Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emma Gabay, Founder of Cuiscene Studio, located in Calabasas, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cuiscene Studio is a food, beverage, and hospitality content production house. We specialize in content for social and digital platforms so clients can tell their stories through food in an honest, authentic, and fair way. We are captivated by the art of food: the creation, preparation, taste, styling, and scene.

Our clients range big and small: Tasty, BuzzFeed, Prince St. Pizza, Amazon, and Nutribullet. Whether you're just opening up shop, trying to reach a larger audience, or simply looking to spice up your imagery (literally!), we create culinary art for all.

Tell us about yourself

I've always been captivated by the art of entrepreneurship: ideation, creation, preparation, styling, risks, and rewards. I grew up with an adventure-seeking, entrepreneurial dad and a graphic designer supermom. Ambition, in the form of a creator, is in my blood. But it was my sophomore year of college that changed my life.

One of my best friends asked me to help revamp her boss' social media presence. When she asked me if I knew how to make "food top-down" videos, I lied between my teeth and said, "Of course I do."

I kept up with content creation simultaneously with academics. I slowly became known as the "Inspired Foody" on campus - answering random people's messages about what they should buy at the grocery store, where to go on a date, and how to cook chicken. Making these recipe videos and taking food photography has become my creative outlet for connecting with people and making them smile.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I took a significant risk by quitting my first full-time job out of college without any clients. I needed to see if this would work by ultimately putting myself on edge and within a self-enforced time limit of 3 months. Fortunately, my first client proved it would all pay off: BuzzFeed. Over the next few months, I created 50+ videos for them and ensured that I could be an expert in my craft.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Saying no! Initially, you want to do anything to make your clients happy. But sometimes, it's not worth the time and effort. You have to eventually create boundaries for your value as a creator/producer of artistic services that will be used professionally. And sometimes, you must tell clients to trust you rather than simply accepting whatever they ask.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Let go of arbitrary dollar amounts you think you want and start somewhere.
  2. Become an expert in your craft by constantly iterating and learning, and don't fear asking other experts for help.
  3. Make to-do and ta-da lists - celebrate goals and wins.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.