Imaflycat.com Interviews Nina Chiminec, our director of sales and marketing. Below is a repost of the original article available here.
We caught up with Nina Chiminec, Marketing Director for Bands On A Budget. They specialize in Media, Duplication, Download Cards, and other promotions items.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
NINA: I got my first taste of the music industry by playing bass in a band at the age of 15. During the 8 years of playing with that band, it was also my role to book our tours, design and order our merchandise, and all the other business aspects that came along with being in a band. When it was time to go to college, I majored in Music Industry, and worked at a record label for 3 years upon graduating. I now love my job working with bands, many of which are just starting out. It definitely helps having gone through this before, so I remember how intimidating ordering merchandise can be. I have so much fun working with these bands.
2. How long have you worked for Bands On A Budget?
NINA: After the record label I was working for closed, I spent a year back and forth between traveling and working for Bands on a Budget. I went to all 7 continents; leaving for a month, then coming back to work for 3. I was definitely lucky to have landed such a flexible gig with two supportive and amazing bosses who travel a lot themselves. Once I got back from Africa, I decided it was time to stay put and began working full time at Bands on a Budget. That was almost a year ago. So, it was one year on and off, and one year of full time. Every minute of which I have loved.
3. What makes Bands On A Budget stand out from it's competitors?
NINA: Our targeted market, as you can tell by our name, is bands who are on a budget. We understand that when you order merch for the first time, the money is coming out of the band members' pockets; until they recoup the expenses by selling their merch, that can seem like a lot of money to spend off the bat. We keep our prices really competitive and always find ways to cut corners around here to be able to offer great specials and lots of affordable options for each product. We've also all been there (the 3 of us who work here have all played in bands), so know the attention bands sometime need when they order merch for the first time. So I'd say the customer service is a big one too; being happy to walk bands through the process, help them set up their artwork, find the best options, etc.
4. What type of music do you listen to?
NINA: I go in waves, but it's definitely a wide spectrum: from classic country to punk, rock 'n roll to oldies, if it has a good melody, I enjoy it. Generally, I like listening music that makes me feel good. I've been on a big Mika kick lately- talk about happy music. In our office though, Bret is the DJ so sometimes I have to blow the dust off of my own itunes library and remember which records I've been really into lately.
5. What do you think about the music business in the new "Technology Era"?
NINA: We've definitely been going through a paradigm shift in this business for quite some time. It's really interesting for our generation, because while we grew up with cassettes and CDs, and were also the first generation to grow up with computers; so I think this transition for us has been easiest to adapt to. For people who have been working in the record business for years and years and maybe aren't as tech-savvy, it probably seemed like "the beginning of the end" when the digital age began. What ended up happening is people just had to get creative and adapt to the changes. Bands are able to record, release, distribute, and market their own records now, which is awesome. However, this has made record labels obsolete. From a business point of view, some aspects of this Technology Era has restricted certain income streams, like record sales, so in turn more emphasis had to be put on sales coming in from concert tickets and merchandise. Fortunately, our business hasn't been effected negatively like other types of businesses have; we get to just use technology to help market ourselves and the bands we work with. We get to offer online merchandise stores to bands, post blogs that give advice, and offer a website that bands can create an account on. As far as we can see, bands will always order merchandise, no matter where the record business goes, so we feel like we're in a great place in this business.
6. What to expect from Bands On A Budget in the future?
NINA: We've spent this past year growing outside of the normal realms of a merchandise company. We moved into a larger space that can accommodate live shows, art galleries, and other events. The community we're creating here extends past an office; we bring bands in and give them a place to hang out, perform, and meet other people. We're hoping this will go hand in hand with seeing the company continuously grow, so that we can continue to offer great prices and sincere customer service to bands who need it.