Rhyze Ventures participant Maria J. Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist, and a voice and movement coach. As an artist, she works with song, spoken word, spray paint, movement, and installation to tell stories and express from her perspective. As a trained opera singer and stage performer, she coaches beginner to advanced singers across various genres. As a certified trainer and fitness instructor, she enjoys helping others develop unique movement practices, and encourages active lifestyles that are fun and sustainable.
“I want people to know the healing properties of movement. You’ve got a pharmacy in your brain that’s activated by movement,” she said. “I help people set up sustainable practices and find free resources.” Her own movement practice is motivated by the stress reduction and mood boosting benefits of physical activity, “If I’m not moving,” she said, “neither is my emotional health; there’s balance in movement.”
When applying to the program, the sense of community provided by the Rhyze Ventures appealed to Campbell who had recently moved to Guelph. Gaining a network of peers and learning in community regularly with people who shared much in common has been inspiring, she said. The mentors and industry specialists have been there to answer her questions and encourage and inspire her. “The Rhyze Ventures team is so lovely and accommodating. As a result of this program, I now see myself as a businesswoman,” Campbell said with a big smile.
“My job as a singer was challenged by COVID and considered high risk,” she said. “Shifting from in-person settings to a virtual studio was a big change and even with great technology there are constraints.” Due to the challenges of live performance, Campbell put more emphasis on the coaching aspect of her business.
One of the most impactful aspects of the program was creating strategies and plans. Campbell said previously she was so focused on service delivery and hadn’t made time for planning and forecasting. Her new website is a big milestone that she achieved with the help of the Digital Main Street project. She also worked on her LinkedIn profile. “One of the things that we allocated the most time to with Rhyze Ventures was improving my online presence,” Campbell said.
She is currently working with the Keep Your Head Up Foundation that is focused on generating community programming for those impacted by traumatic brain injury (TBI). Having experienced her own TBI in the past, Campbell said “Rhyze influenced me to be able to share my story and attract clients who will respond to that.” She is more empowered to be herself in her business now and she said the accident that caused her TBI became one of her biggest teachers resulting in the emergence of new skills – essential elements of wellness practices.
Among the success she’s experienced during Rhyze Ventures, Campbell said she has made impactful and helpful connections in addition to future planning for her business. Campbell said she couldn’t have afforded the valuable information and mentorship that was tailored to her unique goals outside of the program. “Rhyze Ventures gave me the time, space and guidance to reflect and put new ideas into words and actions.”