We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandria Norman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexandria, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you never take risks you never have a chance to win. If you don’t take the risks that other people are uncomfortable with than you cannot set yourself apart. Risks are liabilities and rewards. They are inevitable, they cannot be avoided. When starting any business you are risking finances, faith, and “failure”. But with failure and risks you never fail. We learn, we grow, and keep going! Starting a business, moving with purpose, and having a vision – executing the vision. Are you ok with failure? Are you willing to risk financial stability for your dreams, purpose, and future? These are the questions I ask myself still today. And every time the answer is yes without any hesitation. I will sacrifice time, money, energy for my purpose and rewards. If I fail I have to get back up, strategize, and come back stronger. If I succeed my risk becomes a reward. My entire life has been full of risks and failures that have turned into lessons, blessings, and personal success. I had my son at 19 which was considered a risk, a statics for failure. Little did I know what everyone considered a risk was my reward. My motivation. A bigger purpose than I knew. Starting businesses, I never know if it will succeed. I have failed. I have also created 3 successful business which I’m grateful for! The more you become comfortable with risk and ok with failure the more you realize you never you never lose.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My focus and purpose is to help black creative build their business while collaborating with other black creatives. I help all creatives but I focus on our community. Circulating our dollar and creating relationships that will build financial and creative longevity. I currently have two locations (Crenshaw and Art District) which houses 22 creatives and their businesses along with my photo studios. These spaces are open 24 hours and provide everything a creative needs! I have built unique creative spaces from the ground up. Purchasing ran down building without electricity or water and renovating them. In the process of renovating I opened up my second company The Photo Lab La which is an all inclusive photo production studio located inside of Visionary Studios La. Before I did any of this I was designing clothes for 5+ years. During this time I realized people don’t want to see me win how I want to see them win. It was hard to find resources, connect with the right creatives. I use to rent one of the rooms at my Art District location – while in the middle of my production season the owner told me I had to take over the space in 15 days or move out due to a change in the lease. I took over the lease and started renting out rooms to my creative friends to suffice for rent. Soon after I found my purpose, realizing I love seeing people win, I love helping people. I expanded, built up, and, still growing. Visionary Studios La is home for the creatives, a place for all creatives to come and cross network.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was from out of town visting. The first stop would be Visionary Studios La! Ha. Then we’d go to the beach. Now that we are not in quarantine anymore there are lots of new restaurants like Mama Por Dios.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My motivation and credit first starts with my son. I had him at 19 and the struggles we’ve gone through together have made me the woman I am. When my son was 1 years old his father was sentenced to life in prison, then down to 36 years, and finally now 18 years in prison. I had no choice to make a way for find one. I also have to give recognition to my entire team, my assistant/sister Ashley, my contractor Louis who helps me build my vision from the ground up. None of this would be capable without a strong foundation built on loyalty and trust from all of us. Lastly I have to thank all of my tenants for trusting Visionary Studios to support and help them build their brands to my best ability. Thank you for believing in the vision!

Website: www.thephotolabla.com

Instagram: @thephotolabla.com

Image Credits
Walter Brady Des Pierrot Steph Paul Henry Jones Chris Moody Kin Cordell Alexandria Norman

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