Some people have a love for music and are lucky enough to make a career out of it. Others do the same for art and design. Stella Grinfeld has at one point or another done all three.

From her education to her lifetime involvement in the arts, Stella has always had a passion for what she does, including music, art, design and writing. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Design from York University and a teaching certification in piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

No stranger to entrepreneurship, Stella ran a mobile piano school business for 15 years and also worked in the corporate world as an art director, eventually transitioning to a Professor of Design at Seneca College. “I loved all the work I did, but as a creative person, being limited to a 9 to 5 schedule was not what I wanted for myself.” So when she realized she wanted to make a change, she went all in. “Five years ago I decided to take a chance and dive 100% into growing my current business.”

That current business is Stella Graphix – a one-stop, full-service digital media and design studio. Although she had the artistic know-how, she wanted some help in growing her business. So when she heard about the York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC), she decided to come in for a free consultation: “I came to the YSBEC primarily for some guidance with my business planning, as well as to build on my networking connections,” Stella said. “I had been working on a business plan for a few months and really wanted an expert to tell me if I was on the right path.”

A Small Business Consultant met with Stella to review her business plan, and also introduced her to two programs: Starter Company Plus and Artrepreneur.

Starter Company Plus provides funding, training and mentoring to Ontario residents who want to start or expand a business in the province. The York Small Business Enterprise Centre administers the program through funding from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Artrepreneur on the other hand is a highly-specialized program, helping artists in a variety of disciplines learn how to start or grow their creative business.

Stella is definitely a believer in these programs. “Through these programs, I was able to perfect my business plan, meet some amazing people who also became my clients, and had opportunities to market myself through networking events, expos, fairs and seminars,” she said. “This experience has taught me so much, and helped me become a better entrepreneur while exponentially growing my business.”

Today, Stella Graphix is growing in sales and gross profit. “Since connecting with the YSBEC last year, we have made great connections that have propelled the business forward, creating an abundance of opportunities and more visibility in the community and online.” she said.

Over the next few years, she wants to focus on further expansion of the business through hiring staff and collaborating with other talent and local businesses to be able to bring her larger than life ideas to fruition. Some of her goals include further increasing gross profit by finding innovative ways to continuously improve her offerings, processes, automation and the customer service experience. She also plans to diversify revenue streams by offering workshops and additional education-based services to complement hercore specializations, and in turn connecting with their target market on a more personal level. “I want to inspire, teach and most importantly, empower those who I work with so they can feel what it’s like to experience greater success in their business. I succeed when my clients succeed!”

You can learn more about Stella Graphix and continue following this local York Region success story at stellagraphix.com

Have a business idea, or an existing business you want to grow? The York Small Business Enterprise Centre is your one-stop shop to help start and grow your business. Get in touch with a Small Business Consultant today.