We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim and Greg Kolanowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim and Greg, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
There are two of us at Kolanowski Studio, Kim and Greg Kolanowski. Both of us have B.S. degrees in Photography and always had the idea of starting our own company. After working for other studios for a few years, we started Kolanowski Studio in 1989. We love that we work directly with our clients instead of using a staff of photographers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a commercial/advertising photography studio specializing in business portraits, product photography and architecture photography. One thing that we are consistently told and are proud of is that we are easy to work with, professional and highly skilled. We have built our business by treating our clients fairly and working with them to achieve their expectations at every photo shoot. Building a business is never easy, but with enough persistence and patience it can be done. We have to constantly keep up with our marketing and reaching out to new clients. That’s probably the biggest challenge any business has to deal with. Lessons learned along the way? Be kind, professional and do the best job you can do,.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live an work in the Heights, so there’s a bunch to do in our own neighborhood. Houston is know for great food. In the Heights we have some stellar restaurants starting with Coltivare. It’s just up the block from our house and they have wonderful food! I would also like to give a shout out to a new comer to the neighborhood, Mutiny Wine Bar. The are an upscale wine bar with small batch wines (things you can’t buy at the grocery store) and great food. We are also big supporters of the craft brew world. Saint Arnold Brewery is one of our very favorites. Great beer, and great beer garden. They also have a fantastic bike team that we are on. After eating and drinking our way through the city, we’d take our guests to the many parks Houston has to offer. First, the hike and bike trails (MKT trail goes through the Heights), then the trails along Allen Pkwy and Memorial Drive. Second, Discovery Green and Market Square. Both offer live music, yoga classes and more. Then, there’s the music scene! Heights Theater, McGonigals Mucky Duck, Dan Electros are a few to see some good music. Also, Cactus Records has in store preformances from time to time. You can also buys some great vintage records and Cd’s. In addition to all of these places, we host concerts in our studio about once a quarter. This is fun way to see a musician up close in an intimate space. Lastly, the great museums and performance venues. Museum of Fine Arts has some world class exhibits. The Hobby Center, Jones Hall and the Alley Theater always put on fantastic shows.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’ve been very fortunate over the years to have some very good, long term clients. We’ve also been very lucky to have so many people refer clients to us. In addition to referrals, our professional organizations have been very helpful. American Advertising Federation, American Society of Media Photographers, American Marketing Association and Art Directors Cub of Houston (sadlyno longer an organization)