Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Valerie St-Arnaud, founder and owner of Calling Mountains Productions Inc., located in Whistler, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are storytellers honored to capture every wedding day moments. We have witnessed how much love, hard work, respect, and family it takes to make that big day truly special and found our calling by commemorating and documenting these moments for our couples.
We specialize in wedding videography based in Whistler, British Columbia but can also travel to destination weddings. We help couples get their dream wedding video by capturing real emotions and moments you won't even remember happened. Our main clients are the adventurers looking to celebrate their love of the outdoors and in the mountains.
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I'm Val! Founder and owner of Calling Mountains Productions. Originally from Quebec -a place of passion and creativity- where I earned my degree in Communication and Marketing from the University of Ottawa, specializing in media studies, and in 2012 won the Ottawa international film festival, where my love for film began. I always felt like something was calling me away from the city lights, though, and when I arrived in Whistler, BC, in 2013, I realized it had been the mountains all along. I am deeply inspired and energized by the landscape here and the people I meet, and through filmmaking, I strive to capture and bring 'all the feels' right to your screen. I am passionate about my art form but even more about my clients. You will find me capturing memories and chasing the light in and around the Sea to Sky corridor. They brought me here, so I will see you in the mountains... They are calling!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel pretty proud to be one of the busiest vendors in the Sea to Sky corridor, I have met such amazing colleagues, and I get to do what I love for work. I recently got to hire my husband on my team, and I'm proud that our team is growing. We get to have the flexibility and inspire others! I love everything in the world of business, and I'm always fulfilled when I get to help others with their entrepreneurial journey!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The unknown. Not knowing ahead of time how one year will do! To overcome this fear, you just have to trust and have a clear promotional plan to help you attract customers.
I also hate saying no! But in the past year, I've discovered my true worth, and it's been pretty empowering learning to say no to those potential clients you know won't connect with your brand and core values.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- DO IT! Try, YOLO.
- Don't try to do everything yourself at first; hire a professional in marketing, in SEO's, an accountant, etc. This will allow you to have more time for what you are GREAT at.
- Get out there and promote your brand, online but also in person; if you live in a small town, this is a great opportunity to build your brand and create trust.
- Here's an extra one for your personal life habits: start a gratefulness practice! That way, those hard days won't seem as bad if you're able to remember what truly matters, and to me, that's the health of my family and my own. That will always come first.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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