Like any true artist, Amanda Lipsey is inspired by her surroundings. At the same time, Lipsey knows how to identify a need and provide a solution, a trait found in most successful entrepreneurs. Both attri-butes — the artist and the entrepreneur — have been the driving force behind the Charlotte business owner’s success. A professional photog-rapher for nearly 10 years, Lipsey’s talents and aspirations have evolved since she first found inspiration for her career in her newborn son in 2006. She spent every day with him, learning about her son as he learned about the world. She knew every detail of his face, his tiny toes and his smile. She also knew she had to capture the precious moments of his youth before they were gone. There was one problem, there wasn’t a photographer available in the area that could capture her son the way she saw him. “My kid was not a sit and smile kid,” she said of the kinds of portrait studios she found at the time. “I needed to capture him running, laughing and being silly.” She started with a point and click digital camera, took courses at LCC and began honing her craft. As her talents and expertise grew, so did her reputation. She began booking newborn sessions, weddings, engagements, eventually creating a strong brand with Amanda Marie Photography through what she calls story telling through portraits. As her skills evolved, so too did her interests. She became strongly engaged in the Charlotte community, both as a volunteer and a business collaborator. Realizing she could make a bigger impact on her community than as simply a photographer, she found it was time for a change. So she transitioned her successful photography business from Amanda Marie Photography to Henwood Studio and opened her studio in Charlotte in 2016 to reflect her growing aspirations. “I wanted to drop the photography part off, because I do a lot more than photography,” she said. “Henwood Studio allows for that. It allows me to continue to change and to grow.” In addition to photography, Henwood Studio offers Social Media Marketing, small business coaching, and photography classes. Lipsey said she had been approached in the past by fellow small business own-ers as to steps she has taken to become successful. She found she took great joy in helping others. “I love it,” she said. “When I started my business there wasn’t anyone I could not find in my field that was open to helping. You kind of had to sink or swim on your own.” Lipsey, on the other hand, looks at competition differently. “If other photographers in the area are doing better work, the whole market goes up and it helps our whole industry,” she said. Helping others find their own success is one way Lipsey knows she can create a better community. “For a long time, people didn’t think of Charlotte as a cool place to live,” she said. “We do have some really cool stuff here. I want to live in a fun place, too. I want that place to be my home.” Henwood Studio is located at 344 N. Cochran Avenue in Charlotte’s emerging Mill Town District. For more information, visit or follow Henwood Studio on Facebook or Instagram.