Starting a business is sort of like having a child. You incubate an idea, watch it grow, feel it move, and scream as it emerges into the world. OK, so birthing a business is not physically painful like birthing a tiny human, but there is a lot of emotional distress, confusion, and excitement.
This is what I’ve been struggling with for several months now. Actually, it’s been over a year since I decided I was going to start another business. It’s been a year’s worth of business birthing pains, go figure.
10 years ago, my husband Jeff and I, immediately after getting married, decided we would start a video production business. We spent every dime we had investing in camera equipment, computers, and editing software. Right away we were able to get some video projects through my family’s business. To our amazement, one project led to another. One client would recommend us to another. We were working. It was fun work that required a lot of travel. We produced commercials, documentaries, marketing videos and more. Those were good times, but difficult times. Money was always tight, but we managed to scrape by.
Then all of a sudden, we hit the jackpot of all projects. Out of the blue, we received a phone call from a program director at the PBS station that operates out of New Mexico State University. We were recommended by a random acquaintance of ours as good candidates for a position producing a documentary style TV series. To our amazement, we were hired. It was a year-long contract, and we would write, direct, film, and edit the 13 episode series.
We did it and it was awesome.
One year later, we completed our contract. That’s when we made a huge career error. We had a baby. Without our steady paychecks from the University, we had to figure out what our next step would be for our business. I can tell you now, that “business brain” and “baby brain” do not work well together. Any logical thinking needed for crafting a smart business strategy was blocked by the constant spikes of hormonal insanity. And once our son was born, the lack of sleep, constant diaper changes, and feedings replaced our work routine. We were working full time as parents, and the pay totally sucked.
We were broke and we had a baby to support. So we did what any respectable young family would do, we moved in with my parents. We admitted defeat, threw in the towel, and raised the white flag. Jeff got a job as bar and restaurant manager at my family's hotel. I settled into my role as a stay at home mom.
We didn’t live with my parents for very long, thank goodness. Eventually, we moved into a house next door to them, which is convenient for baby sitting and spontaneous family dinners. My career as a domestic engineer was paying off. I managed to keep my offspring fed, healthy, and alive. The little person I helped create was learning to walk, talk, and even use the potty. Being a mom is pretty much the most amazing job in the world, but there was something missing.
A year ago, a wild idea popped into my mind. I should start a business. I’ve always been artsy and I enjoy making stuff, so maybe I should create an art business. I pondered a name and settled on Coral Quail. I used my graphic design skills and made a logo for my new enterprise. I started crafting different products and designs. It felt great to be creative again. My “baby brain” began to fade away as it was replaced by “business brain”.
The photography business idea came about after our town’s local pro photographer moved away. I thought about the possibility that Jeff and I could fill the void, but doubt got the best of me and I tossed that idea aside. It wasn’t until I heard my friends talk about how they needed someone to take pictures for the youth soccer association; I realized that our community had a need for a reliable photographer. Why can’t it be us?
Jeff and I are not total newbies when it comes to photography. Photography was another aspect of our video production business. Friends would occasionally ask us to take portraits. We would shoot marketing pictures for the family business. We would often be asked to photograph various local events. Our photos have appeared in travel magazines, websites, and advertisements. After some discussion and an agreement, we set out to make our photography business happen.
So here we are, Coral Quail Photography, ready to serve the communities of Truth or Consequences, Elephant Butte, and all of Sierra County, New Mexico. It wasn’t easy getting started, but we’re so happy to be here. So let’s go take some pictures!