Name: Christina Chee
Business Name: Christina Chee
Business Address: Home in Haymarket, VA
Business Phone: 714-420-6088
Email: Christina_Chee [at] yahoo.com
Business Website: www.ChristinaChee.com
When and why did you decide to start your own company?
Attempting to return to a corporate environment after being a caregiver was extraordinarily challenging, especially when engaging with gatekeepers who perceived the gap as hindering. I felt like I was left with no choice but to blaze my own trail in order to realize my worth. It was insanely difficult to come to that realization, but ultimately it is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
How does your business serve the local community?
My business helps other small businesses like real estate professionals, direct marketing, and retail shops by providing low-cost access to local stock images and tutorials that show how to use the imagery with various resources to produce their own creations in their marketing. Also, the digital imagery that I create shares visual stories and information with the community at large. An example of this can be seen on ColonialRoads.com.
Additional services that I offer:
The custom and semi-custom composites that I create allow clients to visualize how they see themselves now and/or in a future destination, such as a goal they have.
During spring and autumn, I offer a very limited number of outdoor portraiture sessions.
Lastly, I like to think that most of my images are whispering in the back of every beholder’s mind, telling them to get out and experience for themselves what they are looking at.
Tell us about your experience with HGBA. How has it supported you in your local business?
Over the years, HGBA has been a great outlet for me to talk with other business owners and hear what they are experiencing. The idea to offer local stock photography and tutorials through a membership came to me through solving a problem that many small local businesses were experiencing, mainly with social media marketing.
What are the top three business tips and tricks you can offer other professionals?
Be comfortable being you. We all wear many hats, but we should be the same person under each hat. You are your business.
Don’t chase. Try not to operate from a place of fear or lack. Adjust the energy that you are sending out until the right people are coming to you and don’t be afraid to turn an odd fit away.
When you are in alignment with your values, who you are, your actions, and hanging with the right folks on the daily, you will experience momentum and energy that feels like water skiing on a glass lake, exhilaration with little effort.
Are you from this area? If not, what brought you here and what do you like about our town?
Once upon a time… When my husband and I were young, my father-in-law worked for Disney. He would return from his Haymarket trips with tales of its beauty, freeway access, and proximity to DC. Years later, after starting a family, an opportunity came up that we felt compelled to seriously consider. It was a scary thought, moving 3,000 miles away from everyone and everything we knew and loved. Up until then, we had only ever lived in Southern California. If it weren’t for those kitchen table conversations that gave us a sense of the area, I don’t know if we would have taken the initial step. I grew up in Big Bear Lake, a small mountain community in the San Bernardino mountains, and wanted my children to have a similar small-town experience, but with access to a more global view. Fourteen years later I can say without reservation that Haymarket was exactly just that.
What is your favorite season in this area and why?
I’ve been known to waffle between spring and autumn, depending on which season we’re in, but after several years out here I have landed on a hearty AUTUMN; not just for photos but because I’m an adventurer and there are few places that come to mind that can provide as many choices on where to go from here to surround yourself in nature’s autumn beauty. Very few nearby destinations disappoint.
What are some hobbies you enjoy?
As an adventurous person, I enjoy learning through exploration. This includes hiking, camping, kayaking, and other forms of travel. I don’t think of them so much as hobbies though, only because everything I am and do changes with each new thing that I learn and is incorporated into what I produce in my business.
What is your favorite restaurant?
El Agave’s food and environment are a source of comfort for me as it is not only incredibly delicious but reminds me so much of where I come from.
What is your favorite HS sports team?
When it comes to HS sports, I know many students at various schools in the area and I want them all to have positive and fruitful experiences in their endeavors. That said, I do have a bias towards Battlefield because I have a daughter who attends.
Are you involved in any nonprofits? Which and why?
Yes! I have been heavily involved in various roles within Girl Scouts for the last 14 years with both of my daughters. In 2019 I received the Jan Verhage Spirit of Leadership Award from the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital for exemplifying outstanding courage, confidence, and character in leadership. I enjoy sharing by showing and exposing girls to opportunities they might not have previously had or considered.
What was your first or favorite job prior?
My favorite job of all time was managing a large international finance group for a Fortune 40 technology company leading into the dot com era. That was a fun and wild ride! I must have gained 30 years of experience in 10. I loved constantly learning, troubleshooting, developing others, and creating new systems.