by The Seasons Art Class
last updated 09/12/2020
Drawing People Together
by The Seasons Art Class
last updated 09/12/2020
Seasons Art Class franchisees create great part-time businesses with smart returns
When Seasons Art Class first launched in New Zealand in April 2019, some people thought it looked too good to be true. Work just one day per week, manage your business from home, and make a smart return on a low initial investment? What’s the catch?
‘There isn’t one,’ says David Craggs. ‘Franchisees can make up to $45,000 annual nett profit after expenses, and once you’re established that could increase to $135,000. But people still find that hard to believe, so now we tell potential franchisees, “Bring your accountant to the meeting.” Several have taken us at our word – and have gone on to buy the franchise.’
David and his wife Moira are the New Zealand master franchisees for the UK-founded company. He explains, ‘Seasons is a step-by-step art class that provides a place for students to discover themselves, learn techniques in a range of media and develop their skills in a sociable, relaxed setting. Franchisees dedicate one day a week to be present and engaged in their class, with a few hours of business administration at home. They contract a qualified art tutor to run the class, and act as a classroom assistant themselves.
‘We provide all the materials, training, advertising and marketing; all you need is to take delight in bringing people together, and the ambition to run additional classes if you want to grow.’
Lorraine Elliot of Howick first heard about the franchise in 2019, ‘And the more I read, the more I liked. I figured that if the franchise has been running successfully for over ten years in the UK, it should work here too. I’m still working and, as I’ve always been interested in art, I decided this would be perfect – I could work at it part-time, ease myself into retirement and still have an income.
‘I started running two classes on Saturdays, but after a short time I had enough people wanting to do midweek classes too. Our first 14-week course was interrupted by Covid-19, but the enquiries kept coming. When we were able to resume, we had our first exhibition with about 150 guests, and I was astounded by the quality of the work on display.
‘What I love about the classes are the faces of students every week as they learn specific skills and make progress. It works because the classes are so well-designed with very clear progression through the courses.’
Building a good living
Jacqueline Supra from Napier agrees. ‘I’m at an age at which I’m no longer employable,’ she smiles ruefully. ‘I had been attending an art class myself when a friend told me about Seasons. My reaction was that it was exactly what people are wanting to do, so I took the bull by the horns. I am already running four classes a week with 51 people, and 10 of my beginners have signed up for the second stage, too. The ages range from 21 to 80-plus.
‘One of the commonest themes among students is, “This is something I’ve always wanted to do.” The classes are very social and because there is purpose rather than just getting together for coffee or drinks, there is real magic to the formula. I’ve only just started really, and I’ve no doubt that in the next year I’ll be able to build this business up to make a really good living from working part-time.’
Living the good life
Caroline Milburn jokes that she always wanted to get out of Auckland and become a hippy art teacher on the Coromandel, ‘And that’s pretty much what has happened. I was tired of commuting and I wanted to do something that didn’t involve sitting at a desk. I love people and I’ve always been very interested in art. When I approached David about starting a franchise on the Coromandel, he felt the population was too low. However, I’d done my homework and found that not only is it a very close-knit community, but there is a high proportion of people in the target market: specifically, retired people and mums in their 40s.’
Caroline soon had full classes lined up to start in March 2020. ‘Covid-19 postponed everything, but I’ve since run regular morning and afternoon classes every Tuesday and Thursday in Whitianga and Pauanui. I’m on to the second tier now and more than half my beginners signed up again.
‘I love what I do, and the courses have been so well designed and put together – even down to the right paper for beginners to use. Next year I will be adding at least a further three courses and building the business even further.’
It just works
David Craggs is delighted by the success these three new franchisees are already achieving. ‘For some people, this could be a stand-alone business; for others, a perfect second income or a way to boost your retirement savings. Exclusive territories are available for just $57,000 +gst, but they are going fast.
‘Lorraine, Jacqueline and Caroline are proving Seasons can work well in all sorts of areas, so don’t hold back – give me a call. Oh – and bring your accountant.’
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