We had the good fortune of connecting with Gina-Marie Vincent Runnels and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gina-Marie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I created the Tiny Studio in 2016. I had been teaching in a variety of private schools in Houston for about 6 years. I was a music/theatre teacher and I honestly did not feel I was able to make the biggest difference for my students. There simply wasn’t enough time. Not enough individual time and attention, which is something I’m a big proponent of in the arts. I decided to leave formal education and create a space for students to create, express, heal, find courage and feel empowered. The arts is such an intimate offering, specifically voice, that at times it can feel overwhelming and scary. My intention in each lesson is to remind my students that their gifts and talents are already within them. I believe we all have the ability to express through our voices and it’s my job to encourage my students that their voice matters. All voices matter, and when my students take that on- magic happens; and that’s what I’m committed to offering!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe what sets me apart in this field is my commitment to my students. The whole of my students- knowing them intimately, encouraging them, believing in them, investing in their lives-hopes and dreams. It’s a partnership. We work together to move through limiting beliefs, recommitting to what we’re up to, and setting vision and goals for where we’re headed. It’s definitely not always easy, especially when we all give 100% and it is so worthy it. I’m currently in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy with my first child and I can feel the shift in my energy as of late. It takes something to show up this way and it’s what my students deserve. Full commitment!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh goodness, I love Houston. I’m going to break it down to a day pre-quarantine. I’d say Buffalo Bayou park for a nice morning walk, head over to BIG Power yoga for a sweaty yoga practice, get a delicious brunch at Mastrantos, visit the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market, walk 19th street and look at the shops, get a midday smoothie at Juiceland, dinner at Huynh with friends and finish the night listening to live music at Goodnight Charlie’s.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to say, so many people have contributed to my work as a voice and acting teacher. My husband, Rob, who encouraged me to leave my job and start this space out of our home. My family and friends, that constantly reminding me that I have so much to offer the world. My community at BIG Power Yoga, I’m a teacher there as well and many of my students practice with me on the mat and sing with me in my living room. My students who show up every week with courage and vulnerability. My education, I’m a graduate of The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Oklahoma City University where I received my bachelor’s in Musical Theatre, and New York University where I received my Master’s in Music Education. Shoutout to all the artists out there who are continuing to show up and inspire the world with expression and connection. We need you!

Instagram: the.tinystudio

Image Credits
Rob Runnels Jamie Lim

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.