Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in art education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mia Temple, Founder of Ooze Studio, located in Carmel, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The name of my business is Ooze Studio, and it is a community-driven art studio oozing contagious creativity. I love to empower others with art - all ages and all skill levels. Although my main client base has been kids and teens (5-18 years old), neurodiverse and special needs communities, I did just recently open to adults, including seniors!
Tell us about yourself
Art has always been a part of my life, having been raised in a family of professional artists. After 27+ years in graphic design, I founded Ooze Studio while volunteering as the Head Art Docent for my children's elementary school, where I rewrote, trained, and implemented an entirely new art program with great success. No matter our skillset, cultural backgrounds, or status, the enthusiasm became contagious, and the rewards were in providing art as an empowering outlet, a way to connect with others, and a way to connect with our own unique creativity. This is why I love oozing contagious creativity daily!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's hard to pick just one because there are so many wonderful benefits that my clients have experienced, all "big" to them. Most recently, though, I worked with 40+ autistic clients at a NorCal non-profit - ages 18 months to 21 years old, over a 7-week span. In that time, we created a large body of work (over 45 pieces!), which we sold in an art show auction. This was my first auction and first art show, and we raised over $50k that night! All the money will go back to helping the clients who are not only autistic but have undergone trauma and are socio-economically disadvantaged. I will never forget the many amazing moments of self-discovery that happened while empowering these kids and young adults to explore art play together.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I have owned my own businesses since 2005, and balance is always something I strive to achieve. Scheduling and self-care seem to be the roots of balance for me. It took me years and ongoing reminders to learn not to overcommit, which quickly leads to burnout. As a newly single mother of three young kids and a boxer dog, the family/work-life balance is the hardest part of owning a business.
It can be very overwhelming, more overwhelming than 85-hour work weeks with harsh deadlines for a hellish client. But, owning a business doing what I love helps me thrive, and it sets a great example for the kids, so while I believe family comes first, it is important that I make room for all the loved ones in my life, which includes Ooze.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
It's important to excel at three things in any business:
- Customer service - know who you're serving and make it about them or us, not I or me. Enjoy learning about these connections and build on them.
- Take breaks! - anything that lets you rest, digest, and rejuvenate!
- Master organization – prioritize, organize and make lists. Don't keep all of it in your head, or you will go crazy! Enjoy the ride!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.