It’s Female Founder Friday, and I have an incredibly creative woman entrepreneur to introduce. Nicole Gallub is the founder of Pelonky. Nicole is a former IT specialist, turned international full-time DJ and producer, and now entrepreneur. If you think about it, all her those titles buck traditional gender norms… and I LOVE it!
The idea for Nicole’s company was sparked by a number of issues she encountered in her industry. Conundrums like: How do event planners get access to real professionals? How do they know how much to pay? How do performers price themselves? How can performers manage all of their day to day business, while also maintaining the most important aspect — their art? Nicole’s entrepreneurial solution was creating a platform that helped both creatives and planners find each other and create unforgettable events. With clients like Amazon and Marriott, it’s clear that she’s onto something big.
So, if you’re a creative with a business idea and want to learn more about the challenges of balancing both, or if you’re enthralled with the concept of Pelonky, don’t miss Nicole’s candid answers to my questions below! I must admit I’ve been rocking out to her theme song all week!
What inspired you to create your company?
As a performer, I’ve lived through the difficulties of trying to sell yourself, manage your business, and perform — when you do it yourself, it’s just too much to manage, and people can take advantage of this….and when you let others do it for you, well it’s not always so ethical. My goal in creating this company was to create an ethical, positive place for professional, talented entertainers to come for business, and the same for the event planners to find them. And we are doing it!!! And it feels great!
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The biggest obstacle was keeping it simple in the beginning. As a creative, AND as an entrepreneur…you get bogged down by ideas…partnerships…things to do…and it was really hard in the beginning, especially creating a brand new business surrounded by tech, to FOCUS. It slowed us down a lot in the beginning, however I learned so much from all the things I was doing, and I’ve been able to apply a lot of those principles to the streamlined concepts I’m working on today.
Growing the team! We’ve pivoted a bit, from being an all inclusive online marketplace… to completely removing the tech and focusing on growing as a booking agency first. When we were tech, everything was financed by my DJ business, and partnerships… but now that we’ve moved to full on agency, Pelonkey has been able to finance our staff, our costuming and inventory, and more on it’s own. Once we grow the team here in DC, I have plans to grow our business out West!
If you had a theme song what would it be?
“After the Rain,” by Africanism All Stars. This entrepreneur/creative life is TOUGH. If you don’t practice positivity, mindfulness, and remember that things WILL get better as long as your persevere and push through it, then this is not a life for you. I love this song because I always listen to it when times get tough, it’s beautiful – and it reminds me that when things go down, they ALWAYS come up…so just be patient. =)
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders. I love my ambitious women! I also love being a woman. It’s pretty great. But I really wouldn’t let being a woman stop ANYONE from doing what they feel they were meant to do. There are going to be things that feel like you are being discriminated upon, because you are a woman…..but please know, that in EVERY job…. as a male, or female, there are going to be times that feel unfair. Don’t get jaded, or hold on to whomever told you as a woman, you can’t do something… because it’s simply not true. I am a firm believer that as a female, or male… you can do anything you set your mind to… and I’m living it. It’s not easy. I have a lot of crap stories to tell. BUT, I have SO many AMAZING stories as well. And that’s what keeps me going!!