Meet April Bernd. She is a mom to 3 kiddos ages 13, 11 and 6. She has been married to her best friend for 17 years. She is a twilight reading, mint brownie loving, Dr. Pepper-a-holic that lives in Buckeye, AZ. She loves watching HGTV and any house hunting, home decorating shows. She LOVES to photograph kids and families. Hey..let’s face it. After 13 years of being a SAHM, kids are what she knows best. When she finds a spare moment to take photos of her own kids, she loves to scrapbook them.
1. Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:
Polka Dot Cactus Photography is my child and family photography business. I love doing outdoors photos or a session in your home is awesome! Kids are comfortable in their own environment, not a scary portrait studio filled with bright lights. I am based out of Buckeye, but travel all over the Phoenix valley.
2. What motivated you to start your business?
We got to the point where I had to get a job outside of the home or find away to work from home. I have always loved photography. I had friends calling up to have me do their holiday pictures every year. When I started spending more time taking other people’s photos than my own, I knew it was time to open shop.
3. What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?
I have been in photography for 15 years. I started, like most moms, when my oldest son was born. I wanted to have great scrapbook pages, and I needed great photos to make it happen. I read and studied and practiced everything photo related to get the images where I wanted them to be.
4. What trends do you see in your current industry?
Baby photography has taken a huge leap in the past few years. It is such a precious, fleeting time that is so important to capture. When my babies were little, I was doing the best I could to get a shower in the morning, let alone capture their sweet wrinkles and tiny toes. A photographer that would come to my house and create art for me would have been divine! Moms these days are super lucky to have this service available.
5. What are the most demanding aspects about your business?
That would be trying to balance family and work. I love my job and would do it non-stop. My kids want dinner and clean clothes…maybe even some quality time playing catch and helping with homework. I have to stick to my policies to keep balance in the force.
6. What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?
The best reward in my business is knowing that I am preserving this moment in my client’s lives forever. I love kids and enjoy being silly and capturing their personalities and essence for mom and dad.
7. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?
First and foremost, this is a business. You have to treat it like one. Learn all you can about finance, business and marketing. Study the basics of photography and make sure you are ready to take on clients. Practice..practice…practice some more. Most importantly, you need to love photography.
8. What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?
I am most proud of my little ones. They are the reason that I do what I do.
9. How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?
I have had to learn to set business hours, even though I work from home. I shut the computer off when the work day is over. I have a schedule of what to do on what day, Editing on Monday, Blogging on Tuesday, etc. This helps me maintain a great balance and still get everything done.
10. What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?
Getting out of the house and meeting real live people. Word of mouth has been a huge driving force in getting Polka Dot Cactus off the ground.
Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?
My “Milk Money” provides my kiddos with everything from haircuts to Little League and ballet. Sometimes, it even helps pay for mom’s haircuts too.