Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop.
VenturePop! Conference organizer and local entrepreneur, Kristy Oustalet, talks about her passion for creativity in business.
Sometimes the creative brain finds its home in the business world. That statement has never been more true than with local entrepreneur, Kristy Oustalet.
Oustalet comes from a creative background. She attended NOCCA and has a BFA from Loyola University. In addition to that, she worked in the arts administration world, including gallery management in New Orleans and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
“I became enamored with the idea of blending art and business early on,” says Kristy Oustalet, local entrepreneur and founder of VenturePop! and The Essential Planner. “In 2010, I opened an art teaching studio. Constantly experimenting with new business ideas and concepts, I turned those self-taught lessons into daily practice. My deep interest in entrepreneurship became crystal clear, and that studio ultimately became an entrepreneurial lab for me to fundamentally learn how to both run and grow a business.”
Like most creatives, Oustalet says a million fresh and exciting ideas pop into her head on any given day, but she came to realize how important it is to be organized.
“To make those ideas happen, I would need to really structure them and plan them out,” Oustalet says. “I use a formula to vet my own ideas, to create a game plan, and to bring them into reality. I took that formula and turned it into my first product: The Essential Planner. The planner is designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs, and provides the tips and tools to turn their brilliant ideas into inspired action.”
Oustalet believes that businesses thrive on creativity and that it can really be an asset in the business world, but it must be channeled correctly.
“I find that a lot of creatives have so many wonderful ideas floating around that they have a hard time harnessing them,” she says. “I joke that I’m a right-brainer with a passion for business, but it’s true. One my biggest personal battles with my business, is wanting to take on more projects than I have time to invest. I rely on my planner a ton to structure my time, but the challenge of balancing my workload with my ambitions is something I regularly face.”
With the Essential Planner, Oustalet found that creating a tangible product for her first time came with a learning curve.
“It’s so much different than my experience with providing services,” she says. “Researching printers, paper qualities and estimating quantities for a dated product was new territory. I’ve been diligent to send out samples and collect feedback in order to continue improving the planner design.”
When it comes to spreading the word, Oustalet vibes with the idea of the more, the merrier.
“I find collaborating with others has been not only the most fun way to grow my platform, but also the most effective,” she says. “My website is my home base, where I host a podcast series called The Start Up Speakeasy. Every podcast episode is an interview with another creative entrepreneur and talk shop. I view each episode as a mini collaboration, which has become a tool to spread the word about projects in the works.”
In addition to the Essential Planner, Oustalet has spearheaded New Orleans’ very first conference for creative entrepreneurs, VenturePop!
“Last year, I joined a much bigger collaboration with two locals (Ciera Holzenthal and Justin Shiels) to host VenturePop!,” Oustalet says. “Together, we used Kickstarter to attract attention to pre-sale tickets and create awareness. After the event, it’s easy to see how combining the efforts and expertise of three can create a much bigger impact.”
Oustalet has her plate full with her two big projects, but she’s excited and optimistic.
“My focus in the near future will be directed towards growing my two main projects: The Essential Planner and the VenturePop! conference,” she says. “We’re currently preparing the 2016 Essential Planner to go to print and are preparing for pre-sales by the end of the year. The conference this year proved to be a huge success and our team is currently planning to double the size and duration of the event.”
Learn more about Kristy Oustalet by visiting her website.