Indianapolis Business Review
For husband and wife team Noel and Shilpa Patel-Paul, becoming a part of Color Me Mine, a paint-your-own pottery franchise, was a decision for not only their family’s success, but also to achieve the “American Dream” their parents had hoped for them as they ventured to the United States from their native countries.
Noel, born in Pakistan, and Shilpa, born in India, came to United States as children where their lives were changed forever. As they grew older and started a family, it became apparent that not only passion for their professions but also work-life balance was important to them as a family.
After working in human resources for several years, Shilpa wanted a change. As a creative person who detested the idea of sitting in a cubicle, she opted for business ownership and decided to look into franchising. As she began researching, she found the Glendale, Calif.-based Color Me Mine. At Color Me Mine, she would be able to incorporate her own management style and store décor, while helping customers with their pottery and operating their business.
“In our native countries, it would not have been possible for me to own my own business, much less have the work-life balance I so desperately craved after having our children,” Shilpa said. “The United States, my parents, and our education provided me with the opportunity to flourish both personally and professionally and I was going to take advantage of that.”
While the husband and wife team were not new to business ownership as Shilpa previously owned a dance school, they were new to franchising and began to see the difference between the business models.
“When operating our dance studio, while it was successful, I had no corporate office to turn to. President Mike Mooslin and the corporate office team nurtured us and provided great business guidance that allowed us to grow our business locally,” Shilpa said. “Having added support has been wonderful throughout the years. The corporate office is there to see our successes and provides us with words of wisdom during our times of struggle.”
Under Mooslin’s leadership, Color Me Mine has become a leader is contemporary ceramics with nearly 140 locations in operation worldwide, including studios in 26 states throughout the United States. The company plans to target key markets throughout the United States for continued expansion, including Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Long Island, Manhattan and Upper New York, among others.
Today, the Patel-Pauls own a Color Me Mine studio in Carmel, Ind., which they run with the help of their children. Shilpa’s studio office is decorated with items from Shilpa’s Indian heritage, and her creative side is showcased on ceramic pieces decorated with henna, which is displayed throughout the store.