Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kaitlyn Davidson, Founder and Owner of Highland Music Studio, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Kaitlyn, and I founded Highland Music Studio, a local music school in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. Highland Music Studio offers music lessons and classes to hundreds of students of ALL ages, from newborns to adults! We have Music Together ("mommy & me") classes and group/private music lessons for piano, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, violin, drums & voice. Students can also join rock bands and perform in music venues around town. Most people view piano and music lessons as "boring" or "tedious." HMS aims to offer an experience that inspires, motivates, and encourages students to learn with unique curriculums and fantastic teachers.
Under the name "Pianoly," I also have created an online course called "The Piano Accelerator" that helps adult learners go from 0 to playing their favorite songs in less time.
Tell us about yourself
I started learning the piano when I was seven years old, inspired by my grandmother, a pianist and piano teacher. I studied the piano from 7 years old through college and received my undergraduate degree in Music Education and piano. After college, I was a full-time public school music teacher for three years. During that time, I started teaching piano lessons after my work hours. I ended up having a waitlist and many students, so by the end of my third school year in public schools, I resigned and began teaching piano lessons full-time. This was when Highland Music Studio was truly born! Within the first year, I began to hire other music teachers and slowly added more instruments and classes. Highland Music Studio went from being only piano lessons taught by me to a music school with many employees and hundreds of students.
Each day, I am the most motivated by the little moments of joy that we bring our students - from a baby laughing in Music Together Class to a piano student learning their favorite song. Watching our teachers and staff grow professionally is also rewarding.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
- Being a part of many people's lives and impacting them in a positive way through music.
- Staying resilient when it gets tough (i.e., surviving COVID!).
- Giving myself a life that is purposeful, fulfilling, and also free. I asked myself what my "ideal day" was and fulfilled that dream.
- Starting this business on my own and without any funding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is dealing with loneliness. At the end of the day, everything falls on me, and not many people encourage you when you're the boss. This amount of pressure can be isolating and can impact your mental health in a negative way. Navigating this has been a big challenge for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a mentor who has done what you are looking to do. Offer to pay them to teach and guide you.
- Focus on marketing first. Master the art of bringing in new clients.
- Take care of yourself along the journey. It's easy to put your business first and yourself last, especially in the early years.
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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