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Featured Studio Owner

Kyle Cooley
Home Video Studio - Monroe

Date: 01/14/2016


Home Video Studio owners typically come on board armed with knowledge and experience in some of the areas required for a successful video business but not all. For instance, a highly technical person may want help with ways to market their skills, or a highly creative or gregarious person may not know much about computers and software. That's the beauty of a business that demands an owner be well-rounded with technical, social, and business acumen.

Such is the case with our January Owner of the Month Kyle Cooley of Cooley Video Services, who came to us from a technical background looking to fill in the gaps to turn his love of video technology into a video business. After a few short months and still part-time, Kyle is meeting the "well-rounded" challenge, applying what he's learned, and seeing results already. "I knew I needed help filling the gaps that I had in my skills and capabilities," says Cooley, "and I didn't want to spend my time reinventing the wheel when Robert had done all the work and shown its value."

Kyle has always been intrigued by technology and gadgets. Even before computers became part of our daily lives he was a kid dabbling in all things electronic, and when personal computers came out he took the plunge, purchasing what was sure to seal the sum of all PC's - a Macintosh SE/30 complete with a black and white 9" screen. Thus began the journey that still finds him in front of a Mac, though a bit more powerful, editing video for his clients.

Growing up in Amherst, Ohio Kyle attended college at Eastern Michigan University as an Industrial Technology Education major. "That means ‘a shop teacher'," laughs Cooley. Kyle has faithfully taught for many years in the Monroe, Michigan school district passing on his love of technical and mechanical applications to appreciative students. He currently teaches Graphic Design, Drafting, Electronics and Metal shop.

So how does the Home Video Studio story begin? "Somewhere, someplace a long, long time ago on the internet," Cooley remembers. If it's a little hazy it's because Kyle is a man of deliberation, taking about ten years to see if and how he could turn a passion into a profession. Cooley's is also a story about how a kernel of desire may lie dormant for a season or two, but the right circumstances will wake it up again.

"It definitely took a long time to happen," remarks Cooley. "I recently found an email from Robert inviting me to a Show and Tell from 2005. It's always been in the back of my mind for years but the planets definitely aligned this last year when my circumstances allowed me to take the leap."

Recently Kyle had been driving the 100 mile trip from Michigan back to Ohio regularly up to and after his father's passing as he was the executor of his estate. The day he signed the final papers with the lawyer and was heading out of town, for possibly the last time, he passed Tony and Lori Melendez's Home Video Studio in Downtown Amherst, his old home town. "I had always meant to stop in. I got all the way to the outskirts of town and said to myself that if I didn't check out their business then I would regret it forever. So I turned around and went back to their store. Tony sat down and talked with me for almost an hour and lit the fire that got me started on the path to becoming a Studio Owner."

After that chat it didn't take nearly as long to get moving, and Kyle was installed weeks afterward. He hit the ground running and has been busy since that day in July of last year.

We caught up with Kyle a few weeks ago while he was enjoying Christmas vacation and working on a customer's video project. He was gracious in offering some insights on his new business:

Do any significant days and/or projects stick out so far?

The first time a customer came in a large bin with a whole life's worth of film and a variety of video tapes, and didn't blink as they wrote a large check and went on their way. It was all I could do not to have my jaw drop before they left.

Who are some of your influences?

My parents were fantastic people who worked hard, had all the important things in life, and gave us kids everything we needed to succeed. And of course Steve Jobs deserves a shout out. If not for him all our computers and cell phones wouldn't be as near a satisfying experience as they are.

What, so far, do you deem vital to success at this business?

What's worked for me is to immerse myself in all things HVS. Listen to the conference calls. Read and reread all the guides. Read all the interviews with other owners. Look at everyone's websites and studio Facebook pages. Talk to the other owners and get their opinions on different things. While I was waiting for my install I listened to every conference call back to 2012. That really made me feel like I knew most everyone in the HVS family it really fired me up and gave me the confidence to pursue the dream.

What are some goals?

Grow the business and put my 3 girls through college. And there's this store front I have my eye on ;-)

What part of the business comes easy for you? What part of the business is difficult?

I love the technical stuff even when it's hard. I'm always trying to make the workflow run quicker/easier while still keeping a quality final product. I love it when 3 or 4 projects are whirring along at the same time. On the difficult side, I'm not a natural people person which makes a few things a little more challenging, but I'm working at it and getting better every day.

Any sayings, quotes, or aphorisms that you adhere to that apply to your business?

To the steady goes the prize. Or as my Dad used to say: Inch by inch it's a cinch. Corny but true.

What are some prominent lessons you've learned so far?

Stick with the plan and don't overthink things. You don't have to do everything at once but you have to keep plugging away at it.

Congratulations to Kyle Cooley of Cooley Video Services in Monroe, Michigan our Studio Owner of the Month!

Kyle Cooley
Monroe MI

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