We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariana Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In march 13 2020 I found myself with a lot of free time coming ahead and I put that free time into my graphic design hobby. At that point, I wanted to make a cute Instagram page where I would share my designs but after following other creatives specifically in the brand design space I saw that my idea could be expanded to something bigger like starting my own design studio.
And that’s where all my ideas started flowing in for Aria Studio. My vision was to have an online business where I could connect and collaborate with purpose-driven business owners and hopefully help them turn their business into a brand people love. Also, the idea of potentially having time and financial freedom with an online business was really appealing to me.
I launched Aria Studio in June 2020. I started by offering custom branding and then it evolved to offering custom website design and launch strategy. I was only 19 years old when I started and was still in college so in a lot of ways I had a lot of fear and imposter syndrome, but I still took the leap of faith hoping that it would all work out and it did!
What should our readers know about your business?
Aria Studio is a creative studio based in Puerto Rico. We are where you come to when your business needs a fresh, young, creative perspective in the branding department. We like to work with service-based creatives or content creators that want to turn their followers into clients.
We’ve been lucky to attract some really interesting and kind clients that have inevitably turned into friends and that’s something I’m really happy about. The way we’ve managed to keep growing and attracting aligned clients is how we manage client relationships. We try to go above and beyond with each client and that has been reciprocated with good word of mouth.
But it hasn’t really been a completely smooth path. I’ve had to learn how to place the right boundaries and expectations with clients. I’ve learned how to manage difficult situations and how to value my time and expertise. I’ve also learned that creativity is not a linear path and there are lots of ways to hack your creativity. I didn’t learn everything by first-hand experience, I learned a lot about client management and creativity through online courses and I even joined a coaching program where I had support from people that were 10+ years ahead of me so that definitely fast-tracked my understanding of how to run a creative studio.
The studio has grown and evolved so much in the last 2 years. We have worked with over 70 clients and we are now working on expanding our offerings to be able to provide value to people on different levels. One of those levels is our website template shop which we launched earlier this year. Our goal with this template shop is to provide people with a modern and strategically designed website that they can easily edit so that they can feel confident with their online presence by next week if they want to.
Something that I’m proud to share is that we started our own podcast recently! It’s called Creative-ish and it’s a podcast all about the ups and downs of being a creative in your 20s. Our motivation for creating this podcast was that we wanted a place where we can candidly share what we’re going through and how we work through the up and down waves of feeling inspired. Our goal is to spread the notion that creativity is not a skill but rather a mindset we can cultivate by understanding other topics like perfectionism, self-care, productivity, emotional wellness, and so on. I’ts all from the perspective of 2 gen-z Latinas who are still trying to figure it all out. So that’s a new project I’m really excited about and can’t wait to form a beautiful community of like-minded creative business owners over there.
Kelly and I we’re very passionate about personal growth, and running a business has been the best way we’ve managed to grow as people so that is definitely something we want people to feel for themselves. That’s why we’re of service to business owners so that hopefully we can empower them to build a brand that transforms their life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Morning can start with a yoga class by Laura Cabral in Viejo San Juan. She is the sweetest yoga teacher and health coach, she also happens to be one of our clients!
Then we can head over to our favorite coffee shop in San Juan, Cafe Regina. My go-to there is their cashew milk iced latte and avocado toast. After that, we can go for a short walk to the beach in that area of Condado, lay down a blanket, and sit on the beach while listening to some good tunes.
For lunch, I’d go to the Miramar Food Truck park and get a falafel bowl at Pal Pita. Really close by is :Publica a cultural space where they usually have all sorts of community gatherings from local artisan markets, art exhibitions, second-hand clothing, and good food. So this is definitely a good place to connect with interesting people, find unique things, and leave with lots of inspiration.
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 girlfriend Kelly has been a pillar of support in my life for the past 6 years and I wouldn’t be where I am without her. She didn’t start Aria Studio with me but it was shortly after that she joined in and now she and I work together day by day on the business.
She’s the one who can pull me out of slumps and inspires me to keep my head positive when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. She reminds me that things don’t have to be as complicated as I make them seem in my head.
She helps out in the studio with website design as well as with our marketing efforts across multiple platforms. She’s also my cohost on the Creative-ish Podcast which is a podcast we recently started.
Other: We recently started a podcast! https://open.spotify.com/show/3sJvFq2sAkkTw73VU1y3R6?si=cc7ea6969cf04586