"Like a true nature's child We were born, born to be wild We can climb so high I never want to die "
- Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf

Featured Studio Owner

Elisabetta Brollo
Home Video Studio - Anchorage

Date: 01/09/2014

If you were to talk with Eli Brollo (in any of her four conversant languages) for any length of time you'd soon be bound to ask how a nice girl from a traditional close-to-home family in Italy became a cosmopolitan who's lived and worked in five countries on three continents. Eli would humbly tell you - for she is a modest soul - about her schooling and advanced business degrees and managing complex systems. But when she came to the part about moving to Anchorage, Alaska to start a new business in a new country to be at her soul mate's side you'd realize hers is a kind of modern Cinderella story - complete with adventure, intrigue, and, of course, romance. Meet Eli Brollo, Home Video Studio's January 2014 Studio Owner of the Month.

Eli grew up in the beautiful and bustling Northern Italian city of Milan. A middle child in a stable, loving family Eli was always driven to excel in her studies, inheriting a strong work ethic from her father, a mechanical engineer and her mother, a middle school teacher. "I was always top of the class...always the good nerdy student who everyone hated," laughs Eli. Many times it's those "good nerdy students" who grow up to be the dependable, stable, hard working and sometimes under-appreciated adults who trade their time and skill for a life that promises relative certainty and safety. Brollo ostensibly seemed to be on track for this life - but she was already planning her escape.

"A dream is a wish your heart makes" goes the Cinderella song, and Eli knows it well. "From the time I was little I've always listened to my heart and never been afraid to go where it takes me," says Brollo. "What others see as risk I see as adventure." It was this innate sense of adventure that propelled Eli, after high school, to move to Brussels, Belgium after being accepted as an intern for the Commission of the European Union. "This was my opportunity to see the world around me," recalls Eli. "I just knew I had to get out and become independent financially and every other way."

After the internship ended, and equipped with a degree in Business Administration, Eli came back to Milan where she worked leading a team building computer models to forecast world energy supply and demand. It was a good job. Maybe a stint in Brussels and a decent paycheck was enough to quell Eli's sense of adventure. Then, after five years, Eli looked around and asked herself an important question: "Do you want to die here?" Next stop, London.

Upon earning her MBA from the London Business School Eli joined the Boots Company, the UK's leading health and beauty retailer. There she headed up market and consumer research and evaluation of new product launches, monitoring of work progress and hiring of support staff, and directing advertising efforts for new product lines. She also met her husband, and soon the opportunity to move near her husband's home near Shanghai, China became available. In a relatively short time Eli found herself juggling three new adventures at once: adjusting to life in Asia, being a mom to two daughters, and a new business venture in real estate investment and rehabilitation. All three flourished. Maybe now was the time to settle in for a bit.

But the road of life takes detours. Even a girl with indefatigable dreams can face near devastating setbacks. One day, due to personal circumstances, Eli found herself alone with two daughters in a foreign land 6,000 miles from her hometown. What does one do? In Eli Brollo's case you keep following your heart and prepare for the next adventure. Eli reminisces about her mindset at the time: "I've never liked to be around complainers very much. So, once I found myself in a situation I could complain about, I didn't want to be one of those energy-suckers. Sure, I had my share of self-pity for a while, but it didn't last very long. I was open to turning around my situation –and I think fortune favors the ones with an open heart"

Fortune did favor Eli at this time when she met her soul mate, who happened to be from Anchorage, Alaska. For some romance is nice little dessert to top off one's meat and potatoes life. But not for an Italian named Eli. "I met Dave and we just knew we were meant to be together," says Eli. How sure was she of this next great adventure? Sure enough to begin assembling the necessary components to pull off the monumental task of moving herself and her children to Anchorage. All it would take is 1) a home, 2) a business investment, oh, and 3) a visa. One by one she checked them off her list. "I secured a home by selling one of my properties in Shanghai, I found a wonderful immigration lawyer who began to see my visa process through," says Brollo, "and I found Home Video Studio."

In order to live in the States Eli needed a visa, and the most practical type to secure was a business investment visa. Eli had always had an interest in photography and video so when she found HVS on the internet she was thrilled. "I was looking for a very specific business that would satisfy my creative urges, plus conform to the lifestyle I envisioned," says Brollo. "Plus I needed to work from home."

So Eli took the next step and called Home Video Studio. "Needless to say I had a lot of specifications in my situation and I needed support and understanding. Robert [Hanley] really humanized everything," says Brollo. "I called a similar business and was disappointed to find out they offered one day of training and then you were on your own. When I called HVS and talked to Robert I felt like I already knew him. He was a risk taker just like me... he followed his heart just like me...and, this may sound corny, but when he talked about meeting his wife, Denise, on the same day he made up his mind about his future it struck a romantic chord with me in my situation."

So Eli, once again, took a risk. In a classic Catch-22 she had to show an investment in her Home Video Studio in Anchorage with no guarantee of a "home" let alone a studio. "From the time I was little I grew in being confident in my dreams," laughs Eli, "but really, at this time, I felt good just assuring myself that I wasn't crazy."

At Home Video Studio we say, "It's a Wonderful Lifestyle" and we're glad to say that we are a part of Eli's life story. The happily ever after is still being written but, so far, here's how the story goes: Eli opened her Home Video Studio in November of 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. She and her children live amid the splendor of majestic mountains, the deep blue sea, and wildlife like nowhere else. Eli enjoys the company of the love of her life. December 2013 was Eli's best month so far in her business.

"I'm still settling in and learning the ropes, but I can see myself grow more and more confident," says Eli. 'I love the human aspect...making the customers happy just makes me happy. I [also] want to be the best I can at video production and editing, to satisfy my creative urge. There are so many extraordinary people and stories in Alaska, not to mention amazing landscapes and wildlife. I want to be able to document all this – in a way that is not only entertaining to me, but others, too."

New life. New business. New country. Is it time to temper the dreams a little bit? Not for a bold heart like Eli's:

"I want to become an American citizen," says Brolo. When asked "Why?" she responds: "A friend relayed this to me: 'Why does America have such a distinct culture for a nation that is so young? Simple - the ones who emigrated were Americans in the first place!' "

If boldness, tenacity, belief in your dreams and a sense of destiny defines "American" then Eli Brollo is already a citizen in our eyes. We are proud she is a part of our Home Video Studio family.

Elisabetta Brollo
Anchorage AK

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