Olivia’s parents wanted her to have the kind of financial security they’d worked hard to find as immigrants from Vietnam. To them, that meant keeping her steady job at the nail salon.
But Olivia started to question that path as she realized that her passion for fine arts and her entrepreneurial mindset pulled her in another direction.
Armed with the skillset she learned in her NFTE class, she quit her nail salon job and launched her art career ten years ago—and she approached that career like an entrepreneur.
Today her art sells for thousands of dollars, has been featured in Hollywood movies, and is sought after by celebrity collectors.
When Olivia enrolled in a NFTE class she did mostly it to meet her high school graduation requirements. But her teacher was passionate about entrepreneurship and that resonated with Olivia. Although she didn’t win any NFTE business plan competitions, what she gained was far more life-altering: she discovered that she possessed an entrepreneurial mindset and she acquired the skillset to make the career she wanted happen.
Like many students, Olivia found that her parents didn’t encourage her interest in a career in fine arts. They cautioned her that there was no money in art. They might have understood a determination to follow a tried-and-true career paths such as becoming a doctor, a nurse or a lawyer—but in their minds the only other alternative was getting a job in the nail salon where her mother was working.
When she graduated high school, Olivia dutifully started working in the nail salon as her parents suggested. They were right that it was a safe and stable place. It was also stifling for Olivia. Fear might have kept her there anyway, but she believed in her talent—and she felt that with her NFTE training she had the tools to build a successful business around her art.
Olivia went on to study art and also marketing. As she says, “just because you’re doing what you love doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be successful or make money.” You can still do it and you have it in you.”
A decade later, her paintings sell for thousands of dollars. Her work has been featured in Hollywood movies, and her creative genius is sought out by A-list celebrities including patrons such as Big Sean, 50 Cent, Drake, and Spike Lee. Olivia, who created the personal brand “Fiyabomb” and signs her work as Fiyabomb, has built a vibrant career as an artist, a teacher and a gallery owner, realizing her dream by unleashing her entrepreneurial spirit.
“I want to share my story to help people change their own stories.” — Olivia Be’Nguyen (aka Fiyabomb)