Talk about being close: Dana and Hugo Adames have been together 18 years and have two kids who love to dance—and the couple owns The Talent Factory Performing Arts Centre, with two locations, 550 students and a third site in the works. Dana, artistic director, and Hugo, general manager, have a method for how they handle everything from parenting to business decisions: "We work as partners. We look at the pros and cons together before making any decisions," Dana says. "We have a mutual respect for each other and really talk about everything, all the time."
General manager, Hugo, and artistic director, Dana, handle everything in their family operation as partners—from parenting to business decisions. Photo by Marilyn Demers, courtesy of The Talent Factory<p>Studio parents notice and appreciate the constant communication and united front. "As a couple and in business, it's clear Dana and Hugo complement each other and bring out the best in each other and their team," says Joy Weisbord, mom to dancer Liana, 14. "They are fun to be around and are always bouncing ideas off of each other, always thinking about how to improve and grow their studio. They embrace change and innovation and constantly seek it out."</p><p><strong>Setting a goal to outgrow the space</strong></p><p>The couple's earliest business endeavor was starting a dance retail store, an experience that would come in handy several years later. Then, in 2004, they opened The Talent Factory in North Kingstown, Rhode Island—two studios in 1,400 square feet—with a goal of outgrowing the space. Four years later, they moved a mile up the road into 2,500 square feet, and in 2012, they moved yet another mile to their current location: 8,000 square feet with five studios and a retail area.</p><p>"Our goal is to always sign a three- to five-year lease on a new venture, depending on the demographics and the square footage of the space," Hugo says, explaining that, during the first lease term, his plan is to cover rent, overhead and investment. It's in term two that he plans to show a profit. "Negotiating a solid second term is extremely important, since that is when you will start to see a return on your investment."</p>
Photo courtesy of The Talent Factory