By David Sharos For The Sun August 23, 2012 7:00PM
Bruce and Janie Westenfelder think that hands-on activities for kids are a good way to develop relationships as well as creativity. Their business offers just that — opportunities for youngsters to have those experiences with friends and so much more.
Bruce Westenfelder, 48, of Naperville spent years in the corporate world in sales, management and marketing roles for companies in the Chicago area. But the entrepreneurial bug bit him almost a decade ago, and in 2004, he opened Color Me Mine in Glenview — a sort of hybrid art studio and craft concept where patrons pick a piece of pottery and then design, paint, and have it glazed and ready for use.
“This is a 21-year-old franchise that offers a ‘paint your own ceramics’ experience that focuses on family-oriented activities,” Westenfelder said. “My wife and I both spent time in the corporate world, and when the last business I was with sold, we wanted to find something we could do together as a family, including our 5-year-old son who could grow up in the business.”
The Westenfelders added their second store in Naperville in 2007, followed by a third in Burr Ridge in 2010. Today, all three studios are experiencing positive growth, and in addition to running his locations, Westenfelder has taken on a corporate role where he spends 50 percent of this time serving as vice president of franchise development.
Mike Mooslin, president of Color Me Mine, raves about his VP.
“While we provide a lot of support for franchises regarding financial analysis, inventory, labor costs and other things, Bruce is savvy enough to know how to use it,” Mooslin said. “He and his wife run a tight ship, and they know how to stock, display and sell product day to day, and there is a esprit de corps among their employees.”