Building My Business
When I first visualized my company Art Of Legohn, LLC
I was in a place where I wanted to create my own work, copyright it, and be hired for my services.
Being a commercial dancer in Hollywood was good, fun and a lot of "hurry up and wait."
Hey, I got my camera time.
Who doesn't want to be seen on TV, I know I did.
The only thing I was getting more bookings on was for my booty shaking skills.
Yes I can move it, but there is so much more to me.
I'm a classically trained dancer with modern, ballet, jazz and west african in my background, but of course street dance came second nature.
Basically, I wasn't getting booked on my technical skills, instead I was getting booked on my street dance skills.
On the other hand I was getting jobs that required me to play a fourteen year old, which was cool by the way.
I wanted to be able to express all of my talents though, and I wasn't going to wait for someone to discover me.
So, I started Art Of Legohn® in LA as a service to provide choreography, solo performances, dancers, and my paintings. This was in 2010.
I started right away, I did concept videos, booked one of my productions,
"Hail To The Queen," performed my solos, did gigs with my dance crew, and showcased my art.
When I was first promoting my business, RAW Artists LA was very supportive of my solo performances and art.
I made some good money, wrote my own contracts (even though I had already been writing my own contracts) however, this was the start of my AOL contracts.
When I moved to New York, I exhibited Art Of Legohn at RAW artists New York.
I did my solo performance "MS.Red" and I showcased my paintings that were connected with the dance.
After the positive feedback, I knew I could make AOL happen in New York.
It took me a couple of years to get it together.
I officially had the name copyrighted and dropped the doe to be a DBA (Doing Business As).
I spoke to a few lawyers, accountants, business advisors, friends in the business, and did my own research.
It was a one- woman situation for a couple of years.
I hired dancers to work with me, but overall I was doing everything myself.
I ended up hiring an intern (Garfield) to help me out, and it was just the two of us working on my business administratively.
I had a publicist that worked with me for a period of time and we did good work together.
I also hired a marketing assistant/graphic designer (Alysia Christiani) who has been creating my flyers and designing my websites for the past couple years. She is now the Marketing director.
I brought in a company photographer, and had a videographer to film my work.
During this whole process, I brought in my first dancer (Yancy Greene) who had been assisting me in my Dancehall Performance workshops, so of course I had to put him on the team.
Then I had a full out dance audition at PMT Dance Studios to bring in dancers who would become a part of the company.
About a year later, I teamed up with my pops to add a music department, which included my sister Raheesa. I added another one of my sisters (Tasneem) to post health blogs and my sister (Asha) to be the second Visual artists. Asha was the one who created the logos, so it was time to exhibit her art to the world, especially in New York.
I made moves, created and provided opportunities for myself and others, and made some noise.
After a year of all of that, I decided to go the LLC route.
In the beginning, I went back and forth trying to decide between being a non- profit or LLC.
I made the decision to be a LLC.
(This doesn't mean I won't eventually have a non-profit)
It's hard to see your vision come to light when you're in the process of putting everything together, however, when I look at videos, old flyers, business cards, and photos...
Man! Ya girl made some moves.
This experience was no joke!
On another note, while I was putting so much time into the business, it took away from my personal artistry, but my arts and talents were still being utilized.
I made many sacrifices to get where I'm at now.
My company, Art Of Legohn, LLC, is a multimedia arts and entertainment company that specializes in dance, music and visual arts. We have been performing, producing events and workshops, exhibiting our art and the list goes on.
I'm proud of the progress and proud of the growth.
There have been bumps on the road, but I still stand strong, encouraged to continue to spread my love for the arts.