We were lucky to catch up with Sonia Emore recently and have shared our conversation below.
Sonia, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
My love for music and helping children gave me the idea to start A Time to Create, LLC. When I was a little girl, I was shy, quiet, and struggled with anxiety. I kept to myself and rarely expressed my emotions. Music helped me to express all the emotions that were trapped inside of me. It helped me put words to what I was feeling. I eventually started writing songs to get my feelings out and it was such a freeing experience.
Fast forward, I started working as an educator, and for years I noticed so many kids struggling with their identity and expressing themselves in ways that were harmful to themselves and others. It was a heart-breaking sight to see. Music and songwriting were my safe space and it helped me release a lot of the things I was struggling with. I wanted to provide children with the same resource that helped me. A safe space, creative and fun outlet to express themselves and experience emotional freedom.
I wasn’t sure if my business would actually help my students, but I had to try something. After starting A Time to Create, I created a songwriting curriculum designed to help kids acknowledge, identify and express different emotions while having fun. I wanted my business to help children with their emotional needs, while helping others around them. It excites me knowing that A Time to Create will help generations experience emotional freedom while creating a beautiful art that can be shared with others.
An interesting fact about A Time to Create is that the name is based on the scripture Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. God created a time for everything, which includes “A Time to Create”
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m a singer/songwriter from the south side of Chicago, IL. I moved to Atlanta when I was 18 years old to pursue my dream of being a songwriter. Over the years I’ve interned in some pretty cool recording studios and met so many amazing artists along the way. At the age of 21 I gave my life to Christ and decided to take a break from the music scene because that environment wasn’t the best place for me spiritually. It was hard to take a break from music, because it was my passion and it got me through a lot of things. Eventually, I started working in education as a teaching assistant for over 8 years. Even though I loved teaching, music was still my first love. I combined my love for music and helping children and that’s how my business A Time to Create came about.
January 2, 2017, is when I officially founded A Time to Create, LLC. A business dedicated to helping children get their emotional needs met by expressing their feelings and emotions through the beautiful art of songwriting. A Time to Create provides some amazing services, afterschool enrichment classes, individual songwriting sessions, online songwriting courses for kids and adults, and our latest development the Songwriting App For Kids. A Time to Create provides a safe and fun place for kids to creatively express themselves, while providing them with tools that will continue helping them as they grow into adults.
The after-school enrichment classes guide and teach kids how to express themselves through writing songs to a variety of music genres such as: pop, r&b, hip hop, soul and much more. Every week students learn about a different emotion and transform them into original songs. The individual songwriting sessions are similar to the after-school classes, the only difference is having the undivided attention of an instructor. The online courses are available for users 24/7 and the Songwriting App For Kids will help children nation-wide express themselves and give them a safe place to store their songs. It’s also a great tool for parents and childcare providers to help meet a child’s emotional needs.
I’m so proud of all the children I’ve been able to help over the years. It means the world to me when parents and educators reach out to me to share the difference they see in their children after being a part of my songwriting classes. I’m also proud of my growth as an entrepreneur. It’s not easy running a business, there’s so many ups and downs. Fortunately, I have a great support system that encouraged me over the years to keep going when things were hard. I love what I do, and it makes me happy to know that my business pours into generations of children that will hopefully pour into generations after them, leaving a legacy of emotional healthy individuals.
Can you talk to us about how your side-hustle turned into something more.
A Time to Create started out as a side hustle and progressed into my full-time business. In 2016 a friend and I really wanted to take a trip to Israel with one of the local churches, but I couldn’t afford the cost of the trip. To make extra money, I asked the after-school director of the school I was working at, if I could work part-time in the after-school program. Unfortunately, I was denied but the director advised me to teach a music class instead because she knew I was into music. I literally had one week to prepare for my class and get the word out to all the parents. Fast forward, my class was full by the next week and all the money I made from my songwriting class, paid for my trip to Israel. Over five years later, I’m still teaching my after-school songwriting class. A Time to Create is no longer a side hustle, it’s my full-time job.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
The most effective strategy for growing my clientele has been going to schools and setting up meetings to share about A Time to Create and how it will benefit the school and students. I’m naturally an introvert, so this hasn’t been the easiest task for me. Normally, when I go to different schools to share about my business, I take a portfolio with me. In my portfolio I include brochures, my contact info and I’m prepared to share how my business will help the students at the school. Once I have a partnership with a school, that gives me access to advertise my classes to the students and their parents. It’s a pretty simple strategy, the hard part is working up the nerve to actually do it.
- Website: www.atimetocreate.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/at2cme/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AT2Cme/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonia-emore-b25b2149
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4hqYpb5FYnUN3E_XWsEqQ