From Katrina to Harvey, Pinot’s Palette founders stay focused on the future

It was deja vu all over again.

At least that’s how Hurricane Harvey felt to Craig Ceccanti and Charles Willis. They are co-founders of Pinot’s Palette, one of the largest chains of paint-and-sip studios across North America that just so happens to be headquartered in Houston.

Pinot's Palette Hurricane Harvey Relief Painting

“United We Stand”

Hurricane Harvey has definitely had an impact on them, but not exactly the way one would expect.

You see, Craig and Charles both lived through Hurricane Katrina in 2005 before being displaced from New Orleans to…you guessed it…Houston. The second time around, however, has had its differences.

Back in New Orleans, they were both single, working different jobs, answering to different bosses and collecting a steady paycheck. Perhaps the only things they had in common were their FEMA trailers and their loyalty for their alma mater, LSU.

Fast forward to Houston. Now, they each have wives, children, homes and an international franchise network of more than 130+ Pinot’s Palette paint-and-sip studios across the U.S. and Canada. Now they are the boss. Now they aren’t just reacting to how a catastrophic event is impacting their personal lives. Now they have to adjust to how their corporate headquarters gets back to business as usual for one of the fastest-growing franchise networks in the industry.  All this, and more, was detailed last week in an Inc.com story.

Entrepreneurial drive kicked in after Hurricane Katrina

Losing all of one’s possessions after a hurricane puts a lot into perspective. For Craig and Charles, living through Hurricane Katrina created an entrepreneurial urge in each to not only start over, but also start their own business. That dream became a reality when, during an LSU alumni meeting in Houston, they brainstormed the idea for Pinot’s Palette.

Today, the co-founders oversee one of the fastest-growing franchise networks of paint-and-sip studios from coast to coast. And the lasting impact of living through Hurricane Katrina can be found in the Painting It Forward program, where Pinot’s Palette studios look for ways to give back to their communities.

Painting It Forward springs into action after Hurricane Harvey

While the corporate office was closed and staff had to work remotely in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a network of Pinot’s Palette franchise owners from coast to coast sprung into action to respond in one of the best ways they know how. They launched a system-wide Painting It Forward campaign for studios to opt-in and raise funds in response to Harvey’s devastation.

Craig and Charles were not only busy with rescues in their own areas of town, but also with people across their international network looking to help. A painting entitled “United We Stand” was created at a Pinot’s Palette studio in Bricktown, Oklahoma, and is now being shared across the franchise network for the fundraising efforts.

The public is invited to CLICK HERE to visit the special landing page to register to attend a Painting It Forward event any of the participating studios and be part of the recovery.