Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dalia Shehata, of Happimess Art Studio, located in Squamish, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Happimess is an art studio and sensory play area that caters to ages 0 to 99+! Happimess is a place where we strive to make art accessible to everyone; starting at a very young age, we engage babies and kids through sensory play & art activities that help them naturally learn how to explore, investigate, and create. These activities help with brain development and are vital to raising creative thinkers. Happimess added adult art classes and made it possible for all skill levels to join and create art. Studies show that spending just 45 minutes on an art project can relieve stress, strengthen critical thinking skills, and improve and sustain memory.
Tell us about yourself
When we first moved our life and family to Canada after being abroad for years, we quickly realized the lack of accessible services that cater to mental well-being. We are a neurodiverse family, and inclusion and accessibility are at the core of everything we do. We tried to fill a little bit of this giant gap with our small business, and our business grew with our own children's needs; we went from being just a sensory play area to little ones to include classes for school-aged kids, parties, adult classes and workshops, at-home kits and in-school classes. The babies that used to come to our sensory play sessions are now tiny artists that join us after school every day; we see the benefits of the services we provide every single day in the confidence and joy these little humans show us every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving the challenges of the pandemic! We were able as a business to pivot our services and continue to provide our services during these challenging times and were able to keep our doors open and support families in our community and beyond with our at-home kits.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is balancing your work and family time; owning a business in today's age means work follows you 24/7 through your phone. There are no set business hours when it's your business, you are available online all the time, and while social media provides a fantastic avenue for marketing, it also means that you have multiple channels of contact that you must be on top of.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do something that you are passionate about and that you truly love; there is no point in working so hard at something you don't enjoy doing.
- Be patient; growing something takes time and effort. You may not see the fruits of your efforts for a while. The fruit may not even be financial for a very long time, so make sure your values align with what you are trying to grow.
- Set core goals, not just financially but also with how and where you want your business to go. You will have to adapt and change multiple times, so it is important to have your goals in sight so when you do change, you are still working towards those goals in the long run.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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