Flower Mound resident Glenn Olson was in the telecommunications business for 20 years when he joined the ranks of laid-off American workers looking for a new opportunity.
Olson decided to do an about-face. He started his own business, a franchise of Chicago-based Bottle & Bottega. Founded in 2009 by Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley, the business gathers people for an evening of painting and wine. Regardless of artistic skill, customers can create a painting, either by registering for a scheduled evening or by planning an event for themselves and their friends.
“I had always had this desire to have my own business,” Olson said. “My wife Samantha encouraged me to start one. She owns her own Zumba fitness business, and thought I should try starting something for myself.”
Olson said he was drawn to Bottle & Bottega after attending a paint-and-sip event himself.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I got to thinking, there aren’t a lot of places or options for adults to do things at night.”
He took the plunge, and recruited Samantha as a co-owner. While the business is based out of the Olsons’ home now, with parties being planned at existing locations, Glenn Olson said he plans to open a studio soon for groups that want to plan a paint-and-sip party in a private place.
Olson isn’t an artist. He’s hired five professional artists — including one who’s a University of North Texas graduate — who will host pop-up art parties throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A pop-up art party is planned on Monday at the Abbey Underground on the Square. The Denton party is public, meaning anyone can sign up and attend.
“The parties are really laid-back,” Olson said. “People come in and mingle and have a drink, which is a chance to meet your fellow guests. Then the artist comes in and talks to the folks, makes sure everyone has all the right tools. Then, the artist walks them step-by-step through the painting process — shows them how to make their own masterpiece.”
Olson said the wine is “just a social lubricant” to get participants in a relaxed frame of mind. When Bottle & Bottega hosts events at restaurants and taverns, Olson said they’ll work with the venues when it comes to choosing wines.
“When we get into a studio, the events will be BYOB, and the guys can bring beer,” he said.
Olson chose to start what is, for the moment, the only Texas franchise of Bottle & Bottega, because it made starting up the local business easy.
“Not every franchise gives you the flexibility you have with this company,” he said. “I actually wanted my home to be the center of my territory. I’m comfortable covering within a 15-mile radius of where we are in Flower Mound. We can do corporate and home events with this business. It’s a very flexible business.”
Olson said the events are about the experience of picking up a paintbrush or a palette knife and trying your hand at creating art.
“It’s more about the experience,” Olson said. “I’ve developed a real appreciation for what it takes to create good art. But these events are about having fun more than creating that perfect piece you’re going to frame.
“You can certainly do that if you’re pleased with what you create, but the point is to get together with other people and have a good time.”
LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877.
BOTTLE & BOTTEGA
What: Pop-up painting class for adults 21 and older
When: The Abbey Underground, 100 W. Walnut St.
Where: 6 to 9 p.m. Monday
Details: Cost is $45, which includes supplies, soft drinks and appetizers. Register online at http://bit.ly/1iYsKUZ.