Musician turned business owner Tara Buzash is here with us today. This is the perfect episode for small business owners because Tara shares really specific ways that she has had to overcome obstacles in her business and her life. She also has some really fun stories about working in the wedding industry and witnessing proposals.
Tara is a pianist, composer, educator, and business woman. In 2008, Tara and a partner founded Sweet Harmony as a music duo to play at weddings, proposals, and events. It’s now a network of over 200 musicians serving all over the country. Tara has performed at The Kennedy Center, NJ Women in Jazz Festival, and many other prestigious stages. She has a Master’s degree in Jazz Piano Performance from Rutgers and too many credentials to name. We are thrilled to have her join us today.
[06:48] Tara has always loved music and is a jazz pianist. Tara and a violinist friend of hers created Sweet Harmony where they play music at weddings.
[08:05] Tara has been playing piano since she was a child.
[09:36] After 10 years of classical lessons, Tara began learning jazz piano. Jazz opened a new world of improvisational playing for her.
[11:30] Tara started learning Chinese in High School and lived in China after college. She was totally immersed in the language. She taught jazz piano. It was a very rich experience.
[14:00] When Tara returned to the states, she started building her career as a music teacher.
[17:44] The business Sweet Harmony has been growing thanks to Tara's business plan of removing the obstacles and letting growth happen organically.
[18:30] Tara shares examples of where fear can take over, and she would end up being the obstacle. She realized that she needed to research and expand to meet customer requests.
[20:37] Prayer has helped Tara with running her business.
[21:08] Her business is 10 years old. It didn't take long to add more musicians to the network. They now have a network of several hundred.
[23:31] Sweet Harmony will be there for you up to the day of the wedding.
[25:00] Tara shares top skills she has honed as a business owner like not letting emotions run the day and considering everything before making decisions.
[26:56] Because of Sweet Harmony's fast growth, Tara has to remain nimble and be willing to readjust when needed.
[27:23] Sweet Harmony has experienced exponential growth including 100% growth in the beginning years.
[29:05] Social media is becoming more important.
[30:56] When it comes to running a business, you have to find time and make sacrifices, but the rewards are great.
[32:55] It helps to think like a big brand and remove friction.
[34:22] Some people are very particular about their music choices. Sweet Harmony does charge when they have to learn new music.
[36:09] Having favorite songs played live is very special.
[37:01] They offer small ensembles and play a variety of music.
[38:26] They have an app coming out in a year. They want to offer quick, easy, and quality.
[40:29] Technology has created an open playing field for businesses of all sizes.
[44:59] Tara went to play for a marriage proposal and she was so into her solo that she missed her cue when a plane flew over to pop the question.