Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brynn Girard, Owner of Move Performing Arts Inc., located in Tecumseh, ON, Canada.

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

My business is Move Performing Arts Inc. We are a performing arts studio with classes in multiple styles of dance, music, and acting. We are adding some very exciting programming to our studio this year during our 13th season, which we are announcing soon. Our customers are girls, boys, women, and men of all ages. We have classes for little ones as young as 18 months (Move with Me - a parent and child class) all the way to adult classes. Our oldest student was in their 70s! We truly have something for everyone.

Tell us about yourself

I have been in the performing arts world since I was a little girl. Whether I was dancing, playing the piano, singing, writing music, or acting, I was always in a creative space and mindset. Not only was I deep into the performing arts, but also very entrepreneurial and philanthropic. As a child, I would walk door-to-door collecting non-perishable food items and walk with several bags full to the Salvation Army. At 18, I started and ran a charitable organization that helped teens in need for 7 years. The organization offered peer counseling, awareness events/campaigns, teen pregnancy assistance (prenatal vitamins, educational books, being there as the main support during the birth, baby items, etc.), referrals to community programs, and providing teens with formal wear for prom, etc.

I wanted to start a studio ever since I was 13 years old. I would create potential building layouts, class offerings, and schedules in my notebooks. In high school, we had to create a presentation based on our future career goals and I, of course, chose to make mine about opening my own studio. I actually ran into the teacher of that class shortly after opening... right in front of my studio! I ran out, and after several years, she still remembered me. It was a great feeling to be able to show my teacher that I had accomplished what I set out to do.

After high school, I moved to England for about half a year before returning home and attending Toronto Film School, graduating with honors. There was, however, a period of time when I didn't think it was going to happen. I ended up getting married at 22, had my first child at 24, my second at 26, and decided that going back to school to become a nurse would be more practical. Then one day, in the middle of a math class, I called my (then) husband and said I was leaving school to start my studio. Three months later, I was open. I have no idea how I made it happen so fast, especially with 2 kids under 3, but I did it. Now we are entering our 13th year.

I have multiple different things that motivate me each day to do what I do:

  1. God - I feel extremely blessed and grateful to be able to do what I love and share my gifts with others.
  2. My girls - they are the reason I push through the hard times, and this is going to be the legacy that I leave them when I am gone.
  3. My boyfriend - his confidence in me and my business is always reassuring, and he truly is my rock.
  4. My students - each week, I get to see these amazing children grow not only as performers but as amazing human beings. Watching them progress, succeed, and reach their goals is beyond rewarding.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is, without a doubt, seeing growth, progress, and success in my students. And not just in the performing arts...

Each year we run a camp called GLAM Camp (Girls Leadership and Movement). This camp is aimed at helping girls become leaders and make a difference in the community. It has been amazing to see these amazing kids plan and execute initiatives to help others. They have collected non-perishable food items for the food bank, written letters to children in the hospital, collected donations for the local humane society, collected toys and women's and children's clothing for the local women's shelter, and raised money to put together and distribute care packages for the homeless.

I also feel a huge accomplishment is the environment I have created within the studio. There is nothing but love, support, and encouragement from every student here. No one feels judged, and everyone feels included.

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

The hardest thing that comes along with being a business owner is definitely trying to make sure you manage your time properly so that you don't overwork yourself and get burnt out. Making sure there is always time for family and self-care is really important.

I find that one of the hardest things for my particular business is saying goodbye. I absolutely adore my students, and it's always hard when you have to say goodbye due to a move or whatever it may be. Every child that walks through our doors is so, so valued and cared for.

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

  1. Know your why. Do not go into any business without having a clear vision of what you want and why you want it. Create your core values with intention, stick to them, and run your business according to those values.
  2. Have a clear plan. Create systems and processes right away for every single aspect of your business and organize them so that anyone could easily find and implement each one with success in your absence.
  3. Hire the right people. Make sure they understand and are on board with your core values, vision, and goals. And always, always delegate the lower-value tasks so that you can focus on the high-level tasks that will help you grow your business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

A few quotes:
If your goal doesn't scare you, it's not big enough.
Progress, not perfection.
Growth doesn't sit in comfort.
Also, take risks. Like the famous quote from Wayne Gretzky says, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.

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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