Success Story: Cindy Vargas, Owner of Three Elements Studios

MyTalk 107.1 Entrepreneur of the Month for February

When it comes to interior furnishings, sometimes only a truly one-of-a-kind piece will do. It is that principle that has kept Cindy Vargas pursuing her passion—woodworking—as her livelihood for the past 16 years. Cindy's custom work includes a range of projects from dining tables and credenzas to a line of wood-based table lamps. All of her pieces are designed and built to a high standard of craftsmanship, but it is her music stands that are real show stoppers.

Described as part sculpture and part furniture, Cindy's music stands are the perfect blend of form and function. "They are designed to fit into an existing environment or as a centerpiece to build an environment around," she said. "I like to think of the stands as being just as beautiful, necessary and functional as the instruments themselves." One of Cindy's stands, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is in use at the prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A.

Cindy’s creations take shape in her studio in Saint Paul, where she relocated her business after moving to Minnesota from California in 2008. Her wide-ranging client base includes institutions such as churches, hotels and restaurants, as well as discriminating individuals who have a need or desire for something that is unique and not mass produced.

Cindy came to WomenVenture for guidance soon after moving to the Twin Cities and continues to rely on the organization for its business consulting, educational programming and networking opportunities. “One of the greatest values has been WomenVenture’s ability to help me engage outside resources I wasn’t previously aware of,” Cindy said. “The people I’ve been connected to within the organization and across its client network have been through it themselves and understand the day-to-day dilemmas we’re up against as business owners, which enables a level of support you just can’t find in many places.”

Cindy latest venture is creating high-end lighting designed to make a statement in a variety of environments. She remains committed to expanding her business through her lighting collection, commissioned work, a relaunched website and more.