Featured Success Stories

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Tatiana, a graduate of Temple University and a local actress, has always been creative and proactive. When she noticed that she was not being represented in the current media, she decided to produce her own. As an actress turned producer, Tatiana saw an opportunity to tell stories that would fill in the "cultural literacy" gap that has become commonplace in the American "salad bowl." Tatiana was confident in her artistic talent, but she knew that sustaining a business would require more than just producing fantastic art.  For this venture to be a success, she would need to develop her entrepreneurial side.  Hoping to do just that, she became a part of the Prudential Young Entrepreneur Program in 2008.  Tatiana’s business skills have helped her not only to achieve her artistic goal of creating original content, but to run a thriving artistic business, Teaspoon & Pound Media. Since its inception, Teaspoon & Pound Media has successfully created several pieces, including “Freedom Denied,” a documentary that posthumously tells the story of Jean Baptiste’s battle for political asylum in the United States. Tatiana recently traveled with the Brothers of the Knight tour filming a behind the scenes look at the toe tapping musical by Debbie Allen. When asked about her favorite aspect of running her own production company, Tatiana answers without hesitation: “The innate sense of feeling alive.  I’m at my best, doing what I love.”

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Janine Spruill is a native of Philadelphia, who has had a love for film since the age of 12. She received a degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in 1999. During her final year in school, she had an idea to visit her former elementary school and provide an art program that introduced children to filmmaking. She wanted to fill a void that was missing from most art education programs. Janine realized that she could turn her idea and love of teaching her craft to kids into a nonprofit company, Lil’ Filmmakers. She rolled out a pilot program with great success and began charging fees for her classes to schools and parents. She began to travel around the city teaching filmmaking workshops for youth through schools, summer camps, and community organizations. She offers various production programs and the resources necessary for youth to become professionals in the industry. She has now turned her classes into a full production company. Janine did not know that she was going to take this path, but she gets a kick out of making money doing what she loves. When asked about her favorite part of running her own business, Janine Spruill says, “I love providing these services. We are making dreams come true for aspiring actors, writers, and filmmakers.” For Janine, the biggest struggle in the creative economy has been figuring out how to sell the idea of "art." Janine needed to learn how to make the work she was doing viable. She realized that it is all in the marketing. She wasn't selling art; she was selling vocational training in a lucrative and evolving industry. The challenge is how to keep a business sustainable, innovative, and visible. In order to grow and expand, you need to have key people involved. By providing Janine with entrepreneurship training through our Business Skills Course, ongoing one-on-one business guidance, and networking with other business owners, Entrepreneur Works enabled Janine to give back to her community by empowering Philadelphia youth through the arts. In 2016 Janine also came to Entrepreneur Works for a CREATE Loan, geared toward artist-entrepreneurs, to help her grow her business. “Entrepreneur Works has broadened my view of business and removed a lot of fear and uncertainty.”