Veronika is a graduate from University College Birmingham who set up her own fine art wedding and branding photography business. Her aim and inspiration are to provide value to people whilst having a fulfilling , creative time herself.
Veronika, tell us about yourself…
“I’m a typical Millennial. I love travelling, good food, nature, and of course, photography. Since I was little, I have been a creative person. There was always something attracting me towards art, and I was obsessed to make things “perfect” in my eyes.
I decided to study hospitality and tourism management degree and forgot what I loved. After several years of working in the industry, I realised that I wasn’t happy.
I was unable to use my creativity and provide the “real value” to people. So, I started looking for something that could fulfil my life and guess what? I found it!”
Tell us more about your start up…
“I’m a fine art wedding and branding photographer. I can offer hybrid photo and video coverage as one person, which is not something many people do. By being able to provide both, I set myself apart from other photographers.
Except for weddings, I also help small businesses with their branding content. I create images and a short promo video for their professional online presence.
I love using my creative skills to provide something as important and meaningful as memories for a lifetime. This is something that truly fulfils my life and gives me the endless motivation to make my work perfect in my eyes.
To see examples of my work visit: www.VeronikaJ-Photography.co.uk“
What made you jump at the chance of coming on BSEEN?
“During my final year of studies, I had that ‘aha moment’ of realising that this is not the life path I want to continue. I started looking for start-up business advice at my university, and someone recommended me the BSEEN programme, so I applied.
I was amazed by the fact that such support even exists. I tried not to put my hopes up for being selected as I didn’t know how competitive it was. That’s why I couldn’t believe that I got selected. I was very excited and grateful to have such a fantastic opportunity. It felt so surreal that there is a programme offering various support which could help me to make my dreams come true. My mind was just blown away.”
What do you think you have learned the most from your BSEEN journey?
“I learnt about the power of networking. It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people because you can grow together and support each other. You never know who you meet and how that connection may change your life.
I had the chance to grow with our BSEEN community, and I was able to help several other businesses. This way, I also made some amazing friendships. It’s great to be a part of something bigger, and you know that you are not alone.”
What has been your business stand out moment since being on BSEEN?
“Recently there was a very exciting moment when I booked my first destination wedding in Italy for this summer. This was something I’ve been dreaming about for the last couple of years. At that moment, I felt that all my time and hard work would finally start paying off soon.
However, there was no exact stand out moment for me. It has been all about thousands of baby steps and a continuous effort every single day.”
Any advice for entrepreneurial students or graduates thinking about starting their own business?
“You can achieve absolutely anything; you just need to love what you are doing. All you need to have is a clear vision, a plan and a lot of dedication.
What I quickly realised was that starting a business doesn’t involve only the professional skills (in my case photography and videography skills) but also business skills. And these are equally important because without them you can’t run a successful business.
That’s why I would recommend some of the books which helped me to find the right direction for my business. The first one is “Start with WHY” written by Simon Sinek and by the way, I’ve got it as a gift at BSEEN bootcamp. This book helps you to find your WHY which an essential foundation of your business.
The second book which I recommend to anyone starting a business is “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller. This book was absolutely a game-changer for me. It explains you the real reason customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message, so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, ads and social media.“
What are your next steps for your business?
“My business is currently on hold because of the pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m only waiting. I use all my free time to learn new skills and develop my business every day because there is always something to be improved.
My next step is to publish a Guide to your Picture Perfect Wedding, which I’m currently working on. This guide will be a part of the welcome gift to my wedding clients. It will be excellent marketing material, and publishing a guide like this will help me to position myself as a professional leader in the industry.
As soon as weddings resume, I will be able to go ahead with 17 weddings which I’ve booked up to date, including a destination wedding in Italy. My goal is to finally become a full-time entrepreneur with around 25-30 weddings per year and to move to the high-end destination wedding market.”