Poonam Suryavanshi is the owner of Canvas and Brushes. She is also a Nonahood resident. Check out our interview with her below!
Nonahood News: What is your job?
Poonam Suryavanshi: I’m a mom, a wife, and I own a small, mobile paint-and-sip business called Canvas and Brushes.
NHN: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
PS: I make breakfast, have my cup of tea. My son goes to daycare three days a week, so I get some time to do my work. I get him ready, I cook, and once I’m done, I sit down and either do admin work or create paintings. Then, I go pick him up, we make dinner, and it’s mom responsibilities again in the evening. During the time when he’s in school, I do stuff related to my work. The schedule when he’s not in daycare is meeting up with other moms and playdates.
NHN: What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
PS: The most rewarding thing is when I see people leave happier than they came. That’s what I love. I get emails from them after the class saying that they had a great time.
NHN: What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
PS: Reaching out to bigger audiences. But now that everything’s opening up again, it’s getting easier; people are willing to go out more. The other challenge is wearing different hats. I do the creative things as well as marketing. Sometimes it gets overwhelming. And the last challenging thing is that making sure the two-hour class is full of learning and entertainment.
NHN: What got you interested in doing your current job in this area?
PS: I was at my mom’s friend’s house, and she said, “Hey, can we do a paint-and-sip?” We did one at my friend’s house, and then she said, “You could definitely do something like this.” I decided to start my own company. I started advertising and created my page, and people started hiring me. I love doing it because I get to meet and teach people. Having the specific location to work in makes me the go-to person in the area. Plus, Lake Nona is central to everything.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
PS: I like to do Bollywood dancing. I do a lot of dancing with my son. I did classical Indian dancing until I was 16 or 17; then, I didn’t really pursue it. I did go attend the classes, though.
NHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
PS: Right now, I’m striving to just do my best and build up my clientele. I don’t have my own space, but I want to have my own space in a few years. I want to create a space where people can come meet other people. I feel like these days, because of COVID, a lot of people have become distant and it’s hard to get out of your shell. I want to make a space where people can meet like-minded people. I hope to incorporate other kinds of classes into my space that give other artists in the area opportunities to teach classes of their own.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona, and when did you move here?
PS: My husband and I were looking for a house. We lived by Winter Park, but we weren’t getting the value for our money. In 2018, we decided to move here because it was more family-oriented and there was a lot of development going on. Also, Lake Nona is closer to the airport, which was a plus because my husband traveled a lot pre-COVID. I also feel like Lake Nona is so multicultural, and that’s how I was brought up.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
PS: I’m originally from Kenya. I was born in Nairobi, which is the capital city of Kenya. I’m of Indian origin, but my mom’s parents moved there a while back. I speak four languages – English, Swahili, Hindi, my mother tongue, and another Indian language – and maintain my Indian culture here.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
PS: It’s family-oriented, but people who are single or who want to retire can live here. It’s a great balance of everything.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
PS: Move to Lake Nona! It’s a nice area, and the people are awesome.