While most friendships are built on a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect, ground rules still need to be set to avoid any problems down the line — something Painting with a Twist founders Renee Maloney and Cathy Deano learned early on.
The two women met more than 20 years ago in Mandeville, Louisiana, when class parents for their children's kindergarten class and quickly developed a close friendship. In 2007, as a morale booster for neighbors reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, they launched Corks N Canvas, pairing instructional art with friends and wine. The concept took off, and they soon opened three additional locations in the Greater New Orleans area. Not long after, they began franchising under the name Painting with a Twist.
Soon after they had opened the first Corks N Canvas, they experienced their first misunderstanding. But rather than confront each other with the issue, they let it fester for several days, which culminated in a big fight. Now they regularly air their grievances when issues arise.
"We decided if the other is upset, we have to talk about it, even if that's hard to do," said Maloney. Such honesty has helped them grow the company to 297 franchises and $63 million in revenue.