We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonja Nwabuoku and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonja, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
In the first 10 years of my career, I did what I thought was best for visibility and promotion. I have worked for some of the largest companies in the world. And back then, I thought I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. But as I came into my own, I realized that personal values were often set aside in order to do just that. The next phase of my career, I was driven by financial rewards. I earned another degree, put my head down and worked a lot of hours. I said yes to too many projects, but made a little more than I did earlier in my career. Then I started a family. All of a sudden the long hours mattered more. The projects that had no real return weren’t so easy to say yes to anymore. I began looking for something more rewarding. Not financially, but something that meant something to me. Something that gave me more control of my time and more of a sense of fulfillment. That is what drove me to start my business – Young Rembrandts SW Houston. This pandemic has been extremely difficult for a small business owner, yes. But I am encouraged and confident that, once we get on the other side of this, I will again feel the rewards of my decision.
What should our readers know about your business?
Young Rembrandts is an art program that focuses on improving a child’s ability to be both creative and analytical…all through the power of drawing! Our program enables you to provide parents with an additional opportunity for their children in the area of art enrichment through local community centers and as an after school option at area elementary schools. While we have only been in the southwest Houston area since 2018, Young Rembrandts has been in business for more than 30 years.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh this might be difficult. With young children, I can’t tell you the last time I hung out. For families, Houston’s City Center, Sugar Lands Town Square, and Katy’s La Centerra are all nice. They have a variety of shops and restaurants, so they serve as good meeting points to start the evening off. My favorite restaurant is Kata Robata (in Houston off Kirby Drive). They have some of the best sushi in town (and it’s where I met my husband)!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a support system in my husband and close friends. They have been sounding boards and voices of encouragement along my journey of becoming a business owner. I credit my mother, Lynda Traxler, for lighting the fire of entrepreneurship in me. She opened a clothing store when I was in high school. Also, I’d like to highlight Diana Trondsen – owner of FranNet Texas South. She spent time combing through numerous brands and walked me through my decision to purchase my business.
All photos owned by me/Young Rembrandts SW Houston