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Live Panel Discussion

On the Dotted Line

From creativity to cash flow, dive into an honest conversation on entrepreneurship and the value of a creative economy. Gain insight into the fresh perspectives of today’s trailblazers who have turned their passion into a profitable business, and hear how they connect with their creativity. Whether it’s through their personal style or their artistic abilities, they’re making their voices heard and inspiring others to do the same.

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Meet the Panelists & Read Their Stories

Career Resources

Adobe Mentor Session: Lolo Spencer
Adobe Mentor Session: Lisa Linh
Adobe Mentor Session: Meiko Takechi Arquillos
Adobe Mentor Session: Blair Imani

How has expressing yourself creatively led to your own professional success?

My instagram bio says that I’m “49% business and 51% creative”. Yes, I’m a successful business woman, but I attribute most of my success to my creativity. One of my favorite creative decisions that paid off was when we needed seed money to launch theCURVYcon. Instead of getting a traditional loan from a bank, my co-founder and I sold the clothes out of our closets to our fans. Some may call that being scrappy– I call that creativity.

Where does your passion / drive come from?

I teach my students to find passion and build confidence by answering the question “what makes you angry?” As a woman, I tend to think anger is a bad thing, but it can be very productive. For example: 67% of American women are a size 14+, but it’s really hard to find those sizes in stores. That makes me angry—and that’s how I became co-founder of theCURVYcon!

What traits do you need to succeed as a leader in business today?

I’m always trying to find the balance between flexibility and structure. A business leader needs both.

What advice can you share for leaders in business on believing in your ideas and cultivating the confidence to push forward, despite challenges or criticism?

Mistakes can be very productive. Sometimes when I have an idea, perfection paralysis keeps me from moving forward. In the last year, I’ve realized that I learn so much from the “flops” or the things that haven’t gone well in various aspects of my business. It’s helpful to know early on what my community doesn’t like, so I can pivot quickly and make adjustments.

What do you enjoy the most about owning your own business?

I love supporting other women and helping others build self-confidence. I’ve had some amazing team members over the years and I have loved watching them grow and thrive.

What is the role of creativity in business?

Creativity comes in many forms, but operational and administrative creativity never get the shine they deserve! They require organization, problem-solving and innovation—all vital to ensure the more front-facing creativity can succeed.

Where does your passion / drive come from?

I like to bring joy into other people’s lives and spaces, whether that be through floral design or via my work running BEOTIS, an agency that represents writers, speakers & artists of color. It’s exciting to know that my work can help make other people feel seen, and that keeps me motivated even on my most “ughhh” days!

What traits do you need to succeed as a leader in business today?

Forward thinking, organization, perseverance, and some kind of system in place to take care of yourself along the way.

What advice can you share for leaders in business on believing in your ideas and cultivating the confidence to push forward, despite challenges or criticism?

Challenges and mistakes are inevitable. For any harsh or gnarly feedback — just note the pieces of critique that are productive and helpful, then keep it moving. And on the days where you’re not sure where to go or what happens next, make a list of anything that is urgent and important and note the overarching goals you wish to accomplish that day, then step away for a bit! I’ve often found that clarity arrives once I’ve given myself space from the puzzle itself.

What do you enjoy the most about owning your own business?

It’s the best feeling: commanding your own schedule and time.

What is the role of creativity in business?

Creativity is where everything begins. It’s how you come up with your ‘Aha!’ moment and it is what has made The Things We Do so successful as a business rooted in cosmetic medicine. When you mix your creativity with teams who can implement your vision and turn what ‘could be’ into reality, some really magical things begin to evolve.

How has expressing yourself creatively led to your own professional success?

Working for other cosmetic practices for a decade, I noticed what was lacking and would start to think about how to improve the patient experience. The Things We Do combines the idea of having highly skilled, elevated medical providers in a space that gets you. I incorporated my Filipino heritage (Filipino culture is centered around taking care of one another and making people feel at home), built a beautiful space and made it our goal to always have our parents walking away feeling safe and more confident. Now, we are the fastest growing and most profitable business of our kind and we aren’t slowing down anytime soon!

What keeps you inspired and motivated to keep going even on your most challenging days?

I often say that business owners all have to be a little crazy to choose this kind of life. It is so fulfilling to have a business, but it is absolutely consuming. My constant drive comes from this relentless innate energy and the memory of my ancestors. Knowing how hard they worked and knowing our family struggles truly inspires me to push through on the hard days and to make space for myself and enjoy peace when I need to. Their stories inspire me.

What traits do you need to succeed as a leader in business today?

Anyone can start a business, but creating something special, leading teams, holding real influence—that takes something else. A good leader combines empathy, emotional intelligence, the ability to admit when they’re wrong, and the willingness to eat last.

What do you enjoy the most about owning your own business?

Being able to create the work culture I always dreamed of.

How has expressing yourself creatively led to your own professional success?

Creativity brings new ideas and critical strategies to my ability to lead, innovative, and evolve.

With success comes opportunity but that also means you have your hands full—Where does your passion / drive come from?

I am driven by the size, challenge, and uniqueness of the opportunities I create or those that are presented to me. I like making waves and taking risks I believe in.

What traits do you need to succeed as a leader in business today?

Resilience.

What advice can you share for leaders in business on believing in your ideas and cultivating the confidence to push forward, despite challenges or criticism?

Keep going. When you’re misunderstood, you’re often too early for others to catch on.

What do you enjoy the most about owning your own business?

Autonomy to build, pivot, and push ahead as I see fit.

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