Happy Flourish Friday!
If you’re new to How I Flourish in Des Moines, this blog series shares the stories of local women in business. Get ready to learn more about these passionate women, how they started businesses in the Des Moines area, and advice they have to share.
Introducing Leah Rozendaal and Leah Rose Productions
This week Leah Rozendaal is sharing her small business story, including how she fell in love with the wedding industry and how she always knew she’d pursue entrepreneurship.
Personally, I’m incredibly impressed by the passion and diligence Leah brings to her Leah Rose Productions. Learn more about her below!
1. What is your business, and what do you do?
Leah Rose Productions is a multimedia company. I currently create wedding films, promotional videos, do event consultations, and some virtual assistant work. One fun tool that we utilize is our drone for dramatic aerial views!
2. How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for just over a year. I celebrated my first year at the end of August!
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
I think I have always known I would be an entrepreneur, it was just a matter of when it would happen. As a little girl, you could find me sitting by a card table in the grass outside of our house with a handmade sign selling something. One day it would be my 4th of July candy from the parade that I organized and sold to the neighbors. Another day, it was baked goods, friendship bracelets, or the dead leaves from the backyard. (No lie!) I have always loved to create something and watch it flourish. In college, I had an Event Management degree with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies. I attended the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, and completely fell in love with entrepreneurship. My dad is an entrepreneur of a couple of different ventures. He started his journey of entrepreneurship when I was 2 years old, so I have basically had a front row seat to the life of an entrepreneur ever since I was a little girl.
I find entrepreneurship addicting. In college, I tried to get to know as many entrepreneurs as I could. When I studied abroad, I signed up for the Entrepreneurship Club in Exeter, England. Upon returning, I filled up notebooks with dreams and aspirations. My issue wasn’t if I wanted to start a business, it was what business to start.
I have a lot of tabs open in this brain of mine, and it took some time before my passion and my talent meshed together. I have always loved taking photos and videos and did so while studying abroad in England to document my travels. I also love the wedding industry and working with brides, grooms, and their families. Through Facebook one Thursday afternoon, I learned of a bride needing a videographer last minute for her wedding that Saturday (in 2 days!!!!). At that time I was also engaged and wedding planning, and I knew I wanted to help a fellow bride out. I messaged her, showed her some of my past work, and she hired me. The rest is history. I had a permanent smile on my face the entire day behind my camera.
4. What gap does your business fill?
My business meshes together event coordinating with videography. Whether I am working with a bride for her wedding video, or with a business owner on a promotional video, I am able to use my background in event coordination in addition to my skills and services as a photographer and videographer. On a wedding day, I have helped bustle a wedding dress, pinned boutineers, dog sat the “flower dog”, troubleshooted A/V issues with a projector and HDMI cable, repinned bobby pins, etc. Basically, I will do whatever it takes to make the event go off without a hitch, and will do whatever I can if any issues arise. For promotional videos, being a small business owner myself, I have some new and exciting ways to integrate video into social media and websites to help gain exposure and grab attention of customers. I have a lot of experience with social media, and how to create a buzz for first time events, festivals, and conferences to gain the exposure an event needs to be lifted off of the ground.
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
I enjoy the growth and opportunity that I have noticed in Des Moines, as well as the collaborative community. As a sophomore in college, I got to see this firsthand during an internship with Pure Bridal in Ames (a bridal boutique owned by two sisters who also went to ISU) and immediately fell in love with the wedding industry. I definitely notice a community over competition theme in the Des Moines metro, I also appreciate the mentorship and leadership from other business owners to help me grow and learn as I am only 22 years old.
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
It is never as good as you think it is, and it is never as bad as you think it is. So many times I can get caught up in the highs and lows of owning a business. For my own sanity, I need to work on staying level headed and grounded.
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
Don’t let the negative voices inside your head talk you out of your passion or dream. It is amazing what can happen when you share your dreams, and others back you up with opportunities. Never be ashamed to share what your passions are.