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

Hi Susan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Throughout high school and my brief time in college, I was a nanny. That job taught me so much. Apart from the obvious, practicing patience with children, I loved the control of setting my hourly pay, my availability and choosing a family that was the best fit after that. In college, I ended up nannying for a woman who was a photographer. I mentioned I was interested in photography and she really took a chance on me. I would nanny 3 days a week and intern for her 1 day a week. She was a strong mentor to me and taught me the basics I still refer back to today.

Once I realized I was meant to be a boss and not work for one, there was really no other choice but to start my own business. My Dad is a huge role model + inspiration to me- he has been an entrepreneur all of my life. There’s something so rewarding to me about building something you’re proud of from the ground up.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Photographer + Floral Designer, an artist through and through. My favorite part about both is the way I get to tell a story. I have a more documentary, photo-journalistic approach to photography. My images not only take you back to how each moment looked, but also how it FELT. There’s a lot of emotion there, and the same goes for my floral designs. With flowers, you get to play with color, texture and movement to create a story.

I am totally self-taught and I think that can be intimidating, especially coming into two of the most competitive industries. I mean, everyone and their mom is a photographer these days. But I have learned there is room for everyone. No one will ever be you- try as they might, no one can recreate you or your work because we are all unique and inimitable. I think when it does happen, it’s best not to get discouraged but take it as flattery, keep your head down and eye on the prize.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a foodie. So our week would definitely involve some of the best Mexican (my favorite) eateries. One of my favorite things to do in Fort Worth is antique shop. I am a huge thrifter, finding hidden gems is my jam! There are so many cute shops; Montgomery Street, Eastside, and Simple Things are a few of my favorites! And then, the historic district has some of the sweetest houses. I love driving around looking at those. We would also catch a movie at the classic Coyote Drive-In!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I think about who deserves credit + recognition in my story, two people come to mind- My dad and my fiance. Both are my biggest supporters and encouragers. As an entrepreneur, there will be times you may want to throw in the towel. Having people in your corner that speak wisdom into you and remind you to keep going and keep pushing is vital to your success. I have seen firsthand through my Dad how difficult working for yourself can be- especially in the early years. For my fiance, he has put his dreams on hold so that I could chase mine. If that doesn’t scream love + support, I’m not sure what does.

Website: www.susanaclare.com / www.vidacreative.co

Instagram: @susanaclare_ / @vidacreative_

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.