How Canva helped Twist Brands launch a 300+ studio rebrand and new revenue stream in lockdown

Canva For Enterprise has been instrumental in helping the original ‘paint and sip’ brand reach a vast global audience.

About Painting with a Twist

Founded in 2007, What started as a one-off workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana has expanded into a global paint and sip movement with over 360 franchise locations.

As one of the world’s first and largest networks of live painting parties, the original Painting With A Twist brand was established in the wake of adversity. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, two local women, Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney wanted to create a safe space where their community could relax and unwind.

The enterprising friends held their first ‘Cork & Canvas’ party in Cathy’s barn, inviting guests to paint and socialize over wine and snacks. Today, Painting With A Twist has created 13 million paintings in 41 states across the US. Maintaining a strong community focus, the organization has donated more than 7 million dollars to not-for-profits through their charity arm, Painting with a Purpose.

In November 2020, Twist Brands further expanded its global reach by acquiring Color Me Mine — a chain of pottery studios with over 100 locations in India, Canada, South Korea, and more. Combined, the two brands bring the therapeutic power of painting to thousands all over the world. However, as any brand scales new challenges arise.

Twist painting uses Canva to create their social media content

The challenge

As champions of creativity, visual communication is a crucial part of Twist Brand’s marketing strategy. However, with only one graphic designer across a fast-growing network of franchises, design quickly became a bottleneck.

Before Canva for Enterprise, their graphic designer would download visual elements one- by-one on iStock and convert these into PNG files. It was then in the hands of franchisees to use Adobe Spark or Google Draw to turn these into marketing materials. Often taking up to four weeks, this time-consuming process was incompatible with the fast pace of franchise marketing. “There were a lot of unhappy and unsatisfied franchise owners,” recalls DeBow Padgett,

Director of Marketing and Creativity at Color Me Mine. “The marketing packages were cut and dry and took a long time to be released.” With a maximum capacity of three projects per month, their graphic designer was often forced to turn down additional requests. This meant that franchise owners often lacked the marketing materials they needed to build their businesses.

In an attempt to fill the need of franchisees, other departments like operations would step in with design help. This often resulted in off-brand materials being pushed out, compromising the visual cohesiveness of their marketing. "There was overwhelming demand within the marketing department,” says DeBow. “It felt like we couldn't keep up with the needs of our franchise system.

The solution

Stepping into the role of National Marketing Manager in 2018, DeBow championed the Canva for Enterprise rollout from the ground up. Her role involved overseeing the creation and distribution of marketing materials for Painting With A Twist’s 300+ studio locations. One of DeBow’s first initiatives was to build out a more robust system around franchisee design and training.

DeBow knew there was only one platform for the job. She rolled out Canva for Enterprise not only as a design tool but the company’s primary DAM (Digital Asset Management) hub. Within months, over 800 templates were in the hands of over 100 franchisees, making it the most successful software adoption the company had seen.

In her more recent role at Color Me Mine, DeBow took Twist’s company-wide rollout of Canva for Enterprise to the next level. Canva was adopted by 80% of Color Me Mine franchises within the first 30 days and currently sits at an astronomical 95% uptake rate.

As the numbers show, Canva For Enterprise was wholeheartedly embraced as a time-saving solution for Color Me Mine franchise owners. “Using Canva is a HUGE improvement for my life and business,” says Claudia Martinez, owner of Color Me Mine Upper West Side NYC. “I can even train staff to do most of it!"

With over 15,000 different graphics at their fingertips, Canva also empowers franchise owners to get creative, while still remaining consistent with the Twist brand. "I am super excited that we will now have Color Me Mine brand colors and designs easily at our disposal!,” says Julie Schroeder, owner of Color Me Mine’s Woodbury and Eagan studios.

In particular, the Background Remover tool is a hit with pottery studio owners, as they can easily incorporate different shaped ceramics into their designs.

Today, Canva For Enterprise has replaced many of the tools Twist Brands previously used, such as Google Drive and Adobe. It acts as an end-to-end solution for everything from marketing, design, file management, and video editing.

“It’s been a game-changer for distributing marketing packages and having ideas on the field to come into fruition on that day,”
DeBow Padgett
National Marketing Manager

Here’s how they did it

Streamlined onboarding with a minimal learning curve

Canva for Enterprise has now empowered hundreds of franchisees across two different brands for the Twist team. And a streamlined onboarding and training process has allowed them to scale with success.

Ongoing training sessions, get new franchisees up and running on Canva in as little as 10 minutes. “There’s always that ‘wow’ moment during those sessions, where they can’t believe how much easier their lives are going to become,” says DeBow. The team has also recruited internal Canva ‘ambassadors’ to teach others how to use the tools.

Harnessing Canva’s Brand Kit

Twist’s strong and recognizable brand is a major drawcard for attracting franchisees. To maintain that consistency, DeBow and her team maintain master control of all templates and brand colors within Brand Kit. However, given the dispersed nature of their studios, it’s important that franchisees have the freedom to customize their design for local audiences.

Campaign assets created and distributed in one place

Often, Twist Brands HQ will distribute campaign packages for specific occasions such as Halloween, including everything from Facebook covers, banners, and graphics to posters and table toppers. From there, franchisees are free to customize with their own photos, fonts, logos, and video editing styles. “We are able to provide professionally designed graphics with local messages,” says DeBow.

Having streamlined design processes has also allowed Twist Brands to remove much of the red tape in their marketing processes. No longer do HQ have to be the ‘bad guys’, shutting down franchisee’s marketing ideas.

“It’s been a game-changer for distributing marketing packages and having ideas on the field to come into fruition on that day,” says DeBow.

The COVID-19 impact

While the event industry was hit hard by the global pandemic, Twist Brands once again turned adversity into opportunity. In March 2020, they took advantage of studio closures to complete the rebrand they had been planning for months. By using Canva’s templates and brand kit features, they were able to ensure all franchisees had the new collateral by the time studios reopened.

The COVID-19 lockdowns also birthed a brand new revenue stream for Twist Brands. With kits of paint, canvas, and brushes delivered straight to doors, their Twist At Home Program allows customers to paint at home instead of the studio.

Canva proved to be instrumental in bringing this to life, with their art department using templates to create over 1200 instructional design templates. While Twist had never previously considered diversifying with eCommerce before COVID-19, it now remains a successful, permanent part of their business.


The most important ROI on Canva For Enterprise, DeBow says, is time. “Designing in Canva is 6x faster than designing in other software,” she says. “What took 60 minutes before, takes 10 minutes now.”

This translates to a direct cash injection for Twist Brands in multiple ways. Firstly, it means that busy franchise owners get the assets they need much faster so that they can focus on attracting new customers into their studios.

It also increases the available time and resources for DeBow and her team, so they can focus on marketing initiatives that actually move the needle. “It gives marketing team members more time to focus on franchisee relations and to be reactive to trends and requests,” she says.

As the event and hospitality world enters a new frontier, adapting will prove more important than ever for Twist Brands. Thankfully, they’ve already invested in a powerful all-in-one solution that can weather any twists and turns that come their way.

“I don’t know how businesses run without Canva,” says DeBow “It’s the #1 marketing tool for me.”

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