Lisa Riley 1:48
My name is Lisa Riley and I own franchises in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called Pinot’s Palette and they are painting studio wine bars, where we walk people step by step through a full canvas painting and two hours, we listen to rock music and we drink libations.
Jeremy Weisz 2:03
So how did you get into this?
Lisa Riley 2:05
Funny enough, I started out as a customer in Houston. And I went with my team from ConocoPhillips to do a team building. And I was like being this a really cool concept. And I wasn’t I’m not an artist I have never painted before accepting like art class in high school. But I loved it and didn’t think much of it and then wanted to move home back to Oklahoma. And one of my girlfriends one night we were pinos, a bunch of us moms and, and she said, you know, why don’t you just buy a pinos they started franchising, and that way you have a job back home. And I was like, you know, had just enough wine. I was like, it’s a great idea. Just fine, we’ll
Jeremy Weisz 2:41
do anything, right.
Lisa Riley 2:42
So I applied for a franchise. And they called me a couple weeks later and said, hey, we’d love to speak with you. And, you know, 11 months later, I opened my first store in Tulsa 12 months later opened a second store, and nine months later opened a third store. And then I have a fourth franchise, which is a mobile, we’ll go into like massive events. We don’t do home stuff or any like private party like things. We do big massive things like for corporations who had like 400 employees, or we paid at the Tulsa Zoo with like two or 300 people for the aquarium and like big locations like that.
Jeremy Weisz 3:15
How do you decide to open a new location? At what point?
Lisa Riley 3:19
Well, funny enough, I actually didn’t, you know, I’m a brand new entrepreneur, I’d always worked in corporate America, for billion dollar corporations. And I was not prepared, I used my savings to open my first store. And I was maxed out with loans and my savings. And my CEO called me and said, we have so many people applying for the second location. And also because whatever you’re doing is working. And we want to give you the first opportunity to buy that second franchise because I didn’t buy an area agreement, couldn’t afford it. And, and then I met somebody who told me he was going to open up the second one. And he was a jerk. And I thought, oh my gosh, if he is going to be technically a business partner of owning a second location, just 12 minutes from me, and he runs his in the ground, he’s gonna give me a bad reputation. And I went home that night. And I said to my husband, I have to open the second one. I know we’re not ready, we have no money to do it. But I got to figure out a way to do it, because they’re gonna hurt my life savings, and I can’t have that happen. So in 24 hours, I called banks, got the money, bought the franchise, open the second one. And then a year later, or six months later, the CEO called me and said, Where in the world is Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and I said, this time I have the money, I’ll send you the check tomorrow. And so open the third location and it just is it honestly it wasn’t ready to open in multiple locations. I thought I’d do it in like five years. And you’ve got had other plans. And man I just was like, had my head down in March. Now I look back on it and I’m like, How did I even do that? But I just I’m a mom, I’m you know, I’m a multitasker. It’s like, I gotta get things done. You know,
Jeremy Weisz 4:56
how many kids do you have? What have you learned from parenting that you take Get into the business.
Lisa Riley 5:01
Oh, god, that’s a loaded question. So I only have one child. When I opened my third store in three years, I got diagnosed with cancer. And that was very unexpected. At a four year old, three new businesses. And I had cancer, which I don’t recommend to anybody. And but we just celebrated our 10th anniversary of being in business. And that’s a big, you know, only 4% of, of business businesses make it to their 10 year mark. So I celebrate that. But I learned a lot from having cancer. And I learned a lot about being a mom. And taking a step back. I’m so driven, and it made me stop and realize I need to be driven at home as well, as much as in business. And that was a good barometer for me to stop and smell the roses. And to be more present with my kiddos, because I’m an entrepreneur now. Like I go 100 miles an hour to that wall. And it made me kind of go, let’s go 75. And then let’s slow it down a little bit. And let’s make some of these life lessons that you learned from your four year old, or that you learn and you can instill in your four year old to like be more of an even keeled entrepreneur.
Jeremy Weisz 6:02
So what changed in life and business when you got that diagnosis? I’m sorry to hear that.
Lisa Riley 6:09
Yeah, no, it’s great. I’m clear. I’m an eight year survivor now. And, you know, I learned that you can do all of it. You just have to prioritize things are the most important. If my business closed, I saw my family, right. So to put my family first and I think, you know, I’m embarrassed to say this. But when I started opening the stores, I was all about the business. And my family kind of came second. And the thing that I learned the most from my cancer was family comes first than the business and I didn’t and prioritize business. I just made it below family. And I realized how much my son and my husband had sacrificed for my dreams and goals. And it made me appreciate them more. So it was a lot of life lessons in there. I mean, I could spend hours talking about the things that I learned about myself. And then it’s okay to make mistakes. Because, you know, I hate to like just be so blunt. But if you’re dead, you can’t fix things. If you’re dead, you don’t get to experience things. And I realized I need to really enjoy the moment. And I didn’t really take this in.
Jeremy Weisz 7:12
How did you handle that bad news? Like someone listening is like, maybe they got bad news or family or health or business. And you know, when you got the diagnosis, how did you handle it in in handle that journey?
Lisa Riley 7:27
Well, so I have a really unique situation. My mother was a two time breast cancer survivor, her mother was a three time and they both had been very sick. So I grew up taking care of my mom and my grandmother. Now, I don’t want to make it sound like they weren’t able to take care of themselves. My mom was a dean at a college and she was a total badass. And so it was my grandmother. And they lived through that they never once complained. And they were amazing. But I grew up around people who had challenges, but still worked in corporate America. And we’re like breaking glass ceilings as females. And so I was in a very beautiful situation. Now looking back on it, they both passed away. And I’m like, oh my god, the life lessons that were instilled in me without saying a word. Were just mind boggling. Because I’ve never thought I couldn’t do something. I never thought I couldn’t do a man’s role. I couldn’t. I’ve never like questioned that. And so, you know, there’s just so many life lessons of learning from having those journeys. But when I when I heard the news, I’m not gonna lie, I probably said every cuss word you could think of and I cried a lot. And my husband was like, Oh my God, He comes from a superhuman gene pool, no one ever gets sick in his family. And so I say that now my father in law, just beat bladder cancer. And my sister in law is going through breast cancer, but she’ll be fine, thank God. But you know, up until then, no one in his family had been sick. So I was the first exposure to him and his family if somebody’s having cancer, and they were very supportive, but I was having to educate them on top of me trying to navigate this journey that was like walking through mud with like galoshes on, it was like, every step was really hard and sticky, but I just dealt with it. And I prioritized it, you know, it’s silly, I joke around that I’m going to write a book called shower epiphanies, and actually bought the domain name thinking one day I would write the book. And what I did is, every morning, I’m a super positive person, even on like, a really dark day. And one of my my things is, is a reason why I call it shower epiphanies is because every morning I would get in the shower, and it was very I don’t know what the right word is. But it was very cathartic for me every morning in the shower, I would allow myself to cry and be really angry about my diagnosis and having to do chemo and losing my hair and gaining all this weight from steroids and feeling like I just wanted to go lay in bed all day. But I had meetings to get to and I would cry while I was in the shower because I’m a firm believer and you need to get out the bad with the good. And so I would cry while I was in the shower and the minute I turn the shower off. I was like no more tears for the rest of the day. Get your head, right, get to work, smile on your face. Do good. Do it again. So I knew that every morning when I got the shower, I’d have this much time to cry, and let out all the shit. And then, but I also felt better, because I’d gotten it all out and like purge it and it was very like, I don’t know, it was just a vision of like, it’s just washing off the sad and washing off all of the negative. And then when I would step out of that shower, it was like, put your game face on, you can do this. And it, it worked for me. And I’ve told many survivors about it. And they liked that idea, too. But it really helped me get through that and like trying to run businesses and being a mom. And you know, and it’s important for people to see you have the sad side too. Because if you’re always just Pollyanna. That’s not realistic, right? No one wants to see your whole highlight reel. They want to see real life reels. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 10:48
Thanks for sharing that last question. Lisa is, you know, it’s amazing what you’ve done and what you’ve been through. And we’ve overcome. You know, from all that together, I want to hear a proud moment, you know, now that you’ve, you know, you’ve you’ve got through in these obstacles right now, what’s been a proud moment with with you in the business,
Lisa Riley 11:11
for sure, celebrating 10 years last month. You know, it was that was hard fought, you know, we we survived a economic downturn, we survived COVID, we pivoted during COVID and launched and on demand, tutorial, ticket home kits to save the businesses and they took off. And now we’re open and people are coming back. But I just learned a lot of lessons of like how not to run your business I’ve done I’ve met a lot of failures. But we didn’t ever lose the business. I feel like in my mind, like I did some failures. But I just am so proud of where we have come in these 10 years, the idea of the team that people who carry my vision forward and what we should be doing. And so I think that’s my proudest moment is us hitting 10 years and having kickass employees, and employing people who are extremely talented, but they don’t fit in a real normal business world of sitting in an office, but they have these amazing skills and talents that share with the world. And you can see people come into the stores and paint they come in they’re like I don’t want to be here you can tell they’re there with their girlfriends or, or their co workers and they have a bad attitude. And by the time they leave, they’re high fiving each other. They’re laughing. They’re hugging their co workers they didn’t get along with they’re hugging my team. Like I feel like we we still happy. And that to me is like such a rare thing in this world right now. And I think those are my my proudest things.
Jeremy Weisz 12:29
So I forgot to ask you, there’s a woman who came in one time.
Lisa Riley 12:34
So one of the coolest things and one of the most heartfelt things that ever happened is I open Pinot’s Palette because I I wanted to just do something fun, have something to do besides going to the movies, going to the bar dance club for people who are like me and my 40s. And I’m kind of over that scene. And don’t get me wrong. I like to dance. But we had this lady come in one day. And she said during the day when we weren’t having classes and my manager and I were there and she said you know this is my favorite place. That means a lot to me. And we were like, Okay, can you tell us why? And she said, yeah. So when my daughter turned 18 We stopped talking. I haven’t talked to my daughter. She’s 21 I haven’t spoken to her she won’t take my call. She’s never talked to me. We had a falling out about some people that she was around and, and just got in with the wrong crowd kind of got mixed up and stuff. And she said, I finally threw a stick out an olive branch to her. I could find her on Facebook and see that she was still alive because I literally hadn’t heard of them. And this lady’s just bawling. And she said, I emailed the last email address that I knew I had of my daughter’s. And I said I made reservations at pinos palette on Cherry Street. I bought you a seat, I’ve got me a seat. All I ask is that you show up and you just sit next to me so I can see you. Come on cry
sorry. Anyways, so she said, I just want you to show up. So anyways, the day came for her class. And her daughter showed up. She sat down next to her and she just said, I don’t care if you speak to me or not. I just I just want to know that you’re sitting here. So she was like, I got to lay eyes on my kid. She said within 30 minutes of the class. We broke through. We talked we communicated. We apologized for everything that we had ever done. And she said we’ve spoke every day since then. And it’s been a year and she was like this please change my life.
Jeremy Weisz 14:36
I feel like you I don’t know what your tagline is, but we bring families together. Is it good? Yeah, guy.
Lisa Riley 14:42
Paint drink and have fun is our tagline. And I’m so sorry. I cried. But you have a secondary tagline. Yeah, exactly right. building the bridges of something. So yeah. So Mr. Krei this was not good.
Jeremy Weisz 14:54
This is perfect. You know, you know the authenticity and the real you challenges in the real life is what we want to hear and where can people check out what you’re doing online and can people still get on demand software to
Lisa Riley 15:10
so they would just go to Pino’spallete.com and pinotspalett.com and just like you know like the wine palette like a painter’s palette and you go on there we have a we have almost 90 locations in the US and Canada and so you can go to the you know your local chapter or local business and find your area in your state and just buy from their microsite Yeah,
Jeremy Weisz 15:39
yeah, thanks live from GLC