Summer 2018 Inland Empire EMBC Audience Choice Pitch Winner
Pitch Link: https://vimeo.com/289586924
Company Bio: We Art Photography provides professional photography services for families who want to capture intimate moments with their new born babies. Their clients are families with newborns and those who are expecting. We Art Photography has partnerships with hospitals with maternity services in California
When Angela Valderrama and her family came to the U.S. they were asked if they had any pictures of their family from home. Her husband has one photo of his family from 1914, which has been an important piece of their family history. After having experienced that moment, the family realized the significance of having family photos. This resonated with Angela, because every photo has a story that can be unpacked. It is also a story that can be told for the rest of time.
Angela and her family took the initiative to open up their own small business We Art Photography, which is dedicated to serving families. They accomplish their mission to capture the most intimate moments with newborn babies with the mother and father. We Art Photography opened up in 2014, but in 2015 they really solidified their business when Angela was able to secure a contract with a local hospital to take photos of families welcoming newborns. Not only that, but they are helping create long-lasting memories for families beyond newborn photos. Angela’s goal is to make sure families are able to have these delicate and precious memories.
Angela prides herself on the fact that she is able to serve a diverse community. She feels honored that families welcome her with open arms into these very private and intimate moments. A birth of a child is like a universal language that brings people together to celebrate life. Through their photography they are exposed to different cultures and ways of life. This has been a proud accomplishment for the Valderrama family to be living the American dream.
Originally Angela was working as an insurance broker working part time on her family business. Before joining the Inland EMBC, their business was barely turning a profit. Since Angela’s native language is Spanish, it was a challenge that she wanted to take on by joining the program. Since joining the EMBC, she has left her job as a broker to work full time with her husband. Now their revenues have grown from $50K annually to $93K in just the past year. This program forced Angela to get out of her comfort zone, which has allowed We Art Photography to thrive.
In order to get to this point, Angela has had to get over this language barrier. It was difficult at first to communicate with the hospitals she was trying to partner with. This led to Angela bringing someone on board to help translate and communicate with the hospitals to build a more effective business relationship. Angela’s husband takes the photos, but Angela contributes by creating the sets and props. A new creative marketing effort for We Art Photography has been to give gifts to new born mothers in the community. They have established credibility by going above and beyond for the families We Art Photography is serving.
The Challenge program was so effective for We Art Photography because they did not know how to construct a feasible business plan. Business would just come and go, because unfortunately their family was working in their business rather than working on it. The importance of building important relationships to use as potential resources has made all the difference. They have been very resourceful by outsourcing work to people they have met, which has led to growth. Angela says that what she learned from the Challenge program is how much untapped potential there is in the industry. The family has been able to think outside of the box by constructing creative solutions.
Angela now has a new level of confidence that makes her hopeful about the future. In the next five years, she hopes to expand and contract with over 10 hospitals. Once their revenues continue to grow, Angela is hopeful that they will be able to open up their own brick and mortar store. This would help alleviate some restrictions of what they can do in the hospitals. By having their own place, they can create more expansive sets to take more creative photos.
Angela’s word of advice for people who are looking to become an entrepreneur is that you must first fall in love with what you want to do. It doesn’t become work when you are passionate about what you are doing. We Art Photography’s journey is far from over. The are reaching for new heights. LIFT DE wishes the best of luck to Angela and her family. If you need family photos, be sure to check out We Art Photography.