Brittany Hodak & Kim Kaupe - ZinePak
Make Mine a Million $ Business Awardees Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe co-founded ZinePak in early 2011. After meeting at a New York ad agency, the pair quickly realized that they shared a common frustration with the advertising industry. Both had a passion for marketing and branding, but felt that the business-as-usual attitudes on Madison Avenue were detrimental to creativity and, ultimately, clients’ bottom lines. Brittany hailed from the music industry, and Kim’s background was in magazines. The two decided to join forces to come up with a fun and innovative way to combine all of the things they loved–music, print, and non-traditional marketing. The product is meant to enhance the entertainment experience. Every ZinePak is different and the content and inserts vary from release to release because each has a target audience in mind. The magazine gives consumers a new, up-close and personal editorial on their favorite stars, bands and brands. The media insert is the most recent release of a consumer’s favorite star or brand. Lastly, adding customized collectable items in the form of 50 different types of inserts. In September 2011 they won the M3 Competition and since have continued to participate in several community growth events. The young company just shy of its 18-month anniversary has had immense growth and has reached well past the million mark.
|2011 M3 1000 Awardees|
|Location: New York, New York||Business: ZinePak|
|Industry: Entertainment & Media||Percentage Growth: 300% from 2011|
|Initial Number of Employees: 3||Current Employees: 3|
Count Me In: Which area of your company benefited the most from being a part of the CMI community?
Brittany Hodak: The business coaching has been one of the most beneficial parts. The coach we were connected with through CMI was amazing. Her guidance has been immeasurable. Nell Merlino’s guidance has also been key.
Count Me In: What would you say is the most important thing that you learned from the entire CMI experience?
Kim Kaupe: To ask for help. People have a tendency to think they can get it all done themselves, but reaching out for help can make a world of difference. That continued help, support, and guidance is what has kept us motivated to stay engaged with the CMI community.
Count Me In: With the success of your new business are you finding time management more challenging?
Kim Kaupe: There have been many personal anecdotes community members have shared that have made not only my business but also my personal life easier. At the Philadelphia M3 conference a specific encounter with a fellow community member really stuck with me. She told me that before I go on business trips take care of any personal tasks before you go such as sending flowers to a family member for their birthday. You tend to stretch yourself so thin on business trips that you think these tasks will get done at night, but business trips often leave you so tired at night that these personal tasks never get done. It is a very simple piece of advice but I have been implementing it ever since. Also, I think most entrepreneurs would agree tat one of the sacrificing is spending less time with the people you love, but with the hope that in the long run you’ll get to spend more time together.
Count Me In: What has been the biggest challenge for your company?
Brittany Hodak: As a young company we haven’t had any single struggle as much as questions about best practices and standard procedures. Count Me In has helped us build an amazing team of advisors that has helped us build infrastructures. Before CMI we were making up a lot as we went along and using Google as our senior research advisor; CMI has given us a roadmap for what a growing, profitable young company should look like and it has helped us follow that map at every turn.
Count Me In: What has been your most enjoyable experience in building your business? How did it feel when your company first surpassed the million dollar mark?
Kim Kaupe: My most enjoyable moment happens over and over again. It is when I see other people’s reactions to what Brittany and I are building and continue to build, because we are in the thick of it every day. When someone gets excited about our business, it helps me to gain perspective on what we do and take joy in it. Sometimes having a stranger say, “Look at how much you have accomplished in such little time!” really helps me to reflect on our growth and I take pride in that everyday.
To learn more about ZinePak, go to www.zinepak.com.