Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Lori Andrews: Hi there! My name is Lori Andrews and I am a Calgary born artist and entrepreneur. I have a BFA in fine arts and I love any work that is creative.
Why did you start your business?
Lori Andrews: I have several business threads under my name currently. These include interior design, photography and creative marketing services. I have worked freelance almost my entire career.The design world and photography business are a perfect match for my desire to be making artful creations on a daily basis. I am also a part-time model; next time you take a Westjet flight I might be the photograph on your menu!
What does a day in the life of Lori look like?
Lori Andrews: I start each day with a cup of aeropress coffee while answering emails and planning the day ahead. I should probably mention that I rise at 5:45 am each day of the week so that I can enjoy the morning solitude while I drink my coffee.
When the sun comes up, I either go for a walk or do a workout in my home gym. I generally make all of my photography studio bookings between 10:00am and 3:00pm and I will also use these hours for client shopping when I am working on a design project. Personal photography projects for art or stock photos happen in between all of my other work.
I try not to work past 6:00 pm but I am always available to shoot on weekends. At least twice a week I skip this entire morning routine and head to the mountains for a hike, bike or ski.
Since I work from home or my nearby studio I take the time to make fresh and healthy meals at home almost everyday. Currently, I am experimenting with “mostly” vegetarian options. Knitting, sewing and other projects occupy my evenings as we do not own a television.
“I don’t feel like myself if I am not making or exercising my creative side.”
How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired?
Lori Andrews: I consider myself a maker and a creative. Any creative will report that inspiration comes from almost anywhere and motivation to create is more of a compulsion than something needing reason. I don’t feel like myself if I am not making or exercising my creative side.
Motivation for creatives is a bit different. Let’s just say, I need deadlines for work. I will often make appointments to present with the sole purpose of giving myself a deadline.
What advice would you give to other women looking to start their own business?
Lori Andrews: In order to get into photography, I will advise that one must first start shooting. Everyday. It’s a great litmus test.
If an individual says, ‘I am too busy right now to take at least one photo every day,’ then perhaps this is not really the best career choice. It’s a packed field with lots of talent. You will need fresh ideas and a thick skin should others steal your ideas (and if your ideas are good, they will steal them).
In order to stand out in the field, one should develop a clear style and specializing early in your career in one type of photography is recommended if only to develop a clientele base.
What is your favourite Calgary pastime, place to visit, eat, do?
Lori Andrews: I love my city.
Hands down my favourite past time is biking in Calgary! This includes the cycle tracks for errands and dinners out, along the extensive pathway system for fresh air and exercise as well as mountain biking on Nose Hill Park or in Fish Creek Park for some serious exercise.
I want to bike more in the winter but I struggle with an autoimmune disease called Raynaud Syndrome in which my fingers go numb in the cold, so once winter comes along, I walk!
Date night with my husband or a friend is usually walking distance or via the C-train. We love Una Pizza, Moti Mahal, The Ship & Anchor and National. I like to go for coffee at Phil & Sebastian (or Starbucks but don’t judge me because I really like the coffee).
My favourite local shopping is at Bamboo Ballroom, The Livery Shop, Kit Interior Objects and Gravity Pope. I love going to the top of the Calgary Tower. I love canoeing on the Glenmore Reservoir and biking to get pizza takeout at Inglewood Pizza to eat on St. Patrick’s Island. I haven’t missed the Calgary Folk Fest in years.
Are you a leading local lady with a story to share? Drop me a line at irene[at]mintandheritage.com to let me know about your special skill, business, or passion project and you could be featured next.