Today we’d like to introduce you to Beverly Collins.
Beverly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, I studied art at Wayne State University and the University of Cincinnati prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1978. Not having worked in the arts during the majority of my adulthood, it wasn’t until I experienced the “empty nest” syndrome and the mass lay-off from a job I thought would carry me into retirement that I revisited the art within me with the passion that drives me today.
Upon receipt of the lay-off notice in 1997 and the accompanying severance check, I almost immediately went to the art supply store, purchased an easel, enough canvases to last for a while, pints of paint, and painted for seven days straight — 10-12 hours a day. Upon completion of this cathartic experience, I emerged from the paint and the canvas, not quite realizing what had just transpired, to witness a rebirth – the beginning of a new phase in my life in the arts.
From 1998 forward I worked in corporate while creating and building a body of work and products in the art market during my personal time. Having determined that art becomes consumable at the wholesale level, over the next 15 years my efforts were focused on manufacturing and importing products made with embedded art, and doll making. My products and dolls sold globally, and my products were carried at Ross for Less, Dee Dee’s, Dollar Tree, gift shops, and boutiques nationwide.
While working in banking retirement was approaching and I knew I wanted to augment my income in the art market. In 2010, I started watching and researching the paint and sip industry. It appeared to be the next great thing that was spreading across the country. The Small Business Administration had predicted that this new industry in the entertainment sector would out produce the GDP by 4% in 10 years. The social art working paint and sip industry was a leading industry in franchise sales. The timing seemed right for opening a paint and sip studio.
When I first opened my studio in 2014, I was caring for my aging mother. The studio’s location is a block from my home, so I could get back and forth to my mother during the day. She has since been placed into a skilled nursing facility and is doing well. Nonetheless, the studio is in a community I have lived in since 1982. The Mid-City area is home, the community has a rhythm, and my business is growing.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Let’s say, I’ve seen worse. Some of the challenges are the same as those encountered by most businesses, including meeting obligations, security issues, leaky roofs, taxes, and day-to-day operations. If anything, it is like managing spinning plates. The key is to keep all of the plates spinning on the sticks. Every now and then a plate may drop. If so, you recover and keep spinning.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about b. collins Studio – what should we know?
I am an artist.
At the studio we specialize in paint and sip classes, both private and public. Some customers reserve the whole studio for their private parties, while others register for public classes on the online calendar. Although we paint all types of art at the studio, a lot of my customers come because of the type of art I paint. It’s ethnic in some ways, fauvist in others. We also use a process by which students are able to create a painting they might otherwise think not possible.
In terms of what I am proud of, I like that customers come back, and, when they come back, they usually bring friends and/or family. I like that this is the go-to destination for tourists coming to Los Angeles. They say we came to Los Angeles to go to b. collins Studio and Disneyland. I am so honored by this. I like that guys rent out the whole studio for a date. It has occurred several times and it gets me every time. It is so sweet. I am constantly amazed at what people can do. Guests who have never painted before are able to get in touch with their creative side and do amazing things. I love it.
My philosophy is that although the paint and sip industry is for entertainment, guests are still creating. If they are going to multiple paint and sip classes, they are building a body of work. We use tools that aid students in creating their image. These tools make it possible for guests to paint complex pictures they can add to their body of work.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
This journey has never been alone. From the day I opened my doors family, friends, and customers have lifted me up along the way.
There are no words to express the level of gratitude I feel for those who have believed in what I do along the way and who have given of their time and efforts to show their support.
There is a message in a book called “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho which in general states that when you make up your mind what it is you want to do, the entire universe will conspire to make it happen. I have found that to be true on every level. I will always remember stepping out on certain situations with nothing but blind faith and being carried through with the help of others, known and unknown, to a successful outcome.
Although it is I who started this business, it is the belief others have shown in what I do that keeps me going. It is the love and support shown to me by family, friends, and customers that deserves the credit for my continued growth in this business. It is because of them that I am encouraged to continue to create.
- Address: 5066 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019
- Website: www.bcollinsStudio.com
- Phone: 213-925-5797
- Email: postmaster@bcollinsStudio.com
- Instagram: #bcollinsStudio
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BcollinsStudio/
- Twitter: @bcollinsStudio
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/b-collins-studio-los-angeles-3