Tell me about your business: Kampfire Media helps businesses create beautiful marketing tools. Our specialty is creating videos because they can be the best and fastest way to tell a story. We also do branding, including printed materials, websites, logos, and marketing strategy.
Fun fact (Anything that makes you different, weird, unique, YOU!): I grew up in a tiny farming town. I’m talking unpaved roads, no stoplights, and 26 people in my graduating class. Growing up in such a tight-knit, supportive environment gave me a great sense of community and family values that provide a compass for me today. I’m thankful for that experience, even though I enjoy living the “big city” life in Boise, Idaho, now.
“I had to have someone tell me that I should fight to do what I love. Why didn’t I have the courage to think of it?”
Why did you start your business? I was needing a creative outlet and a way to earn some income after stepping away from my career in corporate marketing when my twins were born. A cousin of mine kept encouraging me to stick with my passion for video. The last 10 years of my career had been focused on producing marketing videos and managing a video department. That is what I wanted to do, but I thought starting a video production business was probably too competitive in our area and truthfully I didn’t know if I could pull together all the pieces.
I finally realized that if I found a few video shooters and editors who do freelance and could team up with me on projects, I could do this! So, I did. Looking back, I think it’s interesting I had to have someone encourage me to find a way to do what I was good at and what I loved. Why didn’t I have the courage to take that leap on my own? Thank goodness I had a few family members and friends believing in me before I did!
Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up on your business? Yes, about six months in, I barely had done any projects. I had wanted to start very slow and keep the majority of my time for my babies anyway, but I got scared thinking this just wasn’t the right thing. I decided I would keep trying to get the word out, relax, and see what happened in a couple months before I made a decision to do something else.
Then, two friends/former colleagues brought me two video projects for businesses. Originally, I had been targeting parents for clients, wanting to create high-end “commercials” as a way to capture the personalities of children when they are little. I thought maybe it was something fun and new that people would love. (I still think it’s a great idea I want to keep thinking about!) Instead, I started creating marketing videos for businesses, like I had done for years. This ended up being the perfect path for me, and now two years in, I’ve created dozens of videos for happy clients. It was an idea I’d been afraid to chase, but just proves that sometimes you need to relax and let things work out the way they’re supposed to.
“Let’s push each other to accomplish our goals!”
We originally featured you in March. What’s new with Kampfire? We have been busy! We’ve been working with a few video clients consistently so it’s been really fun to help build a brand visually and hone in on what’s helping them engage with customers.
We’ve also expanded to offer more than just video. Some of our collaborators are amazing graphic design artists and writers so we’ve done logos, printed materials, signage for buildings, and web design. Our unique business model of hiring team members on a project basis instead of a full-time basis, allows us to be really time- and cost-efficient for clients. We work with a wide range of people to offer a wide range of services, while still being a small, down-to-earth business.
What’s something that surprised you (good or bad!) about being a small business owner? There has been so much good. I’ve accomplished my dream of being able to spend a lot of time with my twins. But, the surprising thing to me since my business is so small is the feeling of isolation. A flexible schedule and working from home is a huge benefit, but also one of the hardest things. I don’t see adults face-to-face on a regular basis. Unless I’m on a video shoot, most of my work is done by email or conference calls.
What’s your best advice for a woman about to launch her own business?Just do it! You will never know if it’s the right thing for you until you try it. I know, the thought of failing is terrifying! But who cares if you fail? It’s better than wondering your whole life whether you should have done it. Find a few friends who will encourage you and not let you make excuses about why you shouldn’t do it. You can find those people to encourage you right here. It’s so much easier to keep pushing when you have a support system and can collaborate with people who are in similar situations.
What’s your best time-saving resource in running your business day-to-day? Figure out who can help you with what. Asking advice from someone who has been in your shoes could save you hours of research. I asked people how they kept their finances in order without having to purchase software, and I found a free resource.
Ask friends who are experts in certain areas to do things for you, maybe for free or for an exchange for your services, or pay them if it’s worth it! If you don’t do graphic design, don’t do your own logo. But maybe you can do your own website with the tools available online. In the beginning, it was worth it for me to pay someone to edit all of the video projects I did. They were way faster and better at it. After spending a lot of time learning video editing software, I can do editing projects myself. So decide what skills you should learn, and which you should pay someone to do.
“I’m looking forward to meeting more people to collaborate with!”
Why is the MILK Community important? Sometimes we are too busy thinking about everyone else to believe in or focus on our abilities. Support is KEY to taking a leap out of our comfort zone. Finding people who have been there or to trade services with can be a huge help! It can make or break the success of your business.