In Conversation with Crystal Hines of Super

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Describe your business in a few words?

Super is a multidisciplinary collaborative workspace that services Black and Latinx artists, photographers, writers, and creatives.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I have always wanted to launch a space for Black and Latinx artists to work and in 2019 it was time.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I am Founding Editor of AMMO Magazine, an art based digital publication.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! I like working for myself and having the freedom of that.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I launched Super I knew my community (artists and creatives) were looking for a space like it so I just hit the ground running with content.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

All of 2020 was difficult. Having a community based business in a world where the community can’t be physically near each other was hard but I pivoted to a smaller space and digital programming.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Winning the AMEX 100 for 100 grant was amazing. I’ve never won anything that large and the program and grant money has truly helped my business.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

My go to question is what artists are on your radar? I need to know that the person is constantly thinking of art and artists in the way that I am.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We still aren’t able to open safely. Even our shipping container pop-up is difficult to imagine within the safety protocols of a Covid-Free environment but we are working on bringing in a safety team to keep the container clean and safe for all members.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

After we tour with the Pop-Up container we plan to open a larger space in Los Angeles in the Fall of 2022. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Always be flexible with your plan. You never know when you may need to pivot.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

I wish I was looking into grants sooner instead of relying on VC investors. Not every business is VC friendly.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I’ve made time for myself. As an entrepreneur you’re working 24/7 but that’s not healthy. I’ve learned to set hours and time off.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Definitely believe in a work/life balance. My tip is to segment your week. Monday – Friday how many hours are dedicated to you and your personal life. And stick to it. For me I know I have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all day for me, so I get what needs to be done for the week between Monday and Thursday and if it can’t fit it has to wait. Prioritizing is key.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an artist myself, although the only walls my art will hang on are my own.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Maintaining a realistic to do list, having a good playlist, and turning off the social media app notifications.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means I can help my community advance in the arts all while bringing Black and Latinx artists to the forefront.

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