Calm and Creative for the Holidays
The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us. Stress and shopping fatigue will also press full steam ahead for many. Opt-out of the holiday madness this year and choose creativity and calm this Christmas. Painted Pearls and Parties is a venue where you can explore your inner artist; enjoy your favorite beverage, and fellowship with friends.
Owner Lisa M. Cliff will give you easy instructions on painting your soulful masterpiece that you can gift or take home an admire on a designated wall in your home.
Located on Columbus’s Northeast side at 5459 Sandalwood Blvd., Painted Pearls and Parties will help you explore your creative side and leave you feeling accomplished and in great spirits.
Learn more about Lisa Cliff and Painted Pearls from the GOODINKMAG Q&A below:
GM: Tell me about your business:
Cliff: Painted Pearls offers fun step-by-step art instructions in a social setting. I started the company in 2014. For 20 years prior I was Vice President of sales for Glory Foods. When that company was sold in 2012, instead of moving with the new company to SC or seeking another corporate position. I decided the time was right to pursue my creative side full-time. We started out as “Paint, Sip and Soul with Lisa” mobile unit where we would host parties around Columbus at various bars and restaurants. As a businessperson, I knew if I my business was ever going to resemble my business plan, I needed my own paint studio. Paint Pearls was opened in November of 2015. While we welcome all, our goal at Painted Pearls is to uplift and empower women by helping them discover their inner creativity. The name says it all; we are painting while also sharing pearls of wisdom. Our intentions to offer selections that are meaningful and help people create their best work, while also having fun. We want them to have a great experience and create a wonderful masterpiece.
GM: How did you get involved in this type of field?
Cliff: I have been painting all my life but had put it on the back burner. I remembered one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite books, “The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” When the company was being sold, I saw it as the stars aligning, and on a leap of faith, I jumped. The first year was tough as I attempted to only sell fine art full-time. The struggle was real. Through a lot of prayers and tears, I did not give up. My fine art business is called “Blind Faith Fine Art,” for we walk by faith not by sight but by faith, I began paying attention to the soft whispers of the universe. At a business seminar, I met a young lady that saw my art and asked if I ever considered teaching painting at a bar. At first the concept seemed odd and I kind of shrugged it off. Then for some reason, people that I didn’t know would ask if I was a teacher. One night, I was praying for direction and had just fallen asleep, when the phone rang after midnight. It was a dear friend asking me if I ever thought about teaching art in a bar. I assured her I would consider it. That same night, another dear friend sent me a text at 2:00 a.m. (something that never happens). I looked at the text, and my other dear friend that I had not talked to in awhile had sent me a web site about a paint and sip franchise. I said out loud, “Ok Lord, I hear you” and the next day I began doing research and writing my business plan.
GM: How many people are on your team?
Cliff: Internally, we have a small staff of two wonderful indispensable ladies that assist me and are supportive confidants. Someone once told to me to always surround myself with positive people. I did this at Glory Foods and now at Painted Peals. You must have good people in your corner who believe in you. I also have a network of great friends with professional backgrounds that I am able to run ideas about marketing, finance and business in general. I consider all these folks a part of my unofficial board of directors.
GM: Did you have of naysayer or “haters” when you first launched you business?
Cliff: Yes, I had naysayers that could not believe it when I told them my plans of leaving my successful career in the grocery industry to pursue art, including my own dad. Close friends seemed almost disappointed. I know they cared and were worried for me, but I felt strongly in my heart that I could be successful building my own business; bringing my vision of a life in art to fruition. I kept my eyes on the prize while always praying for guidance in every decision.
GM: How do you deal with this?
Cliff: I remind myself that “Walking by faith not by sight,” is not just a scripture it is my lifestyle; and if I truly believe, I must rise above the naysayers and haters. I know that it is MY vision and everyone is not blessed to see it. And if it will continue to grow and expand, it is up to me to nurture my dream with faith and positive energy.
GM: What challenges have you faced with your business?
Cliff: The seasonality of the business is challenge. My business slows down in the summer months; people are generally doing outdoor activities and on vacation.
GM: How have you dealt with these challenges?
Cliff: To counteract the slower summer, I have just completed real estate school. As the paint and sip industry cools, the real estate market is red hot in the spring summer. Another great thing that I learned while at Glory Foods, is that you must be prepared to “pivot”. Never walk away from your dream, just be flexible and always perform, review and measure. Make the best decision that you can with the current information available to you. I am an avid HGTV fan of the real-estate shows and love to decorate and I know I can sell. Next Summer when my guests are taking vacations, I will also take a vacation and start selling real estate in Columbus; one of the hottest markets in the country.
GM: What was the most rewarding part of your business?
Cliff: At the end of a paint party, seeing the smiling faces of women holding their finished masterpieces. They are so pleased and excited with their accomplishment that I am too. They say, “I can’t believe that I painted this.” I remind them that they can do whatever they set their hearts to do.
GM: What inspires you?
I am a faithful and spiritual Christian. I see God’s natural handiwork all around me. From the beauty of a tree, to the gracefulness of a butterfly, or the awesomeness of a pond or lake, I have been blessed to see beauty where others may not. With intentionality, I now have learned to look for it and when I see it my heart swells with inspiration and anticipation. I carry a journal with me wherever I go, making notes or sketches of images or color combinations.
GM: Give me examples of how you give back:
Cliff: I give back in many ways; I donate several original paintings every year to causes or organizations that I believe in. Usually these donations are used in silent auctions to raise funds for the organization. I also have several fundraisers in my studio, where a portion of a paint session goes back to the organization. I am now in process of attempting to donate some of my work to a few area service providers for women and girls in transition. I really feel that art has a healing affect on people and want to donate art to shelters, were women and girls will see themselves represented. Many of these organizations understandably have rules and regulations in place to review this type of request before they can accept.
I think you have to give from where you are. I can’t sing, don’t have a large philanthropy budget but I CAN paint. I can bring beauty into the world and share it with those whom I think may need it, this is how I give back.
GM: What is a good piece of advice you received from someone that you apply today?
Cliff: In my early twenties when I began to show my work publicly. I asked advice from someone that I respected about how I could improve my work; his answer, “Pay attention to light source, remember to use the correct lighting in all your subjects”, this important piece of advice was given by the late great photographer, Kojo Kamou. It was invaluable feedback and even today when I am painting, I repeat these words as I am finishing every project.
Another important pearl of wisdom that I received from my mentor the late Bill Williams Owner of Glory Foods is to show appreciation for the life you have and to remember to always give back. Even anonymously, just give back.
Lisa Cliff’s business links below: