Ruby Allain only turned five at the end of April, but she’s already making her mark as an artist.
“We all hang out together in our one big room and share supplies,” explained her mom, Morgan. “The bookmark thing started because when Danny and I have to cut down paper, there’s usually an inch left over.”
In 2015, Toris-Silva found princess companies in New Jersey and developed a plan to introduce the princesses on the train. “I didn’t know what to do, so I saw there were companies in New Jersey that did this and reached out to them,” shared Toris-Silva, who was able to offer the companies a mixture of financial payment and marketing through the museum and the events they attended. “It worked out well for them. They agreed to that and were able to secure events from that. Due to the popularity, we decided to try a non-moving event at the museum, which was a tea party that takes place in an antique train car. It sold out in nine hours. We added a second weekend just for the demand.”
Rayesky realized that when a talent comes naturally, whether floral design, photography or another creative field, there is an intimidation when it comes to setting prices. “I had to overcome that hurdle,” Rayesky explained. “There was a wedding we did two years ago. When all was said and done, we made $3 an hour while working 80 hours. It’s insanity–working on four hours of sleep.”
After ten years, Ken Webb began to realize he couldn’t stay at his job for another 35 years. “It was a decent job, but wasn’t too fulfilling,” he admitted. “It all came together at some point over the period of a few years that I wasn’t content and happy doing the daily grind that I saw people doing of getting up and punching the clock. … I was slowly doing more art as a side hobby and that was the direction I wanted to go. It was pretty difficult leaving a pretty secure job for something I didn’t know how to make a living at.”
The draw to the art form was deeper than something fun for Molly Arms to try. Arms wasn’t interested in permanent tattoos, and henna provided a way she could wear her art constantly. “In the beginning, it was because I wanted to do henna on myself,” Arms shared. “I didn’t think about a business.”
Kelly MacNiven also found support in the small business community in Durango. She attends the local Chamber events for networking opportunities, and has developed a good rapport with other local photographers. “We can all help each other out and there’s enough room for everybody,” said MacNiven. “There’s enough business to go around. We don’t need to be competitive. It works and we all help each other out and it’s a great community of artists and business owners making sure there’s enough room for all of us, doing what we love to do.”
Valuing her input as a senior who has completed the program, Allison and Matt asked for suggestions on how enhance the experience. While Senora has noticed that potential clients are nervous about the cost, she has experienced herself that participation in the program is worth much more than the money value. Included are multiple shoots, which can include headshots, couture session, family session, senior session, and custom sessions, depending on the model level a senior chooses. Hair and make-up are also included. “It’s really worth all of it,” Senora said, “and it’s documented the end of junior year to the end of senior year and you change a lot, so it’s cool to document the entire time instead of just senior photos.”