Two friends who took a huge risk by investing thousands in a new business turned over a whopping $400,000 in the first six months.
Allen Fu and Fiona Wang, both 27, had only known each other for about 18 months before launching The Fluid Project in August 2022.
The company offers art classes where customers get all the supplies to pour paint over cute teddy bear statues and other designs to take home.
Allen came up with the concept 12 months ago after seeing a fun, unique date night idea, but his busy schedule made it challenging to act on it.
“I saw it popular online in China during the Covid lockdowns and I thought it would be great to bring it to Sydney,” he said.
After consulting with Fiona, the pair jumped in ‘head first’ and 24 hours later Allen signed a three-year contract with a small warehouse in Homebush, 12km west of Sydney CBD.
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Launched in August 2022, the Fluid Project offers unique art classes where paint is poured over teddy bear statues
Founders Fiona Wang and Allen Tu jumped head first on the business idea, investing up to $200,000 to start the brand. The risk paid off as they turned over $400,000 in the first six months
Fiona and Allen – who both own their own businesses – worked tirelessly for seven days to build a creative space with a “concrete, art studio vibe.”
Within the first week of launch, they had 500 bookings and a total of 20 million views on social media.
Teddy bear sculpture before being painted
They now have an average of six bookings per week, mostly on weekends.
‘My friends thought I was crazy for working with someone I’d just met, but Fiona and I think alike and have the same passions. Our friendship grew very quickly,” he said.
Allen admits The Fluid Project was a “huge risk” because they had “no idea what the reaction would be.”
“We took off, did some research, but still didn’t know if it was going to fail or not,” Allen said.
“I signed a three-year lease, which was so daunting, and spent between $40,000 and $50,000 in upfront costs.”
And if it failed, they would have lost a whopping $200,000.
“It’s hard to say you’re not afraid of losing that much money, but we had backup plans in case that happened. If it hadn’t gotten off the ground, we would have converted the warehouse into office space,” Allen said.
He added that the business was a “calculated risk” that paid off.
Sydney founder friends Fiona Wang and Allen Tu pictured
Guests can show their creative side during the lessons
A two-hour Fluid session costs $70, with guests choosing from a range of different images, including a teddy bear, bunny, unicorn, balloon dog, or cat
A two-hour Fluid session costs $70, with guests choosing from a range of different images, including a teddy bear, bunny, unicorn, balloon dog, or cat.
After the lesson, the staff will record your details and the statue will be delivered to your home address as soon as it is dry.
Now after the huge success, the brand is now looking to expand their horizons and franchise in Melbourne.
Some guests have called the class “therapeutic.” The lessons are suitable for both children and adults
What makes the company unique is the fact that classes span a range of demographics – from children to adults.
Today, schools and businesses have expressed interest in bringing groups together for a session.
“The kids love it and we’re also considering how we can bring the lessons into offices,” Allen said.
But he said their target demographic is singles and couples in their mid-twenties to late thirties.
Three tips everyone should know before starting a business:
1. Determine a clear budget that you can safely lose – whether it’s $500 or $100,000, set a clear budget that won’t hurt or ruin your lifestyle
2. Come up with a strong idea – consider innovating something that solves a problem or updating and improving an existing idea
3. Take action right away – the longer you leave it, the less likely you are to second-guess yourself and never start