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Entrepreneurial Success Found through the Camera Lens

Sonia Stewart came from humble beginnings with little support to make a better future. In her late twenties, Sonia decided she would change her life. She had a dream of business ownership so she decided to take business classes and improve her photography skills. Her passion in photography of babies, families and weddings was the gateway to making her dream into a reality. 

In an online search for starting a business, Sonia discovered the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center and applied for their “It’s Your Time” (IYT) series. She will tell you, those three seconds of searching changed her life forever. The IYT, 90-day entrepreneurial training series for women helps to kick-start a business idea by completing a business plan, working one-on-one with a business counselor, and attending workshops on business management, marketing, financial projections and accounting. Sonia had no idea of what to expect but she instinctively knew this was exactly what she needed. 

While completing the IYT program, Sonia was required to develop a vision board. This activity helped Sonia to make her business a reality which meant coming to terms with dreams, emotions and her struggle with low self-esteem. Starting and running a business would be hard work, but the program gave her the confidence to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. 

When first beginning the IYT program, Sonia was working out of her garage with three low-paying clients. She has since increased her client database to over 800, half of which she sees multiple times a year. With her newly acquired business knowledge, she now has a comfortable and dependable income, four employees, and her own storefront studio.

 Sonia credits her forward progress in business to being a continuous learner and regularly takes workshops from the Women’s Business Center and other SBA powered Resource Partners. Providing her staff with training in photography, editing, sales and customer service helps them improve skills and strengthens her business. Having goals to strive for, such as opening more locations and providing her staff with an abundance of work is key, but she also wants her team to experience life and reach for their own dreams to keep the circle of happiness going. 

Sonia’s definition of success continues to be a work in progress, and she keeps moving forward achieving goals and making new ones. Her success is a beacon of hope for entrepreneurs everywhere. 

Company Name: 
Sonia Stewart Photography, LLC
Location: 
Bermuda Dunes, CA
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