We had the good fortune of connecting with Ellie Soufi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ellie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting the OCHF Academy was absolutely fueled by the love and drive to support and mentor the up and coming artists of the industry. With Covid-19 in our midst I knew that we would need to become a hub for children to come and feel safe to create both virtually and in person. As a young 22 year old entrepreneur diving into this true unknown territory of not only business but a global pandemic was daunting however with the love and support of not only my friends and family but my amazing students and staff we were all able to come together and make this all happen. From creating an original show together within our triple threat program, to now recording and producing our very own music videos, original music and so much more we have immensely grown together as not only a business but as creative individuals. I am proud to say that even through all the trials and tribulations we were able to stand strong together and make a difference within this incredibly trying time.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Being an young entertainer myself growing up in the industry was extremely difficult but so amazingly rewarding, with that in mind I knew I wanted a place of my own to call home to any young and hungry artists with an incredible passion for the performing arts. I put my heart and soul into build a place for children to not be afraid to try new things, tap into their creativity and build friendships and relationships with other like minded individuals. What sets us apart from others is that we have really built a family within our walls, we offer opportunities to our kids that they may not have the ability to do elsewhere, we listen, we think outside the box, we come from a place of love and dedication to the arts but most of all we have no creative limitations the ski is the limit. Our very first program started May 1, 2020 and was built for the ultimate triple threat experience, where we dove into various vocal techniques, new dance styles, monologues and scene work, but most importantly we created opportunity for children to express them selves through original music during one of the most trying times of their lives. They openly dug deep and expressed their thoughts of isolation and the scary unknown through music. At the end of our time together I wrote and produced an original show for the children to have the opportunity to perform which was an incredible feat for not only the kids but myself as well. Navigating through not only a brand new business but pandemic and 40 new children looking for support and guidance really lit a fire within to give them the best possibly opportunity to thrive. This was by no means easy but we got through it together, we’ve grown so much and I am proud to say that we have expanded and added to our Academy family bring in new inspiring and innovative teachers and students! I want the world to know that I built my business on love and love alone, I strive to find everybody’s individuality and uniqueness and reenforce positivity in everything we do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting the city for a few days I would absolutely take them to downtown LA to the garment district because I love fashion and so do most of my friends, I would then take them into Beverly Hills for the pretty women experience! After we fine dine I would take them down PCH to Newport Beach for a sunset bonfire. Most of my friends are in the entertainment industry so I would absolutely take them to the studio for the day to meet and work with the kids. We are HUGE Disney fans so we will absolutely spend the day at the happiest place on earth. We love the movies so the Warner Bros tour is a must and so is universal studio’s of course for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After we do LA and OC I will definitely be taking them to Palm Springs for Bikes rides and Brunch to finish off a perfect trip.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give credit to my amazing mother for being there every steps of the way in not only my business but also my own career of being a young performer in the entertainment industry. I also have to give a big shout to my amazing father for supporting all my wild endeavors and believing in my creativity and vision.