Creativity Meets Business Class

mompeneur2.jpg

When my best friend Melissa and I met at Mary Washington College (UMW, now), she was not my biggest fan. Her first impressions of me are hysterical to us now. Fast forward a decade later she is the chair of the Technology Integration Department of one of the top 10 private schools in the state of Virginia, Flint Hill School. In addition to the amazing things she does in her department, which she shares on her blog (and will with us in the future), she is also teaching a high school business course. Guess who she asked to be one of her  student entrepreneur mentors? Obviously, she is now one of my biggest fans, ha!

melissa-kdg

I used to be a Young Life leader, and I do have a huge heart for high school kids, but it has been a little while since those days, so I was a little hesitant. I made it clear that I am a photographer and creative first and a business woman second, but she insisted that her students could really benefit from my experiences and I might learn a thing of two from their insight as well. Challenge accepted.

I had my first video conference with three very considerate and clever young men a couple  of weeks ago. Having the kids at home, it felt like a slightly awkward interview at a nursery with my littles jumping in to say “Hi” to the “big boys”….and that, gentlemen, is what it looks like to be a momepreneur.

Going forward, I will be sharing the experience here on the blog and at the same time documenting the process of merging creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit into a successful business.

The following are the questions they asked me and my uninterrupted thoughts.

How did you create your business?

I started with a Facebook page in Nov 2013. In January 2014 my family moved to Kuwait and I had my first paid session in May. Most of my clients came to me by word of mouth, which has worked over the years, however I would like to develop a strategy in the future to engage more people, as well as transition with me from post to post. I would like to figure out a formula that can quickly establish me, the photographer, in each new market.

How did you fund your business?

I started out using my personal DSLR crop frame camera, Canon 60D and as I gained income I was able to purchase more, and in some cases better equipment, including a full frame camera, Canon 6D, and MacBook Pro, as well as props. On a rare occasion I will purchase items on credit and pay it off as as soon as possible. I try pretty hard not to purchase beyond my means. Dave Ramsey would be proud.

How was your first couple years. Did you make enough money to support yourself?

My first few years were indeed better than I had anticipated, however my business was established as a secondary income for the family, not as the primary financial support to it. That said, my goal evolved from purchasing equipment to adding income to our family.  Although I do believe one can never have enough accessories 😛

How big is your business and have you ever thought of expanding?

DG is solely me, except for when I hire assistants for sessions, and of course when my husband helps me with my taxes and decision making, he is the best CFO/COO ever (and that’s not because he just says yes to everything)! I can’t forget to mention that my husband’s best friend is my awesome attroney, when I need some legal advice. (love you Is!)

Bosse Shoot with Jillian assisting.jpg
Behind the scenes with Jillian Bellamy assisting

DGRCP is a collaboration with another creative entrepreneur and photographer, Lindy-Ann. Together we have written a photography pocket guide and photoshop guide, started this blog, and we have plans and big dreams for other collaborations. We hope to grow our businesses as well as our community of photographers and creatives.

Why Tel Aviv?

With my husband’s job we move to different posts every 2-3 years. Tel Aviv is our second family tour, after two years in Kuwait.

moving.jpg

Did your military family upbringing help you in creating your business?

Yes. I think it has influenced my perspective on moving my business to new markets every 2-3 years. Rather than seeing it as “restarting” I think of it as “starting fresh” – an opportunity for new experiences, fresh settings, and lovely new clients. In addition to that mindset, Lindy-Ann and I have built a wonderful online Facebook community that keeps me connected to the photogs and creatives we have taught and met along the way.

kdg-childhood

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what ideas and inspiration come from working with these fantastic students. If nothing else, it’s causing me to look at my business from a different perspective.

Sign up to follow along for more creative entrepreneur posts and heaps of colo{u}rful fun!

Cheers,
kdg

2 thoughts on “Creativity Meets Business Class

  1. What a fun opportunity to connect with young students. Watch out – I may just have to figure out a way to incorporate you into my future lesson plans once I return to the states. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s