Welcome everybody. In our last session we covered ethics and professionalism. And today I would like to be interviewing my good friend and peer, Daniella May Zell, who actually just got married three days ago. Congratulations. Yeah. And although she's, I know, what is that cool? And she's 27 years old. That's what's so amazing. And what's more interesting to me is she's a studio owner.
How many years have you had your studio?
I am not very good at just accepting something for what it is. And I think that genuinely is why I'm also a fantastic Polonious teacher because I'll never take an issue or an ailment at face value. I always have to go deeper and understand why things are the way they are. How can we change them? How can we make them better? Right. So I think working in a corporate structure where I was just given this, not that without the why behind it, I just, I couldn't accept it.
I couldn't accept the why for even the simplest little things.
I had been telling my clients for years about this magical equipment and if you do the exercise on this equipment, this is what it would feel like. And I think I just had gotten to the point that I was like, you know what, why am I telling them what it could feel like when I can just show them what it will feel like and I'll just open my own studio. So on a whim with the help of a couple of credit cards, I made my first order with growths and it took quite a long time to get my equipment, um, which gave me the amount of time that I needed to get my ducks in a row. I found a space that had beautiful floor to ceiling windows and the rest of the space was a disaster. But I saw these windows and I said, I mean, this is where you want to be doing plays with these gorgeous natural light. Um, and my clients were in, I mean, I'd been talking about it for years. They, they were on board. They were excited that the prospect. So I started taking them to a studio about 20 minutes away and I told them this is temporary. And they came to the studio that was not close by on this magical equipment.
They got a taste of what my studio was going to be like. And I think that's really when we started to develop our community because everyone that was willing to travel that far to stick with me during this transitional phase started to get to know each other a lot better and we would go to lunch or you know, what have you. And we just kind of became like a family. So when the studio finally opened, I had this group of people that loved hanging out with each other. I love spending time with each. I loved doing plots together. Um, and that was really the base of the community that we formed.
So how did you manage this financially?
The thing I didn't know,
So what would you recommend? What I would recommend is finding a legitimate loan or financing that you can do through most equipment companies. The interest rates are not great, but they're reasonable. It's about the equivalent of a car loan, right? Because it's a secure loan, it's easy to obtain a secure loan because you have something tangible they can take away if somehow you can't pay it off. So if you go with that kind of loan, you can get a larger amount of money that would cover all of your costs rather than having to kind of sprinkle it out over at various cards. And then you have one manageable payment every month, which is what I ended up doing almost a year later.
I've now refinanced and now have one manageable payment that I will be paying for the next two years. Had I done this year before, it would have been a little bit different. But it's just so much easier to manage when you just have to think about one amount each month rather than like all of these things sprinkled about. Yeah.
And because they're paying, they come and because they come, they see results. So the system is genius. I can take no credit for that whatsoever. So you found it, but I found you got found it. So an implement but implemented it and found a way to make it work for us. So that completely was outside. I mean the, the number one thing I can recommend to new studio owners is, is find help.
Find someone that has found a way to run a successful business and can teach you from their mistakes. Because trying to recreate a wheel that's already running elsewhere is just a total waste of time. Um, but then in terms of actual organization and how do I structure a schedule and how do I make materials and things like that. I spent a year as an Americorps volunteer. Um, yeah, with city Boston. Um, you know what Americorps is, right? Yes. But tell us about it. Okay. So Americorps is like the Peace Corps in the United States is the easiest way to explain it. Your stations somewhere. Um, generally speaking in an inner city of a city. Um, so I was in the inner city of Boston and I did leadership development in service learning for inner city high schoolers, which was really cool on so many levels. But for my own personal growth, I, a big part of what I had to do with them was create these events for anywhere from a hundred high schoolers to a thousand corporate sponsors.
And these were very multifaceted, multi-site events where we would do service work together, we would refurbish community parks or playgrounds, things like that.
So there's a ton of training and a ton of leadership development for us as people to be able to use the skills that were given to help the communities that we serve. So I pull from that training every day.
And then my mom was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in January. I, sorry, I was planning my wedding, which was supposed to be in September. We moved it earlier so that my mom could be there. Um, and then I had to go and leave my business for almost a month to, um, on and off to help my mom through an, an unsuccessful surgery and just kind of helping her decide what was gonna come next. So, um, I think the challenges that I faced were, what do you do when you have to step away and is your business still going to be able to survive without you there? Yeah. And I think what I found is that with very dedicated community of teachers, that's possible.
And I've found someone that I can truly rely on that has made it possible to have my business run as I step away. I mean, she's just absolutely fantastic and, and I, I can't give any advice to how to find someone like that. I think that these people just kind of come into your life, right? We exactly. When we need them the most. Um, and I hope that everybody has a person right in their life that helps them through these times. And, um, I'd say, yeah, I mean, building community. And if you truly build a community, it will stand its ground whether you're present or not.
I talk a lot about teams together. Everyone achieves more and how important it is to be friends, to respect each other, to be honest with each other and to be there for each other. Because we're in this together and it's a tough world. And one of the qualities that you really inspire me the most it is you've got grit. Grit means I don't care how tough it is I'm holding on and how amazing the inspiration of all these different solutions you had to come up with.
You had to think on your feet. And yes, we can have a plan or direction we're going in. Life can hit us from that field. And my goodness, you've been hit from many directions and you're not even open a year and you're booming. And I have to add, you know, she hasn't even done much marketing. What's your marketing? Let's just share your great strategic plan for getting clients. I have a banner outside my door that says [inaudible].