Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Veena Aragam, Founder & Artist of xSubtlexSmilex, located in Rockville, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is xSubtlexSmilex®. I make art in various forms, including paintings, music, and clothing. xSubtlexSmilex was originally created as an online name that really defined me as a person, and since I continued to use this name since high school, I decided to make it the name of my company. Although my work is extremely unique, I believe that no human thinks as uniquely as they believe, and there are many people in the world who will find the art I create speaks to them.
Tell us about yourself
I used to be an educator. Around year four or five in my career, I decided to follow what I was truly passionate about and take a chance to start my business and become a professional artist. After seeing great success and feeling very fulfilled in my journey, I decided to stop teaching after a decade and am now a full-time artist.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting the business! Hahaha. I find doing something one truly wants in their life is blocked by fear or others' fears put onto you. Once that first step is taken, it's a feeling that is undeniably fulfilling. You will immediately know if you made the right choice or not, but you have to take that first step and see.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I am a one-woman show. I take care of the creative side, the business side, the content creation, and the marketing, all on my own and not to mention the finances too. It's tedious for sure since I have no team yet, but all the while amazing to see my progress! So when one starts, they have to make sure to be all in and realize the risks they have to take. (Trust me, it's worth it in the end.)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- As soon as you have the idea, jot the ideas down. Write and plan every single day, even if you are still in another career. All of that will be prepared to start when you are ready to make the change.
- Make sure your finances are in order. Starting and funding a business is not cheap! Make sure to see all your options for how you can finance your business and start from there. (Saving money from my previous career is how I started.)
- Avoid nay-sayers. Their negative thoughts come from their own fears, not yours. Just say, "Okay." and move on. The work you put in will show in your success.
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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