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Meet Suzanne Vanasse of Avant Garde Bookkeeping Solutions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Vanasse.

Suzanne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started off as a hostess at for Late Night Lounge at my parents’ shnazzy restaurant. One night, one of the promoters of the lounge loved my makeup and asked me to do makeup for a few of her fashion shows, My beauty career kind of went from there. I was going to school in hopes to be a doctor along with helping with the family restaurant business, and so I had to keep my love and work for beauty a secret for years. At that time, doing hair and makeup wasn’t exactly known for being a lucrative career, and I knew my parents would flip.

But the worst part of it all: I was unreasonably scared of the label I would supposedly get for being anything less than a doctor or a restauranteur. My happiness was defined by how people defined me. Fast forward some years, I finally broke out of my shell because I was tired of living a lie. I networked myself a little more in the industry. I went to makeup school. Even did a 9-5 for a short period of time. It all paid off in so many ways, but the one thing that I noticed that was consistent in all my years of experience of being around beauty business and restauranteurs: the people in these industries are AMAZINGLY talented, dedicated, and passionate about what they do.

The problem was, they weren’t taking home the kind of money that rightfully reflects their work. I knew that a lot, if not all, of these amazing people’s financial blunders, could be cured with a little TLC in their business’ finances. I ultimately chose the route to serve these incredibly inspiring entrepreneurs by becoming their go-to for bookkeeping, and eventually tax preparing.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Each day has had its unique challenges, and there are definitely some challenges that like to make their encore. One struggle that I continue to face is a work-life balance, particularly because I work from home. Another huge challenge I still face every day is my mental. During my time in this business I’ve learned so much about myself, many great things, but also very piercing things. It’s these things about myself that I have to fix or get rid of in order to win the prize, but dying to your old self every day is so much easier said than done.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Avant Garde Bookkeeping Solutions story. Tell us more about the business.
Avant Garde Bookkeeping Solutions (AGBS) exists as a personable solution to profitability. Rather than being reactive with the books every April or October, AGBS is proactive, constantly on top of each client’s financial status, revealing to the business owner valuable insights as to how to become more profitable.

The business was conceived with the heart to serve beauty professionals, but sooner than later that heart also remembered the culinary industry. “Avant Garde” means to new and unusual, and it also means “to advance”. It was created to revolutionize profitability for “starving artist” entrepreneurs in the beauty and culinary world.

As the founder and owner, I like to be intimate with all aspects of the business, from personally writing all marketing emails to classifying business transactions. If there is one thing that sets AGBS apart, it’s that I pride myself on connecting with my clients on a personal level, on a level that they can truly know that they and their financial health are being taken care of. Their business is who they are, and my business exists for them.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad luck is always good luck if you look at it with the right mindset. All my “failures” have led me to my successes in one way or another.

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Bing Buen

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