State investigator Suzan Armstrong sifts through heaps of paperwork, carefully mulling over government cases. Though her eyes focus on the documents' dense text, her thoughts momentarily drift away to daydreams about erecting a creative haven where people can funnel their imaginations into a slew of colorful crafts. In January of 2007, Suzan's reoccurring daydream materialized when she hung up her investigative briefcase, broke the glass on her emergency paintbrush holder, and opened her own franchise of Color Me Mine—named one of the top 10 places for kids' birthday parties by Parents magazine.
The 1,750-square-foot studio brims with décor and fixtures crafted by its own staff members, including custom-tile floors and a grandfather clock made from shards of shattered pottery. Patrons browse well stocked shelves of ceramic plates, vases, and—thanks to an exclusive partnership with the magic magnate—Disney characters, then garnish their chosen bisques around crafting tables in the main studio or long tables in the private party room. Experienced staff members stand closely by to help with bisque or paint selection and answer any questions about materials, design ideas, or how to emblazon Tinker Bell with a perfect Mona Lisa smile, then glaze and fire each creation to forge a bounty of long-lasting keepsakes.
Ground Up Services' crew of 10 handypeople, each with their own specialty, disperses throughout neighborhoods maintaining residential and commercial locations with a variety of improvement projects. The timely house tinkerers slather drab walls with vibrant coats of paint and plow mounds of snow from driveways to make room for cars during inclement weather. As the assiduous staffers complete projects, homeowners can check "fix the screen door" and "replace bear-skin rug with actual bear" off their honey-do lists. Ground Up's squad of house healers also specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels and deck construction.