BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Bottle & Bottega held its opening ceremony Thursday night, a celebration that included bidding, balloons, and, of course, bottles.
The studio is owned by Rupa Kale, a resident of New Providence, operating under the Bottle & Bottega umbrella, which has 15 franchises ranging from California to Texas to Illinois to Florida. This is the first Bottle & Bottega franchise to be opened in New Jersey, and the first East Coast establishment following the company’s expansion from Chicago in 2011.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held before a crowd of guests as Kale and her family, as well as Mayor Bruno, shared their excitement with the over 130 people that attended the invitation-only event.
Bruno lauded Bottle & Bottega as “a great place for the community, a place you can go to relax after work.” Most importantly, however, he emphasized the responsibility of the community to “keep this great business going” to share in the success it will bring to the business district of Berkeley Heights.
Kale has already taken advantage of the budding businesses surrounding her studio. “I am really looking to create synergy with the other businesses—Karen’s Bakery's right across the street is one of my partners. Delicious Heights does a lot of our catering, and Berkeley Liquors supplies some of the wine.”
Other activities during the celebration included a wine tasting, mural and take home canvas painting, and a silent auction to benefit Home for Good Dog Rescue.
Kale has been the owner of the studio for a year and half since opening in 2013, when her interest in making a career, and lifestyle, shift first emerged. The former corporate finance manager with L’Oreal went to Chicago to make a pitch in buying a franchise upon her learning about the business.
However, the process has not been entirely smooth, as Kale describes this opening as “a long time in the making.” While she did own the franchise, Kale had been searching for a location for months amongst choices in Summit, Millburn, and other neighboring towns while operating in mobile sites. These included restaurants, bars, and even customers’ homes, and yet she still held 250 events. Eventually, she found her ideal space in Berkeley Heights, which she felt was “karmic and fantastic.”
Promoted as a wine and art entertainment studio, Bottle & Bottega offers a fun, unique alternative to an ordinary night out. With less emphasis on structure than other art entertainment studios, Bottle & Bottega encourages a relaxing experience focusing on “Botteganista" enjoyment. Kale even admits she has no prior artistic experience herself, although she is a “creative person who loves to paint.”
While professional artists lead the artistic component of the business, Kale finds her prior work experience to be beneficial to running the day-to-day of the franchise. “The people skills I learned are very valuable, and I feel that being in the makeup and fashion industry allows me to understand my customer—I am my customer!”
The studio offers a comprehensive range of events, including adult birthday, corporate team building, kids celebration, baby or bridal shower, bachelorette party, or just a night out with family and friends. Public art parties are also available to take a class with friends, or unaccompanied.
The success for the franchise is tremendously impressive, with projections calling for the opening of 30 locations within the next 18 months with 160 locations across the country by the end of 2015.
Kale, however, is simply excited for the opening of her studio. “I’m really just excited to throw painting parties, teach people how to paint, and have fun while doing it!”