The lovely ladies covered in paint? That’s Tiff and Lara, also known as the brains behind Brush & Bubbles. We’ve been obsessed with their Instagram since we came across them, and we’re thrilled to be sharing their story on the Desk Life Project blog. We’ve all had those business brainwaves with friends over a glass of bubbly, but few of us actually take it to the next level and make it happen. Tiff and Lara did just that, and we love that they bring happiness, creativity, and of course, prosecco, to their community of painting protégés. Here is their story…
Hi Tiff and Lara! Your Instagram has inspired us to be WAY more creative! Tell us about Brush and Bubbles, what do you do there?
We are Tiff and Lara and we are the creators of Brush and Bubbles! Brush and Bubbles is a painting and prosecco class that is for people of all artistic abilities – whether you are a pro painter or haven’t picked up a paintbrush since school – no experience is necessary. We encourage people to come along and be creative, with a glass of bubbly in hand! They can come with friends or family, or can come alone, everyone is welcome!
What were you both up to before starting the business, and how did you become partners?
We are both also actors and still do this alongside B&B. We met about 4 years ago at an audition in Liverpool and have been friends ever since.
Tell us about the steps you took to start the business.
We were drinking prosecco and we were talking about how we both wanted to create a fun business on the side of acting. We had both tried many times to start our own businesses, with previous ventures including furniture restoration, tie dying t-shirts, a jewellery brand, filmmaking and more. These have actually given us the experience of failure and what not to do (although we still make mistakes) when starting a business.
We are lucky that B&B incorporates a lot of fun, artistic elements including photography, filming and obviously painting. For all the stuff we don’t know (tax, banking, spreadsheets, business-y things.. etc.) we ask for help, read books to try to learn, and Google A LOT! We loved the idea once we had thought of it and just ran with it!
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What has been your proudest moment so far?
We have so many proud moments – selling out of classes, opening up in London and then Cardiff, raising money for charity via an online auction of Lara’s painting, finding some amazing artists who have joined the B&B team and work so hard for us, and of course keeping on selling tickets – we genuinely still get excited every time that happens!
What’s the most important lesson you have learned since starting Brush and Bubbles?
We’ve learnt to put systems in place that mean it’s easier for us to run our business. Spreadsheets and keeping records of info help us so much, and we’ve only learnt to do this as we go along! Neither of us have any experience in running a proper business so we are constantly learning new things all the time.
We’ve learnt to put systems in place that mean it’s easier for us to run our business.”
At your workshops… do the paintings get better or worse the more bubbles you drink?!
Definitely better!!! People allow themselves to relax and be free. We always encourage people to take risks with their paintings and know that there’s no right or wrong in art!
How do you both stay organised as a duo? Any tips or tools?
We LOVE lists. We are constantly writing to do lists for the day, the week and our more long term goals too. Trello is an app that we recently discovered and now we don’t know how we lived without it!
Would you say you have a healthy work life balance? If yes, what do you do to maintain this, and if no, what would you change?
Yes we think this is one of our top priorities. We are huge advocates of looking after your mental health, and allowing ourselves to relax and take time off when we need it. We work hard, but we also know it’s okay to have time off, rest, and also take time away from social media.
We also take regular snack breaks and make sure we have time to catch up on life and love and everything in between! We don’t take ourselves too seriously and keep everything super fun. Even colour coding our spreadsheets in pink brings us joy!
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Any advice for friends who want to go into business together?
This is a tough one as it completely depends on the friendship. A great start is having friends who can both bring different strengths to the business and be able to complement each other. Also remember that you are probably going to have to spend quite a lot of your time with this friend, so follow your gut instinct as to whether or not you think this will work for you guys.
At the end of the day, the friendship is more important. We are super lucky that we get on so well, but also we’ve both said that we know there’s not really anyone else we think we’d be able to do this with! It’s important to be clear from the offset that you both have the same goals and intentions for the business, so you’re on the same page from the start.
We are super lucky that we get on so well, but also we’ve both said that we know there’s not really anyone else we think we’d be able to do this with!”
What do you have planned for Brush and Bubbles this year, and what are the next steps toward your goal?
We are hoping to expand Brush and Bubbles to Manchester as our next city, which is super exciting. Other than that, to keep growing and spreading the word about painting and prosecco, and inspiring more people to be creative and arty in their spare time!
Any upcoming workshops where we can join in?
Yes we have LOTS! All our dates/times for classes in both London and Cardiff can be found on our website brushandbubbles.com, and keep an eye on our website/Instagram for our Manchester dates coming soon!
Where can everyone find you and connect with you?
On Instagram at @brushandbubbles!