Taking Flight

Picture Perfect

A creative take on franchising.

By Elaine W. Teague

It was the early '70s when Linda Perlmutter made the transition from art supervisor for New York City Public Schools to stay-at-home mom. She now had a schedule flexible enough to continue her love of teaching art--this time in her own home studio.

From those humble beginnings came Odyssey Art Centers, now in its third year, a fine arts education franchise offering art history-based creative expression and art skills for children and adults. And what began in Perlmutter's home is now offered in several East Coast home studios.

In contrast to a crafts-type curriculum, says Perlmutter, "it's a learning center." A four-week summer program and three 10-week sessions are held yearly, each year featuring a theme (such as Greek art) with specific media (such as clay) used in each session.

And here's a tip for potential franchisees: Keep a travel bag packed, thanks to the new Art at Sea program. "We've been asked by a major cruise line to teach [classes onboard]," says Perlmutter, "but we don't have enough teachers to fill their needs."

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Taking Flight.

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