A resilient ‘mother of reinvention’, my ‘Why not?’ has led me on many creative adventures”, says Paula Chafetz Snyder who describes herself as a performing vocalist-musician, writer-songwriter, motivational speaker, and “functional” artist.
She is a founder-CEO at PC Snyder Creative Enterprises LLC, a company that manages her entertainment activities and also connects local artists to their potential clients.
Growing up, Paula spent most of her time alone reading, drawing, organizing things, and listening to music. She liked to observe people and question the things that bothered her. This habit of hers made her a “troublemaker”. Music truly bound Paula and her family. They used to listen to all kinds of music on vinyl, radio, and TV shows. Her dad created a song sheet for their sing-along after dinner or on special occasions. “We instinctively changed vocal parts as needed before we clashed in discord. There was no formality to it, just the connection between family members and the beauty we heard as we sang. Somehow, it always worked out”, she says. She was a part of all the singing groups at school and learned to play guitar at 15.
Paula studied occupational therapy in college but always sought opportunities in music. She earned playing guitar/piano on campus, church weddings, and restaurants nearby. She later switched to Psychology with a minor in Arts while continuing her music. After college, she met a man with whom she traveled across the USA and Canada performing before and married him later. After they split up, to provide for her daughter, she started working some ‘regular’ jobs. She continued doing a few creative activities on the side until, in 1999, her daughter asked her to sing with her. They put together a holiday program and negotiated with her daughter’s boss to pay them to perform. Paula started singing for seniors and at healthcare facilities. She played for the kids and became ‘Grandma Paula’. She continued her jobs and joined a local government agency in 1995 that sustained her till retirement in 2013. She managed signing and her full time job simultaneously because of the love and energy she had for music. Once her job started interfering with her passion, Paula called it quits and returned to her life passion-singing for folks.
PC Snyder Creative Enterprises LLC was launched in 2010 and houses creative and entertainment activities of Paula where she also supports local arts and entrepreneurs. She loves networking, connecting people, and mentoring them. As she has been in the business for a long time, she has insights on how to get successful outcomes.“Everything is an extension of what I learned and I can share that with others. I believe networking enhances business and life much more than being competitive. As I started sharing my strengths in music performances and writing, I found opportunities to express and help others through speaking too”, she says.
Snyder started marketing herself as a musician as soon as she discovered her niche. With immense faith in her skills and capabilities, Paula wasn’t afraid to ask people to pay her to sing. This confidence helped her seek new opportunities, understand her strengths, and ‘sell’ herself and her ideas to others.
Initially, Paula had to deal with low self-esteem and notes that all artists need love and support from their family and peers. Presently, COVID is posing a threat to the amount of business she was getting from her targeted market (senior and healthcare). But it has only pushed her to be more creative and work towards her goals. Even the several neck surgeries she has had over the years haven’t deterred her spirits. She has adjusted to the situation by making her music equipment lighter. Although she turned 69 last year, Paula has no plans to retire anytime soon. “I don’t NEED to do business, but I LOVE to do business”, she says.
Paula gets many positive references from her event customers for the work she does. Her regular customers in senior and healthcare always keep her in mind while planning the events. They trust her to assist when they need help on who to hire for entertainment, as she is very well known in the network. Whether it is a paid or a volunteer event, Paula maintains a standard attitude with all her customers and stays true to her work. Even as a CEO, she has continued music performances, started paid motivational speaking, written custom poetry and music for special occasions. She has published a couple more EPs of original music, some singles, and an illustrated kids’ song called ‘Meet Cookie, the dog’.
When asked about her success mantra, she says- “Always believe in the possibilities. Open up to the opportunities that present themselves. Stay positive. Love yourself. Find your way. Life is an adventure. Every road leads somewhere (even if it’s not the somewhere we thought we wanted to go). On each road, gather something to carry to the next. Most of all, enjoy the journey!”