Denise Ramirez saw a need in the town of Boise, Idaho for a photography studio, so she made it happen with her partner Scott Williams. Her desire is to bring local photographer enthusiasts, like herself, to a unique and professional environment to create, collaborate, and exhibit art work, which is what Studio Boise is all about. Read our interview with the lovely Denise below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
The earliest memory I have of wanting to be a business owner was in my early teens. I think the idea came from seeing my dad operate his own businesses.
Tell us about your business.
Studio Boise is a hybrid photography company. We mixed three business models into one: hourly photography studio rentals, photographic equipment rentals, and art gallery. We also have two rooms open to the community to meet with their clients in a professional setting free of any costs. We try to do our business based on the motto “community over competition”.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first steps taken were to look up local competition, register with the state, and begin working on a business plan.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Our best method to date has been social media and word of mouth.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Bringing in a new business concept into a city brings many challenges. I think as of right now it’s making people realize that anyone is able to use our facility. People assume only professional photographers know how to use the equipment or are able to get their art on gallery walls and the challenge we face is getting people to realize they are capable of doing the same.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We are still in the process of overcoming this challenge. At the moment we are planning an educational movement within the photographic community in Boise, Idaho to help give everyone the chance to be the best photographer they can be.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
It helps to have an excellent support system that tells you the truth when you need to hear it, but is also supportive of your dreams. I am lucky that I was able to begin this business with a very supportive partner.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Thankfully we do not have a major competitor in the area. I believe there are some coming soon and we pride ourselves in doing our best to make our customers and their clients feel safe and open in our facility.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Get an accountant.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Networking is key.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Social & networking websites.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
· Instagram @studioboise and @_ddeenniissee_
· Facebook @studioboise208
· Twitter @studioboise
· LinkedIn: Studio Boise / Denise Ramirez
· Website www.studioboise.org
· Hashtags #studioboise #boisephotographystudio #rentalphotographystudio #lensrental #camerarental #gallery
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
None business related come to mind. All of my reading lately has been for a technical communications master’s program.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I hope to be able to increase our sales by 20% and I am preparing to launch various workshops to get the community involved and educated on how to utilize our services.