After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, friends Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney found
a way to twist a tragedy into a purpose. The storm flooded Deano's house and destroyed
Maloney's husband's three truck stops in Mandeville, Louisiana, but the two fundraising
enthusiasts wanted to focus on helping their community recover.
Founders Renee Maloney and Cathy Deano
Knowing their neighbors needed to destress, they thought it'd be fun to hold events
where people could learn to paint, drink wine and relax. They jointly invested $8,000
and, in 2007, opened Painting with a Twist, which offered two- to three-hour painting
classes four times a week. They kept prices low, $35 to $45. "It was bring your
own wine. We supplied everything else," said Maloney. Once a month, they donated
a day's worth of sales to charity.
The business did well enough for Maloney and Deano to expand; today they own four locations
and the business has 334 franchise locations nationwide.
"In a world of mass technology, where things are bombarding us every second, we
want to let people have a normal, relaxing and meaningful experience for a few hours,"