New Orleans Small Business 12n12
So I started up a new project for myself. This year I'll be photographing and interviewing one small business owner per month. The idea for me is to reach out to other business owners to simply connect with them, relate to them, offer help, and look for help. One of the biggest struggles I found when I first started off as a photographer is that I have no idea as to what I am doing in terms of running a business. Photography wise I'm good. I kill it, I'm confident in it, I love it. Business wise, meh. I've been stumbling along the past few years taking shots in the dark with marketing, time management, branding, sales, accounting, taxes, etc etc. I got allot of help from fellow established photographers when I first started out. All of them encouraged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Over the years I realized that these struggles are things that all small business owners deal with. So I decided to reach out with the easiest way I know, my camera. Allot of what inspired this was an interview that 365 NOLA (check that out to see some awesome local artist/business) did on me last year. 365 nola was a project created by Leslie Hendel, it highlighted 1 business a day last year. I loved the idea of supporting small businesses, each other, and I also love photographing people while they are working. So starting this project was a no brainer for me.
First person I contacted was Jessica Broussard, owner of Mad Darling. I met Jessica at her shop/studio and had a pretty awesome conversation, while photographing her at work. It made me realize how badly I needed this project. To realize that hey I'm not alone, I'm not crazy, running a business is tough and solely relying on that business is tough, that it is ok to be stressed, that it gets better. It was really cool watch her make candles too.
Here was the follow up interview questions:
What does your business do?
Candle Business – I create scented soy candles inspired by the character and culture of New Orleans
How long have you been in operation?
Whats something people don’t know about you business that you want them to know?
I have a physical location located in Old Metaire – you can come in and see me working or pick up orders.
What are your goals for the next year?
Offer candle making parties / classes. Up social media presence.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In 5 years I see a larger location offering other candle lines, scent blending classes, candle classes.
Whats your favorite thing about running your own business?
I love the flexibility it offers. One of the reasons I started this business is because I wanted more time to be a mother and this allows that. It hasn’t been as easy as I thought and there are some seasons I may be away from Taylor more than I’d like, but during off seasons I am flexible enough to chaperone field trips and take her on mini vacations.
What’s your biggest challenge within running your own business?
Admitting that I don’t know exactly how to run a business. I’ve had to humble myself and ask for a lot of help. Sure I’m great at candle making and blending scents that you want in your home, but the business part of it I’m not so good, it defintely does not come natural to me.
What would be your number one suggestion to someone starting there own business?
Try and create your business around something you’re passionate about. I don’t feel like work most days. And when it gets hard (and it will) don’t give up.
Anything else about your business that you would like to add?
I offer gift wrapping – if you need a one stop gift come on by my studio!