Children love to explore anything and everything. Usually it is during childhood that we explore many things all at once such as dance classes, gymnastics, sports, reading, writing – the list goes on. It is also true that while we might explore various activities, we also sometimes focus on just one or two things because we realize that we really like what we’re doing and want to explore it some more. This is what happened when Jennifer Ribout picked up a camera at a young age. Ribout followed her passion and is now a fine arts landscape photographer that established her own business of J.K. Ribout Photography.
J.K Ribout Photography is a fine art photography business dedicated to landscape art. Ribout says her mission with her photography is to, “bring forth pieces of the world captured in a way that preserves its beauty.” Ribout comes from a small town called Chapleau in Northern Ontario. It was there that she formed her love of photography at a young age and realized that she wanted to pursue it as a career.
“Photographers are always known as freelancers, or they are hired through companies. I personally knew that I wanted to start my own business so that I may sculpt my work entirely through my own vision and brand myself in a way that truly represents what I capture through my lens.”
Coming from a small town to a city where you barely know anyone can be tough, especially when starting a new business. Ribout was well known in Chapleau, and moving to Mississauga was difficult as she didn’t know many people. However, she is slowly starting to build a name for herself in the art community in the GTA.
Ribout says that one of her biggest challenges was trying to network. She says, “Going out there, networking and making contacts was very difficult for me as it was an unfamiliar thing. I had never networked before…I found it very intimidating. I’m still learning how to do it efficiently.” Even though networking can be a challenge, Ribout looks to the positive side as she realized that by meeting and getting to know people, she could spread more awareness of her business. Her efforts at networking in the GTA art community is paying off as her work continues to improve and she becomes better known in the art community.
Ribout recently held a gallery reception in Mississauga on Monday, March 20, 2017. It was a photography exhibition with three different photography series combined into one event: “Flux,” “Essence,” and “Vitality.” These series were made to showcase different aspects of life, and what they all have in common; change.
Ribout credits the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) in broadening her knowledge about businesses. Ribout completed the Summer Company Program at MBEC in the past and then went on to participate in Starter Company program in 2016 also delivered by MBEC in Mississauga because she wanted to learn more about developing her business in a new city.
“Working with MBEC has definitely broadened my knowledge in business. Having to create a solid business plan and undergoing training helped me understand all the useful components to running a business. Though there were numerous questions and sometimes hard steps, I was always able to get the answers and help I needed.”
Ribout attributes a lot her success with J.K Ribout Photography to people she has met throughout her life who have encouraged her to pursue her passion, and to Niagara College where she was able to develop her photography skills in a more professional way. Ribout emphasizes the importance of knowing what you want the end goal to be. She advises fellow and aspiring entrepreneurs to “have a very clear idea of what your objectives are and to be patient with the results.” She also encourages others to “aim high” but to also remember that “every baby step is an accomplishment.”
J.K. Ribout Photography continues to grow in the GTA art community and while the business is located in Mississauga, Ribout is open to conducting business in Toronto as well to further expand the business and explore new opportunities in the artistic field.
Planning to start or grow your business? MBEC can help!
MBEC is your central source for business information, resources and guidance. For information and guidance from business professionals, visit MBEC on the fourth floor of the Mississauga Central Library or online at mississauga.ca/mbec. You can also reach a member of the MBEC team at 905-615-4460 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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