Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey as a creative, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mina Spremulli-Di Carlo, founder of Façade Academy of The Arts Inc. Mina has over 15 years of experience practicing and specializing in the design and the arts from Ontario, Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
Façade Academy offers specialized education, custom training, and coaching modules for youth, teenagers, young adults, and professionals looking to develop artistic, academic, and professional skill sets toward their goals to become aspiring artists, designers, and entrepreneurs.
What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?
I have been instructing and coaching for 20 years. I first started by offering basic art classes toward portfolio development and professional goal setting in the basement of my house just after I finished high school because I realized there was a huge disconnect between high schools and colleges/universities in preparing aspiring young artists with the skills they needed to be competitive and achieve a spot among some of the top art programs within international post-secondary schools.
Through my own experiences and journey in dealing with the stress and anxiety of having to achieve this success by myself, I realized that this is what the community was missing. Industry leaders willing to help and educators who could properly prepare students for their next milestone in life...specifically artists because let's be real, most elementary and high schools don't put enough emphasis on these programs and therefore students are just LOST! This doesn't change once students finish college/university either. The artworld is super competitive and there are soo many talented individuals out there.
Today I have owned a 3500sqft academy where I assist young artists to self-brand, carve their path, network, and develop a name for themselves within the industry. Façade Academy has expanded to online virtual learning as well so that students and professionals near and far can all benefit from Façade quality training. I have helped hundreds of students and professionals internationally fulfill their dreams. Witnessing their success and sitting back and watching the path they lead because of the very skill sets I instilled within them is all the reward I need to keep doing what I do year after year. There are new and talented architects, interior designers, engineers, graphic designers, painters, fashion designers, and more in the world due to the time and dedication I have put into mentoring them to following their dreams.
As a business owner, what does success ultimately mean to you?
I have received awards of recognition within the community, schools, and the industry for providing leadership training to youth and adults, as well as for some of the large festivals I have hosted to motivate artists to fulfill their dreams. I sincerely appreciate the accolades for what I have dedicated my life to, but what I feel my greatest accomplishment is, is supporting each individual student and adult along their journey of development toward the success they desire.
Witnessing them rise above it all and helping them through that process, empowering them and being along for the journey, and now seeing them flourish in their success...hundreds of success stories around the world is the biggest accomplishment I have made. Being a part of their unique stories is a privilege and honor that I cherish every day.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Generating new ideas and programs that will be of interest to new students and professionals. The responsibility of ensuring that these ideas are beneficial to the clients and to supporting the business so we can continue to do what we do. Keeping things new, on-trend, and analyzing the shifts within the industry to continuously modify my training methods to each individual students'/professionals' needs, wants, and goals...and having them all result in success.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a business today?
- What you do needs to be a labor of love, it needs to be something you are passionate about so that when things get tough you can always remind yourself why you are doing it to keep you motivated
- Doing everything with a positive intention so that your work is pure, from the heart and shines through your success and people will respect your honesty and gain complete trust in you/your product/your service
- Surround yourself with friends, family, or a team of employees that believe in your vision and support what you do. Teamwork makes the dream work. You won't be amazing at everything, so find others who can support you in the areas that you need, and together you will create solidarity.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Stay positive!!! Staying positive helps me on good days and bad days, it keeps my mind clear to develop new ideas to help my business grow, it helps keep my staff positive as well so they do their best every day to support our cause and it helps with client satisfaction because everyone and everything feeds off the attitude you bring with you as the owner/director...you set the tone!
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
I meditate, I exercise, I eat healthily, I get lots of sleep. I stimulate my mind with creative exercises or inspiring music or movies, and I spend time with those who love and support me most to ensure I have balance and feel empowered every day.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own solopreneur story 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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