Laura Malmivaara has worked as an entrepreneur for over ten years and has no trouble managing the professions of actor, photographer and author. The culture sector professional wants to increase her turnover.
During the interview, Laura Malmivaara relaxes on her sofa, wearing sweats.
“Here we have in a nutshell what makes being an entrepreneur so great: I get to decide my working hours and duties. Weekdays do not really matter. I can spend a weekend working and then take it easy during the week,” Laura explains.
Freedom is made possible by diverse work duties. Many know Laura Malmivaara primarily as an actor, but in the last few years, the majority of Laura’s turnover has come from photography. She studied the field at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture even before training as an actor.
“In terms of income, the profession of actor contains more uncertainty. The photography gigs provide security, but above all, I feel that my professions support one another.”
As a photographer, Laura has been profiled as a creator of powerful portraits. She advertises her work on places such as Instagram, but the grapevine has proven to be the best tool for marketing. Laura’s customers are happy to recommend her to their friends.
“Sometimes, when I’m sitting in a makeup chair for a role, the person next to me mentions that they need new promo shots of themselves. When you approach things with an open mind, work can find you through surprising routes.”
The best publicity your work can have is its high quality, which is something Laura wants to protect.
“When your customers are also your friends and close colleagues, pricing can be difficult, but some boundaries must be maintained. Photoshoots require preliminary work, and editing the photos also takes time.”
Networking is always worth the effort
Last year, Laura broke new ground when her debut novel Vaiti was published. She is currently working on her follow-up novel and a TV script. In publishing, audiobooks are a new big business that has also provided Malmivaara with work.
“I have noticed that when you dare to step outside your comfort zone, you can often find new opportunities.”
It is equally important to network with other culture sector entrepreneurs and maintain an encouraging atmosphere. Laura has received important mental support from the familiar photographers with whom she shares a studio space.
“We encourage each other. For your professional self-esteem, it is important to surround yourself with colleagues who give feedback and help you see your strengths.”
Laura would want to continue to increase the turnover of her company. When she was just establishing the limited company, she was supported by her father, who has worked as an entrepreneur his whole life.
“My father has given me a lot of valuable knowledge, but I still have bouts of uncertainty about whether I’ve managed to utilise all possible tax deductions. I’ve also become interested in investing.”
Creative thinking boosts exports
Business Advisor Anu Oksanen is glad as she has noticed that the professionals in the culture and creative sector in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area are now more goal-oriented than before when planning their business operations. They start utilising the training and consulting services of NewCo Helsinki when establishing their companies.
“Creative sector entrepreneurs no longer think that commercialism is the killer of creativity. On the contrary, by productising your skills in a profitable way, you give yourself more freedom to realise your artistic passions. They support one another,” Oksanen says.
She believes that creative sector operators have a lot of competence and vision the rest of the corporate world could learn from.
“In Finland, there is currently underway a programme called Creative Business Finland in which creative thinking is utilised to increase the exports of companies.” The greatest future growth potential is expected to be in the creative economy.
According to Oksanen, Laura Malmivaara is a good example of a versatile culture sector operator who has understood the importance of networking. One of NewCo Helsinki’s objectives is to facilitate meetings between entrepreneurs and to encourage cooperation. Shared competence creates new innovations, products and services.
“In May, we’re having a networking event for creative sector professionals, and the event boasts an interesting speaker. Once the date has been confirmed, we will announce the event on the NewCo Helsinki website.”
Support for entrepreneurship
NewCo Helsinki’s business advisors provide confidential business advisory services to lend a hand to entrepreneurs who are starting a new business and developing their operations. Check out our free-of-charge business advisory services and our events in event calendar.
Photo: Sanna Lehto