Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

Judy Faust’s BIO

Ms. Faust has studied art, music, dance, writing, teaching, storytelling, acting, and singing. She has a double degree in art and music from the University of Tampa, Fl. She founded Young At Art in 1989 while living in the White Mountains and taught art to all ages, in different media in a variety of venues, for fifteen years in both New Hampshire and later in Portland, Maine. Then, while working on her mother’s family history she was a substitute teacher for another 5 years. Her storytelling and acting abilities delighted children in her classes. Storytelling and art were often used in her lesson plans. One six year old declared, “Judy’s the best Imagination Teacher!”

In 2006, she attended a workshop in marketing one’s artwork and decided that what she really wanted to do was try a different career as a storyteller and writer. Judy submitted a business idea and took a 10 week business course taught by Women, Work, and Community, in South Portland, Maine. It was there that What’s Your Story? was born. At the same time, the writing project turned into a documentary with the help and education from South Portland Community TV. Maurice Amaral, the assistant manager at the station was an important teacher for her and co-edited her first documentary, helping her learn Final Cut Pro.

In 2008, the first documentary, “Angels of Austria: The Church That Reached Out To Holocaust Survivors”, was being presented all over New England. In 2009, Judy decided to move to the Boston area in order to open up more opportunities for growth. She joined HudTV, the Hudson TV access station, gained more education and experience and contributed many tv shows. Once in Massachusetts, several individuals hired her to produce their own family histories in video. Some of them are previews on the website,
http://www.connectyourstories.com

She began editing for other producers, businesses, non-profits, and produced many TV shows. In 2010, she had the idea of producing a documentary to honor her mentor David C Baker, who had passed away in 1999. Fund-raising, creating websites, blogs, publicity posters, setting up 5 community events during the month of the movie debut, and finally getting the movie accepted and aired on New Hampshire Public TV took about 3 years.

Now, summer of 2014, Ms. Faust is filming and editing for small businesses: speakers, musicians, and even Gala auctioneer champions, while still presenting her two documentaries at librairies, colleges, senior communites, and other venues. She continues to supply TV shows to Hudtv.org while giving free exposure to those who hire her. Then the tv shows can be seen all over the country.

The vast variety of her work can be viewed at her website, http://www.connectyourstories.com
She can be reached at 978-212-2345 or email Judy@connectyourstories.com

http://www.connectyourstories.com/

In the Spotlight Interview

1. Please share with us the inception of Connect Your Stories Video Productions.

Judy: Back in 1994, when I was a freelance art teacher for my own business, Young At Art, my mother asked me to begin writing her personal lifestory. I began researching our family history and gathered facts to support a full-fledged historical novel based on her life. By 2006, I decided to narrow down the story to one topic to present to schools. The presentation would be about healing from the Holocaust, an unusual topic. I knew the written word or powerpoint was not going to be satisfactory for me. So I bought a new imac and started to learn how to make a documentary!

With the help of the South Portland TV access directors in Maine, (Maurice Amaral became my co-editor) I was able to learn Final Cut Pro and finish the work. I finished in 2007 and two days later, I presented, “Angels of Austria: The Church That Reached Out To Holocaust Survivors” to a packed house at Frontier in Brunswick, Maine. My first movie was a success. That was the year I dropped my art teaching and launched my new business, What’s Your Story? which became Connect Your Stories Video Productions.

I spent the first four years presenting my movie at theaters, movie houses, colleges, high schools, and retirement communities all over New England. Other people wanted me to create their life story so that is how I got my first clients.

 

2. Take us through a typical day, start to finish.

Judy: I am not one of those people who get up at 5 am to jog. As a night bird, I go to bed around midnite, get up at 8 and leisurely enjoy breakfast, news, and reading my email. I call my mother to make sure she is doing ok and make plans to drive her to appointments or get someone else to help her.

My mornings are spent with phone calls and following up with my own appointments and networking. These days, I am booking my second documentary (See What’s Whispered: The Legacy of Artist David C Baker). I try to get as many calls in as possible  book my calendar with new clients and new networking partners.

I might take a break to do an errand, or go for a walk, or take a movement class. After supper, I work on editing projects until around 11:30 pm.

 

3. What was the best advice you received as you began expanding your business?

Judy: Social networking online and meeting clients and other businesses at meetups or face to face for lunch or coffee is one important way to go that I am currently working at. Plus it gives me a social life! It can get kind of lonely at the phone and computer.

 

4. What are your strategies for building awareness of Connect Your Stories Video Productions for the short term and the long term ?

Judy: I am working at getting my movies on public television, and looking for people to write new reviews of them.

In order to reach out to businesses so that they can hire me to tell their story and create video promotionals for them, I am networking at meetups, meeting in person with business owners, marketing experts, and learning more about using social media to build awareness. The old fashioned word of mouth, face to face, power of your caring and quality of your work, I think is still the best approach.

 

5. What is your proudest achievement?

Judy: My best achievement is the latest movie which made it to New Hampshire Public
Television. In only two years, I managed to learn how to fundraise, create bakerlegacy.com, create a blog, a newsletter, indiegogo.com site, find supporters and interviewees on facebook, plan 5 community events in conjunction with my opening night, and create the hour long documentary. I gathered about 2,000 images, interviewed 50 people in New Hampshire (I live in the Boston area), solicited sponsors, free hotel rooms and free meals for my staff and myself, and made all those trips with an aging Honda. The local TV access station in Hudson (Hudtv.org) helped provide equipment in exchange for airing my work.

 

6. What are Your top 3 book recommendations?

Judy: Who has time to read a book anymore? It’s all online now. I read about nutrition, recipes for food and homemade remedies, learn about filmmaking, try to keep up with technology, and view as many videos as I can so I can keep improving the craft of making promotional videos for businesses. I do this online in small amounts sprinkled throughout the day or to relax at night. The one book that changed my life was The Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero With A Thousand Faces”.

 

7. What other charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?

Judy: I’m a mouse activist. I sign petitions to protect our planet, our freedom, to preserve rights for women, to advocate for our health, and to protect all animals. I’ve done pro bono work for a new dance company, Jewish Famiy Services, and True Story Theater.

 

8. Who has been most influential toward your career successes with Connect Your Stories Video Productions?

Judy: David C Baker has been my creativity teacher, encouraging me to trust my intuition. Paramahansa Yogananda has shown me how to trust the intuition and how to face life’s tests with meditation and by testing your own faith.

The rest is life: the challenges and triumphs everyday give me inspiration for tomorrow.

 

9. What is your advice for entrepreneurs who are 1-3 months away from launching their business?

Judy: Don’t give up. Follow your dreams with passion, persistence, creativity, and an
unbending will to succeed. Define what success is for YOU. It’s not about money. It’s not about fame. I think it’s simply about your goals and the adventure of making them happen. How will you grow into a better person by your efforts? How can you leave the world a better place because you were here?

What can you do for others with your talents and make our world a more loving place? That’s what drives me.

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