Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carolyn Wells, Owner and Director of Dance By Design Studios, located in New Braunfels, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a wholesome studio that offers multiple styles of dance for every age (literally babies to adults) and every stage. Our focus is on performance with two studio-wide stage performances with over 500 dancers, an optional Christmas show with a dancing Nativity, an optional spring ballet with a live orchestra, plus performance teams with over 35 members and two hip hop crews. We love sharing dance and making our audience smile.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been dancing since I was three years old, graduated with a BS in Dance Education, and performed professionally, including on cruise ships and as a Radio City Rockette. Dancing has always been a huge part of my life. When I found out I was having a little girl, I knew I had to take the leap of opening my own studio. I wanted a place she could be surrounded by music, movement, and her dance family. I signed the lease when she was three days old. Eight years later and we have over 500 dancers, three classrooms, and 12 employees.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Thriving during COVID. We moved all of our classes to Zoom within two weeks and had a unique recital for our families and dancers. We brought each dancer into the studio in groups of 3 and professionally recorded them performing their dance in costume with a beautiful backdrop. We edited the videos to create a Zoom-type movie and invited everyone to the Drive-In for a fun movie night. All of this happened while I was recovering from having babies #3 and 2 toddlers at home. It was hard, but we created memories that will never be forgotten.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying focused on what is BEST for your business. There are so many amazing ideas and opportunities, but if you don’t stay focused, you don’t grow and become better.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a mentor in your line of business.
- Find a coaching group that is like-minded and will push you to stay focused and grow.
- Know your finances, and don’t go into debt.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Dance is an important part of life and the physical, mental, and social development and maintenance. Everyone should dance, whether it’s at a studio, at home with their family, or out on the town. Get moving and smile!
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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