We had an interesting chat with Abigail Gallagher, Co–founder at the Missouri, USA-based start-up “CMYKC.”
Below is the interview we conducted with her:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
CMYKC is a podcast dedicated to uniting the creatives within the local Kansas City scene. With a focus on design, we host bi-weekly podcast interviews with local creatives. We discuss their favorite clients, their love of Kansas City, their inspiration sources and much more. Through social media, we share information for upcoming creative events and much more.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
We officially began in October of 2014. As of now, we have launched sevenepisodes through iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episodes/id955366112?mt=2) and
Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/cmykc). Our website (cmykc.com) is up and running, and we will continue adding more content as time progresses.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
Right now we are completely self-funded. There are two co-founders and one audio engineer that are all equally invested in the company. We split the costs for all equipment, space rentals for interviews, website hosting, etc.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The three of us met through Design on Tap, a local design-based meetup that happens once a month. Designers from around the city meet up for drinks and discuss all things creative. I, Abigail, am in charge of social media and branding for the podcast, and I have a heavy hand in organizing interviews. Steve Biegun is my co-founder, and between he and our Audio Engineer, Chris Pauley, all of our episode editing is completed.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Sure, there are many podcasts out there, and even many design-based podcasts. However we are the only podcast based out of Kansas City, Missouri that is focused entirely on the local scene. Kansas City has an incredible creative community that has been too-well of a well kept secret. The city has a lot of potential, and we want to spread the word.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
We are still small, but we are getting big names in the creative scene to join us on our show. Our biggest milestones so far have been airing our first episode and getting our site up and fully running. Our next major goal is to work with local artisans to launch a line of CMYKC merchandise. Then of course we just hope to continue gaining followers and provide as much local information to KC creatives as possible.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
That’s the cool thing about the Kansas City creative scene. While some folks are doing things similar to us, we don’t really see them as competitors.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest obstacle was just putting our heads down and making it happen. It’s so easy to have a dream and to let it remain just that—a dream. We had to push ourselves, and we had to push through the doubt of “what if no one listens to our show? What if no one cares?” We care. That’s all that matters.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
There’s always jargon that gets thrown into the mix. If we make a joke about kerning, many folks will ask themselves “what’s “kerning?”” And that’s okay. Our audience is designers and creatives and folks that want to be involved with those worlds. Jokes about the stereotypical bad clients are also things that sometimes only those that have experienced them can fully appreciate.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We love what we do. We aren’t in it for money or fame. We legitimately want to be engulfed by the KC creative scene and we won’t let things stand in our way. We will always have enough passion to solve any problem and overcome any metaphorical mountain standing between us and having fun.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
I think we will just continue improving upon what we already have. We’ll be able to acquire better equipment for recording and editing our episodes, etc. We also have an e-commerce goal for our website down the road, offering CMYKC swag to all the boys and girls.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
My day job is as a graphic designer. Steve is a motion graphics guru. Chris is a design jack-of-all trades. This is our life. Creativity is what we breath, eat, and dream of. It’s the essence of who we are. We want to surround ourselves with like-minded folks and expand our creative minds.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
Shit happens. It really does. Try to prepare for the worst, and don’t let minor hiccups get you down. Pick yourself up and keep trucking. You’ll look back down the road you just came from and be wiser for everything you’ve gone through.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Sponsorship maybe. It’s hard to tell at this point since we’re still so fresh out of the gate. I’d like to be able to involve other people directly with what we’re doing, but for what purpose, I don’t really know yet.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
Creatives that follow our social media channels will be in the know for as many creative events and going-ons as we can possibly dig up. Folks that listen to our podcast will get behind-the-scenes looks at some of the biggest creative firms in the city. They will hopefully find new inspiration and learn what they can do to make themselves the best creatives they can be.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
It’s a lot of word of mouth right now. We have been talking up CMYKC to our friends and co-workers as much as possible. Social media has also played a huge hand. We put ourselves out there as much as possible with a marketing budget of a handful of jelly beans and used x-acto blades.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Anyone and everyone with a passion for design and creativity, primarily within the mid-west region. Designers, photographers, motion graphic folks, students, printmakers, book binders, film makers, whoever! Our target customers are just “more of the same” and “all the creatives of the universe.”
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
This goes back to the word of mouth thing. When we post a new episode, the interviewee typically talks about it through their social media sites, which hopefully in turn generates new followers for us.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
So far we’ve gotten things along the lines of “This is so cool!” “I can’t wait for the next episode,” and “I’m so glad you’re doing this!” Hopefully people will continue to enjoy the content that we’re putting out into the world, and some day we’ll have more quotes of enjoyment to share.
20. How are you going to scale?
This is an interesting question, and one that I’ve thought a lot about. We want to generate hype in the city, and we want to reach as many folks as possible. We want to talk with the creatives that can be elusive to get a
hold of. Maybe some day we’ll branch out into other cities, but right now I feel it’s important to just keep growing here.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
Getting on iTunes was a big step for us. Hopefully it’s made it easier to follow our feed. As I’ve mentioned before, I think our next step is to get some merch designed and spread around. Beyond that, I feel like we’re in a
pretty good place. We might add more in-depth content to our website at some point, but that’s a way down the road still.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
The whole purpose of the podcast is to stay local. We don’t need to expand out of the mid-west for the time being because that’s not what we’re about.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
I think our team will, by nature, always remain relatively small. We might bring on a few more folks to handle relationships with our sponsors and to help with the editing of our episodes, but we’re a small group and that’s been working out for us just fine so far.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Anyone interested in getting involved with CMYKC can email us at email@example.com. We’d love to have some volunteers to help us find some sponsors, and we’d be happy to have someone that could compose and opening jingle for our episode intros and outros.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
Yes, absolutely. We’d be happy to discuss sponsorship opportunities. Again, anyone interested in getting involved with CMYKC can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a group of three volunteers currently paying for everything out of pocket without any incoming monetary assistance. Luckily our podcast doesn’t require major funding.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
“Never give up. Never surrender.”
If you’re passionate, go for it. Nothing can stand in your way if you absolutely love whatever it is you’re trying to do. If you’re hesitant, or if you don’t think it’s something you’ll care about in a week from now, why bother? It’s cliche at this point, but my God. Stop worrying about the “what ifs” or “what if nots” and just flipping do it!
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Even if you’re not a creative, if you live in, or around, Kansas City—get involved. There are so many amazing creative opportunities in the city. You just have to know where to find them. If you’ve found us, you now know.