Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrea Davis, Founder of Dallas Art Therapy, located in Richardson, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an art therapy non-profit that serves the community by providing free group therapy for teens and adults who are navigating mental health issues. We lead a group called SOS, Sarah's Open Studio for adults, once a month. Art Club is offered twice a month and is for teens. Both groups are free to attend. We fundraise to keep the groups going and rely upon the generosity of support from individuals and businesses to keep them running with trained, masters level art therapists. By making one's thoughts visible using creative expression, the opportunity to move towards change and problem-solving is notably profound. We offer a safe space for those who are new to art making, free from judgment. Making art therapy accessible to our community is our passion.
Tell us about yourself
I first discovered art therapy while in college, but a few years after graduating with a master's in Humanistic Psychology, I was really moved when I visited an art therapy art exhibit. In particular, there was a doll that someone had made to represent her child self. She had sewn a tattered little dress and attached a note to the foot that explained how, now, as an adult, she would care for herself in ways that she had needed as a child. It was at that moment I knew how powerful healing could be using art therapy. Now almost 20 years later, I am motivated every day to provide a space for healing using art for my clients. It is an honor and a privilege to witness people on their art journeys.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been founding and growing Dallas Art Therapy. We have been growing for five years now, and lots of little steps, mistakes, and lots of learning have opened doors to allow the creation of a space for a healing community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is keeping up with the workload. There is always more to be done!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My advice for someone looking to start a business is to create a five-year plan, reach out to a mentor for guidance, and plan time to rest. As you grow, new questions emerge, and you will need the right people on your team to help navigate tax law, Human Resources, and planning for growth. Most of all, burnout can sneak up on you, so be sure to find time to rest and play.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
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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