In 2015, Cyndi Morelewicz was at a crossroads. Her husband of 25 years had passed away from ALS the year prior. In deciding what’s next for her life, she knew she wanted two things: color and happiness. All signs pointed to art. “When I was bored, I had my own little studio. I was also crafty. I love the arts,” said Morelewicz. “Why wouldn’t you want to be around this every day? It’s pretty cool.”
So she set out to make that dream a reality. Her daughter encouraged her to check out Painting with a Twist – a studio offering fun art sessions for any skill level where a specific design is painted upon the step-by-step direction of artists. “I fell in love with it,” she said.
Painting for Morelewicz is relaxing, fostering creativity with color and offering a place of zen. She went to the company’s corporate office in 2016 and was approved to open a franchise. She had some business skills from the home-based, family-owned insurance company with her husband, but then realized she’d need some help, because the demographic for retail arts is much different. She also hadn’t dealt with architects and licensing before.
For guidance, she turned to the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center, or BAC.
“As crazy and complicated as it was, what a learning process,” said Morelewicz. “Every day I’m still learning. And it gave me the courage to keep going. Why not? What do I have to lose?”
The BAC is a one-stop resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Located at City Hall, it offers free business consulting services to people who want to start a business or already have one established. Consultants helped Morelewicz with permitting, licensing, financing, applications, crafting a business plan, researching demographics, leasing properties, and moral support. Now that she’s been open a year, she still calls with questions on occasion, and recommends the service to others interested in starting a business.
“I definitely push it, because it’s worth it,” she said.
Morelewicz has five part-time employees at her Island Walk Shopping Center location. The studio offers 10,000 paintings to choose from. Designs are painted on wine glasses, canvases, and wood-shaped pallets. She hosts a class every weekday and several over the weekend, including private parties. Additionally, she’s involved with efforts to give back to the community.
As she approaches her one-year anniversary in business, she has two goals going forward: to be sustainable and keep her customers smiling.
“Everybody who comes in here has a story,” said Morelewicz. “And some of them are like mine.”
The BAC has access to a powerful network of business tools that extend throughout the federal, state, county and private sectors at no cost. If you are interested in learning more or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at 386-986-2499 or set up an appointment online. With over 140+ clients assisted each year, our ‘one-stop-shop method’ in aiding businesses through start-up, marketing, financial planning, local permitting and much more speaks for itself when the positive impact clients make in the community can be seen each and every day!