It’s one thing to like what you do, it’s another to possess a passion for it. And passion is what has driven our October LadyBoss, Tamisha Greene, the Founder and Creative Director of Ambiance Design Studio to continually take herself to another level when it comes to her creative designs.
For as long as she can remember, Tamisha has had desire to pursue a career in interior design—even when it was not a popular choice for young Bermudians when she attended the Bermuda College.
“I was told that the market was covered by ex-pats in Bermuda and I should chose another career path. Although I tend to be the type of person to avoid conflict, I do recall being quite clear in explaining that I was still determined to pursue interior design and was confident that I would obtain a successful career as an interior designer in Bermuda,” she tells SheHub.
The mother of two says even after graduating from university, she did not fully set out to start her own business: “I decided to begin my own business by happenstance really, or at least that’s what my mind tells me. I have a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and early in my career as a practicing interior designer, I decided to use my skillset and creativity into the design of my own wedding in 1999.
“I knew that I wanted my love of design to be reflected in my wedding atmosphere. It was loved by everyone in attendance and from there I started to receive requests from other brides seeking designs for their weddings. I provided event design services as a part-time business for quite a few years before taking the leap of faith into full-time practice just over 10 years ago. Looking back now, I know it was part of God’s plan for me.”
She continues: “Once I decided to transition from part-time to full-time, that was a totally different mindset to adjust to…fear made itself known for sure but definitely not enough to deter me. Even today, Ambiance is still growing and expanding and with expansion comes fear at new levels but I continue to make my faith bigger than my fear.”
Whether it’s an intimate summer party, or a large corporate event, there’s nothing beyond the scope of what Ambiance can design, says Tamisha.
“We create event design experiences for personal events such as weddings, birthday milestones, anniversaries for private celebrations and corporate events such as company socials, promotional events, summer and holiday colleague parties and galas to mention a few. We offer services from event concept to onsite event production in our custom design offerings. Our goal is to take care of all the event design details on our clients’ behalf from start to finish!”
SheHub asks Tamisha to reflect on how she felt after completing her first assignment.
She responds: “Well, it has been a while since my first assignment, however I will always remember feeling humbled, grateful and successful after my first contracted event. I still aim for that feeling today for several reasons. Although I am confident in my design abilities of creating amazing spaces whether for event design or interior design, no matter how much I love it, it is always more important to me that my clients love it. I am providing a service to them so it is always my goal to make sure they are pleased with the results. We always get rave reviews of our work, but I never want to assume that our clients are going to be happy until we receive their feedback. A happy client is what truly makes me happy.”
With so many designs under her belt, how does Tamisha manage to continually come up with fresh ideas?
“They say that ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ and we see that in various trends and fads that repeat themselves with a twist over the years in attire, music, furniture etc. This may be true but my goal is always to think of something new…and new doesn’t have to mean drastic but for me it means fresh. I think it’s important seek the trends and the ‘next new thing’ that is presented to us as in style, but I love to have my creativity piqued through experiences, moods, people, and environments. People relate to what’s important to them so I seek to understand my clients’ wishes and then apply an Ambiance touch to it. I also remain creative and excited by networking with industry professionals whose work style and work ethic that I admire and have high esteem for.
“Being creative has always been my passion from private art classes from the age of five to today. I still sketch and draw ideas and concepts for our designs which sometimes gets me in trouble because I get lost in time under the ‘creative juice’ hat and remind myself to put on the ‘time management’ hat. But I realise that this is how I function and I don’t want to lose my innate love of design so I try and give myself a break about that. Bottom line is that it’s extremely important to me that creativity is the foundation of Ambiance with good character as the support system.”
Recognising that she needed to strengthen her business skills, Tamisha participated in the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s (BEDC) Streetwise MBA programme. The six-month intensive programme is designed specifically for small to medium sized business owners and teaches them skills needed to enhance the operational side of their business.
She tells SheHub: “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Streetwise MBA because after being in business for myself for several years, I realised that there were tools that I still needed to develop in running my business and to take it to the next level. I am confident in design skillset and abilities but there are times when I didn’t have the support or knowledge of actually running a business. The Streetwise MBA Programme was such a relief for me for a few reasons but the first one being that you are not alone. Most entrepreneurs are sole proprietors such as myself or may have a few partners but across the board I believe that the participants learned that although our business models may differ, we all have the same needs from customer service to human resource perspective to accounting to the every challenging, and most important, work-life balance to name a few.
“This programme provided extensive knowledge and lecturers as well as visits from practicing professionals. The tight monthly timeline and assignments were very demanding alongside of the usual demand of my business but I feel it was necessary for me to sacrifice that time for the betterment of Ambiance’s future. I am so glad that I committed to it because if has reshaped my mindset on how to move forward with Ambiance.
“The BEDC is important to small business owners such as myself because I started my business based on my pursuing my passion for art and design however I had no experience about the operations of a business and learned as I grew. In addition to the elements I mentioned above, organisations such as BEDC can assists businesses to develop in many facets such as budgeting, operational advice, financial advice, funding sources etc. It understands the culture of a small business as many of us wear multiple hats of responsibility in comparison to larger corporations which have multiple support staff to cover specific areas of business operations. They are a great source for tools, sources and data to develop new businesses and growing existing businesses. Many times it’s just amazing to have an organisation that understands the entrepreneurial spirit because although it’s a business, it can be emotional because often but not always, it was a personal choice to start the business in the first place. We all need a support system and organisations like the BEDC are ideal for that.”
Tamisha offers this advice to budding entrepreneurs: “I would advise any budding entrepreneur to absolutely love what they do and the service they offer. It is so rewarding when you are passionate about your business because it also sets the tone for its culture. It’s also important to maintain that passion because it’s a reminder of my ‘why’ during the challenging times. Surround yourself with a supportive team, like mine (insert Tamisha’s shoutout to the “AMAZING TEAM AMBIANCE!”) who keeps you going when you are close to giving up.
“Surround yourself with supportive family and friends who are genuinely cheering you forward! Seek advise from entrepreneurs you admire who are at a level you are striving towards. The bonus is they may also be willing to mentor you. Most importantly, let your FAITH be bigger than your fear! This path of entrepreneurship is not easy but I truly believe this is my purpose and destiny given to me by my Heavenly Father. My faith keeps me going during the successes and the challenges and I continue to believe that this is God’s plan for me so you must keep believing that this is His plan for you!”
If you are interested in booking Ambiance, visit www.ambiancebermuda.com. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Visit the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, which is located at 48 Church Street, Hamilton, Bermuda or visit www.bedc.bm.