[Entrepreneurs Impact 02] Journey Shellen Arga

Childhood of Shellen Arga

In the quiet hours of September 30, 1998, a spark ignited within the Arga household. Little did they know, the arrival of the baby girl, Shellen marked the inception of a creative force that would leave an indelible impact on the entrepreneurial landscape. As the creativity is already in her name; the combination of Shirley and Allen – Shellen.  Born from a pastor/teacher father and an accountant mother, Shellen’s upbringing in a disciplined environment set the stage for a life characterized by balance and structure.

Shellen’s journey unfolds like a captivating novel, weaving through different chapters of creativity, self-discovery, and entrepreneurship. From her early years in the area of Bennie’s Park in Suriname to her current endeavors as a Business student at UNASAT, her story is one of resilience and passion. As a Christian, Shellen found comfort and peace in books during her teenage years, waiting for her father in the library of CCS. Little did she know that her love for storytelling would find its roots during an English class in high school, where Role Play became the spark for her creative endeavors.

Shellen’s journey through different career paths, from radiology to tourism, reflects the common struggle of creative minds searching for their true calling. Yet, her path took a decisive turn when she ventured into ICT at UNASAT, a choice that would shape her future in unexpected ways, or so she thought.

During a family vacation, her father’s camera became a gateway to the world of videography is where it began for Shellen. The joy of recording and editing videos sparked a creative flame, leading her to pursue courses in Adobe and Colors, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. The turning point came when Shellen was fighting corporate depression. She stated that an 8 to 4 job didn’t fit her creative soul. For a few months, she felt like the routine of the job drained her tremendously. After evaluation and asking several questions to herself, she realized that she still had a life ahead of her and that working in routine was not what she wanted for the rest of her life. She was seeking for her purpose and her heart was at capturing people’s personal stories in a creative way which made her happy.

Her Impact

Mentorship played a crucial role in Shellen’s entrepreneurial story. From her first job at Vurge Media to her second at SIB Signs and Designs, mentors guided her through the intricacies of editing, social skills, and networking. These experiences laid the groundwork for her leap into entrepreneurship.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shellen dared to dream. With fear and insecurities, she dared to step out of her comfort zone. Armed with determination and support from her mentor, and then employer, she founded her own company in May 2020, delving into the visual industry without the necessary equipment. The initial challenges only fueled her drive and belief to succeed.

Shellen’s entrepreneurial journey is marked by personal projects like “A Woman Like Me,” “10 Things Before 20,” and “Ten Jobs Before 21.” These endeavors not only showcased her talent but aimed to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and make a meaningful impact. Her upcoming documentary, set to launch in 2025, visualizes the journey of a Javanese young woman representing her culture.

Shellen Arga Productions

God and the people around her are the ones who helped Shellen grow as a person and her business. Shellen Arga Productions started the first year by hiring camera gear to be able to do projects. Thanks to the support of her parents, especially her mother who helped develop the discipline of saving money, prayers, and her commitment she was able to pursue her goals and growth in business.

The first year of entrepreneurship brought challenges and unbalanced moments, but Shellen persevered. She took all the projects she could to grow her clientele. At first, her target group consisted of everyone who offered projects. As long as it fitted into her agenda, she would take it. The target group changed over the years. As she started with her projects for clients, she did more testimonials and meaningful projects except for weddings, parties, and after-movies. She started her business without any equipment. In the first year, she hired equipment to work. That motivated her to save up to buy her own laptop and camera gear.

From taking every project possible to build up her portfolio and guarantee an income, Shellen is now taking on projects that are meaningful to her. She puts quality over quantity. Storytelling is what she does mainly with her business and where her heart lies.

Lessons Learned

  • Being an entrepreneur can be very challenging. Valuable lessons Shellen learned were the determination from hiring equipment to the nuances of teamwork.
  • Having a team to work with and directing them is also one of the many lessons learned. Especially with the difference in vision. It can be hard to clearly explain the vision of projects with other creative minds, especially to keep a certain quality.
  • Sometimes the growth could be compared to a moving train. Shellen didn’t start with a business plan or the usual way to start a business, so sometimes she had to take a step back and realize where she was, and what she wanted and then make a decision.
  • Another challenge Shellen faced, in the beginning, was sharing her price for clients with the fear of losing them. That resulted in not knowing exactly what projects to accept and which not.
  • As Shellen looks back at her journey, her heart lies in scriptwriting. Capturing testimonials is one of the meaningful projects she embraces. A recent milestone she reached was her first international project in Miami with Lili’s Foundation.

Closing Remarks from Shellen

Shellen’s message to aspiring entrepreneurs echoes with wisdom. She emphasizes the importance of mentorship, self-care, and perseverance. In the face of economic challenges, she urges young entrepreneurs to stay focused on their goals, pray, save money, and find inspiration even in difficult situations.

Shellen Arga’s story is more than an entrepreneurial chronicle; it’s a testament to the power of creativity, resilience, and the belief that, even in uncertain times, success is achievable. As she continues to travel and film, Shellen leaves behind a trail of inspiration for those who dare to dream and create their entrepreneurial masterpiece. Find balance in your professional and personal career. She ends with “Take good care of yourself, You have to be OK to be able to do the work and deliver quality”.

Entrepreneurs Impact

Entrepreneur’s Impact is the weekly go-to source for entrepreneurial impactful stories, insights, and inspiration powered by OneShot International. Whether you’re seeking expert advice, exploring business stories, or looking for a dose of inspiration to get started with your business idea or grow an established business, our blog is here to inform and engage. Join us every week as we delve into fascinating stories, lessons learned, and valuable tips with the entrepreneurs who are making a great impact. Get ready to embark on a journey of knowledge and discovery with us! In the weekly editions of the Entrepreneurs Impact, we will dive together into the story of Entrepreneurs and CEOs of businesses that embark on sustainable solutions for local and global problems. Weekly blogs will be published in the rubrics Entrepreneur Impact, Ideas & Opinions, and News & Media. 

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