.
Student and Senior Discounts: Implement special discounts for students and seniors, targeting these demographics with tailored promotions to make your Paint and Sip events more accessible and appealing.
Gift Certificates and Group Packages: Introduce gift certificates and group packages to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, capitalizing on the social nature of the Paint and Sip experience.
Interactive Online Presence: Engage your audience with interactive content on social media, such as polls, quizzes, and behind-the-scenes glimpses, fostering a sense of community and anticipation for upcoming events.
Local Artisan Collaborations: Partner with local artists or artisans to feature their work at your events or offer collaborative workshops, enriching the overall experience and broadening your appeal to art enthusiasts.
Community Events and Sponsorships: Participate in or sponsor local community events, fairs, or fundraisers to raise awareness about your business and build a positive reputation within the community.
Customer Loyalty Programs: Implement a customer loyalty program with incentives like discounted tickets, exclusive events, or freebies for frequent attendees, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging repeat visits.
Engaging Email Campaigns: Build and maintain an email list to regularly update subscribers on upcoming events, promotions, and exclusive offers, keeping your business top-of-mind for potential attendees.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your paint and sip business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your paint and sip business could be:
Grab some wine and friends and come express yourself!
Fine wine and canvases to create your masterpiece
Private painting parties with top wines and signature cocktails
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a paint and sip business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in paint and sip classes for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in paint and sip classes. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a paint and sip business include:
Class Instructors – oversee classes, customer service
General Manager – scheduling, ordering, accounting
Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Run a Paint and Sip Business – Start Making Money!
Paint and sip classes have seen explosive growth and show no signs of slowing down. Starting a paint and sip business is a great way to make a good living while creating a fun space for people to escape their cares and have a great time. If you create a calming, appealing space and deliver reliably pleasant experiences for your guests, the sky’s the limit.
You’ve started in the right place, gathering all the business know-how you need, so it’s time to break out the canvas and embark on your new paint and sip adventure!
Paint and Sip Business FAQs
Is a paint and sip business profitable?
Yes, a paint and sip business can be very profitable. You just need to find a good location, set your studio up well, and put your passion into the business and you can make good money.
How much should I charge for paint and sip classes?
The average price for a paint and sip class is $35 per person, and classes typically last two hours. Check paint and sip class prices in your area to make sure you’re competitive.
What kind of paint is used at paint and sip?
The type of paint commonly used at paint and sip events is acrylic paint. Acrylic paints are favored for their fast drying time, versatility, and ease of use, making them suitable for beginners and providing a fun and interactive experience.
How can I differentiate my paint and sip business from competitors in the market?
To differentiate your paint and sip business from competitors, consider offering unique themes or specialized painting techniques, providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and offering additional services such as private events.
How can I expand my paint and sip business to reach more clients and markets?
To expand your paint and sip business and reach more clients and markets, consider offering mobile paint and sip services to bring the experience to different locations, or partnering with local businesses or event venues.
How can I source and provide art supplies for my paint and sip business?
To source and provide art supplies for your paint and sip business, establish relationships with reputable art suppliers or wholesalers who offer a variety of paints, brushes, canvases, easels, and other necessary materials. Consider bulk purchasing to get cost savings.
How to Start a Paint and Sip Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Paint and Sip Business Name
Create a Paint and Sip Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Run a Paint and Sip Business - Start Making Money!
Paint and Sip Business FAQs
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Join our exclusive community! Subscribe to our newsletter and gain insider access to cutting-edge business insights and trends.
Thank you for subscribing! We can't wait to share our latest news and updates with you. Get ready for exciting content in your inbox.