Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Saz Ross, CEO and Founder of Saz Factory Inc., located in Baltimore, MD, USA.

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

My business is centered on illustrating, speaking, and creative workshops. My customers are educators, students, businesses, and non-profits who are looking to use creativity as a vehicle for positive change on a personal and/or professional level.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Saz- it is a nickname I acquired in high school and use to this day! I am a sassy, quirky, and playful artist who loves to capture whimsical juxtapositions of wildlife, architecture, and nature with pen and ink. My work is inspired by my mother's artwork and the interest in holding on to the spirit of play in adulthood. I also use personal experiences as fuel for my work and enjoy capturing the journey of being or feeling lost.

What inspired by business? Three years ago, my mom passed away from cancer. We both did not have much in common except for our love of art. When she passed away, I discovered a wooden box filled with her hidden illustrations. She hid her talent from the world and told me that she was waiting for retirement to do what she loved. After losing my mom, I made a vow to myself that I would never wait for my moment or dream. I seize every day while pouring passion into my illustrations and workshops to inspire people to do what they love with the precious time they have.

What motivates me each day is seeing the outcomes of my creative workshops and personal artwork. It is amazing how many people do not view themselves as creative. We are all creative but need help learning how to access that part of our mind. Maybe all of us are not visual artists-that is okay. Who is to say you cannot be creative with your passion? We can be passionate about anything! Passion motivates us to excel creatively and confidently - it is the main ingredient to a happy life and sustainable success. As long as I can unlock the artistic potential in others, then I will feel fulfilled.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My reach! I have been able to mentor, guide, and teach thousands of people in the classroom, at conferences, professional development workshops, webinars, and more! I feel accomplished when I see students, audience members, or workshop participants take creative action in their own lives because of my speech or mentorship. The positive impact I have made on people will always be my greatest success.

I also have created a strong mailing list of people who I have met with creative engagements and by making/selling art at festivals. It is beautiful to see people collect my work and establish loyalty with my business by always coming back and supporting my journey.

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

Saying "NO." I think it is easy in the beginning to always give consumers or your audience what they want. The most powerful thing I have learned is how to balance my personal and professional life. I have always wanted to go above and beyond. I am the ultimate people-pleaser. You cannot yield or sacrifice your own mental health for money or power. Your mental and physical health will sustain the success of your business.

I also say "no" when I get a request for an artwork or workshop that is outside my element or area of expertise. It is important to stay in your lane - your time is precious and should not be wasted on things you are not passionate about.

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

  1. Get an accountant and open a business account with your bank as soon as you start. Staying organized from the beginning will provide you with a strong foundation. Business credit will also come in handy!
  2. INVEST in your learning! You need to spend money to make it. Invest in coaching, professional development, conferences, and expanding your mind. If you do the same things over and over, it does not make you any better at them, practice makes permanent, and education makes excellence.
  3. Lean on your community! The people who are in the same business as you are not competitors - they are allies! People who sell or create the same things as you can provide you with the support and advice that will be necessary for sustainable success.

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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