We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Most entrepreneurs are risk-takers by design. If you have the guts to walk away from a stable job to start a business from scratch, you don’t mind a little risk. In fact, you may actual enjoy the thrill of it. For me, risk has provided me a great deal of happiness. It allowed me to chase after the things I wanted and never have to wonder “what if”.
By combination of luck and street smarts, most all of the risks I’ve taken have paid off. They’ve all been steps that have led me to where I am today. When someone asks “how did you have the courage to quit your job and start a company,” I tell them what I thought about. I asked myself what the worst case scenario would be. If I start this business and it doesn’t succeed, I could downsize my house, get a job somewhere and be just fine. Maybe I don’t take a vacation. Maybe I can’t do certain things because my lifestyle has changed. But I would, hopefully, still have my health and my family. When I think about that being the worse case scenario, it makes taking the risk seem pretty easy.
What should our readers know about your business?
B3 is the creative agency that makes music tourism rock in the cities you love. That means we help cities market their local music scene in order to bring in more visitors. We do this through several story-telling methods such as naming, branding, videography, ambassador program development, merchandise, and illustration. Our team loves music, and if we can help a city bring more tax dollars in, it means they get to support their music scene even more. If we help cities, we might just help an artist along the way in their journey to success.
How we got into music tourism is interesting. For the first two and a half years in my agency, we were generalist. That means we helped multiple industries and took on multiple projects within those industries. We were constantly learning a new type of business–which I loved for a very long time. But as time marched on, I had a desire to really specialize and learn something so deeply that I could be the very best there was in that space. For over a year, I read, listened, and I searched my soul to identify what that specialty would be. It had to excite me and be something I loved. I knew it would eventually come, but I might have to be patient. Finally, I was at the office and got the phone call that would change my business forever. My favorite tourism director called and had more work for the local music scene that she needed help with. I remember nearly getting an adrenaline rush from the excitement. That’s when I knew, it was something I could do forever.
While we still help our existing clients, and love doing so, our focus is expanding our footprint in the music tourism space. That means working with tourism departments for cities, music museums, festivals, and music stores.
You see, music connects us. No matter your age, race, socioeconomic status–when there is live music, we come together. We forget what’s happening in the world and get lost in something that moves us. From children dancing, to friends gathering, there is much joy to be had when music is happening.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Jackson, Tennessee, we have so much to offer–especially for a long weekend. A tour would certainly include eating at Blacksmith Restaurant, or Rock’n Dough Pizza. We would also have to make a visit to Turntable in downtown for a quick caffeine buzz, where you’ll find great coffee, tea, and treats. My absolute favorite place to take friends is Hub City Brewing. A couple in town created a brewery where you can take the entire family. You can certainly get great beer, brewed within viewing distance, but you’ll also find all kinds of activities. If there isn’t a live music show happening, you’ll still have plenty to do with the outdoor volleyball court, corn hole, darts, bowling, board games, and the occasional trivia night.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The great thing about a journey is that there are so many people at different stages that play a part along the way. From a quick encouraging word, to the friend that will spend hours talking with you about complexities in your business, it all adds up. It all makes you who you are. I celebrate them all.