By Heather Exner-Pirot and Patricia Crowe
You were a participant in Matchstick held in 2019 (a program designed for indigenous Women in Saskatchewan); can you share the highlights of your experience?
Richard (Missens, the facilitator) did a good job outlining the course and made me realize everything I was doing to start my business was in the right direction. I learned the extra steps I needed to succeed and the different resources available to us. It was also nice meeting other entrepreneurial woman and seeing the outcome of their business and learning from one another.
What attracted you to becoming an entrepreneur?
I’ve worked full time at my day job for 13 years. After having my baby I realized taking pictures was my passion and I could make a part-time job out of it. I’ve always been a busy body, and while on maternity leave I found myself wanting to learn new things. So I kept busy self-teaching myself new techniques for my business.
Can you tell me about your business? How long have you been operating?
I started my business 2 years ago, after having my first child. I paid for newborn sessions and it made me realize this was a passion I should have followed. Soon after, I started my business and now do newborn session, boudoirs, cake smashes, family photos, headshots, party pictures etc.
What do like most about being your own boss, and what have you found most challenging?
I love being able to fit clients around my own busy schedule and working in my own environment. I’m not stuck in an office and having to work under someone. I do find it challenging to not overwork. I also have a full-time job, I’m a mom and a wife. My biggest challenging is finding balance.
Do you think there are different challenges to being an entrepreneur as an Indigenous woman?
No, I find there’s more opportunity as there aren’t many Indigenous women in my profession living in Regina. I’ve had a couple people reach out to me saying they were looking for a female Indigenous woman, but they couldn’t find one on time and asked to keep in touch for future events.
What advice would you give to other Indigenous women who are thinking of starting their own business?
I was afraid to start something new but once I got going and the more clients and practice I had, I started becoming busier and always finding opportunity to grow. My business is my passion. It’s not work, I love what I do and practice makes perfect. If you have an idea but are too scared to take that next step, I say follow your dream and do what makes you happy.
Please provide any social media or website or contact information for your business so we can support your service!
You can connect with me here:
Facebook: Andrea Longman-Amyotte Photography