Mompreneur: Kimberly Rowell
Company: Backspace Records
Backspace Records is an “artist friendly” independent record label with a diverse roster of artists. Translation: we are a small label that is open, honest and fair with its artists, has a philanthropic component, and makes great music for families. We own a full recording studio and my husband is a musician and producer. He does all thing “creative,” and I run all things business related. We have a blues artist, an indie/rock/pop artist, and a children’s music artist. Our latest album, The Baby Grands, has been dubbed “ALT rock for kids.”
What inspired you start your business?
My husband was in a touring rock band for twelve years. After being successful in the “mid-time,” it was time to move on. When he got a “real” job, the music became a hobby. He was helping people play and record for free, just for fun. Well, the word got out, a “pay it forward” person/investor heard about us, and the business was born. While the business was being born, so was my son. Our latest release was inspired by the birth of our son and our inability to find much quality children’s music that we actually wanted to listen to.
How long has your business been in business?
We have been in business about two years, with the last year being much more intense than the previous.
What did you do in your past work life?
I was a high school guidance counselor for nine years! Going from the school system to the music industry was quite interesting, for sure. 🙂
What is your ideal workday like?
My ideal workday would include a balance of time with my son and quiet time to make calls, emails, network etc. I haven’t had one of those yet, but we manage. 🙂
What have been some of your major successes and challenges?
Firstly, getting the kids album complete. We have a product that families absolutely LOVE and my son will know that he inspired it. Secondly, we have a homeless blues musician on our label. We have been able to help him out via his music and any day Real Blues Magazine will be posting a review of his album calling it “Album of the Year.” We also had the honor of making a solo album for the singer of the band my husband was in for twelve years. Our friend/investor that made all of this happen passed away in August. We have been able to dedicate all albums to him and keep this business going in his honor. We have his favorite charity (organ donation) at the forefront, and our next release will feature a song he wrote. Lots of dreams are coming true.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My workload is large and I have to take care of my 19 month old myself. Trying to get the word out about various artists is not an easy task and keeping everything moving forward is a challenge. I have a lot of late nights, but it is all worth it. I get to run a great business and see my son everyday!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Sometimes I just have to stop and think about it. I know that my company is making great product, helping people while doing it, and we are having a great time. What more can I ask for? Now, I repeat, on the really tough days I have to STOP and think about that. 🙂
Do you have a motivational quote?
“NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP.”
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Surround yourself with honest, hard-working people that SHARE YOUR VISION.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I am not sure if I have a secret because I am still figuring it out. In this discovery process, however, I do believe that constant reflection is key…. What did I accomplish today? How could the day have gone better?
I wanted to share one of Kimberly’s clever ways to entertain the lil’ one while she works.
I’m going to try this one, I even have the same colorful balls!
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I reluctantly made the switch to a MAC computer from a PC and it was the best thing ever!!!
What is next for your business?
We want to focus on promotion and sales for a while. Then, it is on to the next batch of albums!!!
Your two cents sales pitch?
We make great music and are doing “good” things. Please check us out. —and all you moms out there, I PROMISE you will LOVE The Baby Grands album!!!!!!
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