We walked into the kitchen and through the curtains into a sea of vibrant colors. Rupa began to give us a tour of her studio, as she turned the lights and music on. I was immediately impressed with the warm and welcoming vibe of her Bottle and Bottega studio. It’s the kind of place where you could see yourself hanging out all day and never get bored.
Bottle and Bottega is a paint and sip studio. What is a “paint and sip”, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like – painting while sipping wine. You would go to Bottle and Bottega to paint a canvas, glass, mug, mason jar, pretty much anything you want, while sipping your favorite Pinot Noir. If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to jump on this trend.
Rupa launched her Bottle and Bottega in Berkeley Heights in 2012, but this is not her first rodeo as a businesswoman. She comes from a corporate finance background at a major cosmetics company. After over a decade of working in finance, and after her twin boys were born, Rupa felt that it was time for something different. She didn’t want to be a stay-at-home Mom. She wanted something that would allow her more time with her boys, but that would also fulfill her desire to make an impact on the community.
The colorful studios, the branding, the business – it all drew Rupa in, and she immediately knew that New Jersey needed to be introduced to the paint and sip culture. After a meeting with Bottle and Bottega CEO Nancy Bigley out in Chicago in October 2012 – and an on-the-spot pitch – Rupa was granted her franchise and incorporated by December. She held events at various NJ locations for a few years before fulfilling her dream of owning a brick and mortar: her own studio in the heart of Berkeley Heights, opened in 2014.
One challenge Rupa faced initially in developing her business was finding the right talent. She was looking for people who shared the same vision and love of art that she did. She currently has local professional artists teaching and holding events at her studio. It was hard for her to seek out the right talent in the beginning, but now she calls her employees “family”. Rupa loves that she has employed passionate artists, giving them the opportunity to do what they love, and make a living while doing it.
Between her employees and her location, Rupa’s business has given her a real sense of belonging in the central Jersey community. In her words, painting is “art for the masses, it’s the great equalizer,” and she’s certainly making that impact she desires on her community. I mean, I know that we’re already planning our trip back to Bottle and Bottega.
Inspired? Check out the rest of our “When Human Capital Management Meets Inspiration” series here!
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