The fact that Color Me Mine is doing robust business in theses troubled times (DRINK!) is an important factor to consider when examining the non-ceramics world's view of our little enclave. We need to embrace everone who has the smallest inkiling in ceramics. The kid who goes to a P-Y-O today, is tommorow's great ceramics collector.
Color Me Mine, the world’s largest paint-it-yourself ceramics franchise, announced today that average same store sales for studios open over one year showed continued growth for the past 12-month period. Michael Mooslin, Color Me Mine’s president, attributes the stable revenues during the current recession to three factors, all of which are related to the troubled economy.
“It appears that as people travel less, they are looking for affordable family entertainment close to home,” Mooslin said. “Additionally, families on a budget are increasingly opting for personalized, do-it-yourself gifts which have a higher value perception than the actual cost. Furthermore, while entertainment businesses historically do well during a recession, Color Me Mine also fills the greater need for family enrichment time during periods of higher stress.”
Due to current difficulty in obtaining financing, Color Me Mine will be offering interest-free loans for a significant portion of the initial investment. Combined with typical landlord contributions on new construction, qualified applicants will now be able to open a new Color Me Mine with minimal conventional financing. According to Mooslin, “We are committed to finding innovative solutions, and have also negotiated vendor participation in the internal financing that will be of significant help to new studio owners.”
This represents an opportunity amid dim economic forecasts for people looking to invest in a business, according to Mooslin, particularly for women looking to get back in the workplace, people who are looking for a second source of income or those who want to build their own business in a creative environment.
“During such volatile times, my wife and I are glad our investment is in our business rather than in real estate or the stock market, having seen our 2008 sales jump 29 percent over 2007," said Arthur Murphy, Color Me Mine franchise owner in Costa Mesa, Calif., who says his business is weathering the recession well. "It's hard work, but we are doing what we love and we have the freedom to determine our hours. We are learning how important our studio is to the community right now, as our customers are looking for more meaningful and creative activities.”
“We are gratified that our studios are resisting the downward recessionary pressures affecting so many retailers,” Mooslin said. “Franchise inquiries are coming from those wishing to exit what is seen as a less stable corporate world, opting instead for a stimulating and rewarding business where they offer a meaningful contribution to their community. Comparatively low entry costs of less than $150,000, and some of the best rental rates we have seen in years on great locations, have combined to paint an interesting opportunity indeed.”
Shilpa Patel-Paul, who recently sold a studio in Fairfax, Va. and opened a new studio in Carmel, Ind. in January, believes that Color Me Mine’s ability to attract so many in the community – moms, dads, children, grandparents and young couples – enables the studios to weather difficult economic times. Her sales in the Fairfax studio saw a double digit increase from 2007 to 2008.
“Once people try it, they love it,” Patel-Paul said. “Spending time together talking, laughing, and creating meaningful memories is so important today. Color Me Mine provides a relaxed atmosphere where the time-honored practice of painting ceramics has been made fresh, fun, hip and appealing to this generation.”
Color Me Mine is the largest worldwide chain of paint-it-yourself ceramics studios, having initiated the concept in 1992. Color Me Mine has 140 studios open or under development worldwide in 25 states and 10 countries.
Yes I know this is a press release and not a real news story. I beleive in the information none the less.