Knowing your audience as an entrepreneur | British + company

Welcome back to Selfmade Stories, our series with Office Depot OfficeMax where we talk to emerging entrepreneurs from our Selfmade virtual business course. This week, we spoke with Cari Abaunza, the force behind Well-Made Heart, a creative wellness company that specializes in helping women in creative fields avoid burnout, about the importance of thoroughly researching your target audience ( no matter what niche it is) and how listening is the key to truly understanding their needs.

B+C: If you were at a dinner party describing Well-Made Heart to a guest, what would your introduction be?

Cari Abaunza: Well-Made Heart is a creative wellness company that specializes in helping creative entrepreneurs avoid creative burnout through wellness training, resources, and internships.

B+C: Where did the inspiration for Well-Made Heart come from?

Abaunza: WMH actually started out as a DIY blog in 2015, however my desire has always been to fuse the idea of ​​working with the hands as a therapeutic approach and the creative benefits.

B+C: Where were you in your own life when you came up with the idea?

Abaunza: Once I stopped DIY blogging, I still had a desire to somehow keep WMH alive. It wasn’t until I saw the repeating pattern of creative burnout in my life, and one job in particular that really pushed me over the edge, that I realized I finally wanted to bring WMH into that creative wellness space.

B+C: What did you feel was missing in the market that led you to Well-Made Heart?

Abaunza: I know there are tons of creative coaches and businesses out there, but I wanted something specific for creatives that would help them continue their creative calling. Burnout is a topic everywhere, but narrowing it down to creative burnout seemed like the area I really wanted to focus on.

B+C: I imagine there is a LOT of research involved in launching your business. Can you explain your information/data/research collection process and how it is used to develop Well-Made Heart?

Abaunza: Yes! It started by gathering my own creative experiences of burnout, understanding how I got through and through it, and then building a framework. From there, it has been about researching everything there is to know about creativity, the challenges creatives face in their work, and of course understanding the basis of burnout. I’m in the process of talking to creatives to understand what they really need while they’re burnt out and how best to help them get through it.

B+C: What are some of the key challenges your company is trying to solve for women?

Abaunza: To this day there are still more men than women in leadership positions in creative fields. Many women get so burned out that they give up or stop pursuing their creativity early on. My desire is to help more women continue to pursue their creative passions by helping them learn about creative burnout, recognize the symptoms and what to do, and develop a lifestyle of overall creative wellness so they can further advance their creative careers.

B+C: What do you imagine your business will look like?

Abaunza: At this point, it’s a training business, but eventually, it will be a brand that sells guided journals, cards, and other paper goods to help creatives thrive on their creativity.

B+C: What stage of the business launch process are you in and what are some of the challenges you are facing right now?

Abaunza: Right now I am setting up my coaching services. This means getting certified as a trainer, learning how to put together an offer, and learning how to market myself. This in itself is a challenge!

B+C: And what are some of the breakthroughs or successes you’ve experienced that have propelled you forward?

Abaunza: Gaining clarity on the steps towards my final goal. I didn’t set out to be a creative coach first, however, the more I worked on how I wanted to understand my audience, the more I realized that I wanted to have a personalized conversation before creating material to help them. So this has helped solidify my business plan.

B+C: Creative burnout can look different to people depending on where they are in their personal lives or careers. When it comes to Well-Made Heart, how do you define “creative” and what are the different ways that women of all creative stripes can benefit from your service?

Abaunza: Creative burnout may look different, but it often has the same underlying tones and symptoms. As a Well-Made Heart, I define “creative” as anyone who works or is involved in the arts and expression, whether as an entrepreneur, employee, or hobbyist. This can be through the arts (such as writing, painting, design) or through other areas such as ideation, social media, content creation, etc. Creative burnout is not limited by how you create, but can affect any creative at any time. time, from master to novice; the small business owner to the scammer on the side. My hope is to educate, support, and train all creatives so that they can avoid burnout, develop lifelong creative wellness practices, and essentially thrive in their creative vocation.

B+C: Can you elaborate more on what the MWH Guided Magazine is and how you came to develop it?

Abaunza: When I started Selfmade, I had the idea that I wanted to create a course for those with creative burnout. After surveying many creative women working in the fields of art and design, I came to the conclusion that, in fact, they did NOT want a course. This was an overwhelming concept for them while they were exhausted. So instead I settled on a guided journal that could be worked through slowly and also had the ability to QR-scan certain pages which would lead to small teaching snippets. With creative burnout, rest is essential. I thought a guided journal would be a balance of rest, self-awareness, and teaching all rolled into one.

B+C: For you, how do you balance the creative aspects with the commercial ones?

Abaunza: As a creative, I have found this to be a challenge. I finally had to make a schedule for myself and allow my mornings to be devoted to creativity, like painting and writing, and my half-mornings and afternoons to be devoted to business.

B+C: What do you hope the women of Well-Made Heart will get?

Abaunza: It is my hope that by meeting WMH and interacting, you will come to understand the importance of creative wellness in your lives and how crucial creating boundaries can be to protect your creativity.

B+C: How have you approached marketing your brand and building awareness?

Abaunza: At this point, I’m developing one aspect at a time, which means I’m establishing my Instagram for now, and then I’ll move on to other social platforms in more depth.

B+C: What are some of the ways you maintain your mental health or stay focused as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey?

Abaunza: I have to constantly assess how I feel and assess my nervous system while also reminding myself what my ultimate goal is. I can lose my sight quickly when I feel overwhelmed. Learning to find what is essential and choosing to remove unnecessary things has been a great help.

B+C: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received that you would pass on to others?

Abaunza: Probably choose to see what is essential over what is not essential and make a choice for less but better.

B+C: Who or what keeps you inspired?

Abaunza: I think I’ve had the desire to build this for so long that I keep remembering it and putting one foot in front of the other.

B+C: What has receiving the Selfmade grant done to help you grow your business?

Abaunza: Receiving the scholarship helped me take a small idea and turn it into my current reality. Without Selfmade’s weekly accountability, meeting amazing entrepreneurs, great support and teaching, and of course my admission into the program with the help of Office Depot OfficeMax, I know I wouldn’t be as far along in my business as I would have been. I am today.

B + C: How have Office Depot OfficeMax products/services helped you achieve more in your business?

Abaunza: I bought a printer right away, which has already helped me print documents for my business! And I hope to get other necessary paper products as well.

B+C: What’s next for Well-Made Heart?

Abaunza: Next is taking on clients one-on-one, developing the coaching part of the business, and finally prototyping the guided journal and material for clients to experience.

Thank you Cari! you can follow well done heart on Instagram.

Equipping your workspace with the right tools can make all the difference when it comes to building a successful business (see: Cari’s printer). Office Depot OfficeMax can help you get there, from signs, posters and banners to promote your business, to marketing elementsTo keep your customers informed, there is a complete set of business services and solutions available to get your business up and running.

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