Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Eliza Tollett, founder and owner of The Ballet Spot, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Ballet Spot is a ballet fitness studio offering judgment-free ballet and barre classes for adults of all levels taught by professional dancers. Our mission is to make the fitness and fun of ballet accessible to all! We pride ourselves on bringing the joy of dance to those who have either never felt comfortable trying a dance class or those who used to dance and want to get back into it in a non-competitive atmosphere. We offer in-person and online classes and foster a supportive community of ballet and fitness lovers!
Tell us about yourself
As a professional ballet dancer and a ballet teacher, I have always been passionate about sharing my love of dance. However, a few years back, I noticed that something felt off with ballet classes for adults - real ballet technique seemed intimidating and inaccessible, and the typical "barre" fitness class is not really ballet. So I set out on a mission to bring REAL ballet technique to the fitness world and make ballet approachable for everyone! I absolutely LOVE teaching my classes, and I know that the joy that I bring to my job every day inspires my students.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I grew The Ballet Spot from 1 class per week in a small studio in NYC to 20+ classes in NYC, LA, and online, and a group of passionate and talented instructors! It's inspiring to teach students who join in our studios on both coasts and online from around the country and around the world. Also, The Ballet Spot has been named a top online ballet studio by Byrdie, Good Housekeeping, and Classical FM, and we've been featured on NBC's California Live!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Problem-solving! There is always a problem that needs to be solved, and as the owner, I am usually responsible for finding the solution. However, my motto is that no problem is unsolvable with a Google search, creative thinking, and asking your support system for help when you need it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start small and prove your concept first. I think a lot of entrepreneurs dive in and commit a lot financially before they know yet if the concept works. Try it out, test the market, then grow.
- Over-communicate with your team! It's always better to be EXTRA clear to avoid mistakes.
- Just go for it! The worst that will happen is if it doesn't work and you can always stop. However, if you're passionate and motivated, the world will notice you!
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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