Canvas Creek: Pairing Art and Team Building

Karen Grosz is founder and owner of Canvas Creek Team Building. I’ve known Karen for a long time. She has all the qualities that make a talented business woman. She is incredibly smart, tenacious and not afraid to take risks. She has the ability to dream up a concept and then make it a reality.

The result of all these wonderful talents combined is Canvas Creek, a growing business that serves both families and organizations. You are going to love her story!

Tell us about your business and the services you offer.

Canvas Creek Team Building is a company with two main offerings, team building and coaching certification. The team building events are tailored to the needs of the business, the coaching certification allows business and life coaches to add Canvas Creek to their list of offerings.

How did you come up with the idea?

Canvas Creek is the intersection of my business coaching experience and a collaboration with my daughter on a contemporary ceramic studio. While starting a new coaching company I wondered what would happen if we paired art with team building. We tested the concept and were blown away with the results. In the ceramic studio I’d watched people go from fearful to proud of their creations. That’s exactly what happens with a team. But a team also experiences a profound reaction which bonds them together.

I also like to say I jumped and the universe caught me.

What do you like best about being a small business owner?

Knowing something I created has such a profound impact on people. I also like being my absolute own person. I run my schedule, design my appearance, and give my time to the things that matter to me.  In the corporate world, these are choices made for you.

What are the frustrations?

That the day is only 26 hours long. What, it’s 24? That could be part of my problem.

Getting the word out is my big frustration. This is not the kind of business you put in a commercial. I just can’t seem to get the point across that we travel- that Canvas Creek helps businesses everywhere, not just here. We’ve traveled some, but not nearly enough.

How do you see your business making a difference in people’s lives?

I have a list of quotes that make me proud. One seven year old said to her parents “I think when we are yelling and screaming at each other we should look at our painting and remember we can be quiet and we love each other.”

A business owner credits the three hours they spent at Canvas Creek as the kickoff of explosive business productivity.

Canvas Creek helps people to be more creative, but also kinder to each other. The insights in working together are amazing and empowering. We have many clients who return time after time because they like the burst of energy this experience gives them.

What advice do you have for others who have a great idea and dream of turning it into a successful business?

Join your Chamber of Commerce. The networking will help take your dream from infancy to success very quickly.

You cannot network enough when you start something new.

I cannot tell you how scary and how satisfying it is to just jump in and swim with your idea- you have to experience if for yourself…and network.

Did I mention network? There are people out there who can and will help you, who need what you offer. Go find them.

Picture Amy at Work

Amy Brooks Hoffmann is a small business owner who balances work alongside of family. I’ve known Amy for years and have always been impressed with her ability to plan strategically, envision a business that is relevant to the time, and network within her community.

Most recently, Amy added photo organizing to her existing business and rebranded with a new name — Fleur de Lis Photo Solutions.

Enjoy my conversation with Amy as she shares a few tips and explains how her business has evolved.

Tell us about your business. What made you decide to become a photo organizer?

A lot has changed with the way we take photographs! Digital photography was introduced in the early 2000s, allowing us to be free of film and photo processing. The good news? You can take so many photographs with a digital camera! The bad news? You can take so many photographs with a digital camera!

More and more often I was asked to create commissioned albums for my clients. The time seemed right with our family’s schedule – so I added the service of photo organizing and digital album creation to my existing business.

You have been a Creative Memories consultant for many years. How has adding photo organizing to your existing business been a benefit?

Expanding my business from Amy Brooks Hoffmann, Creative Memories Consultant to Amy Brooks Hoffmann, Fleur de Lis Photo Solutions broadens my client opportunity.

People and organizations who would never have anything to do with the preconceived idea of a “crafty” business are now interested in working with me as a business consultant for all of their photo needs. Flexibility is the key.

I am working to make sure that current clients, members of my church, school and social communities know that I have expanded my business and offer more services that might benefit them. My current business goal is to expand the business to see what opportunities are available with small and large corporations. I’d love to organize the photographic archives of businesses throughout my home town.

What do you like most about what you do?

I love talking with people, learning their stories, and seeing those experiences in their photos. I have come to the conclusion that most families are really the same – we all have hopes and dreams for our children, challenges with our professions and celebrations throughout the year. I’m convinced that we all have similar experiences and concerns. Most people love their photos. Most people want to enjoy them. Most people have no idea how to transform their “mess” of photos to “masterpieces.”

That’s where I come in.

What advice do you have for new Photo Organizers? Or for someone who is adding photo organizing to an existing business?

If you have jumped into this profession, you probably have worked with your own photos and family memorabilia.  Realize that the work you have done with your own photos is a perfect “apprenticeship,” preparing you to work with clients. When working with a new client, Be Confident in your ability to bring an outside, objective view to the new project. Your clients will express nothing but gratitude and relief as you assume the responsibility for their project.

You have kids at home (2 smart and active boys!) How do you make it all work?

“Making it all work” is a lofty goal by anyone’s standards. Is it really possible to integrate a smooth home and professional life every day? We try at the Hoffmann household. Often succeeding. Sometimes failing. The greatest challenge for me as a Mom and home-based business owner is time management. I often over commit to professional and philanthropic projects. That leads to panic, frustration and can obliterate a well planned schedule.

Keeping my family’s schedule in mind, I always discuss a deadline (or series of deadlines) with my clients. Accountability to the client keeps the project on pace and moving forward while putting my family first.

A second word of advice: find a “desk” for yourself. This was a really big transition for me after I decided to become a stay-at-home mom 12 years ago. It is frustrating to  have “stacks” of paper and projects throughout the house. You need a landing spot/clearing house for the paper and information that comes into your home. I keep my to do lists here, along with project files. It is a daily challenge to keep my space clutter free…but that is a discussion for another blog post, I’m sure!

Amy Brooks Hoffmann can be reached at Fleur de Lis Photo Solutions
She is an Appo™ member.

Welcome to Big Picture Coaching!

Photo :: Source

Life is a funny thing.

It twists and turns and when you least expect it something happens that makes you stop, giggle a little, and realize that there was indeed a plan in place long before you knew it.

That’s what happened to Sherra and me.

Sherra and I first met in 2002. We shared a love for photos and story telling and ended up working with the same company for many years. From the beginning, I admired Sherra for her intelligence, her quick wit and the straightforward way she has of just “telling it like it is” without being offensive or mean-spirited.

Our paths crossed again early this year when we both took positions with the Association of Personal Photo Organizers. We reconnected, talked a lot about our work, and found that we shared a passion and a gift for helping women succeed in business. Our individual skills plus years and years of experience blend and compliment each other.

The result is Big Picture Coaching. Our goal is to be a resource and a guide for women who are starting, building or reinventing a small business.

Our coaching philosophy is simple:

  • cut to the chase
  • focus on a plan that will build a client base
  • keep it simple so you can earn money

Finally, we know the bottom line matters, so we’ll keep all we offer affordable for small business owners.

We are glad you are here and we look forward to talking with you on the phone, by email, in conversation via our blog posts, or as part of one of our small groups.

I know Sherra has a lot to share with you…cause she always does 😉

Check us out on Facebook and “like” our page if you haven’t already. And if you would, tell your friends about us.

Now we want to connect with you and one of the easiest ways to do that is if you will take a quick moment and subscribe below by email. That way you’ll receive all of our latest blog posts and other updates. We promise we’ll be working hard to deliver “news you can use” and quality content because, after all, that’s what we like to read too.

Stay in Touch

* indicates required