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Featured Studio Owner

Anthony and Lora
Home Video Studio - Amherst

Date: 06/01/2016

Tony and Lori Melendez, Home Video Studio owners from Amherst, Ohio, reached yet another milestone in their Home Video Studio Network career a few weeks ago: "Robert [Hanley, founder and CEO of HVS] told us the day we bought a Home Video Studio that we'd never forget the date," says Tony, "and he was right! We decided to become studio owners on May 11, 2002." That makes Tony and Lori fourteen year veterans and, in their colleague's eyes, among the "deans" of Home Video Studio owners. This month we recognize Tony and Lori as our June 2016 Studio Owners of the Month.

Tony and Lori’s involvement with Home Video Studio came by way of a “happy accident.” Tony was a freelance videographer who picked up the phone looking for some advice:

"I had taken on a wedding job and was looking for some technical support and I happened to pick up a Videomaker magazine and saw an ad for Home Video Studio. I was hoping to reach a video expert and soon I was talking to a stranger named Robert Hanley who not only pointed me in the right direction for my technical problem but advised me on some pricing as well."

Of course Mr. Hanley also advised him of the benefits of affiliating with Home Video Studio and after that call one thing led to another. Tony and Lori were attracted by the notion of being in business "for yourself but not by yourself." They attended a "Show N Tell" in Indianapolis and on a fateful day in May they became studio owners and have enjoyed the income, support, expertise and camaraderie that successful Home Video Studio owners enjoy.

What are some of the keys that make for this success and longevity? If you're looking for secrets or shortcuts there are none. Tony and Lori simply exhibit the age-old traits that work:

Vision. “You have to have a vision,” says Meldendez, who started his business in his home and operated out of it for nearly eleven years, “you have to have a picture of the future you want. Even before I’d heard of Home Video Studio, back in 1994, I’d drive by my “dream location”, a perfect retail spot with a great location, and I’d see the day I’d be running my video business from it,” says Tony, “but it was occupied, the price was too high, and it just wasn’t in the cards then.” But Tony kept dreaming of that space and, nearly thirteen years later, everything fell into place and Tony now runs his business from that location.

Teamwork. Tony and Lori have worked as a team their entire married life. Tony spent his career as an educator - teaching and coaching – and, until 2011, ran his business alongside these demands, first on his own and then as a Home Video Studio franchisee. "A mentor told me when I first started teaching not to put all my eggs in one basket," says Tony. Some teachers paint or clean windows on the side. I liked video so I started my own video business and worked it in the evenings, on weekends and in the summer." Lori, who has a background in marketing and also ran a successful daycare, has partnered with him from the beginning.

Daily doing the right thing. Together Tony and Lori took the daily steps necessary to fulfill their dream of a full-time video business. Upon Tony's retirement from teaching in June of 2011 that dream became a reality. It wasn’t an accident, it was planned and cultivated.

Fatih. However you choose to define faith is up to you, but most agree it involves acting on a conviction before you actually see it. “Before we took the step of moving into our new location I just kept praying ‘Make it clear’, and everything just fit.”

Besides making the cash register ring Tony and Lori have also won many Hanleys, international awards for creative excellence, at the Annual Getaway held each year. Among these honors are Studio Owners of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Best Video Production, Best Wedding, Best High Concept Video and Best Sports Scholarship Video.

After fourteen years do Tony and Lori have any advice for someone looking into being a studio owner? "This is a good time, maybe even necessary for some people, to go into business for themselves. If you have a passion for video this is the best way to do it."

Anthony and Lora
Amherst OH

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