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Montana District Office Success Stories

Montana District Office Success Stories

A visit to Lisa Wareham Photography’s website, lisawareham.com, reveals not only amazing images, but the quote “Life. It’s meant to be felt even after the moment is gone.”  Reading that quote really divulges what Lisa Wareham is all about.

After graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Journalism as well as working in various journalism jobs, she stumbled upon her passion for photography, and in 2008 Lisa Wareham Photography was created.  Much like the quote says, looking at Lisa’s images the characters come to life and the “feelings” of that particular moment are felt.  Her journalistic approach is what sets her apart from other photographers in the area.

Lisa started her business in a rented space in the basement of a historic yet run down building in uptown Butte.  Then in 2012 Lisa and her husband decided to purchase the building and renovate it to its previous historic glory.  Lisa quickly turned to Julie Jaksha, Butte Small Business Development Center director, to ask for help getting her loan package together.  With Julie’s assistance of putting the business plan together, working on the financial projections, and helping Lisa prepare for bank meetings, Lisa received financing through Headwaters RC&D in Butte and began renovating the building.

Lisa and her husband renovated the building inside and out with new paint, carpet, and tile, while still keeping much of the historic features intact.  The photography studio is on the main floor of the building, and has great visual presence on the corner of the building.

Not only was purchasing and renovating the building one of the best business decisions Lisa has made, it’s also near and dear to her heart.  Lisa believes in the beauty and historical value that Butte has.  “I believe in Butte,” she said.  “It’s a town that helped support the war efforts via copper and other metals, a place where you are not afraid to let strangers help you change a flat tire, a place where you can see, smell and even taste the mysterious tales that seem too over fantastic to be true.”

There’s much to be said for this successful mom entrepreneur (aka “mompreneur”), including her involvement in the community, her co-branding efforts with other small businesses, and her unique marketing efforts to bring new clientele.

Lisa’s new venture includes focusing on other women entrepreneurs and helping moms balance business and family through a collection of podcasts and her own website at crazyambition.com.  SBDC Julie Jaksha was also recently featured in one of her podcasts.

Lisa has continued to grow her business and make a name for herself in Butte, and praises the assistance and continued relationship she has with Julie.

Julie Jaksha is one of ten SBDC counselors across the state that provides free confidential one-on-one advising for businesses wanting to start or grow their business.  The Butte SBDC program is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, in cooperation with the Montana Department of Commerce and hosted by Headwaters RC&D.