HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA & HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
For several years, my husband, Byron, and I teamed up with some community theater friends to make short films in the 48 Hour Film Project. During that time, I was working in the Promotions Department of WEWS Channel 5 followed by a couple years as a videographer for a startup software company. Meanwhile, Byron was getting hands-on production experience backstage at Cleveland Play House. When I was laid off in 2014, we decided to take the big step of starting our own video production company. We formed an LLC at the end of 2014, then in April 2016 we had a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch Thespis Media studio. This journey has proven to be the most fulfilling leap of faith I have ever taken.
HOW DID AVIATRA MAKE AN IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS?
The best part of the program for me was meeting other women who were new business owners and supporting one another. Since I had a creative background and felt I lacked business knowledge, it was a great decision to attend the classes and learn from the experts. The new friends I made during that time were so helpful on the lonely journey of entrepreneurship.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED WHEN STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
I already had some clients to get started from some previous freelance jobs, so I was confident in launching. But navigating the ups and downs of cash flow and planning for the slow times was the most difficult lesson to learn. But as we progress over time, it becomes more manageable.
WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS TODAY?
I get to do what I love! The wide range of clients we serve gives us the chance to flex our creative muscles every day! Each project that we can bring to life as storytellers is unique. I believe that everyone can have amazing video content for their product or service, but it takes attention to detail and collaboration. Teamwork is the biggest part of our relationship with clients. We listen to our client’s ideas, visualize how we can make them better, add some magic and create something we all love.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO BE IN 5 YEARS?
It’s intimidating to think about a 5-year goal. Considering all the ways that my business has pivoted in just 3 years, the most I can visualize for Thespis Media (and Video Making Insider) is to still be growing. Growth might be in terms of financial projections, or it might be in the services we provide. Either way, I hope to be continuing to create media for clients in exciting and valuable ways.
ANY ADVICE FOR FUTURE AVIATRAS?
I would take it personal at first when other people would not be as excited or understanding about my little accomplishments in my company as I was. It can feel very isolating when you get started launching your business, so something I figured out was to seek out like-minded people. About 6 months into running Thespis Media, I realized that my friends and family were not my target market and that I shouldn’t expect them to be as invested in my success as I am. Not that they weren’t supportive, but I needed to find new friends and mentors on similar entrepreneurial journeys.