If you could start your studio all over again...
- Living an artist's life doesn't mean living a poor life.
"Up until four years ago, I thought that if I became too business-minded, I would sacrifice the creative part. But you can run a top-notch studio and be very profitable. For people to see value, you have to charge for your expertise." —Jennifer Jarnot, studio owner for 17 years
- Have a financial base to begin with.
"When we started, we used our credit card. I don't think we've ever really gotten back from that and the sacrifice it took. I would've liked to have a starting base of capital. Make sure you keep a rolling line of credit that you haven't used very much, to build off of and borrow against." —Waverly Lucas, 27 years
- Don't worry so much about parents' opinions.
"When I opened my studio, I was in my late 20s, and the parents of my teens were in their 40s. They were my elders, and I felt I had to trust them and not my instincts. But I knew what I was doing. I'm a people pleaser—I wanted everyone to get along and hug. But that's not a way to run a business. Parents will take too much power and control." —Karen Daggett Austin, 28 years
- Remember that it's OK to start small.
"When you start a business, the needs are very different from when it grows. You don't need the huge staff or enrollment right away. When the business was small, I sent people handwritten schedules and circled which classes were best for each child. Since then, it's always been one of our goals to keep things personal." —Olga Berest, 41 years