biz0620

Katie Windham is the franchisee of the Fultondale Sips n Strokes, which opened two weeks ago.

Sips n Strokes, located at 349 Walker Chapel Plaza, is operated by franchisee Katie WIndham.

The business can be reached at 849-7124 and on the Web at www.sipsnstrokes.com.

Sips n Strokes was founded by artist Wendy LoVoy and now has locations in Auburn, Birmingham, Pelham, Trussville, Tuscaloosa and Vestavia.

Windham began attending arts classes at Sips n Strokes in Birmingham more than a year ago and fell in love with the concept.

“When I was in college, I took part of my required hours in art, and I did all right, but not great,” she said. “I found out about Sips n Strokes and and absolutely loved it. As I continued going, I continued to get better. It’s a fun atmosphere; everybody’s happy and having a good time.”

After learning about franchise opportunities, Windham decided to open a location in Fultondale. The store has now been open for two weeks now and is seeing steady growth. At least 39 people are signed up for Monday night’s class.

• What’s your business background? “I have never owned a business, but I have worked in the business world all my career. I have an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s in counseling and spent many years in the human resource field. I currently work for the American Cancer Society.”

• What services / products do you provide? “We basically teach someone how to paint a picture in one night. You go to www.sipsnstrokes.com, select the Fultondale office and it shows the pictures that will be painted for the month. You can register and use a credit card to reserve your night. Everything is furnished, from your canvas to brushes and paint. The instructor is on a stage with a microphone, painting the picture while giving step-by-step directions. It’s a little bit like paint by numbers, but better because you don't have to stay in the lines and, of course, you can venture out from what the instructor is doing if you are a little artistic or are feeling bold”

• Why should someone use your services over a competitor? “I think the major reason is that Wendy LoVoy has been an artisit and studio owner for her entire career. She makes sure we as franchise owners operate in the same manner, so you know that when you go to Sips n Strokes you’ll have a great experience.

• What’s been your greatest success as a business? “It’s a happy place to be and everyone has a good time. People who have never painted before walk out with something they’re willing to hang on their walls. It’s great to see the joy they get from doing something they thought they couldn’t do.”

• What future plans do you have for the business? “The future is just having increased participation and hopefully offering some daytime classes for civic and social groups and Sips n Strokes Kidz classes on Saturday morning. I’d also like to check the market for the possibility of Sunday afternoon classes.”

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