November 7, 2018
Creating the Right Vibe in Alton
Juanita Copeland is a heavy hitter in the Nashville music scene. She’s worked with so many big names in the business, it would take this entire article to list them all. In Season 3 of Small Business Revolution – Main Street, Juanita, along with her Chief Sound Engineer, Mike Stankiewicz, brings her special talents to help two young entrepreneurs start their own sound studio.
Jay (Hart) Stanley and Alex St. Cin of Lighthouse Sounds are dreamers. Alex is the talent, bringing years of sound engineering to the business, while Hart is the money side, investing in their dream. Working with a sound studio was new for our Deluxe marketing experts, so we needed to bring in someone of Juanita’s caliber to set these friends on the right path.
Juanita is the President/COO/General Manager of Sound Emporium Studios, one of the busiest studios in Nashville. She is the business face of her operation, a gift she worked hard to impart on Hart.
Juanita and Mike have been through nearly anything Alex and Hart could throw at them. Even as Lighthouse Sounds is trying to open a new location, the two music veterans brought technical and life savvy to the table.
According to Juanita, vibe is everything. If an artist isn’t feeling the vibe of the recording studio, then they will book elsewhere. Creating the right vibe and making artists feel comfortable each time they come in is key to any successful recording studio. With a clientele like Robert Plant, Kesha and Kenny Chesney, she knows what she is talking about. And Mike implored Alex to take the next step in equipment. As much as vibe is a selling point, a kick-ass mixing board is critical to driving new talent into the mix.
Juanita brought the confidence of a successful studio owner. As she explained to Hart, she isn’t the musical side of the business, but her role is critical, just as his is.
Hart has invested all his money into Lighthouse Sounds. He’s spent countless hours renovating the new space and he’s doing all of this on top of his full-time job. Obviously, his goal is to be full time at Lighthouse, but he struggled with what he’d actually do in his own business, until Juanita came in and told him that he could be her, he could handle the business side, he could be the general manager. He doesn’t have to be an engineer and he doesn’t need to be “selling” anything. Anything but the studio, that is.
Juanita sees a lot of opportunity for Lighthouse Sounds in Alton. If they can aggressively market and go after clients who would normally record in St. Louis, they could easily steal that business away with the vibe they create in Alton.
The Deluxe team plays a big part in marketing the studio, with a new website, refreshed logo, social media and email marketing ideas. But Juanita and Mike gave Hart and Alex industry insight that only people in the business could know. Mike also shared ways for Alex and Hart to work together, since his working relationship with Juanita has remained strong for years. It is about forging a partnership and friendship based on respect.
The key to all this advice from these very knowledgeable experts, and from all the experts to businesses this season on “Main Street,” is that every business must be receptive. Change can be a good thing. Hopefully Hart and Alex heed the advice and the marketing help from Deluxe and create an iconic studio with a vibe that attracts artists of all types to create music with them. And who knows, maybe one day they’ll be the ones mentoring an up-and-coming recording studio.