Wine & Design Newport News

Team Newsletter for the Week of September 1st - Issue 5

Update on ABC

Until our license comes in, beginning September 1st--soft opening and $30 classes will end--all classes will be only $35 and have this listed under their description online:

Wine and Design is hosting this private art event. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get signed in and mingle before class! We offer complimentary soda and/or bottled water (no more than 2 per person, please). CURRENTLY, you may bring only non-alcoholic beverages and food as well as any plates or utensils needed). If you are interested in BYOB, please contact our studio to reserve a private party. If you are making a reservation for more than one guest, please add your guest’s name(s) in the comment box so that we can make sure that you are seated together! You will receive a confirmation email letting you know we have received your reservation but it will not be complete until payment is made. Our reservation system will prompt you through payment either via Paypal or a secured payment using your credit card. Doors open at 6PM. CLASS WILL BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 6:30PM! We require a minimum of 4 guests for class to be held. If class has insufficient sign-ups, we will either cancel or reschedule the class. You will be notified immediately and your reservation will transfer to the rescheduled date or to the future class of your choice. We cannot wait to see you at the studio! And don’t forget, we offer great benefits for our Private Parties including BYOB, additional social time, your choice of painting, and MORE!! To inquire about hosting your own Private Party or if you have any questions, please call us at (804) 490-2532.

Aside from the obvious legal aspect of this (it is illegal in the state of Virginia for public classes to BYOB to any event at any public venue without an Art Instruction Studio license or one-day Banquet license), our strategy is that this will encourage more Private Parties (AKA guaranteed business). So far, during the month of August, no one has really event commented on the fact that public classes don't allow alcohol. We have received a lot of "Oh, I don't need to drink" comments, which has been a nice surprise. Also, the fact that we offer complimentary soda and bottled water may be another reason why guests don't seem to mind as much. We have even entertained the notion of continuing to keep things as they are and offer only complimentary soda and bottled water, keeping classes at $35 and only allowing private parties to BYOB...just another perk to having a private party. It would definitely be one less thing for artists to have to worry about during a class. We are still trying to decide what would be best for the studio. Stay tuned.

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Addressing Our Studio Culture

There seems to have been a bit of miscommunication and/or misconstruing of the responsibilities of being an artist at the studio. The culture that we are actively striving to develop in our studio is one of MUTUAL respect, harmony, and understanding, to name a few of the foundational values that we have in place at the studio. (If you would like a refresher, the Artist Handbook is always available for your review at the studio at any time.)

It has been quite heavily addressed via in-person meetings, conference calls, and newsletters that our leadership staff (myself, the owner, and Kristen, the studio manager) is very kind and understanding when it comes to sudden emergencies that might conflict with your schedule. We get that circumstances may arise that are out of our control. However, please do not mistake our kindness and understanding as an opportunity to take advantage of. Let me be clear when I state that we are professionals and we are running a business. Although an artist's position at our studio is more flexible than regular jobs, being an artist at our studio is still very much a job and should be treated as such. Along with the flexibility of hours also comes the exclusivity of classes, meaning that each of our paintings are usually exclusively taught by the one artist assigned to that class. Because of this, sometimes it is not easy to find a replacement instructor for a class, especially at the last minute. Artists need to be familiar with the painting they teach, having painted a sample and had enough time to sufficiently prepare for a class. To be thrown into a class at the last minute makes for a subpar class which is unacceptable and is not fair to the replacement artist nor to our guests, who are our first priority at the studio.

Our class schedule is created well in advance--usually a month, sometimes more. This allows for more than ample time for arrangements to be made for you to be present to teach your class--unless one of those emergencies arrive. As independent contractors, you create your own schedule, so the days you are teaching on the calendar are ones that you have given me availability for so aside from emergencies, there should be no issues regarding childcare, transportation, or other jobs.

The culture of our studio is very different from other jobs. That in combination with the fact that we are a young business to this area, I am, at this time, unable to offer more notice regarding classes having made than 4 hours prior to the start time of class. For example, if your class is scheduled to begin at 2PM, you will receive a notice by 10AM if your class is being cancelled . . . if your class is scheduled for 6:30PM, expect a notice by 2:30PM and so forth.

Please do not "bank" on your classes not making. You are responsible for teaching your class until the 4-hour notification arrives to you via text. If there is another way you prefer to be notified, please let me know and I will make sure that happens. As soon as your class makes, however, I will also notify you. For example, the Tuscan Vineyards class at the end of September has already made and the artist teaching that class has already been notified. I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are notified regarding your scheduled classes but I also need you to be aware that I cannot offer a wider area of notification at this point because sometimes people DO sign up at the last minute and while we are still new, EVERY class making is imperative. Once we are better established, that notification window will probably expand as guests will begin signing up for classes further out than a few hours before class.

Please excuse the brevity of this portion of the newsletter, this is all simply the nature of our business and something I needed to lay the foundation for. Please see me immediately if this is something you are unable to work with.

New Paintings for Your Consideration...

The Spa for Your Soul

Have you heard us saying this at the studio? Seen it displayed in the window? Wonder where in the world it came from?

This "motto" of ours was sparked by reading and doing research on a book titled, "The Power of Habits," along with a discussion among our leadership team. I wanted to share this with all of you so that not only will you have an idea of where the philosophy comes from but why we are using it and how you can adopt it.

Here is the short, sweet, and non-technical version:

Way back when, this dude invented a toothpaste called Pepsodent that he was struggling to get consumers to buy. After wracking his brain, he discovered an interesting pattern in how and why humans develop habits. Thus, the "Cue, Routine, & Reward" loop was born. It goes a little like this, Mr. Pepsodent came up with something we can all relate to...a film on our teeth. (You know it...don't act like you didn't just run your tongue across your teeth to feel it--I, myself say that my teeth is "wearing sweaters.") Mr. Pepsodent used the film ( a CUE to consumers) to market to consumers by stating that if they used his toothpaste (a ROUTINE for consumers to partake in) the film would go away and they would have whiter smiles (the REWARD consumers get as a result of partaking in the routine). It worked. (But only because the CUE was something that EVERYONE could relate to.)

Here at our studio the CUE is "STRESS!!!" or needing to DE-STRESS, rather. EVERYONE can relate to that. The routine is painting. We all know the therapeutic benefits of having a paintbrush in your hand and making melodious brushstrokes. the REWARD is the benefit of being able to de-stress and relax, even if that benefit is only short-lived. (We may even prefer for the benefit to be short-lived because that will mean repeat customers.)

Some would argue that painting is better than therapy--we can certainly attest to the fact that it's definitely a lot cheaper!

So the next time you hear us say, "The Spa for Your Soul" or hear a (potential) guest asking questions about what we have to offer, let them know that we offer a way to unwind their mind. Much like a regular spa offers massages to relax and sooth the body, we offer painting, to relax and soothe the soul.

It's as simple as that!

This Week's Words of Wisdom

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See you soon, friends.