Julia Chatterji is the owner of The Studio Paint Bar, located in Port Credit, Mississauga. After running as a successful mobile painting studio for three years, Julia and her husband decided they were ready to grow their business even further, by opening a dedicated physical location. To help Julia take this next step, she contacted the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC), to learn more about how to operate a small business.
After working for more than 14 years in the corporate world, Julia decided it was time to follow her dream of starting her own business. Although she learned a lot from her career, she said the toughest part of starting a business was finding the right idea.
Julia’s business idea came from her passion for art and painting. Wanting to inspire others through painting, Julia held mobile paint nights for corporate teams and mommy-and-me groups. Julia found her paint business to be very rewarding, as she was able to help people step out of their comfort zone and try something new.
Once she realized that this painting business had potential, Julia wanted to take her business to the next level. Julia set a goal to open her first permanent location – The Studio Paint Bar. After making this decision, Julia knew she needed to learn more about starting and running a business. She found the support and resources she needed through the Starter Company PLUS Program offered at MBEC.
“One of the best aspects of being a part of MBEC was the networking and the sharing of ideas with people with various expertise. It was so inspiring to see how people went through the journey of a small business start-up as well.” – Julia Chatterji
Julia found the training and mentorship gave her the support she needed to be more disciplined in following the required steps to starting a small business. She was encouraged to complete her business plan and was grateful for the advice she received. With the busy lives that both Julia has, she felt the Starter Company PLUS program helped keep her focused until she reached her goal.
HERE IS SOME ADVICE JULIA HAS FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS
- Know your vision and don’t let anyone distract you from it. If you truly believe in it, keep fighting for it.
- Do your research and test the market. Try out your concept and truly believe in it before making a huge investment.
- Take the time to network. It allows you to gain a wealth of information, and build relationships and support networks with other people and businesses.
- Use social media, as it is an amazing way to grow your business.
- Think of all parts of running a business as positive, as the failures you may experience are opportunities to learn.
- “You have to learn when to stop working IN your business and really start working ON your business.”
Julia is currently preparing for a busy year of events ahead of her! The Studio Paint Bar continues to network with artists in the area to help promote the local art community. Julia’s entrepreneurial journey has given her the opportunity to create a unique and successful business here in Mississauga.
In the next five years, Julia’s goal is to open at least one or two more Studio Paint Bar locations.
The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) is your central source for business information, resources and guidance. For information and guidance, visit MBEC on the fourth floor of the Mississauga Central Library or by phone or email.