Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in entertainment but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Davie Celeste, aka DJ Wanderlust, located in Aiea, HI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Davie Celeste, and I go by DJ Wanderlust. DJ Wanderlust is a Hawaii-Based DJ with an ear for dope blends that she isn't afraid to use. My customers include individuals, organizations, and venues looking for intuitive DJ who creates customized musical experiences for their clientele.
Tell us about yourself
During the first lockdown of the pandemic, I was working as a high school educator. Predicting that prom would be canceled, I decided to try my hand at DJing in hopes of offering my students music breaks or dance parties while they were navigating at-home learning. It brought me so much joy. I put together a virtual event for Juneteenth called "Juneteenth: A Black Multimedia Experiment," where I highlighted Black American Music from the 1960s to the present and featured DC-Based Visual Artist and Muralist Extraordinaire Kaliq Crosby, who live-painted during my set via a Zoom split-screen.
My mother turned 70 during the lockdown. For two years, I had been planning on being home for that milestone. Knowing she wouldn't be able to celebrate the way she wanted to, we had to get creative. We decided to do a virtual party via Zoom and social media. I DJed some of her favorite tunes, and her friends from all over the country were able to tune in and party with her. I felt like I was there. Three years later, my mother's birthday is still one of my favorite sets to date. After those few sets, I started getting inquiries for other virtual gigs, and last June, I took my first in-person gig. Since then, I've DJed for different venues and public and private events all over Oahu. The rest is history. I often joke that I started booking gigs by accident, but I don't believe in coincidences.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of the biggest accomplishments I've seen as a business owner is the following I've garnered on almost word of mouth alone. As the house DJ for two regular open mic events, I have become known for my ability to come up with a song on the spot that captures a performer's vibe or their piece's sentiment. A fellow DJ dubbed me a "Situational DJ," and that's stuck. I want people to feel special and heard during my sets- to have personal connections with the music and the blends.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is taking leaps of faith. I'm an educator and a Ph.D. student. It's a lot to juggle! I currently own and have owned other businesses in the past, and I often had these moments where I get scared and start applying to a whole bunch of arbitrary jobs that don't align with the things I want to do. DJ is starting to outgrow its side hustle phase, and at some point soon, I'm going to have to make the decision to place an even larger investment in my work. That can be scary, but sometimes you have to do it scared.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's okay to start small. I get really excited about equipment and gadgets to help my business grow, but sometimes you need that capital for more essential things. Take inventory of what you already have first, and then move from there.
- Find your people and your mentors. It is so important to have folks you can connect with during your process- people that are supportive, people who have "been there, done that." The process can feel very isolating sometimes, but having a tribe and mentors you can call on when you're feeling stuck is important.
- "Don't drink the whole bottle of tequila: take one shot at a time" - this is advice from one of my best friends. A little progress is better than no progress at all. Sometimes we feel like we have to accomplish all the things in a short period of time, which makes it hard to accomplish any. So, take the shot, and be okay with that being enough on any given day. It's better than alcohol poisoning!
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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