Meet a Mom: Richmond Local Mom and Founder of Vana Chupp Studio | Richmond Moms

Where are you originally from? Where’d you go to school & what’s your current profession?

I went to school in Chicago and received a masters in architecture. I currently own my own business, Vana Chupp Studio which I founded 13 years ago. I am the creative director and CEO .

 

Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?

I currently live with my family in Richmond, VA. We moved here from Chicago 6 years ago.

 

How many children do you have & what are their ages?

I have two boys, they are 16 and 9.

 

What are your favorite things about Richmond?

I love the creative community here. I’ve come to know some amazing small business owners! I also love how friendly people are.

 

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I speak five languagesJ (fluent in 3 and moderate in 2)

 

Wow, that’s impressive! Tell us about your career and how you got started building your business.

I graduated with my Masters in Architecture and after working in the profession for a few years I decided to start my own business, in an effort to do something creative with my time while raising my first born. I originally started selling on Etsy. I was a solopreneur for over 8 years working out of my home and it wasn’t until 2014 that I hired my first full time employee. Now we are a team of 8 and run the business from our new studio location in Scott’s Addition.

 

Sounds like it’s grown quite a bit. Tell us more about what Vana Chupp Studio is doing now and what makes it unique.

Vana Chupp Studio is a boutique brand that manifests the sensibilities and personal style of its Founder and Creative Director, Vana Chupp. The brand inspires women to keep memories close and cherish the magic of special moments forever.

We utilize client’s favorite photographs to illustrate the people, pets, and special moments in their life. From those treasured pictures, we create one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces: silhouette portraits and exquisite jewelry, and perfectly personal accessories destine to become family heirlooms and passed down to the next generation.

Vana Chupp Studio was established in 2008 in an effort to satisfy my creative passions while fulfilling an even higher calling, being a mom. I continue to be the safe keeper of a family’s memory and works with clients personally on each order to help evoke the magic of that moment forever. The team includes 6 other talented women. Each brings a set of talents and values that reflect our company’s mission.

We understand time spent with our little ones is fleeting. It’s our mission to inspire parents to see the joy in the most mundane moments, to choose present over speed living, real over rushed, cherished presents over meaningless gifts. We believe every mother should own and proudly wear an heirloom jewelry that tells a memorable story.

 

What’s the best thing about your business?

Working with my team and crafting heirloom products that help tell a story.

 

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Besides my children I feel pretty proud about the brand we’ve built these past 13 years.

 

What was your biggest failure?

I don’t believe in failures. I’ve had my share of challenges. Each has taught me to keep going and never lose focus from why I started in the first place.

 

I love that perspective. What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?

Our community of mamas! It’s an honor showing up every day to serve them.

 

How do you juggle work with mommyhood?

Becoming a mother has helped me prioritize things. When my kids were little and they needed me, I prioritized being a mother and worked around their schedules. When they became more independent, I was able to focus more of my undivided attention to the business. Some days business becomes a priority and other days I can step away from it and be a mom. It is still a juggling act and I love it!

 

Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?

Hire help before you think you can afford it! It was a pivoting moment for my business. It helped me free up time to focus on working to grow my business.

 

How do you rely on the women of Richmond?

I have made some great friendships with other women who own small businesses in town. We exchange business tips and help one another in the path of entrepreneurship.

 

How do you juggle work with mommyhood?

Becoming a mother has helped me prioritize things. When my kids were little and they needed me, I prioritized being a mother and worked around their schedules. When they became more independent, I was able to focus more of my undivided attention to the business. Some days business becomes a priority and other days I can step away from it and be a mom. It is still a juggling act and I love it!

 

Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?

Hire help before you think you can afford it! It was a pivoting moment for my business. It helped me free up time to focus on working to grow my business.

 

How do you rely on the women of Richmond?

I have made some great friendships with other women who own small businesses in town. We exchange business tips and help one another in the path of entrepreneurship.

 

What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?

Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest. It can feel (and it is) very overwhelming to not know when this is all going to end. In our family we try to remember the things we are grateful for (health, family, friends) and extend our support to those that need it.

 

Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?

My husband.  We’ve been a great team since day one. He’s been my rock and support through all the highs and lows of motherhood. He is a great example to our boys of what a husband and a father should be like.

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