Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lacy Davillier, Founder of Davillier Photography & Graphics, located in New Orleans, LA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Davillier Photography & Graphics is a boutique photography studio servicing businesses, schools, and families in New Orleans, LA, and Houston, TX. We offer brand photography, headshots, e-commerce photography, school portraits, and lifestyle senior graduation portraits.
Tell us about yourself
I have loved photography for as long as I can remember. It started as a hobby - I would take polaroids around the house and make albums of my family's photos. During my second year at NYU, Hurricane Katrina shook my community and gave me the courage to switch my major to Studio Art Photography. After college, jobs were scarce due to a recession, so I went for dream #2: To open my own business. I wanted to offer photography that made people feel amazing. Even on the hard days, making people happy is still the motivator. There is nothing like someone saying, "Wow. I have always hated photos of myself, but these are amazing."
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been growing enough to hire people. I am immensely grateful for being able to create jobs in my community and for the people who choose to grow their careers with my company.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It is a consistent balancing act unlike any other. There are days when you'll work 4 hours and days where you'll work 14 hours. There are days you'll feel like a rockstar and days you'll feel like a complete failure. There are financial highs and days where your account balance is nothing short of abysmal. The hard part is learning to close the laptop and walk away. Have dinner, decompress, and remember that tomorrow is another day and another opportunity.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get your finances in order - right now. This included having a business account, paying yourself via a payroll system, getting a rainy day line of credit, making sure taxes are done correctly, etc. It's very easy to do this in the beginning and very difficult to fix it later.
- Schedule your work hours and do your best to stick to them. Do not let your work overshadow your family and other important aspects of your life.
- Remember that everyone starts somewhere, and experts are not created overnight. If you have a passion for something, do it
after all, you never know where it could lead.
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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