February 5, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Get ready to unleash your inner artist with the help of Bottle & Bottega. The Chicago-based art-and-wine party franchise, where guests can paint their own take-home masterpiece with the help of a little wine, is launching its first New Jersey location with a “pop-up party” at The Famished Frog in Morristown tonight, Feb. 5. North Jersey residents and longtime friends Rupa Kale and Julie Eberle are teaming up to launch the business. A dedicated studio is slated to open midyear.
For the two friends, opening Bottle & Bottega is the culmination of a longstanding goal of owning their own business. The duo first met because Eberle and Kale’s husband worked for the same healthcare company. They formed a fast friendship and toyed with the idea of opening a business together, but couldn’t seem to find a good fit. When a friend mentioned Bottle & Bottega to Eberle, she immediately told Kale – and from there, they dove in headfirst.
For Kale, who moved to the U.S. from India at age 14 and has spent 27 years in the beauty and fashion industry, an art-and-wine studio was a natural fit for her passions and skills. She left behind an eight-year career at L’Oreal last May to pursue her small-business ambitions.
“Bottle & Bottega is a natural extension of my previous career in that it’s an industry, like beauty, that targets women, and it has the same core elements of customer service,” Kale said. “Plus, as the mother of two twin boys, business ownership offers a high degree of flexibility not available in the corporate world.”
Although Eberle has a somewhat different background – she has been in the medical industry for most of her career and now has a corporate position at a healthcare firm – she was drawn to Bottle & Bottega for the same reasons as Kale: it’s a business that embraces women, encourages creativity and fosters a sense of community.
“We were looking for something that would enable us to get very involved with our local community,” Eberle said. “Because many Bottle & Bottega events take place at local restaurants or bars, it fosters mutually beneficial business relationships and promotes cooperation.”
Kale and Eberle are the first Bottle & Bottega franchisees in New Jersey. As area developers for Central New Jersey, they hope to open their first studio in Summit and then focus on expansion to other parts of the state in the next few years. Bottle & Bottega franchisees typically begin as mobile studios, partnering with local businesses to host ‘pop-up painting parties’ and private events while studio build-out takes place.
Bottle & Bottega’s hands-on art sessions can focus on painting on canvas, creating a mosaic, wine glass painting, jewelry making, live models and more, offering a fresh experience for celebrating birthdays, bridal or baby showers, bachelorette parties or simple gatherings of friends, as well as a change from routine corporate events by empowering groups and bonding teams in interactive settings.
Only three years in business, Bottle & Bottega is taking off fast. The company is in the midst of a nationwide expansion campaign and locations are now operating coast to coast. Projections call for the opening of 30 locations within the next 18 months with 160 locations across the country by the end of 2015. For more information or to learn about upcoming painting parties, visit www.bottleandbottega.com.