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

Hi Julie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In July of 2013 I decided to open JDM School of Dance. I wanted to offer girls an environment where dance is taken seriously, but with an emphasis placed on fun, creativity, and building community. I wanted to create a community for moms to give them opportunities to meet and form meaningful friendships. For me, dance has been a constant since age two. “It was something my mom and I shared,” she said. “I can remember her taking me to dance when I was little and always seeing her face in the crowd when I performed.” I believe that factor and my daughter being ready to dance ultimately lead me to opening JDM. It’s crazy that it’s been ten years since we started!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Challenges make us and I have certainly faced my fair share in this journey. When I decided to open my studio, it was something new to overcome everyday. I didn’t have a lot of revenue set aside, so I had to get creative. I ended up renting space from a yoga studio where the first classes of JDM were taught. During the early days, I did it all. Literally, I was the dance teacher, the bookkeeper, the costume maker and the marketing person. You name it and I had worn that hat. I am thankful now because it plays a big part in how I run my business. I think anyone starting any business should know there will be challenges but how we overcome them is what builds a truly good business. I would also add it’s not for the faint of heart.

After two years in said Yoga studio, I needed to find my own space. It was difficult to navigate, but I kept pushing and found the right space for our studio. This was a big celebration when we finally made the switch.

I will always return back to this “owning your own business is never easy. There are ups and downs that I experienced, but, my love of dance and the studio always made me keep pushing.”

In 2018 I applied and was accepted to the Dance Studio Owners Associations. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. I surrounded myself with like minded studio owners that were all committed to growing their businesses. This group got me through the hard times. By being a member of this group, we have access to top experts in the dance world as well as the business owners world. It’s so important to be constantly growing as a person and business owner. I suggest this to anyone in business—find community. The more supportive individuals who have walked a similar journey around you the better your business will become.

I have learned to keeping going always.
Who you surround yourself with matters.
To make sure I am pouring into myself so I can show up to my business as my best self.
You will have hard times in your personal and business life, its ok to ask for help.

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?
I love my city! McKinney, Texas home of JDM and home of so many great memories for my family. I have been so blessed to come to know so many incredible people in the area and a lot of great businesses.

I would definitely suggest a day devoted to the McKinney square it is there you’ll find some of the best shopping in the area. Looking for a little dress or gift for a friend—you’re covered. Perhaps you’re looking to go on a treasure hunt for something in your home there is a great little thrift on the corner across from the dog store (which you should also stop in). Dinner, coffee they’ve got it all. Be sure to visit McKinney Hat Co for your latest and greatest hat!

I can’t forget to mention the visitors center in McKinney they are some genuinely precious people with all the deets on what to do! Give them a follow on instagram @visitmckinneytx

P.S. If you need a good crack visit our Chiropractor at @austin_chiropractic you’ll be so happy you did!

There are so many other places you should check out in the area and if you’re making McKinney home we’d love to have your little at JDM!

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 mom played a huge role in my love of dance. She enrolled me in dance lessons at 3 and instilled in me passion! I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her. JDM wouldn’t be— her help at the studio when I opened and with my daughter made a world of difference. I owe so much to my mom and I miss her everyday. I hope to continue to honor her legacy.

I also am grateful for my dance teachers that shared their love of dance with me. They helped me when I took those big steps to open my own studio. They were there for me when I needed advice and direction. They continue to be a source of community and I love that!

My business mentors that encourage me and support me! In this category I have so many to thank because along the way I have been the recipient of so much support. The meaningful feedback I have received has made the difference. I am thankful to have such awesome trailblazers in my corner.

I also have to give a little shoutout to my little girl who is now a young lady—YOU have been the reason. I love my Marley and believe she can do anything she sets her mind to. You coming into my world has given me the drive that I have to succeed past any obstacle faced before me.

Website: https://www.jdmschoolofdance.com/

Instagram: jdmschoolofdance

Facebook: JDM School of Dance

Youtube: JDM School of Dance

Image Credits
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