Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Koonlaba, Owner of Party in the Art Room, located in Tupelo, MS, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Party in the Art Room offers super fun and easy-to-implement art lessons that include writing activities, adaptable for virtual and in-person instruction across multiple grade levels, as well as short professional development courses on topics such as SEL, classroom management for arts integration, and using art to teach math. Additionally, they collaborate with schools and teachers to create high-quality, standards-aligned lessons or units using the arts for increased engagement and long-term retention.

Tell us about yourself

I'm passionate about aligning standards and integrating content to help teachers meet the needs of the Whole Child. I have a boundless desire to learn about everything, and I'm always coming up with ideas. As such, I've yet to find a standard for any subject or grade level that I couldn't teach through art! As a mom of three and a teacher myself, I understand how important it is to make learning fun and simple. That's why I love working with teachers who are looking for innovative ways to meet their students' needs. I can help you pick power standards or troublesome standards, find the art connections, and break it down into a three-step lesson you can use immediately in your classroom.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have helped teachers in all fifty United States and on six continents improve their art instruction and integrate art into their curriculums.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

As a business owner in the arts education field, I find that the hardest thing is helping people understand the value of the arts and why they are essential. Many people view the arts as a luxury or an afterthought rather than an integral part of a well-rounded education. It can be challenging to convince educators and administrators of the importance of arts integration and to help them see how it can benefit their students. However, I firmly believe that the arts are crucial for developing creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and that we cannot afford to neglect them in our schools. It is a continuous effort to advocate for the arts and to educate others about their value.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Develop a solid business plan: This plan should include a clear vision, mission statement, goals, target audience, marketing strategy, financial projections, and contingency plans for unforeseen circumstances.
  2. Build a strong online presence: In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. Create a professional website, social media accounts, and other digital marketing tools to reach and engage with your target audience.
  3. Being an expert in your field brings a level of authenticity and credibility to your business. It helps you understand your customers' needs and provide them with the best solutions. Being truly engaged in your field also means staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations and continuously learning and improving your skills.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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