You’ve probably figured out already that I train “creatives” who deeeesperately want to monetize their craft on their own terms. I show them how to take all of those brilliant ideas swirling around in their heads and to develop effective systems to actually create multiple revenue streams.
It all began while at Texas Christian University, when I was pursuing my BFA in dance (and minor in business). I “accidentally” started my creative arts staffing firm on my dorm room floor, about 15 years ago. It went down like this. I was invited to teach dance a few times a week part time in an after-school program in the area — shout out to the lady who thought of me but never saw me teach a class; because at that time, I hadn’t.
After a while, I was invited to teach even more, but couldn’t personally do that due to my class schedule. BUT, I surely didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to create revenue, right? You know how it is as a college student. EVERY coin counts!
My resolve was to ask a friend to help teach as a subcontractor, and I kept a finder’s fee. It worked for her and definitely worked for me. That’s how it all began. Very unorthodox, I know; nonetheless, this is how it started. By the time I graduated college, I was able to dance with a company and continue to grow my business, which had grown significantly enough to be run virtually. Several hundred “creatives” have been employed through my company since the beginning.
My ultimate goal at the time was…
My ultimate goal at the time was to put systems in place to run my business virtually from anywhere in the world. It took a few years to accomplish, but I hit that goal. It was one of the sweetest feelings. I went back to my roots in New York and auditioned, danced, work-studied for discounted classes, and even taught some dance classes. While there, I was constantly asked — usually at those looong auditions — about where I worked. I would share about my business in Texas and find out that many others wanted to learn about starting their own business too! SHOCKING!
Shortly after this, I began regularly investing in classes addressing business skills and programs to sharpen my entrepreneurial acumen — everything from marketing to social media and everything in between. It was alarming to me that I was usually the only artist in a room full of “suits.” NO ONE did what I did and rarely looked how I looked, which was even more interesting. My takeaway, however, was “I gotta take these skills back to my creative community. They MUST know about these crazy effective systems!” I began implementing and seeing results pretty quickly, too — like six-figures-per-year quickly.
This is how Smart Artist Institute started.
Everything is focused for “creatives” in biz by a “creative” in biz.
I’ve been honored to coach some uber-talented folks, including Broadway performers, Grammy-nominated musicians, celebrity beauty experts, award-winning specialty chefs, distinct fashion designers, fierce dancers, and so many others. All their paths are uniquely different, but ultimately, it’s all about having tight systems in place and activated to monetize what is created on and offline. What these “right-brained loves” request the most is partnering their brand with corporate sponsors, which is what I REALLY enjoy teaching! (By the way, you don’t have to be a non-profit to create this relationship.)
To get a small taste, here are a few of our past and current partners and sponsors: Quantas Airlines, Levi’s, the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the New York Department of Education, and the New Zealand Department of Corrections. This section in a side bar with logos only. Titled, Past partners and corporate sponsors.
When I’m not busy overseeing the staffing firm, designing my next event or coaching “creatives” to blow-up in their industry, I’m either reading a good book, taking a dance class, or on a date with hubby, Otis. The latter is done as much as possible before the babies come, which could be soon if we keep this dating schedule … 😉
If you’ve just gotta know more about me, well here are a few fun facts:
- I’m learning Mandarin Chinese with the hubby. We plan to take our first trip to China soon!
- Speaking of China, it would be a dream-come-true for me to do Lion King in Shanghai, but first I have to learn Mandarin. Always a catch, huh…?
- I love God more than n-t-thing (nothing too deep here), but it’s something you should know because, well, you just should!! 🙂
- The hubby and I would really like to have twins when that time comes. I’m sure you parents are like Reeeeeaaaally? Are you suuuure? Actually, not 100% sure, but almost…
- Our fav grocery stores is the local Farmer’s Market. Yep, that’s our Saturday routine.
- At a restaurant, I prefer to sanitize my hands with a squirt of fresh lemon (it actually is even more effective than soap and water). Don’t worry. I’m pretty discrete about it.
- I’m a sucker for a good, open-mic night. I just love being with people expressing themselves through the arts. AND I’m sure I could “spit” a few verses if I really wanted.
- Lastly, my mom is my SHERO. I know this one isn’t about me so much but it’s newsworthy! After multiple failed attempts to finish law school while I was growing up, she was admitted to the bar at the tender age of 60 while living in New Zealand. She now uses her legal background to fight human sex trafficking in the Mother Land! SEE, I told you it was newsworthy!
Ready to implement some “dope” systems + see your brand attract the right kind of clientele?
(As in the one that values your work)