A Selah Moment
Entrepreneurship: Building A Fashion Boutique
Apr. 11, 2019 - Being your own boss and creating your own business takes dedication and hard work. We sat down with boutique owner Lamina Buster (@minabee) to discuss her brand Selah Studios (@selah.studios), an online boutique in the works of opening their very first storefront location. Lamina hopes that Selah Studios is a domain of all beauty lovers alike and wants her brand to allow women to bask in fashion and soak up style. Check out what she’s building below:
When did you decide that you wanted to build your own brand?
I've always known that I had so much to offer in terms of style and innovation. In 2012, at the age of 21, I really began to understand my gifts and talents, and that is when I knew that I had something special to share. That is when I began my journey to building my brand, which is now known as Selah Studios.
How did you decide on making it fashion focused?
When it comes to my brand, there was never a question of what Industry it would be a part of. For as long as I can remember, fashion has been an important part of my life. Thinking back to me as a little girl, I have vivid memories of shopping with my mother and being so particular about the items of clothing she'd buy for me. It's so funny to me now that at such a young age, I was so meticulous about my appearance, but as I grew older, so did my love for fashion. It's a part of me (laughs).
What does "Selah" mean?
Selah is a Hebrew word that is found 74 times in the Bible. When translated, it means "Pause and Reflect.” I cannot begin to explain how much that word means to me, and how much pausing and simply reflecting on myself and things that I wanted in life have played a major role in my success' and failures, which have all shaped me into the person that I am today--The CEO & Founder of Selah Studios!
What would you say is the most important part of being a business owner is?
This is a tough one, but I'd say the most important part of being a business owner is having faith. Faith, amongst other things, of course, is so vital when embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship. I strongly believe that if you have faith in yourself, and truly believe that the business your birthing will do great things, then everything will fall into place accordingly and you will find success.
What would you tell an aspiring business or boutique owner?
Never give up, never doubt yourself, and literally, just do it! I know from experience, that dreams can be intimidating, but when I turned my dreams into goals my mindset changed completely. I made it my mission to bring my plans to fruition. I did research for years before launching my brand. I made sure that I knew the ins and outs of the industry, even the not so glamorous parts. When it came time to launch my brand, it felt so right. So you can definitely do it, it can definitely be done!
Five important steps for building a business?
1. Do your research
2. Create a realistic plan/timeline
3. Talk to others in the field
4. Secure Capital
5. DO IT!
6 Things I Learned As A Creative Entrepreneur
Apr. 3rd 2018 - There are many different roadmaps that people take in order to get to where they want to be in their business life. From jumping in headfirst to teaching yourself as you go, people learn to maneuver through life with little steps that help them create their own unique paths. Beginning your entrepreneurial journey is nothing short of intense, difficult, and maybe even a bit scary! However, at the same time, there is also beauty, bravery, and intelligence in the quest. Here are five tips that I’ve learned in my first year as creative entrepreneur.
1.Mindset is EVERYTHING!
You may have heard the quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.” This goes with anything you ever launch, create, sell, produce, etc. Whatever you think will happen, so it will be. How do you FEED your mind? This entrepreneur life is not for the faint of heart. The ups and downs are only manageable if you keep feeding your mind with the right things. Keep your mind fed with only positive, uplifting things. Listen to podcasts, read business books, and even follow accounts on Instagram that will offer continued motivation!
2.Instagram is God’s gift to the creative
When I get asked how I gain so many opportunities so quickly, one of the top reasons is Instagram. If you have a business, and you have zero or a very limited social media presence, you are doing your business a huge disservice! I was able to not only gain exposure which led to sales, but every professional partnership I’m apart of has started through instagram. From licensing deals to getting into national retailers such as Homegoods/Marshalls, to brands reaching out to collaborate. Major companies are looking for talent on social media. It’s 2019! Your social media page is your visual resume.
To Do: Download apps like Preview or Plann. They allow you to plan out your content and see what your feed will look like for aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds. Also, on Sunday afternoons, take an hour (tops) to plan out your content for the week. It’s one less thing to worry about during the week. Follow me!
3. Learn to fail fast
I heard this a lot growing up, but what does it really mean? As a creative, there are so many ideas that we come up with on our own, and we are so sure the world will embrace that idea the same way we do. But, this doesn't always happen. When I first started my art business, I wanted to paint landscapes, flowers, seascapes, portraits, almost everything around me! But I quickly realized that experimenting and trying out different things and that failing are part of the process. In order to walk, we must first crawl, and sometimes we will fall along the way. The best thing to do is to fail fast, then get up and move on. This is what led me to discover my style. Failing fast, and quickly getting back up.
To Do: Turn every failure into a lesson. Be ready to do a check in and write down practical steps. For example, “What can I do better/more efficiently/faster/bigger etc.” It really helps!
4. Fully commit - consistency is crucial
If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If you announce it to your social media family, then you have to follow through. You can have all the ideas and talent in the world, but without discipline they will continue to be just that--ideas and talent. Be consistent in taking action.Set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals, and consistently check in on them! Get a mentor and people in your circle who will hold you accountable.
To Do: Write down your goals, and find a great planner to keep you motivated. I use the Black Girl Magic Planner by @KaylaShanai.
5. Find your people (a.k.a your niche)
Creating something for sale means you are solving a problem or a need with what you are selling. When I first started on Etsy and when my store went live, I remember thinking that everything would sell out instantly! (haha). I quickly realized my art is not for everyone, which is okay. Every product is not for everyone, so don’t take it personally when people are not quick to give you their money. Do your research and find your niche. Who is your ideal customer/client? If you offer a service, where does your ideal client hang out on social media? What are their demographics? What are their habits? Do your market research so that you are targeting the right people because you are creating something wonderful. Your people are out there waiting to discover your creative business and purchase from YOU!
To Do: Youtube/Google articles on finding your niche market based on your industry. If you’re an artist, read “Art, Money, Success” by Maria Brophy.
6. Set your goals as “Too High” and watch the magic happen
Have you ever worked at a job where the goals were set “too high” and you just knew you would never achieve the quota? But then, with enough pressure and determination, you end up reaching and even exceeding the goal? This is the same concept I used when I first started my art business. I set goals that seemed “impossible.” But guess what? Even when I fell short, I still achieved more than I would have been able to if I had set my goals lower than they needed to be. So set those goals HIGH, and you just might surprise yourself!
To Do: Where are your goals written down? Are they visually available to you daily? If not, put your goals/visions where you can see them as often as possible.
There are way more lessons to be learned, but I hope sharing what I’ve learned with you can help someone along the way when starting or continuing a successful creative business.
How To Make CAMP Your Own
Feb 10, 2019- At CAMP, one of our main priorities is ensuring that we maximize and minimize our space in the best ways possible. We are flexible and open to seeing the space shape shift in order to better suit your events and photoshoots. Since we encourage guests to bring in their own chairs, furniture, light fixtures, tables, and more, we also do allow guests to use our already furnished interior. Our couch is warm, our tables are clear, and our kitchen island is perfect for any food spread. But, in the case of wanting to use concise and consistent decor for your needs, here are ways to store our furniture in order to use your own to maximize our space.
For events in the past, we’ve had guests bring in long tables and chairs for dining room styled seating in our main area. We’ve also had events where the entire main area was stripped of its furniture to have an open floor for a runway. In order to do this, our white center table, small coffee table, our couch, and the desk under the television had to be moved. How did we do this? We got creative!
Though we do not have a designated “storage” area, we allow for our guests to rearrange the space in any way that they can. If your event does not utilize the conference room, you are able to store furniture such as chairs and small tables that occupy the main area. You can also shift our furniture around in a way that can still be useful for your event without taking away from your desired aesthetic. Our back office can also be used as storage space. Be aware, though, that our larger fridge is located in there. So, make sure that it is not blocked so that it is easily accessible for those events that need it.
Our rugs can also be rolled up as well, or placed in different areas of the space for another unique vibe that can cater to your event. These can also be placed in the back office or conference room if neither are in use for your event.
So, how will YOU make our space your art project?
Knowing Your Angles
Photography at CAMP
JANUARY 22, 2018
One summer day in 2018, photographers from the D.C. area took over our space. With models as their mission and their cameras as their shield, a plethora of different photographers with their own specialties created beautiful portraits utilizing our grounds for the Portrait Meet D.C. event on July 21st. We interviewed two of the photographers from the event, Natasha Henry and Michael Edwards in order to see CAMP through their lenses.
Edwards, armed with his Nikon, “[has] loved photography from a young age but did not give it my heart until about 12 years ago. That is when I really started developing my eye for composition. I have been shooting professionally for 4 years now.”
We pride ourselves on being a space where we can allow the natural light to peek through the windows, or even close the blinds and let the artificial light create a more intense atmosphere. “I much prefer natural light when I’m shooting. I love the outdoors but sometimes a client wants to shoot indoors. A place like CAMPSpace works great. The natural light coming through the windows works very well,” said Henry, who recently modeled in her own photoshoot alongside her twin sister.
Since photographers can use the space to their discretion, and, quite literally, turn CAMP into their own personal studios, we encourage them to bring their own equipment, even if that includes their own light fixtures. “The unique element of your space, is that there is an abundance of ambient light everywhere,” said Edwards. “I bring lights every time, but I never use them! This a such a beautiful venue with beautiful light from the front to the back!”
Though we do want to ensure that our photographers are comfortable with the lighting and the aura that is CAMPspace, we also think it’s important for the models that they are shooting to feel at home as well. “When you shoot at CAMPSpace you really have to explore the space. The décor is very cool and can be incorporated in your photos. Ensure your photographer keep you near the windows and doors to take advantage of the natural light,” said Henry. “It's amazing the difference staying near the windows and doorway makes. Your photo will be more flattering because they will be better lit!”
Connect with them!
2018: A Year In Review
The year is coming to and end, and we (kind of sadly) reflect on the many ways that CAMP has helped the community grow TOGETHER. We welcome guests into the space with open arms, and encourage them to make the space their own, creating an atmosphere that is perfect for them. We've loved having people come in and get creative, and grow while doing it! From our first #CAMPsummer effort, to workshops and dinners in the like, we've watched our space transform daily. Here are a few of the many events that happened at CAMPspace this year!
#1 Sillie Mugo's Exhibit
This summer, we kicked off our art exhibit series. Our walls were intentionally kept bare so that we could eventually display the beautiful work of local artists. Sillie Mugo was our first artist, which kicked off with a debut exhibit opening, libations and great conversation. Bloggers, photographers, artists, and other creatives met up and brought so much great energy into the space! Check out her work here.
#2 Dine With Victory Truck Private Dinner
Most people are in love with the kitchen in our space, and we love making sure it's utilized in a great way! In April, we held our very first private dinner with Chef Tobias Dorzon - the space was transformed and the food was amazing. Attended by some of the area’s elite, it was definitely the place to be!
#3 Entrepreneurial Efforts: Playpits Brand Shoot
Sticking to our motto of helping the community GROW, we’ve been able to be the backdrop for dozens of professional brand photo and video shoots. Playpits, a black owned all-natural deodorant line for children, was one of the first local small businesses to shot in our space and we’re forever grateful. Looking forward to even more entrepreneurs to debut their businesses with us.
Expert in your field? We’ve opened our doors to professionals, at no cost, that host different workshops in their related fields. Aside from being able to bring more people in the space, we are fulfilled when we can provide opportunities for our guests to learn and connect. In 2018, we co-hosted workshops dedicated to Social Media Marketing, Website Design and Small Business Accounting, and are really excited to host more in the future.
We love our kids too! In partnership with Life Abundantly Coaching, we kicked off our Storytime series for babies and toddlers, with parents bringing them into the space to hear stories and meet other kiddies. CAMP feels like home, and seeing all of the baby’s smiling faces was amazing.
How will YOU use our space in the 2019 year? For more recaps and photos about events, follow our Instagram page, and visit our website to see what’s coming up!
Meet Patrice: Mom, Wife, CEO…
Dec. 9, 2018 - Most people are intimidated by their own possibilities mainly because they haven't tapped into them yet. Taking a leap of faith and following your dreams may seem like a risk that is too dangerous to chance, but the outcome will always be a lesson learned. For Patrice Cameau, that leap of faith lead her to opening CAMPspace, in March of 2018.
The 35-year-old mom of two (and one of the way) has a drive instilled in her that is unexplainable. "I've always been a leader and a connector," she said, cuddled on her couch with her 1-year-old daughter Parker. Aside from managing CAMPspace full time, Cameau also manages all kinds of creatives from entertainers to chefs, such as famed Chef Tobias Dorzon. Cameau's passion lies in being able to facilitate ways for people to reach their greatest potential and realize their calling. As a former PR consultant turned brand manager, she is committed to and is inspired by helping people share their message and grow their brands, while helping them find their voice.
Staying motivated and highly focused on certain goals is what helps the businesswoman continue paving the path to success for her family and the community in the like. "It all goes back to my kids," she confessed, "The legacy of Patrice Cameau." The CEO is motivated by being a mother to her children and ensuring that they have something to remember their mother by when all is said and done. "I want them to be able to look back and say my mom did that," she said. Leaving a lasting mark on her family's legacy is her largest motivation, and it pushes her to strive past the many obstacles that this business has to throw in her way. However, on any journey, the road is never easy.
The idea of CAMPspace was developed around 2012 and 2013 when Cameau began an organization called C.O.O.K.I.E. It was a niche for female entrepreneurs and business owners to link together in order to inspire and encourage one another in their own separate ventures. In doing this, Cameau would rent out spaces in the district in order to hold certain workshops and to have the women gather in a single space to secure a comfortable and welcoming setting. C.O.O.K.I.E. began to phase out as the strain of the commute to D.C. weighed on the organization and Cameau's dream to open her own coworking space. In attempts to keep her dream alive, she wanted to raise $8,000 to begin building what would be CAMPspace. After having a miscarriage in September 2015 combined with the inability to raise the funds for a space, Cameau's goal seemed to be harder to reach.
In 2016, Cameau decided to allow her misfortunes turn into treasure. She began renting out spaces along Route 1 for pop up working days, all while still maintaining her drive for opening one of her own. "I would always do these happy hour events," she said with a smirk. "They would always be business focused." The Hyattsville/College Park area at the time had no exposure to what coworking actually was, which led her to keep striving to bring the concept to a city that needed it so desperately. For the remainder of that year, the entrepreneur would reach out to top officials, have her second child, and go through a series of personal challenges. Little did she know that the best was still in store.
In October 2017, Cameau recounts giving up on her dream of opening her space. Just as the doubts began to flood her expectations, she received a phone call from a landlord offering her the space at 4214 Gallatin Street. Armed with the funds from her 401k and a revamped attitude, Cameau was ready to begin the stages of finally opening her space until the landlord had a change of plans and gave the space away to another tenant. "I was heartbroken," she said.
There was still, however, a glimmer of hope through all of the setbacks and trials. A little over a month later around Thanksgiving 2017, Cameau got another call from the landlord offering her the space on Gallatin once more. "December 1st 2017, we signed and reviewed the lease," she exclaimed. "And it's November 7th, 2018 and we're about to review the lease for next year."
And a wonderful year it has been. From photoshoots and brunches to dinners and pop-up shops, 4214 Gallatin Street has transformed to CAMPspace; a coworking and event space where people can grow together. "It's been quite the journey," she sighed. "It wasn't easy." Cameau prides CAMPspace for its uniqueness in architectural style to it's minimalistic, living room aura. "I definitely wanted it to be a living room kind of vibe because me being a consultant and working from home sometimes, I like being on my couch." She continued, "When I created it, I wanted it to be a place where I could work, and that's not for everybody, but it is for some people, and those are the people that we're serving."
The concept of coworking has spread across the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area like wildfire, but CAMPspace has remained to be the hidden gem that it is. "It [CAMPspace] will never be WeWork, It will never be a 10,000 sq. ft. space," she expressed. "That's just not what CAMP is." So, you may be wondering, what is next for CAMP? "My goal for year two is to really get the books together," said Cameau after discussing the possibilities of opening other locations for the space in the future. "My goal and my focus is always suburban cities. CAMP in Hyattsville, M.D. will look different from CAMP in Montclair, New Jersey or a suburb in Atlanta because you also have to look at the community around the space."
And Cameau has done just that. "I am Patrice Cameau: a mom, a wife, and I am just really committed to creating spaces and opportunities for people to grow."
Exhibits at CAMP
Nov. 28, 2018 - We open our doors to artists of all kinds. On November 13th, we debuted our current featured artist, Dew The Artist, whose work is one that exudes limitless emotions. Each brushstroke is filled with pain, love, hope, and dedication. The artist allows for the audience to interpret the work for themselves before he reveals its true meaning.
Check out a recap of the event here.
The Hidden Treasure
Nov. 3, 2018 - A typical day in CAMPspace begins with grinding fresh coffee and opening the blinds just enough so the glare of the sunlight doesn’t bounce off of the MacBook screens. The Smart TV bolted to the wall; usually tuned into Live With Kelly and Ryan or any of the plethora of the week’s daily talk shows, narrates a day full of rigorous work in a serene environment. Tucked into a row of buildings just in the backyard of St. Jerome’s Apostle School, in Hyattsville, M.D., CAMPspace opens its doors to entrepreneurs, photographers, artists, pastors, consultants, and many other eager, go-getter personalities on a daily basis.
The concept of co-working is something that is very new, but it’s taking the D.C. Metro area by storm. By definition, co-working is a style of work that consists of a shared workspace among people that work independently on their own project. Though it’s not usually your typical office space where everyone is working around the same idea or sharing one boss, it is still an effective way of completing your profession while still being able to bounce your ideas off of people who are pursuing something else. Opened in March 2018, CAMPspace takes this concept and transforms it into a comforting, fresh version of what is usually expected.
Coworking and sharing your ideas with them in order to gain insight on their own individual endeavors is extremely warming because it shows that they aren’t just taking time out of their day to leave the comfort of their homes, but they’re doing it to make something of themselves in a world that so often forgets that creativity and the next best thing still exists.