Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michele Mateus, Founder of Mateus Studios, located in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Mateus Studios is an award-winning Portrait studio located in Greater Vancouver. We provide a full-service photography experience through our offer of Luxe Portrait sessions. Each experience is fully customized to fit your style and vision. We specialize in boudoir, contemporary portraits, and brand photography. We have a unique editorial approach to our work, creating magazine-style portraits for everyday women. We are here to provide you with an experience that will fill you with confidence and allow you to carry that energy forward after your shoot with the art of yourself that you can proudly display in your home. Our signature Luxe Portrait Experiences will change the way you see yourself and help you shine your light brighter than ever!

Tell us about yourself

I'm a popcorn-loving, bright lipstick-wearing, chronic optimist who loves nothing more than helping people see their awesomeness! I am told my energy is contagious and that my quirky sense of humour puts people at ease. For me, life is like being at a beach, flipping over rocks looking for hidden treasures! I love to ask questions and get messy while trying to find creative solutions. When people hire me, I create an experience that transcends being awkward in front of a camera and fills folks with enthusiasm and confidence so that they can attract the energy they want in their lives. I have a background in Community Development and Communications, which both play a strong part in how I am able to connect deeply to my clients and serve them in ways that truly make them feel seen and heard.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Having my son say he looks up to me and wishes to be an artist one day too.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Valuing my work! It is so hard as a creative as you want everyone to have this experience, but I need to pay my bills too and also value the work I do and the impact I have on others.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do the math FIRST! It's ok to want to run a sustainable business, and that takes doing the math and knowing your numbers.
  2. Set financial goals - again, be ok with talking about money and wanting it! We are not in business for fun sakes!
  3. Find successful people to be friends with. Misery enjoys company, so if you hang with the naysayers, you will never truly believe you are worth it! Find people that raise you up!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As an introverted extrovert, I have found my business allows me to be both sides of myself. It allows me to be social but also quiet and introspective. I have learned in life that we are more than ONE thing or ONE way. We are multifaceted, like precious gems, and we deserve to have sides of us sparkle! I self-identify as a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend, and also as a lone wolf who needs to have time alone. I used to find that hard to ask for, but now I ask for it all the time and am better for it!

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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