Bette Fetter, founder of Young Rembrandts, started her business by teaching art to a few kids in the neighborhood. Now she is CEO of an international business.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
Young Rembrandts has become a recognized leader in art education. Now, Young Rembrandts has developed into a viable franchise business opportunity with more than 75 locations internationally, including in more than 30 states.
When did you start the business?
I founded Young Rembrandts in 1988 and was franchised in 2001.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I worked as a freelance artist and worked in Montessori schools in an administrative capacity.
Where did you get the startup money?
I always self funded. As the business grew, I eventually went to a local back for a line of credit to help with cash flow needs.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
Our competitors include but are not limited KidzArt and Abrakadoodle.
We have a unique method of teaching, excellent and very thoroughly developed curriculum and a strong foundation in education. Our students learn to draw, gain increased academic skills and develop skill-based creativity.
Entrepreneur magazine also ranked us first in our category for art programs, ahead of several of our competitors, as well as receiving prestigious honors for "Top Home Based Franchises" and "Low-Cost Franchises."
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
I never really knew what to expect! There are more unknowns that you expect, but those can also be opportunities for new solutions and ideas.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I would have gone for outside funding a bit sooner to help speed up expansion.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
In my eyes, three things have been key for business development:
1.Build a strong team of key employees, consultants and leaders.
2. Know what you don't know and seek expert help.
3. While you learn, grow and innovate, be sure to stay true to your vision.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Family values rank high in the company and at home: the love of art, and my dedication to enriching the lives of children. I believe that if someone is going to start a business it should not only be for money, but for the benefits it brings to the world and the satisfaction it gives you.
What an awesome story, Bette. Thank you for sharing it with the Gaebler.com readers.