8. Painting With a Twist
Recreational "paint and sip" studio
Initial Investment: $95,000-$135,000

Painting with a Twist is a fun and unique art studio experience, pairing instructional art with friends, wine (which is optional) and a lively instructor.. The first studio opened in 2007, when two friends decided to help rebuild their Hurricane Katrina-devastated community.

Painting with a Twist considers itself a category leader for the "paint and sip" niche. The company started franchising in 2009 and now has more than 100 studios in 17 states. It's forecasting a doubling in size over the next two years with the addition of 100 new locations.

The Painting with a Twist experience appeals to a variety of segments including day, evening, companies, private parties, kids and public classes, the company said. So-called Twisters enjoy the experience as much as the end product and the sessions are a great value to them.

"People love to do it," co-founder Catherine Deano told TheStreet at the International Franchise Expo in June. "They can't believe that they painted something and they can't wait to take it home and show it to their kids and show it to their husband."

Deano added that the company is getting franchise requests from people with varied experience, from former accountants to dental hygienists to retired school teachers. "We have a lot of people that wanted to get out of the rat race," she said.

But what's most important is that franchisees give back to their communities.

"We're looking for people who are vested in their community," Deano said. "That's very important to us."

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