Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ariel Panowicz, Owner of Ariel Panowicz Creative + Luli Creative House, located in Omaha, NE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a photographer and creative director here in Omaha, NE! Currently working on opening a creative studio and small event space that will serve as a place for the community to create and connect with each other. Simply put, my customers are the best humans EVER! Omaha is a special community, and I am so grateful to help capture moments for families, small businesses, and everything in between. COME VISIT!
Tell us about yourself
I was definitely always the gal with a camera in her hand growing up. After high school, as many 18-year-olds experiences, I felt lost and confused about what direction I wanted my life to go in. After taking some time to explore, my Dad pointed out to me that I could work towards being a photographer for a living. I applied to the Art Institute of Colorado and got into their photography program. The rest was history! After Denver, I had a short stint in LA and then moved back to my hometown of Omaha to build my business. Twelve years later, I feel so grateful to have a thriving photography business. I am working on my next project, Luli Creative House, a creative studio and small event space!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is building this business! As a woman, I feel incredibly proud of the space I've created in this industry and my community. I've always felt I needed to fit into a certain box to succeed as a woman and a photographer. I feel very proud of the business I've built and how I've stayed true to myself throughout it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is falling into the narrative that I need to be like everyone else to succeed. In this day and age, it's so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Feeling like our business and work should resemble someone else's. Over the years, I've found that the more I stay true to myself, the more opportunities that I want to take come my way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stay true to yourself! The sooner you start making decisions that feel true to you, the sooner you will start to see your business and life flourish.
- Work hard but know that rest is part of the hustle. Building a business takes a hell of a lot of grit, and it's very easy to get super burnt out. Believe that rest is part of the hustle, because it IS!
- Don't put yourself into a box; don't be too rigid. You get to choose what your business looks like, and you get to change your mind! Give yourself grace and know that mistakes are part of the journey and part of the learning. Knowing that if you hear "no" doesn't mean it's the end; it means another opportunity is coming your way!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
DO YOU, BOO! Trust yourself and know that what you have to offer is unique, and that's a good thing.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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