Well, I'm Single...
Yup, you read that right. For the first time in 5.5 years, I'm single...at work. Ha, you didn't really think I'd be without the love of my life, Mr. Duncan did you? No way!
For the last 5.5 years of the 7.5 I've been in business, I have been blessed with an assistant. Most of that 5.5 years was with a full time assistant right by my side. It's been amazing. Seriously such a blessing to be able to afford the extra help, but more importantly what my assistants have brought to my business.
Cali was with me for years and I still miss her on the daily. We grew together and had such an amazing time. She's family to me and always will be. Want some exciting news? She's back!!!! Buuuuut, not it the way you may hope. For now, she's filling in with designing the cake smash sets for me. We put a lot into those sets, from planning to executing and it's very time consuming. At this point (busy season and on my own), I just can't do it all. So she's stepping in and prepping all the decor for me. Balloon arches, anything that needs to be made by the Cricut, and anything that may need to be hand made. She's very good at this and she told me just a few weeks ago she was thinking about how much she missed doing this. I guess the universe heard heard her! ;)
So, why am I single? Well, unfortunately, Marki and I had too many misunderstandings/disagreements on the whole associate photographer gig that we were trying to get going for her. I'll spare the details, but I will say this. This past week, the first time being alone, I wasn't sad because I was alone or because it was too quiet at the studio. I wasn't sad because I was worried about the next steps for my business. I wasn't sad because of the now heaping pile of work I had to do on my own. I was sad because SHE was missing. Despite our differences, I miss her. She brought me so much joy and laugher. She kept me young. She had some sick talent, especially when it came to reels/videos/design/cakesmash sets, and getting me out of my comfort zone. I literally felt like I was going through a break up this week. I'd hear a song that reminded me of her...sad all over again. After a few times of this, I decided to work in silence. No radio/Alexa or audio books. Just silence. The hardest part about owning a small business is putting personal feelings aside and business first. Cutting ties broke my heart, but I had to put business first. However, I only have love for her and wish her the very best in whatever life brings her way next! Thank you for everything, "Marcus". You are very missed.
I'm not sure what my next move is. I am taking the next couple weeks to see how I can navigate alone and what I need help with. Do I need a full time assistant in the studio or a part time assistant both in studio and virtually? I honestly don't know. Lots of options, lots of balls in the air, as always. I have a couple great candidates and for that I am grateful. I do know, that having an associate photographer, is not something I want to pursue anymore. It was something I wanted to try. Something I thought could grow into having a studio kind of like a salon, you choose your photographer. Maybe someday, I'll visit this type of business model again, but for now, when you book with BennyAni...you'll get the original creator of BennyAni. Both literally and business! Ha ;). See what I did there. Yup, I'm still funny.
I did take some time to update my website. Check it out. There's even a walking virtual tour now under the studio tab!! You can look right out my windows onto Holyoke Ave. Pretty cool. Big thanks to Paul Erickson at RG Realty Group!
As always, thanks for all of your love and support!