After 15 years working in the restaurant and construction industries, Michelle Flynn was exhausted and ready for a change. The corporate lifestyle had become grueling, and she was looking to assert some control over her life again. When friends invited her along to a girls’ night at nearby Wine & Design Richmond, she declined, citing her busy schedule as an excuse.
However, she regretted missing out when she saw the fun paintings and bright smiles her friends brought back from the experience. “At that point in my career, I realized that that’s what I was missing; I wanted to make people smile again,” said Michelle. She wanted to cultivate a fun atmosphere and more sustainable work-life balance in her workplace. In spite of the lack of guarantees, Michelle took a risk, delved into the world of Wine & Design, and established a studio in Fredericksburg, VA in 2014.
Like most Wine & Design owners, Michelle is not a trained artist but has lots of experience in business. She quickly became a hands-on administrator by hiring a studio manager and artists to teach customer classes. “I strive to maintain the right balance between effectively overseeing the way my business is run, and empowering my staff to make necessary operational decisions when I’m not there,” said Michelle. She notes that while owning a Wine & Design franchise is not an easy job, it has taught her a great deal about the kind of leader she wants to be. “As an owner, learning to be more flexible and delegate tasks are things I work on every day.”
True to her goals, Michelle’s favorite part of being a Wine & Design franchisee is being a mentor to others, like intern Graciela Slyer [pictured left]. “I love when I can help college interns at the studio, or young entrepreneurs in the local community, broaden their horizons,” said Michelle. Likewise, seeing customers leave their burdens at the door and turn their frowns turn upside down is the highlight of her work day. Experiences like these reaffirm Michelle’s decision to pursue this career she loves. “I’m not making a million dollars, but I’m living a life I love and have worked hard for,” said Michelle. “That’s more valuable to me than any dollar amount to me.”
Michelle’s veteran advice to aspiring Wine & Design studio owners is simple: there’s no giving up. She reminds them that, “there’s a long, challenging road ahead, so you really have to want it.” Despite the challenges they’ll face, Michelle encourages newcomers to dig deep and dedicate themselves to chasing their dream career. She begins the business day by honing in on three things: “keeping passion for your job, intentions for success, and gratitude for your opportunities at the forefront of your mind.”
We want to thank Michelle for sharing her Wine & Design story with us. Check out what’s going on at her studio in Fredericksburg, VA on Facebook and their website. Let us know on Facebook (Wine & Design Corporate) and Instagram (@wineanddesign) what you think of Michelle’s journey, and how you’re pursuing your own dream career!