This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

SCORE Awards: Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business

Tell us about your business and the industry you serve:

Oldham: My Story connects brands with consumers through evocative documentary style storytelling -- we create powerful marketing films. We build a story around your brand that engages consumers on an intimate level creating raving fans for life.

And we love what we do -- we get to talk to passionate business owners all day long. We started serving small businesses and startups, and in the last year or so we've organically grown to midsize companies, national non-profits and Fortune 500 corporations. What we do for small business is the same as what we do for large corporations, just on a different scale.

Has the company been hurt by the recession? What measures did you take to ensure its resiliency?

Oldham: The company was launched during the height of the recession. I believe it was the recession that allowed me to start the business and tap into talent who wouldn't have been normally available. We've had our greatest growth in 2012. We have branded ourselves as doing very personal work and the market appreciates that special touch that has kept us growing and thriving. With the downturn in the economy, marketing dollars are tight and companies are looking for unique, innovative and effective ways to market and gain awareness, so going to the Web and sharing their story allows for more than just a sale, it is about building a community.

We ensure resilience by consistently under promising and over delivering; and...always delivering top quality no matter if it costs us money in the short term. Word of mouth is our entire business so I can't have any unhappy clients -- they are our life blood and our biggest fans.

Why is being a woman business owner significant in today's economy?

Oldham: I really see the economy as an opportunity. I don't believe it is unique to women, but women do business differently than men and I've witnessed women business owners tap into new markets, not take no for an answer and launch no matter who tells them it can't be done.

I've built my business with the help of SMARTY, a super dynamic group of female entrepreneurs. They have supported me in taking this from just an idea in my head to a growing profitable business. These women have served as my board of directors, my brand ambassadors and my biggest cheerleaders when I was certain I didn't have what it took to run a business. They stepped in with intervention and got me on track when I wasn't charging enough. These women are all about giving and sharing resources, accountants, assistants and everything else necessary to starting and running a business. They introduced me to Deluxe Corp.'s Project Rev, which then lead me to SCORE, which then led me to Goldman Sachs' (GS) 10,000 Small Business program.

I am well aware I cannot do this by myself, nor do I have the desire and we shouldn't have to. There are so many resources out there to help, support, guide, coach and teach you how to run a profitable, enjoyable, successful business. So many business owners love what they do but they don't have the skills or tools to run it so they can truly enjoy all the fruits of their labor.

How have you been able to finance your business and tell us why you chose that route?

Oldham: I am self-funded, but the real key was being able to leverage my network. I've been a filmmaker for many years. When I started the business I tapped into my community and pool of talent who wanted to be involved and had a vested interest in my success. They helped create my initial portfolio of work. I also leveraged my community of other entrepreneurs to barter for services I needed to start the company. Key services like legal structuring, business coaching, a superfly, fabulous venue for my launch party as well as catering, the list goes on.

The exposure and new clients from the launch party has funded our growth and expansion.

What are your growth plans?

Oldham: Creating systems so the business can run without me. I love what I do but I'm ready to hire and let go of doing it all. We're working on hiring a full-time creative team, sales team and operations manager. This permanent team will be the foundation of the next growth phase. They will be the pillars of our future.

In terms of revenue, it's perfecting our systems, building our numbers in working with small businesses, while continuing to serve middle market to large size companies that have the marketing budget to create high-quality spots with wide exposure.

What has been the biggest lesson you've learned so far as a small business owner?

Oldham: I'm an artist and a filmmaker first and foremost -- so I've had to learn daily how to be and think like an entrepreneur and run a profitable business. As a filmmaker all I care about is the art. As an entrepreneur I'm focused on the bottom line. Merging those two has been the real daily challenge, along with charging my worth, and saying "No, we don't do that" -- learning what projects not to take.

I learn with every single client, and every single project. I feel like I fail daily, but I fail forward. If you're not falling down, you're not trying hard enough. I don't have the fear of failure in running my business that I once did as an artist. You learn what not to do and learn other ways to do better next go around.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:







Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs