By Sara Baldwin
Painting with a Twist in Carmel will celebrate its second anniversary on March 11.
Owner Jeanne Shirley started the business with husband Bryan Shirley after spending 30 years in advertising sales in Indianapolis.
“Before deciding to open one of these franchises, I had gone to a class and had so much fun,” Shirley said. “It was such a stress reliever.”
Her husband still works at WISH-TV Channel 8, where they met 30 years ago. He is also active in the Painting with a Twist business, often running the bar on the weekends.
“He’s a big part of the business, even though he’s not here all the time,” Shirley said. “I’m here the majority of the time.”
The concept of Painting with a Twist pairs instructional art with friends, wine and a lively instructor. The company started in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit, as a way to give back to the community. The business now has 325 franchise locations across the United States, including the one in Carmel. An important company value is to be an active member of the community and to focus on giving back.
“When I heard the story of how it was started, that was what got me interested. The cornerstone of the business is giving back to the community,” Shirley said.
The Carmel location at 301 E. Carmel Dr. has donated more than $10,000 to local charities through their Painting with a Purpose program, including Beacon of Hope Crisis Center, YMCA, Dogs on Deployment, The Carmel Arts Council, and several local schools.
“Our large room has 42 seats. The goal is to try to sell every one of those seats,” Shirley said. “We donate 50 percent of the night to that charity. The seats are driven 99 percent by the organization. They get to talk about what they do and how these funds are going to help.”
Painting with a Twist also partners annually with the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. They are the largest third-party donor to that charity. Shirley says her location was able to donate more than $1,000 in one day last year, and more than $100,000 was donated from all of the Painting with a Twist studios nationwide.
“The people there always remember the organization, because they get to take home a painting that they painted to support them,” Shirley said.
With more than 7,500 different paintings in their repertoire and a new partnership with Disney, Painting with a Twist has a wide variety of classes and programs to offer. They do birthday parties, bachelorette parties, couples painting classes, holiday events and more.
To celebrate their second anniversary, they will be having their regularly scheduled classes, offering some different specials, and giving out gifts to each person who comes to a class March 11-12.
For more, visit paintingwithatwist.com/carmel.