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Finding a Niche in the Booming Hotel & Events Industry

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Kristen Carson is the CEO of Inn Cahoots and on this episode of Establishing Your Empire we talk about how Kristen juggles her 8-month old baby with a booming business, how they raised funding, the future of travel and hotel experiences and how the cancelation of SXSW immediately removed around 10% of their annual revenue. Inn Cahoots is a four-story boutique hotel and event venue on East 6th Street here in Austin, Texas that features five condo-style suites, with more than 8,000 sq. ft. of convertible indoor slash outdoor gathering space.

Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Inn Cahoots

Welcome to the Establishing Your Empire show. A podcast that inspires entrepreneurs, creatives and future business owners to pursue their passions, grow their organizations and build their empire. My name is Daran Herrman and creatively I’m best known for my photography. But business wise my claim to fame is growing a company from $15K per month in online sales to breaking the one million dollar a month barrier. And I’m sitting down with interesting people to talk about their process, the lessons they learned and how they have Established their Empire’s.

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All right, Kristen, thank you so much for being on the podcast and having another guest join us here today. If you’re not watching the video, we have how many, how many months old with us to eight months that he’s being really quiet and good right now. So anyway, so this episode is a little different. We’re actually not in my normal location. We’re here at Inn Cahoots. We’re on East sixth street, downtown Austin, Texas. We’re filming this here because one, it’s really cool place, but also because South by Southwest just canceled it’s big news for everyone, but it’s also affecting a lot of people in a lot of different ways. So let’s start by maybe talking about how South by has affected your business and you guys first off.

Yeah. So we, we’ve been working for the past eight months on a big brand activation that was going to happen here. And unfortunately with the cancellation of South by the brand pulled out, and not only did we lose the big activation in the venue space, but also all of the hotel stays that came with that, with them, all the crews and everything. So we had a full hotel buyout and now we do not.

And is there no cancellation policies with your bookings?

So typically we, we focus on large groups which means that people book three to five months in advance, sometimes over a year in advance. And so typically we don’t have a cancellation policy because it’s so hard rebook. Like large groups don’t decide to go stay somewhere on a dime.

Yeah. Usually, I mean, when you’re talking about corporation, that’s month’s plan, right? Yeah. Just topped out.

Yeah. Weddings. So we do corporate group to weddings, et cetera. So normally we don’t have a very cancellation policy. However, with this very large booking there was a negotiated clause in our policy which allowed for forced mature if, if there was a force measure event that we had to refund everything 100%, maybe give us a reason why this handsome man is joining us. Yeah. So right now Cal is with us because we are in crisis mode here trying to figure out how we’re going to recoup the revenue or, or, or do something with the days that we have coming ahead that are, would be normally South by, I suppose you can call them unsolved buys. And and so we had to meet after hours. And we he, he’s not, he doesn’t have anyone to watch him. So he’s currently with us.

That’s right. They make an a being an early star already. So maybe walk us through also like what you guys do, what, what, what is Inn Cahoots and and why this affects your business, right?

Yeah. So Inn Cahoots is a actual hotel. It’s an Airbnb style hotel, focuses on large groups. Each unit we have here is five bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. So we, we do really focus on quite large groups. And then the really cool thing is that the walls between the units, between the living rooms can be removed to open up to one very large events space. So, so we’re extremely versatile. And we are basically the only legal place that you can stay in Austin if you have a group of more than 10 people and you don’t want to S anyone, an Airbnb style setting. And how large a group can you actually hold? So it depends on how close you already are. Group. each, each bedroom here has two beds in it and we can add a roll away. So we, we very typically have you know, 14 people in each unit.

So, and then like with the South by Southwest canceling I mean, how many units were rented? Like what was going on, like w H how’s it affect you guys?

So literally every unit was booked to this one group for this event. So we went from being 100% full making, you know, the best month of the year by far. Yeah, again, somewhere between eight and 12% of our annual revenue to making zero. And that was Friday at four o’clock. And we’ve been working on figuring out ways to mitigate that loss ever since without very much sleep.

So it’s Monday right now, Monday, like 7:00 PM or something like that. So walk me through your story, tell me your background. How’d you come up with this idea? The whole whole nine yards?

Yeah, so my husband and I purchased our first home on sixth street and very quickly MTV contacted us to start renting it for artist’s interviews actually during South by and we rented it to them. That was in 2011 and that was kind of the start of renting it.

And, and how did they know you have that house? How did you guys make an online profile? Like when did you classify that?

No, they walked right by it. And I, we had this really cool graffiti back when graffiti was cool. I promise. It was cool. I think so too. But we had it in our living room. And and they, they walked by and they could see it from sixth street. And so they contacted us to do interviews in front of that which worked out really well and, and we were getting ready to get married and we thought, man, you know what, I wonder if there’s some other way to start renting this. So we could pay for our honeymoon. So we did, we found Airbnb and we started posting it on Airbnb and very quickly found that we were rented every weekend. So every weekend we would go and stay at a hotel. And we started seeing competitors pop up. They mostly would pop up in neighborhoods. So I don’t know if you remember in Austin a couple of years ago, there was a big problem with having bachelor parties and neighborhoods.

Yeah. And a side question, did you feel like you would get like more money back then for places like you had or now because the supply and demand,

Because of supply and demand. However, when we opened up this hotel, we’ve ended up doing incredibly well because our demographic is not just the people who’d stay in Airbnbs, where we’re ending up getting so many corporate groups that would traditionally stay in a hotel.

Right. they didn’t want a graffiti wall.

Yeah. And I don’t want to repeat wall, but they, you know, they, they just want a consistent experience. So when they walk in, they want to make sure it’s clean, they want to know, they can check in at a certain time, like they don’t want any unexpected experiences. And so that’s, that’s what we provide adding cahoots. And so we’ve, I think with the hotel, we’ve ended up doing considerably better than we had expected. I mean prior to South by canceling. So we, we do better now at the hotel here. But I think that’s a function of being more of a hotel experience.

Yeah. I see it kinda in between. You’re like, you’re not quite just the person renting out their house, but you’re not just a cookie cutter normal hotel that you’re going to stay with 400 other guests. Right. so walk me through, so you had the idea because you were renting out your place and that was going well, but like how do you say, okay, I’m going to build this, this complex here said there’s a lot of steps in .

There are so many. So we started doing really well and then competitors popping up and competitors were purchasing places and neighborhoods and they started getting a lot of flack because no one wants to live next door to a bachelor party. That happens every weekend. And so we saw this and, and we saw an opportunity it’s definitely would have been cheaper to purchase a home in a neighborhood and start renting it on Airbnb. But we didn’t think that would be the right thing to do ultimately. And so what we, we searched for a year or two to find a location that was zoned for hotel use, where we could build something like this. And then we got this property, my husband and I bought it and then we started raising money from investors and we started going working with architects and figuring out how we could build this space because it’s super unique architecturally. You may not notice it because unless you’re schooled in architecture, but you know, we have some very unique transitions between assembly spaces, which are big event spaces and residential spaces like the hotel rooms. And we’re combining those in one unit. So architecturally it was very unique. It took years to get through the city to figure out, took years to get a bank to, to support this and to give us debt on it.

I don’t want to, I do what I interject with a question. It’s like, so when you’re pitching to investors, like how did that go? Because I’ve been, obviously a lot of places have gone up, Airbnb’s super popular and busy, but I assume that wasn’t probably the easiest pitch.

No. And you know, Airbnb’s are very prevalent right now. Everyone knows what they are. Everyone thinks they can do well on them. When I was pitching this, it was 2015 it was kind of before the rise of Airbnb and before, you know, at that time it was primarily groups that were using it because they wanted to have that private group experience, the private travel experience. But, but really corporate users weren’t using it. I mean it really wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. And so yeah, it was, it was actually very difficult to pitch. And not only that, but we were pitching the idea of constructing a place for people that had never done any development. So it was, it was not, not an easy pitch, but we got people behind us.

So, and then like, what was your success ratio there of investors to that, that you’ve talked to, to the ones that gave you money?

Oh, back then I would say maybe 20% but I will tell you

Pretty high, which you probably already had some contact.

We did already have contacts and actually some of the competitors in Austin ended up investing in . So we all got together for this. But I will tell you the people that passed on the deal have since emailed us asking if they could get it in our next deal.

W w which is probably the best email you could ever receive. So now that South by has a a 10, 15% a circle back, a little bit to that is, is that something that, you know, now I’ve got investors you’ve got, I mean, what’s the update you’re giving them?

Well, for starters, I think they know me pretty well because we went through the whole construction of this place. And I am one of the most resilient people that you’ll meet. I, I, maybe I’m very saddened by the fact that this happened, but we’re going to make it through. So we’re working on our investor update right now and obviously it’s not one that anyone wants to read. On the plus side, we were tracking to do 70% higher than we had expected before this whole South-By issue. And so, you know, they’ve received so much good news. They’ve seen the financials, they know that there’s a market for this. They, it, you know, this was something that was entirely out of our control. And right now it’s they, they just have to believe in us. And so that’s what we’re writing in there. We believe in this product. We know that there’s a market for it. And something really terrible has happened. And, and just is happening right now and you just have to believe in us to, to work our butts off, to figure out a solution and figure out ways to make this work.

All right, so back, so back to alright. So you purchased this property, got this idea. You pitch some investors, 20% of them said yes, some said no, but they wished they would have the permit process in Austin, Texas is a nightmare. So any advice that you could give people that would want to start building, not even a hotel for that.

Yeah.

Great. Any advice there or thoughts

He seems to have? So yes, I, it is so hard and getting the right team is so important. I didn’t know what I was getting into and I thought, you know, it’s built, it’s development. Everyone seems to be doing it. We can do this. And it was, it was, it was quite complicated. For starters, it takes a year to get anything approved through the city. And so having the right team is really important. This is the worst. But we were tracking to be complete by South by last year and we ended up being delayed because of some architectural issues. And we miss South by, we opened literally during South by, so we had a full buy out then it was going to be great. And we ended up missing that. And then we thought, okay, well it’s okay this year we’re going to do it. And we got this full Baya and we’re telling all the investors is so great. And then we get to it and we’re all ready and I’m like, this is going to be the year. And then Friday happens, then it’s not the year.

So you guys are basically the ones to blame for South by Southwest South

By is just not my, like I, I just, it’s a tease for me. It’s like a carrot.

So for the first year, did

You guys just kind of open the doors, let people walk in? Did you get some people to S to rent it last minute? Like how’d that happen? Yeah, we had pre bookings. We put up pictures like that were just hopeful images of what we wanted it to look like. And we put it up on Airbnb and put it up on our website and we had pre bookings. So we were, we were full from the day we opened. So we’ve, we’ve been full every weekend basically from day one.

Fantastic. And then you were saying kind of that your numbers were up. So besides weekends, like how often do people book this place and what kind of people put this place?

Yeah, yeah. We’ve been booked about 85% of the time during the week. It’s been insane. We had predicted 30%. And what what’s happening is, you know, we opened up to be able, our primary purpose for opening was to have a legal option for large groups that are staying in neighborhoods to stay on sixth street where they can make noise and where they’re not interrupting neighbors. We opened up here, it’s a hotel experience. So we have consistent cleaning consistent communication. They know we’re not going to cancel on them. We open up here and we ended up finding that there’s a ton of other groups out there that really want to have that, the consistency of a hotel, but the experience of an Airbnb. And so we opened up and we ended up getting so many corporate travelers. People are coming in for the convention. We get pop up dinners during the week. So we have a lot of chefs that come in. We’ll have, we’ve had engagement parties. I mean, just anything you name it has ended up happening here.

Plus you guys are like, right on. You’re not block or 10 blocks or something, you’re on six. That’s the Airbnb experience that I’ve always loved it when we travel and we love to travel all over the place and I want to be in the heart of something. I don’t want to be a cab ride from it if possible. So, I mean, you’re walking like, I want to leave here, probably load my stuff up to my car and we will walk and hang out. Right. And you know, which is, which is the cool part. So when, when we’re going kind of on the timeline of you getting this started, so you’re open right, during South by Southwest 2019 a guest. Yeah. wha what do you guys do to get all those bookings? Right? Obviously the place is cool. You take cool pictures, but any marketing, any, anything that you’ve done? Word of mouth, like what’s happening? Yeah,

Word of mouth has been crazy. It’s, it’s funny because when people, I’ll, I’ll go out to a bar and someone asks what I do and I’ll tell them I work at Inn Cahoots and they they’re like, Oh yeah, I know that place. I’m like, how do you know this? We didn’t expect locals to know about us. And it turns out you know, like I said, we’re not just hitting the travel market like we thought we would. We’re hitting again, pop up dinners local businesses that want to have offsite meetings, just anything. We’ve ended up having a lot of people kinda touch our space, which is been wonderful. Yeah,

As well. What’s the best way, like, is it mostly every MB or is it a, are like, are you on multiple sites? Like how do you run that?

Yeah, so we launched on Airbnb and HomeAway and then we have our own site. And that’s it. We haven’t put any budget towards marketing. We’ve ended up I would say about 60% book on our site. And I guess they hear us through word of mouth or we have an Instagram. That people interact with. So and, and I think also they might find us on Airbnb and then Google us.

What kind of technology back end do you run your guys’ site off of? And do you like it?

Yeah. we have two programmers and they are the best. One of them is just a total wizard and he built the entire site, which is really actually quite robust. We have a couple of things. If you’re planning a group trip, you can go online and you can book on our website. But you create a dashboard when you book that enables you to send the booking out to everyone in your group. So they all split the bill so you’re not just putting it all in one card. And then we have a system where you can plan all the activities you want when you’re here. So you can have a private chef come into your unit. We can have a private bartender, we can help you get a boat and you can build this whole schedule, or you can book like a predetermined schedule. So our website’s actually quite robust.

Yeah. Notice it. It looked actually like a real website, a lot of time. Did you go to the Airbnb side or whatever and even some boutique boutique hotels and it’s quite rough cause they get most of their traffic in from a third party like Airbnb or HomeAway a. And is that something that you guys built with from the ground up? Like okay. And I assume there’s some nice integrations into the other platforms so that way it’s all up to date and,

Yeah, exactly. And then we have integrations with you know cell phone text message systems. We have all of our communications are fully integrated into the website, so it’s automated. So yeah, it’s all, it’s all custom built. We spent quite a bit of time on that money

And you know what I’m getting to, I guess here is, so what made you think of doing it that way? As opposed to just, Hey, you know, buy a plugin off of that’s $25 and throw up a site real quick. Squarespace, whatever.

Well, so originally we started off working with international students and this was in 2009. And at the time there weren’t really any websites that you could easily pop up to have to list your property on. And so we, I, I worked with a programmer. I also have some programming background. And we just ended up custom building so much and then we started working with the downtown property. Working with the groups that were booking on Airbnb. We just found that it was easier to just build out our system. And again, this was, that was maybe in 2015. So we just, I think we’re ahead of some of those more. Some of the other ones that came to market later, and by the time they came to market, we had just built so much custom that we just didn’t want to move over. And now we also have some features that no one else has, which is really important. So again, the split bill feature and the scheduler, all of these are things that lead to the guest experience because it’s not just coming and staying here. It’s about planning for that. We want to make that really easy on the guests. We want them to know that we’re here to, to help kind of take care of them.

And do you think a part of your success has been, has been because of your website and having that as those advantages that other people don’t have?

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think even as simple as you know, to be able to split the bill is great because then you know, you’re not putting it all on one credit card and then having to hunt down everyone that you’re booking. So a good example would be if a wedding group is, is staying here and I do a full buyout it’s kind of awkward for the bride to go around and be like, Hey Andy, you know, Karen, I’m going to need you to pay me $300 please to come to my wedding.

They split bill. What’s interesting about that, I just thinking of that right now. You know, some people want to pay you by Venmo and PayPal. She was at something, they were basically, they kind of get a link type of thing and then they log in and pay.

Yeah. Yeah. So they all get invited and then they they can pay their portion.

That’s, that’s really fantastic. So alright. What’s one of your favorite memories related to this project? We talked about the batteries, the South by being canceled and not being opened by Sidebuy last time, but what was one of the favorite memories?

Oh, I’ve, I’ve so many. We hit where we had a full buyout by the LSU super fans and

Probably for the UT,

The UTL LSU game, and they turned this place purple and gold. It was so cool. I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m a UT fan. I went to UT, but I now am a big LSU fan too. I mean, they made this place so cool and they put up flags and they had the tiger hanging off the balcony over on to sixth street. I mean, I had so many friends calling me, asking me what, what I was doing, allowing all these bands here. But they invited us over and we came over and tailgated with them. They cooked the best food, they brought in a whole you know how in Texas we have these barbecue trailers, they had a gumbo trailer behind them. It was so amazing and they were so wonderful and we’ve ended up keeping in touch. So when LSU went to well LSU went to the national championship, they we sent them a bunch of purple rabbit feet.

That’s fine. Yeah. So you also have another company called simply international. Correct. So they seem complimentary between each other. So maybe walk us through what that is, what the company does and and, and how they merge together.

Yeah, so it’s actually the same thing. Here at the hotel we focus on large groups. Simply international also focuses on large groups that are coming into universities. So we have a contract with UT and M, Texas tech. A lot of these large universities. And when they have a large international group of students coming in or, or teachers, we will create popup hotels. So for instance, on Saturday we had a group come in from Jordan and they’re in here for I think two, two and a half weeks and there are 11 of them. So we took underperforming real estate assets in West campus, so just open units and we convert them into a hotel for that period of time.

And how long have you been doing that? Those projects?

That was started as class project in 2009. So it’s been a very, yeah, very, very long time. Before, before Airbnb was, before I even had heard of Airbnb, we were already creating kind of pop up hotels for large groups. Yeah.

And so what percentage of of those of those bookings come here? Like is, is that any zero or is that,

No, there’s, there’s definitely some crossover. In general they want to stay in West campus or you know, we have a few other, again, we work with universities across the nation. So we have several in Boston right now. And kind of all over. But in general they want to stay near the university. There are some that will come and stay here. So I, I would say, you know, we’ve had maybe two or three groups. We had a, a group from the engineering school at UT. We had a language program in Austin, came here and then actually full brighters did a training here. American Fulbrighters did a training here before they left to go abroad. So

That’s a lot of fun. So not to give advice to possible competitors, but there’s gonna be people listening, not just here in Austin. What, what, what’s, what’s some advice you’d give somebody that would want to do this project that you’ve done right here with with, with this place and building it and, and, and the whole nine yards, right?

Oh, geez. Oh, there’s so much advice and I’m learning every day. I suppose number one is with construction. I kind of mentioned this before, but it’s really important that you get the right team. And I didn’t realize at the time what, when I was building this, what the right team meant. You know, again, Austin’s code is so antiquated and over the years there’s been new code adopted that conflicts with the old code said to have that can interpret that and say, you know, what the city is likely to agree to. So the city’s likely to say that you could maybe have a few less parking spots than what had previously been written in the code. Anyway, to have someone on the team that can help you understand city code and help you make sure that you’re building you know, to I guess the highest maximum potential that you can build on that lot was really important. And then of course having the right GC was really important. So construction was a big, big learning process for me. Beyond that, Oh gosh, opening this place has been actually really, really wonderful. There are a few design tweaks that we’re gonna make. We are building a few more of these in Austin.

I was going to ask about the future. So, so you had to stay in Austin right now? Is that kind of the game?

Well, we are actually in contract with another city as well. So we are expanding across a few other big cities. And we you know, have, have raised the money for that where we’re ready to start, probably won’t open in front of their two years though.

And I would talk about the same kind of field size, all that, all that type of

We’re actually going to be double the size. So our, we’ve decided that a couple of things. We’re a little small for the staffing that we have here. So our ideal size would be about 30,000 square feet.

And so 30,000, how many of you, how many units would that be? Cause I would have no idea.

Oh yeah. So about 12 units plus a restaurant and a bar.

And then when you say 12 units, that’s the big units that will walk through and it’s plugged it, not have this visually, but I mean that’s, they’re quite large, but we’re talking about unit, right? Compared to like somebody thinking about a hotel room, right. You’re probably what, four and five times the size of the hotel room?

Oh, much larger actually. So we’re pretty interesting and this is why it took so long to get through the city because each unit that we have has five bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. And the city kind of scratched their head going, is that five units or is that one unit? And ultimately it’s one unit. It just, that one unit has five bedrooms. So when I say that we’re gonna have 12 units that actually means we’ll probably have somewhere around 60 bedrooms. You’re all sweet. They’re all just very large suites. Yeah. Very large presidential suites. And quite a bit larger than a typical hotel room. So maybe a typical hotel or it might be two to 300 square feet. Our typical unit size is over 2000. That’s super fun. So

It, has there anybody, any like resources or mentors that it has helped you along this journey or even before you started this company? Yeah.

Oh my gosh. We have been so lucky to have such good mentors, but also I have a really wonderful family, so my mom helps decorate this whole place. My dad did all the lighting and my dad was so involved in the construction of this place that he ended up moving to Austin

Family endeavor for sure.

Awesome. We’ll do that too. Yeah, I mean, I mean, I came and visited a, I don’t know, 2007 or something like that and by 2008, Mark July of 2008 I was, I moved to suck you in.

It does. But that’s funny. You moved in July.

Well, I just wasn’t because of any of that, although I love summer, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t care that it’s a hundred degrees. I’d rather take that I’m from Kansas where it gets very cold. So I always tell people that our summer is our winter here, so, you know, so as opposed to having a very cold winter, we have a very hot summer, which I’ll take that trade any day or Mister or Lake. So what does success look like for you?

You know, we’re, we’re building a brand here. We are. I, I think that there is a gap in the market right now for actual hotels that can host large groups. There’s, there’s nothing like it right now. And there are so many people that want to have that. They, they want to have a private group travel experience. And so we’re building a brand. We want to build several of these and various cities. Why don’t we do five years, 10 years out? So in two years we’re hoping that we’ll have two to three of these. And then I would say in five to six years we’d hope that we could have five. So we’re, we’re building out fairly slowly. It is a complicated process because we do tend to build from ground up. Just because it’s such a unique space. So retrofitting doesn’t work out very well for us. So then maybe we’ll find a solution. Yeah,

Yeah, right. Sure. As you go through. So I’m just kind of going more personal route and I’m already, because leading there, like what advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Oh God, 15 year old. Oh gosh, I don’t know. Let’s see. What was I like at 15? Oh yeah, just I think probably I think at 15 I was still trying to figure out who I was and I think it’s just about being yourself and traveling, like focusing on what you care about

And has your life turned out how you thought it would so far?

I mean, I’m, I’m really, I’m really quite happy. I’m very, very lucky. I have a fantastic family. You know, this, this place. It, it really is of the heart and soul of my family. And even though South by was canceled, I think people feel that when they walk in here, you know, this is not a soulless building that you’re walking into. We’ve poured everything into this place.

Do you have any regrets?

Oh well, I mean I, I wish I had gotten it open in time last year for South by

. I think it would have been,

I, you know, I, I don’t tend to be a very aggressive person in business. We tend to do very slow calculated movements. I, I think I, I wish I had built this a little bit earlier. Although there are no competitors right now I think this is something that, you know, the market’s kind of moving towards and I think we could have opened up a little bit earlier. I think you know, it just took a long time to believe that I could do this.

I mean, it does take a while for the belief. I also think the timing is really great right now and there’ll be some itchy stuff in one kind of a side note is with, we were kind of being all over the place. Is there any thoughts there or being in the coworking space using some of this for coworking or just when I keep going in the direction you guys are going

You know, during the week, I think that that could be great. I also think that’s the direction we’re going during sessions.

We have a very open

I, you know, we’ve found a very particular market and I know that market, I understand that market. So I don’t really foresee us going very far into the coworking space just because I, I don’t, I don’t understand. It’s not where my passion is. You know, the coolest thing about this space is, you know, you’re here when you come here, you’re coming here with your friends and family or coworkers and you want, like, you’re already teed up to have a great experience. Like you want to have a good time when you come in the door, which means that everyone comes in smiling. And we just have to make sure that we can maintain that momentum. And people have a great time here.

Yeah. I mean they’re coming in town there are nos in Texas on their downtown East side.

Yeah. Yeah. And what would you title this chapter in your life? Oh gosh, I don’t know. And yeah, so, and we’re, we’re applying right now to open up a little coffee shop in our, in our lobby and we’re thinking about calling it in caffeinated.

So maybe that’s it.

Oh, I haven’t slept in days because of the whole South-By cancellation. Huh.

So let’s talk about having a young child and running a company. I’m sure that it’s always a choice. It’s a challenge no matter what. How has that made things difficult, fantastic terror, you know, like, cause you do get to control your schedule a little bit own your own company. So maybe just talk us through that a little bit of how that life is.

I’m so lucky that I can run my own company and set my own schedule because it means that I go to every single doctor appointment. You know, I get to be there for Cal whenever he needs it, but at the same time, it is really, really hard to figure out when things happen. Like, like South by is canceling and we’re in crisis mode and you know, I’m, I’m bringing my, my kid everywhere.

So now that Southwest’s been canceled, we talked about that plenty. I just got a event invite right when we were kind of walking up here. So what are you guys doing here? There says, are there an event that you guys are holding here for cell phones?

Yes. Yeah. So South by I canceled, obviously we had the first measure clause in our contract, so we lost everything from that contract. Which again equates to somewhere between eight and 12% of annual revenue. And so we’ve been scrambling this past weekend to figure out what we can do to kind of pick up the pieces and to still make something out of South by. And at the same time we’ve realized that there’s so many other companies in this community that are also really affected by South, by canceling, some of which too much, much greater extent than, than we were even. And so we thought we have the space, you know, we have the right people in the room. Let’s figure out how to, how to get everyone together, all the business owners together, potentially some of the politicians together, chamber of commerce and let’s talk about ways that we can figure out how to mitigate the impact of the businesses that we have here. So we’re hosting an event

Just like a free event,

Free event. Yeah. Free event for the business owners here. Just to again, all come together and talk about ways that we can maybe cross promote each other or just kind of work together to help bring all everyone up.

Well, I think that’s great too because you know, somebody that has got food that, you know, they’d probably try, maybe somebody needs some food, some place or has a nonprofit that needs it, ship it to Nashville or something. I think there’s a lot that can happen. There’s just some synergies. Getting some people together. Also think that I recently had a little loss right now. Like what to do. Everyone still wants to do something but not really sure. We, some, some of us now have free time on our hands that we were, were, we were expecting to not have. So that’s, that’s fantastic. And when was the event that, so

The events Monday, so it’s, it’s Monday the 16th, from six to nine at night. It will be here at Inn Cahoots. So, you know, we’re hosting this event and we do want to hopefully give back to the community and we’re hoping people will make meaningful connections there. But from a business, I’m looking at it as, you know, we lost this massive event from South by and now we’re putting it all in marketing. So we lost the X amount of dollars from South by and now we’re spending X amount of dollars in, in March

Local communities.

We’ll come in, like you were saying, and they get to see the space and they think about what they can do in this space. And I love the idea of, of focusing on our local community.

I love it. So I’ll ask question how would you like to be remembered?

You know, ultimately, I love kind of positive creativity, so I like building things that people enjoy. And so I, I love, like I was saying, I love it when people walk in here and they’re happy and we can facilitate a great experience. So yeah, I mean, I guess I’d, I’d like to be remembered as a positive creator. Love it. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

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