Kathy Campbell and her daughter, Annette Wicker, believe there is a direct link between having fun, being happy, and becoming successful. They have always shared a love of decorating, going junking, and saving money. After searching for an affordable alternative to expensive DIY paints, a recipe for Plaster Paint set them on course to a new business venture. Many conferences and patio mixology sessions later, they perfected the recipe, and so began The Plaster Paint Company, which is family-owned and operated in Catoosa, Oklahoma. In just a few short years, the business has grown from a single location to well over 200 locations nationwide and in Canada.
We are asked all the time, “why paint?” Mom and I have always shared a love for DIY. We searched for a DIY paint to sell in the vendor mall we own, but couldn’t find one that we really loved or that was affordable. One day, Mom said, “Why can’t we make our own paint?” I, being more cautious, replied, “What?! How do we do that?” Although she admitted that she didn’t exactly know how yet, she proclaimed “We’ll figure it out!” With Mom’s can-do attitude and her many years of experience running successful businesses, we did indeed figure it out.
We started in my parents’ garage, all of us working full-time jobs and then rushing home in the evening to master the recipe for our paint. We finally created the affordable alternative to expensive DIY paints, and then came the designing and packaging of the product. Fortunately, I have an extensive background in an industry that taught me graphic and marketing design, so we didn’t have to outsource our graphics.
Before long, Mom said, “Lets do the biggest trade show in Oklahoma!” My response, again, was, “What?! We aren’t ready, we don’t have enough product, the labels aren’t ready,” etc., etc., etc. But Mom said, “We will figure it out!” So, of course, we booked our first trade show and almost immediately it was a huge success. After the show, we received many inquires from people who wanted to sell our paint, which we had never even imagined as a possibility; we just wanted people to know about Plaster Paint.
In April of 2013, we met a very smart young lady named Ava Zambalis; with her husband, Brandon, she became our very first success story! It goes a little like this. …
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Ava who heard about Plaster Paint. Ava painted beautifully and it was her passion. People started asking her to paint custom pieces and were buying her Plaster Paint as fast as she could stock the shelves. Something she realized very quickly was that Plaster Paint created repeat customers — they buy, they use, they need more! Ava told her husband that she had a dream of opening her own business. He told her she had lost her mind, but she wouldn’t give up. One day while driving along, she saw a “For Rent” sign on an old abandoned service station. According to Ava, “not really knowing why,” she rented it and opened a store. Her store was chosen as Broken Arrow’s “Best New Business of The Year.” Ava and Brandon quickly outgrew their tiny store, so Brandon quit his full-time job and they leased a 10,000-square-foot building. Currently, Ava and Brandon sell well over $40,000 a year in Plaster Paint alone! Pretty amazing for a young woman who felt compelled to follow her dream and “really didn’t know why!”
You’ve got to be able to love something you do every day, and we love to create and design. It’s a dream job, even considering all the paperwork, to go out and see customers and retailers get excited about what we have helped them create! We are just two women empowering other women, customers, and retailers to be as successful as they can be, whether we are saving our customer money by teaching them how to makeover their own kitchen cabinets or teaching our retailers and giving that small business entrepreneur something they love to do each day. So remember, from “really didn’t know why” to “we’ll figure it out,” you can create something fun, successful, and beautiful all from a can of paint!