A Savoury Soul: Shana LaFore // LIVE La Bella Vita

Many moons ago when I was in my freshman year of college I decided that I wanted to become an art major. There was something so romantic about traveling all over the word curating art at various studios and galleries.  Then it changed to a fashion major and I fantasized about being a buyer at high-end boutiques and department stores all over the country. What I realize now, since I eventually ended up majoring in Psychology was that at the heart of it all, I was just trying to explore my creative, artist side. I always thought that to be artistic and creative you had to know how to draw or paint. What I've learned since then is there are SO many ways of expressing this side of yourself. And that is why I love today's Savoury Soul, Shana LaFore.

Shana is, in my opinion, a coach to the creatives. She helps people who are itching to create in the in the world figure out exactly how to do that. She helps them get crystal clear on what they want so they can actively produce what they were put on this planet to do.

Without further ado....Shana LaFore

Shana LaFore

Tell me more about your business. What was the motivation behind it? Where did it originate from?

There is actually a specific moment when I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was sitting at a job interview fresh out of design school, and the good old “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question came up. I surprised myself when I blurted out. “Oh, I’ll be running my own business by then.” Fast forward 4 1/2 years ; I was running that very showroom managing a team of designers and sales staff. I looked around and thought. If I can do this for them, I can do this for myself, and I took the leap just a few months shy of my 5 year prediction.

Since then I’ve been running my own art and design business, doing all the things an artist, designer and business person does. It’s been a lot of fun and A LOT of work. I’ve done a ton of research, taken business courses, and learned things through trial and error. Every time I learn something new I want to share it with other artists and designers who are anxious to follow their dream too. I’ve always been a helper. You know the one people recommend when someone else needs advice. “Oh, you’re starting up your art biz? Talk to Shana, she’ll know exactly what to tell you.” I’ve always taken on roles as a mentor and trainer for aspiring artists and designers in the various organizations I volunteer with. The more I help others the happier I am. It just made sense, as I say, “to give myself a promotion” and turn the mentoring into my career. I have a certification in education and taught for several years before going into design, so this simply pulled all the elements of my life together in a way that helps others creatively and allows me the freedom to be location independent and spend tons of time with my family . What sets you apart from other business/creative coaches?

There are tons of talented coaches out there, and each one has their particular uniqueness. I too bring my own experiences to the table. I love working with artists and designers because I’ve been there. I’ve pitched my work to galleries, done trade shows, art fairs, sold my work in person, online, done consulting, managed large-scale design projects. You name it, if it’s art or design related I’ve probably done it. I get how exciting, and fun and tiring it can all be. I’ve also spent hours crafting strategies to get more done in less time, so I can actually enjoy myself. I see so many extremely talented creatives struggling, wearing all the hats, doing it all on their own when a few simple shifts could get them running smoothly, profitably and happily! Like I said, I’ve always been a helper, and if I can help those talented people get their work out into the world and make a good living doing what they love, then I’ve just helped them bring a little more beauty into the world. And that makes me smile. Tell me a little more about your programs? I’m currently offer one-on-one coaching sessions where I help pinpoint what areas of my client’s business needs the most attention and then put a plan of action in place to actual live the dream instead of chasing it. I help simplify overly complex concepts to de-stress the situation so they can turn their passion into profit and live beautifully while creating beauty. I am also writing a sales and business guide called The Little Black Book of Sales for the Creative Type, due to launch later this month.

Okay, Italy?! Tell me more about this incredible offer!

Ah, Italy. My home away from home…literally. I’ve been traveling to Italy regularly for nearly 2 decades and I lived there full-time for 6 years. When I came back from my last stay I’d gained not only a design degree but a husband to boot!

It has been a long time dream of mine to take a group of art and design enthusiast to see the side of Italy I enjoyed while I was living there. I’m planning a mix of not-to-miss events, artsy workshops and of course, to-die-for Italian cuisine, plus off the beaten path adventures to experience the Italian lifestyle as only a local would. We’ll be staying in the Lombardy region and will visit Milan’s Salone del Mobile, the world’s most celebrated design show. But the real fun is “fuori salone” at the fabulous parties that take place throughout the city during the show. I can’t give away too many details just yet, but there’ll be more info announced very soon.

What is FASCINATE TV? Looks intriguing!

FASCINATE TV is a project I'm running this summer where I'm interviewing talented artists and designers as part of what I call the FASCINATE Summer Spotlight Series. I've had such an abundance of interest that I'm extending the series into the fall. There are a total of 16 interviews on topics ranging from building your creative community, how to tackle big projects without losing your mind, and managing your time to get more done to nurturing your creativity. We also discuss what to do when faced with a path altering decision and how travel helps you break assumptions to problems solve like a pro. I have had an absolute blast interviewing some really amazing people. For anyone who'd like to see what it's all about, stop by my blog or YouTube channel and if there's a topic you'd like to see featured in future projects just leave me a comment or send me a message. I'd love to hear from you!

What is A Savoury Soul to you?

To me, a Savoury Soul is someone who believes in living their life to the fullest. Who, as scared as they may be, takes risks to follow their big audacious dream even if it means falling flat on their face. They simply get back up, dust themselves off, and keep on…and in doing so they inspire others to do the same.

Shana LaFore 2Shana LaFore is creative strategist and business mentor. She saves creative types from entrepreneurial overwhelm by giving them fun, easy-to-implement strategies so they can simplify their business, reignite their inspiration and live beautifully while creating beauty. Find out more at www.shanalafore.com