Our first TYP Business Highlight interview, powered by WorkSource Washington, is with Miguel Pineda, the operations director of Cabin Light Studios. We cover Miguel’s business advice as a young business owner, Cabin Light Studios’ response to COVID-19, and their big goals for the future.
Cabin Light studios is a commercial video production company located in downtown Olympia. They specialize in commercials, live streaming, photography, and podcasts along with other video production services. “Zero Apologies, Droppin’ Truth’s” is a podcast recorded and produced by Cabin Light Studios in collaboration with the South Sound YMCA that is available on Spotify. Also, check out their Youtube vlog about the behind the scenes process at Cabin Light Studios. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and check out their website for business inquiries.
Interviewer: What is the biggest thing that running Cabin Light Studios has taught you?
Miguel: Patience, consistency, balance. We have to be consistent in our approach. We can only really do two things as a business, and that’s create awareness and drive business, and create value for different companies. We’ve seen companies go from $975,000 a year to $3.1 million a year, simply by adding video content to their regimen. The more regular content that you provide to your audience, the more people are going to have that brand awareness. It is almost more important to that consistency piece than having perfect content. Start today, and do as much as you can as often as you can, create that call to action when you create content. And be patient with the process.
Interviewer: “What is the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn as a business owner?”
Miguel: “When to say no. Success is not an easy avenue. It’s grinding 10-12 hour days, it’s taxing. It’s taxing on families, friendships. An opportunity like this doesn’t come along that often. But it’s what you make of the opportunity, I think, that has been my hardest lesson. We just celebrated one year as a company and we’ve grown quickly, but consciously, because we want to be able to sustain in this field. We’ve gotta be hustlin’ and getting the right contracts and the right kind of clients that also are helping our brand grow.”
Interviewer: What are Cabin Light Studios’ goals?
Miguel: “Our big goal as a company is we would like to do a Super Bowl commercial. There are a lot of companies that are working on campaigns in Seattle that I’ve been influenced by. If these companies can create real, big brand type stuff and actual awareness then there’s no reason why we can’t do it down here. Working with larger blue chip clients is a big dream of ours. We dress for the job that we want, not the one we got.”
Interviewer: “What makes Cabin Light stand out from the crowd?”
Miguel: “The majority of people who work here are people of color, which in the industry as a whole is something that doesn’t happen. The fact that our company is owned by a person of color really makes our perspective on different issues stand out quite a bit. Additionally, we’re not a one person run-and-gun type of thing. We’re more traditional; when we have a shoot there’s 4-5 people on set. It allows those individuals to sink into their roles. It looks super crispy at the end of the day.”
Interviewer: “What is some advice that you would give a young entrepreneur looking to start their own business?”
Miguel: “Don’t listen to those who say you can’t do it, or those who tried to do what you did and failed. There’s no shortage of bitterness in the world, but there’s also just as many opportunities to change it. You gotta get up, you gotta grind, you gotta make it happen. It’s really important to define what it is that you are going to accomplish every single day. That creates purpose. If you don’t get it done today, it’s on the checklist for tomorrow. Don’t stop creating content. A story can be found in the most minute action, the most subtle thing. If we’re all a unique set of human beings, whatever we bring to whatever field is gonna influence somebody.”
Interviewer: “What have you done to ensure that Cabin Light survives Covid?”
Miguel: “One of the things that has helped our business is Covid. The fact that people are consuming content at an exponential rate, and the majority of content viewed on the internet is video content. To ensure our survival, we’ve doubled down on what it is that we do. Keeping everything consistent, sustained, making sure that the livelihood of our employees is good and healthy, and that there’s always a pot of coffee on hand. Taking care of people is what takes care of our overall well-being as a company.”
Interviewer: “What has Covid taught you about your business model?”
Miguel: “People turned to entertainment to escape what was going on. We learned that we picked a great time to dive into our business. We’ve had a lot of people double down on us and what we provide them. People started to pour more money into their relationship with us which helped sustain our business overall. Ultimately, people believing in their companies lead to the growth of ours. The entertainment industry has taken a hit so a lot of people are turning toward live streaming. We jumped on that as quick as we could and started supporting folks and building business off that. There were a lot of restaurants that were in transition too so we reached out to them and said ‘how can we continue to create awareness that y’all are still doing curbside? That you’re doing delivery? How can we help?’ Because ultimately that leads to the success of our community. And that’s something that I’ve always been invested in.”