This week’s Ms New Brunswick is Allie Beckwith, who I have the good fortune of being cousins and friends with. Allie is a trained professional photographer, but really her business is so much more than that. Simply put, she is a creative visual artist. What strikes me most about Allie, and what should be evident to you as well, is her skilled sense of business - a quality which she has come by naturally. At such a young age, Allie has built herself a one of a kind career, developing multiple streams of revenue allowing her to pursue a lifestyle of her own choosing. Do not mistake me to mean that she doesn't work hard, for indeed that couldn't be further from the truth. Allie simply knew what she wanted to do with her life ten years ago and has pursued it vigorously everyday since. Allie lends her business acumen to those around her, offering guidance and coaching in areas she excels at, particularly social media strategy which has become such a crucial part of business ownership in the last few years, but is often undervalued and definitely widely misunderstood. Allie's life and work is a constant source of inspiration for me, and the thousands of others who follow her.
Fun fact: My entire blog was Allie's idea, and she encouraged me to launch it for months before I finally did. She even took all the photos for the blog launch. She continues to coach me on social media strategy, and I owe the success of this blog, and this series to her mentoring and support.
Tell me about your business.
My business is a little bit unique because I do a couple of things to make it all work! Primarily I am a professional photographer - that's what I studied in post secondary and that's the field I have been working in the past 10 years! I have always always always been a creative person and was always drawing, painting, or taking photos. I have continued to paint and have had my paintings sold in galleries as well as my online business. I have used social media & blogging to showcase my love for photography, art, fashion and travel and have grown a following on both platforms. This now allows me to gain an income from social media too. I share my services, photography and artwork with my audience as well as brands and businesses that I feel are a good fit to partner with and showcase their services and products. I do work not only with bigger companies like McDonald's, LG Canada & HBO, and a lot of hotels & resorts but also smaller local businesses like Lordon, Pizza Delight & Ella the Shop. I have a small team of people that help me cover all my bases from social media and business growth, to photography and negotiating brand deals and partnerships.
How did you get started?
I started my photography business in high school! It's been in full swing ever since, allowing me to use this skill to expand into other avenues and loads of travel.
Has the community been supportive?
So supportive!! I would say most of my following online is local to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia! These lovely people are not only clients, buyers and bookers, but I now consider a lot of them friends!! They are the first people I go to with exciting news, new work, or any problem I might need help solving.
How can we support you better?
I love to encourage people to shop local art! I know buying art can be intimidating and prices can be so high, but I really try to cater to my local crowd with more affordable sizes and prices. We have so many talented artists in Saint John alone, and I've been so excited to purchase some of their work and add it to my own collection.
I also have local & small business packages when partnering on social media content! I really want my services to be accessible to everyone and I love working with small businesses and local business owners. It’s important to me to support the small businesses around me, because I am one of them and know the struggle.
What is the biggest difficulty in your business?
My biggest difficulty is getting my work out in front of the right people. I have expanded my team and hired a creative assistant who has been such a great help in this department. While I am busy creating, she is busy getting it out on social platforms and connecting with likeminded businesses & galleries.
How do you balance work and personal life?
It really all meshes into one. Hahaha. I still struggle to shut it off. I can always see a good photo opportunity and will never walk past it. Hahaha. I used to work into midnight, and early mornings and really ALL the time, but my relationships and social life were really suffering. Now, since my business is more established, I have a little more flexibility and really try to let returning emails and schedule meetings & shoots during business hours. I try to have my evenings and weekends to spend with my family. This isn't always the case, but for the most part I try to keep it as structured as possible.
What piece of advice would you offer other women starting their own business?
Get ready to work until midnight and have your relationships and social life suffer LOL. In the beginning stages it is SO much work, so prepare to work. But it is SO satisfying to see something that YOU created, start to generate income. It's incredible and so so rewarding. I would also say you need to believe in it 100%. It doesn't matter if anyone else does, but YOU need to, or it won't work. Your mindset is everything.
How can we get in touch with you?
If you have any questions at all or if you are a brand, business or service in New Brunswick and want to learn more information on how we could partner email firstname.lastname@example.org or if you want to follow the day to day adventures and works in progress you can find me on Instagram @alliebeckwith & Allie Beckwith on Facebook!
The Ms New Brunswick project is about taking a title back for all the women who really embody the heart and soul of our province through creative endeavours and entrepreneurship. The makers and doers who are sharing with us their time, energy and talents, and carrying us forward. Full-time or side hustle. Big or small. At home or in an office. Products or service. Crafters, moms, entrepreneurs, shop owners, consultants. Whatever. If there is a woman in our province giving life to an idea or product, I want to know about it.
If you or someone you know would be right for the Ms New Brunswick series please fill out the Nomination Form!