Name: Kia Simon
Business: Sneaky Little Sister Films, motion graphics
Location: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Reason for starting: As a motion graphics artist I was turning down more work than I was taking, so I realized there was a bigger demand and I could grow my business by working with other artists. I went to After Effects World Conference in 2013 (the first year of the conference) and discovered that out of the artists there only about 10% of us were women. It was shocking to discover I was in such a male dominated field. Out at dinner one night one mgfx artist mentioned that maybe it’s just a guy thing, and I was so pissed off. It definitely motivates me to find women mgfx artists and help train some young people with talent, but without experience.
How do you define success? When we get to make really interesting videos, or awesome motion graphics that get a great response. Success also means that I can support my family and afford fancy cheeses.
Biggest Success: Creating several launch videos for wines and liquors from Diageo. They’re a high profile client and one that allows us to make great graphics.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Cash flow is a huge challenge as a small business owner. Sometimes bigger clients will have 60 day terms or even 120, and I’ve got to pay my artists. I heard that Tony Robbins said that you can’t be an entrepreneur if you can’t handle financial insecurity. I remind myself of that all the time. And I got a credit line from my bank.
I want my team of artists to keep getting better and taking on cool projects. I also love projects that have social value, or where we get to learn interesting things. We’re doing a youtube series for KQED science called Deep Look, and they’re so fun to work on. Every episode is about some scientific wonder that’s too small to see.
Who is your most important role model? Christina Crowley from the Kenwood Group gave me advice early on. She said the most important thing is finding the right people.
Edited by The Story Exchange