Doug and Robin Sweet's Painting Empire in Wayne

The Texas transplants left two real estate careers behind in favor of opening up a Painting with a Twist franchise, a move that has since proven successful and satisfying.

Continued from Divine Cakes’ Kristin Peri.

Photo by Jared CastaldiRobin Sweet never imagined a night out with friends would lead to a new line of work for her and her husband, Doug. But one evening, she and her pals wound up at Painting with a Twist, a franchise out of New Orleans in which professional artists lead participants through a painting session. All the necessary materials—paint, brushes and canvases—are included. A BYOB policy helps spark creativity and adds to the spirited atmosphere.

From the first brush stroke, Robin loved the idea. “My husband and I always talked about going into business together,” she says. “I knew this would be the perfect venture.”

Two years ago, the Sweets were living in Dallas, where the housing market was volatile and their real estate careers were teetering on the brink. After Doug was laid off from his job as a commercial real estate attorney, the two saw it as an opportunity to be closer to his family in Delaware. And with its cultured populace, the Main Line seemed like an ideal spot for their new business.

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It’s been two months since the opening of their Painting with a Twist storefront in Wayne, and the Sweets have no regrets. With a daughter nearing her second birthday, family time was a priority. “And owning a business gives us the flexibility to have the life that we want,” says Doug.

Robin agrees. “It’s exciting being an entrepreneur,” she says. “I feel like we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. It just feels right.”

When the Sweets tell their story, many think they’re crazy, while the rest are envious. “We took a calculated leap of faith,” says Doug. “You can plan all you want, but if you don’t take the leap, you’re not getting anywhere.”


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