EP 7 | Building A Personal & Professional Brand from The Set Up Podcast | Behind the Scenes in Music
00:00:09 Sydney: Welcome back friends. I'm Sydney and thank you for joining me on another episode of The Set Up. Every week, I am joined by a new guest who works behind the scenes in the music industry. We will have in-depth conversations of their experiences that led them to where they're at today. And as a bonus they share tips for those who aspire to break into the industry! In episode 7, we get a peek inside the life of an entrepreneur who creates content for events, influencers, and big Nationwide Brands. Let's get started!
Izzy: Urban Misfit Ventures is three companies with the content agency focused on documentary film Focus. So more of a studio in a sense, but then we create a ton of micro content for a ton of companies. MKE Misfits is an event company and we throw more exclusive events.
00:02:49 Izzy: The latest event that has gone viral was our mental health event before social distancing. We invited 30 people and we texted them the day before the event. But if you're interested, please RSVP within the next hour, all 30 people texted and they showed up the next day after we sent them the address they showed up. We encourage people to go on stage and talk about what they were struggling with. It was so powerful that we had about 40 people actually share because everybody that was working the event from the event space wanted to go up and share. We created a film around that experience and we're currently looking into virtual options. We have another company underneath this and it's almost a personal branding agency where we're working with agency owners and influencers. Just people that really want to embrace who they are and embrace that brand that they created.
00:03:49 Izzy: We had clients tell us after 3 months that we made them half a million dollars.
Sydney: How did this start?
Izzy: When we first started, it was myself and three other co-founders and we said that we're going to start a traveling podcast. After 2 weeks, We all looked at each other and thought-- What are we doing and how we're going to pay for the travel? How are you going to pay for everything? We don't have this vast Network to be able to fund this so we really put our heads together. Like how do we make money off of this. The first client was with a local newspaper covering Summerfest, which was really really cool. So if you go through on Milwaukee's igtv, we still are the first video that they have ever posted. We created a ton of content. I think it was two years ago now.
00:04:49 Izzy: At Summerfest, We were on stage with playboi carti. We are on stage with lizzo. So because of this newspaper, we started having connections with MillerCoors and all these other brands, they're seeing our content on Summerfest. We quickly turned ourselves from the traveling podcast into a Content agency because we had to meet the demand. It was the weirdest thing in the world.
00:05:49 Izzy: I remember from my job before when I was selling sponsorship for a minor league soccer team. It was the same people I was trying to call that wouldn't return my calls and it was a 180 at the moment. Our first really really big money wise partnership was with the Milwaukee Admirals, which is an AHL hockey team minor league hockey team here in town. For the Admirals to seek us out... they'd actually slid into our DM's on Instagram, which is very very Millennial. I thought that was really dope exactly.
00:06:49 Izzy: What's really cool is that the Admirals have four or five concerts after the games. But we love Creative control and creativity is based off of us not having too many rules so we're really focused on putting together systems and processes at some point.
Sydney: What is your creative process?
00:07:49 Izzy: How can we get more creative with that really boring idea. We really challenged each other and one of our first interns actually told us the best compliment. He said he's never felt more valued like he felt. He had our ears as much as any other founder in the organization because he wasn't muted. He was also interning at a different company at the time and he said that it was a complete 180 like nobody would listen to his ideas.
00:08:49 Sydney: So I love the name of your company. How did you come up with it?
Izzy: All of us were coming from all these different backgrounds. We recognize it's okay. We're different than the start up community here. When we came up with the word Misfit, we're like we can't use Misfit because of the band so what can we actually use to get trademark? We all are here for a reason, right we've been able to shed a light on Milwaukee and when we recognize that we are getting into business we needed to have a little bit more of a grown-up and I was like, okay, how do we become grown-ups? But like show off that were Misfits and so we are actually going to call yourself Urban Misfit and I was like what what about Urban Misfit ventures because we're not afraid to go anywhere else and we're still Misfits at the end of the day. It's been almost two years that we started and seen so much wealth because of the rustling of old feathers or challenging more than anything and when we looked at the definition of Misfit, that's what it was.
Sydney: What is your background?
00:11:49 Izzy: I interned for every professional sports team in Milwaukee, went from there to work for this minor league soccer team. I wasn't happy. I've sold sponsorship and making good money. I really had no room to complain, but I was still complaining and that's why I woke up one day and I was like, I don't want to go to work and I don't know why and I really started to reflect in the next couple weeks and decided one day I walked in and just gave my 2 weeks. I thought that I had all the experience in the world. I was unemployed for three months. I did what I had to do to survive. luckily if it wasn't for my girlfriend, I still think I'd be living on the streets right now. I was paying my student loans off with credit cards and it was all really dumb stuff.
00:12:49 Izzy: Got with my old college roommate who's now my co-founder and we sat down for coffee one morning. He knew at least two people that are perfect for an idea that we can come up with. So we sat down for like an hour and a half and we came up with that idea to start a traveling podcast, two days later I actually obtained a job fixing bikes at the local bike shares at so I never fix the bike in my life, but I needed to pay rent after two weeks of that. Q called me and he's like, these guys just quit their jobs. After that, something in my stomach saying that I should quit, sometimes you have to just follow that voice in the back of your head. Ever since I was 8 years old, I told myself, I know I'm never going to be an amazing athlete but I know I can work in sports. I always wanted to be a sports agent. So like I know I can work in the front office. But while College taught me how to get there. No one tells you what happens when everything that you work for doesn't matter anymore and that's when the soul-searching opened doors for me.
Sydney: I love your experience. I think that we cannot be defined by our situation but instead take the initiative to make the best out of it. What opportunity came to you because of urban misfit ventures that wouldn't have happened without it?
00:14:49 Izzy: The first time we were really able to pay ourselves without putting money into the company, I went out and finally bought a pair of shoes that I always loved and I never had the money for. I started talking about how I've always been a sneakerhead. I've been able to partner with like Columbia, Puma, Nike has been a really really big supporter of me. And I think the one thing that I've been able to work on the most is sneakers, like I'm really into it. I'm actually taking a program with that Fashion Institute of Technology called sneaker Essentials. My final project is designing a space and designing a sneaker and approaching a brand.
00:15:49 Sydney: Are there any projects that we should be watching out for us?
Izzy: So if you're interested in joining our house of Misfits group on Facebook, it gives us a place to actually engage with the people that really really support us. We're constantly evolving.
00:16:49 Izzy: Music is definitely involved in that.
Sydney: Is there any artist that you'd love to work witht?
Izzy: I'd love to shoot a really Dope video with somebody that can't afford us but just needs that platform to succeed. Being from just outside of Chicago, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want to work with Chance the Rapper, his music blasting in our office all the time.
00:17:41Sydney: Any advice you'd like to share?
Izzy: Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think the biggest thing that I've learned is that it's okay to fail. if something doesn't work out now, doesn't mean it won't work out later. We've gone back to a ton of projects that we thought of when we first started that just didn't work out then but is working out right now. It's based off the situation that you put yourself in and follow your gut and don't be afraid to fail like you don't learn until you you really get out there and take a risk and and do something for yourself.
00:18:41 Sydney: But that's because we are our worst enemies unless we try we will never know. Unfortunately, you will fail in some aspects but you will learn from that and then grow. so thank you so much for that.
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