Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes, Sioux City

Some businesses are just fun to do and others are built around fun. Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes is designed to do both.

Friends Jennifer Bower and Sarah Petersen spent most of their lives working for other people, but decided to start their own business venture when they stumbled across a great business model in nearby Sioux Falls, South Dakota. With Jennifer’s commitment to others and Sarah’s entrepreneurial spirit, the two founded their business, Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes, which hosts painting parties at local establishments for a fee that contributes to a specified charity.

Jennifer and Sarah provide the artist and all of the painting materials. The party goers have a great time learning how to paint while eating and drinking with friends. The local establishment benefits from the additional business, and the charity benefits from a great fundraising experience.

“It is a lady’s thing that combines art, social themes, and benefits charities,” Sarah says. “It is a great opportunity to meet new friends, give back to the community, and create a memory for all involved.”

Todd Rausch, director of the Western Iowa Tech SBDC, was able to help the two women transform their idea into a fully-developed business. Through a grant, tax advice, business software suggestions, and general clarifications, Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes was significantly advanced by Todd’s expertise.

“It was a scary thought to start a business, but Todd’s optimism and advice were exactly what we needed to make the decision to move forward,” Jennifer says.

One of the biggest hardships during the process was convincing venues to host the painting parties without charge. They learned, though, that hosting establishments did reap sales benefits from the new customers on slow nights. Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes also helps advance communities by raising funds for local charities and groups such as the Support Siouxland Soldiers and Pier School for Autism.

“It is fun, social, and never the same thing twice. We meet new people every day and have a great time doing it,” says Jennifer.

With Sarah’s marketing and research expertise and Jennifer’s sales experience, the two have the skills to be extremely successful with their business. Having a friend as the artist leading the parties certainly works in their favor as well. Their first event was held in April 2014 and business has been booming ever since with constant bookings.

“We are so very grateful for the SBDC support and encouraging words,” says Jennifer. “The SBDC played a good size role in giving us the confidence, tools, and reassurance to start Poppin’ Bottles.”

To learn more about this Sioux City, Iowa business and its success with charitable art events, check out the Poppin’ Bottles n’ Brushes website at www.poppinbottlesnbrushes.wordpress.com and its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/poppinbottlesnbrushes.

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