Name: Victoria Samone
Favorite Quote: “Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something so powerful & beautiful.”
Victoria is a master event curator, business consultant and educational service professional. As an entrepreneur, Victoria has used her attention to detail and creativity to provide multiple platforms for upcoming musicians, artists, and small businesses by creating For The Culture Studio and Live XXV Entertainment. During the day Victoria teaches “Methods of Academic and Personal Success” at a Collegiate Academy in Dallas. Victoria believes that Success is a direction in which we must travel, not a destination. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, painting and listening to music.
Everyone has a unique story, what would you say is yours?
I think the most shocking things about my story are that I graduated high school at the age of 16. I moved out and went to college and started working a full time job to take care of myself. Two years later I lost my mother to cancer and it changed my whole world. Growing up I always had to work hard and figure out life by trial and error. I made soooooo many mistakes in life! Although I faced a lot of hardships due to my mother passing and my dad not being around, I still never used my circumstances as an excuse to be average. My mother always told me that I had to be independent and she instilled problem solving skills in me by teaching me to appreciate my failures and embrace them as learning opportunities. I didn’t grow up with many rules, but I always had discipline and character to guide me in the right direction. I’m forever grateful for the short time that I had with my mother.
So sorry to hear that, thanks for sharing that personal moment with us. Growing up did you always want to be an entrepreneur and/or creative? If not, what did you want to be and why didn’t you pursue it?
I have always wanted to own a strip mall with a variety of businesses. Freshman year of high school I operated my first business out of my locker. The services menu was on the inside door of my locker and included: Essay writing, homework help, custom destructed denim clothing, custom T shirt designs and more. I always wanted to provide what people needed the most and monetize it!
Who was the first person that #COSIGNed you and inspired you to pursue your business/passion?
My sister, Emerald is the number 1 cosigner in my life! She supports and motivates me non stop!
That’s awesome! What was the defining moment or spark that inspired you to step into entrepreneurship and create your businesses?
Honestly, there was no epiphany or a particular moment that sticks out. I have wanted to do what I am doing for so long, but my fear of failure had been keeping me back. It took a while for me to jump, but once I felt like I was already at “rock bottom” jumping didn’t seem so bad since I was already on the “ground”. I’m not sure when, but one day I woke up and decided to just try and figure things out as I go.
After coming to this realization, what immediate steps did you take to start bringing your vision to life?
After realizing I could only go up, I began to read books, listening to relevant podcast and watching YouTube videos to teach myself what I needed to know. I also would listen to motivational speeches daily to change my mindset.
What was the specific void or opportunity you saw that inspired the idea behind your company?
The lack of black owned venues in Deep Ellum inspired me to create my own space that would be more inclusive and appreciative of “The Culture”!
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Being an entrepreneur means having passion and perseverance that drives me to get up everyday and give 1000% percent of effort to MYSELF! It means becoming a life long learner and always resilient and welcoming of change.
Can you discuss the most difficult part of your journey thus far?
The most difficult part is and has always been finances & ever increasing work load. I did not take out any business loans and contrary to what people think, I AM NOT RICH lol. I have financed everything with my little teacher salary and a long list of side hustles. I’m always working and I invest everything I have into my business. Often times I feel burnt out and drowning in work. It is hard, but I keep pushing!
What is one memory that you have that you reflect back to when entrepreneurship tests you?
I always think back to when I was lost and had no clue what my purpose was. I was hurting and much more uncomfortable than I have ever been as an entrepreneur. I never want to go back there so I keep moving forward even when I am tested! Quitting is no longer even an option!
If you could ask one question to your business idol what would you ask and who would you ask?
I try not to idolize, but if I had to choose one person it would be Rihanna. I would ask how she balances her personal life and business life and if she believes it has an effect on her relationships with family and lovers.
Where do you see yourself & 4 The Culture Studio at the end of 2020?
I see myself as a full time entrepreneur traveling and continuing to use my story to inspire others. 4 The Culture will also be traveling and in the beginning stages of expanding to another large city.
What do you think makes 4 The Culture Studio a unique venue?
We’re different from other event spaces because our purpose is to ensure that black people can host events without limitations at an affordable rate. As black millennials get older, they are starting to value conversation and art over loud music and rowdy atmospheres. They are looking for events that celebrate our culture in a place where they can be themselves and feel at home. We also cater to entrepreneurs and artists by making them feel appreciated. I personally like to call it, “creating the culture together.”
What does the COSIGN Awards mean to you? (If it means anything at all. lol)
Being nominated for a COSIGN award was a huge honor! I felt so much love from the community and everyone who voted for me day after day. The nomination let me know that I was definitely living in my purpose and people were starting to notice!
Last but not least, name 5 people you #COSIGN along with their Instagram handle.