You may recognise our next Sikh woman in business Chandeep Uppal, she’s an actress and starred in Meera Syal’s film ‘Anita & Me’. Chandeep, who is 25 has recently started a new business venture The Space – http://www.thespacebirmingham.co.uk . Have a read of her inspiring business journey!
1. What made you want to start your own business?
I’ve never really worked for anybody else as I’ve always enjoyed having control over my own choices. When given the opportunity by my dad to start a new business within his building I was really excited as it meant that I could think of an idea (which has now become The Space), create a vision and execute a plan for it in the way I would like to.
2. How did you come up with your idea?
I based my idea on my experience within the acting world. After working professionally for nearly 10 years I realised that I had never had an acting job in Birmingham. When later trying to get a group of actors together to do a rehearsed reading of something that I had written I ended up going to London to showcase the work at The Actors Centre. Although this was a great experience I really wanted to get local actors together who had a good understanding of Brummie culture. I created The Space in the hope that I could give local creative somewhere to go to create and collaborate. I think that sometimes within the artistic world it is difficult to represent yourself as a professional because of the irregularity of the work so I hope that The Space will give people somewhere that they can work and correctly represent themselves.
3. What’s been the toughest part of the journey?
Now that the business is open I’m constantly trying to find different industries to get in touch with and introduce myself to. Although I started The Space with the intention of having a creative focus I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into only working within one field and sometimes it can be challenging knowing who to call next.
4. What are your fears?
Not having any customers!
5. What are your hopes ?
I hope to be able to expand The Space onto the second floor of the building. Before opening we took on an eight week renovation to bring The Space to life and expansion will mean doing the same again.
6. How did you come up with your business plan?
I didn’t really have a business plan as such. I got the builders in, came up with an idea and just went for it. I did research into who else was about and prices they charge, I looked into local theatre and dance groups but really I just followed my heart.
7. How have you financed the business?
I’ve self funded it.
8. What do your family and friends think of it?
My family and friends are incredibly supportive of my new venture. The building that it is in is my dads so I come to work with him every day and my fiancé has supported me constantly. I feel very lucky to have a great family behind me that have constantly supported me with all of the decisions I have made with my acting career and now this.
9. What sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are right now?
I don’t feel that I’ve really sacrificed anything. Each step of the way the choices I have made have been completely my own and I’m fortunate to be able to say that any decision I’ve made has always been for something that I’ve wanted. I don’t think you can live a life without compromise and I think it’s unrealistic to think that you can have it all, all the time so I’ve never expected to be in that position.
10. What are you proud of?
I’m proud that I have the confidence I feel my grandfather instilled in me to work hard, not worry about what other people think and to just be able to get on with it (whatever ‘it’ may be).
11. What are your tips for any other ladies wanting to start a business?
Always believe in yourself. No matter what anybody says it’s you that is in charge, it is you that is going to be doing the work and you are the only one who really knows what you’re capable of. There will always be someone looking at you with a scrunched up face and telling you why it’s a bad idea and quite frankly if that’s what they think it’s a good job that you’re the one doing it and not them!
Chandeep has very generously offered all readers a 25% discount off first booking at The Space! Contact her directly on http://www.thespacebirmingham.co.uk to book!
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheSpaceBrum on