Growing up, I rarely saw my dad as he worked odd hours to support his wife and three children. When I did have time with him, one of my favorite things to do was make him sketch all my stuffed animals so that I can hang his drawings in my room. And as his favorite thing to get me was a stuffed animal for every warranted occasion, there were a lot of drawings requested. So much so that he began giving me pointers and, eventually, sketching became a lifelong hobby. It wasn’t until after college that I began experimenting with paint. And I discovered it goes hand in hand with a glass of wine on a cool summer evening.
My friends in San Diego have again and again told me about these painting classes they would attend at wine bars and how much fun it all was, but alas San Diego is quite the trip. But I may just be able to get my paint and wine fix at some point in the desert.
Palm Springs resident Nancy Bigley, formerly a Senior Director of Operations with Dunkin brands, is now CEO & Co-Owner of Bottle & Bottega, an establishment that specializes in both wine and art parties. I recently emailed Bigley with some questions, in which she says Palm Springs is a location she would love to expand to.
When did you start Bottle & Bottega?
My business partner Stephanie King-Myers started Bottle & Bottega (at that time we were Bottles & Brushes) back in May of 2009. I came on board in February of 2011 to launch the company as a franchise.
What inspired you to open Bottle & Bottega?
In 2009, Stephanie successfully convinced her non-artistic friend that she really could paint if she had the right inspiration. With a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, her friend successfully created her first masterpiece while giving Stephanie the idea for a new business that could bring the arts to the masses.
In 2010, I decided it was time to take a break from corporate America and find a way to have a larger impact. I had been looking for a business to start but nothing had yet inspired me with a vision of greatness. I began mentoring Stephanie on her business with no other purpose than to give her guidance on franchising. However, I immediately fell in love with how fun, empowering and unique the business was and knew I had just found my new passion.
What is different or interesting about Bottle & Bottega?
From a business model perspective B&B is like no other franchise. We have blended both a mobile and studio model to maximize our revenue opportunities, we appeal to all age groups, genders and event sizes and we have become true leaders in the corporate team building space. Additionally, our studios are so unique and elegantly designed that when guests walk in they are quickly transported into a creative wonderland. We also continue to push the envelope on new art forms ensuring the brand is always fresh and appealing to our most loyal guests.
Since you are a Palm Springs resident, why did you not open a location here?
My business partner lives in Chicago and our first location is there thus we have chosen to base our company there, so I commute monthly. We currently have two company-owned studios in Chicago that are doing extremely well.
It was actually part of our initial plan to open a company-owned studio in Palm Springs within the first year. However, within 45 days of launching our franchise program, we sold our first franchise and have not slowed down since. Our immediate success in opening new franchise locations necessitated a shift in our resources.
Do you plan on opening a desert location?
Absolutely! My husband Steve (Environmental Services Director for CVWD) and I grew up here and both graduated from Palm Springs High, so we are very passionate about bringing Bottle & Bottega to our community and our friends. Because I am a native, I am very focused on having many Bottle & Bottega studios all across California. We recently received approval to franchise in California so we would love for the Coachella Valley to be our first location.
We may ultimately end up opening a company studio here ourselves but ideally we would like to have a franchisee here. Since I am based in Palm Springs, the studio here would also become a great location for us to test out new innovations like we do in our two studios in Chicago. I’d love for our Coachella Valley residents to be part of the cutting-edge innovation process with us.