With 2019 nearing its end, I've been thinking retrospectively about Mixpression's first year of operation. With our upcoming events in the works, it's very easy to get lost in the ride of our daily challenges. Writing this was a great thought exercise for myself; to walk down memory lane, to remember what our core values are. With reflective thinking in mind, we can effectively build out our 2020 vision. Here is the MXP story, and why we absolutely love what we do.
The birth of Mixpression
A little over a year ago, I sat down with one of my best friends, Joeson, to chat about how we could expand our love for DJing. We've hosted a few free shows at small San Francisco venues to play in front of our friends -- but these didn't feel like enough. We wanted more, so we walked to venues, door-to-door, asking for any opportunity to play. Weeks would pass and nothing came from that vexatious process. We thought to ourselves, "why is this process so damn painful?" And candidly, it really shouldn't be. The industry is heavily reliant on personal connections; the connections that we lacked.
One day after work, we decided to meet at a restaurant in the Financial District of San Francisco to discuss how to break our DJ plateau. This meeting would eventually be the birthplace of what is now Mixpression.
Creating Our Identity
Like any new company, we had to carefully forge our identity. Through the initial stages, we learned that we needed help establishing our brand, operating procedures, and marketing strategies. This is when Joeson and I wanted to bring Jeanie into the fold. She's been one of my closest friends for years, so I knew of her strong ambition and work ethic. After pitching the idea of Mixpression to her, she accepted, and the three of us would then become the founding members of our organization.
It took us weeks to decide on a name and logo that would fit the ethos of our brand. These elements are the lifeblood of your brand; something that your consumers will use as your identifier. It's not something that we wanted to change down the road, so we had to get it right the first time. After countless hours of brainstorming, we came up with Mixpression, or MXP for short. This was a process that none of us have experienced before, so it was fun to undertake that challenge. Now that the initial steps were completed, it was time to take action.
Building the Bridge
We initially wanted to create a collaborative community of amateur artists. While that idea is one of our core values at Mixpression, we knew that it wasn't enough to have people buy into our brand. Honing your DJ skills in your bedroom is fun, but you master your craft with the ultimate goal of displaying your skills in front of a crowd. We identified the major pain point for amateur artists across the industry -- getting booked for a gig -- and set off to solve it.
Holiday HAM and Beyond
Mixpression's first show, Holiday HAM, debuted on November 30, 2018 at the New Parish in Oakland. I will always hold the memories of that event close to my heart. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions throughout that five week process! With no idea of how to host and promote a production-level show, we decided to partner with our good friend, Johan Yang (aka BEAUZ). Johan graciously provided mentorship and resources in conjunction with his student-run organization, Golden Records.
Our team can't thank Johan enough for his contributions to Mixpression's pivotal growth stage. Fostering partnerships with genuine, good-hearted, and resourceful people has been an invaluable lesson for our team. I implore any new business owners to do the same.
Since our debut event, we've hosted more shows at bigger and better venues. In addition to that, we're booking big-name artists that electronic music fans idolize across the world; the artists that we've paid the big bucks to experience the magic of their crafted sets. Honestly, it's quite surreal to reflect on that fact since it's beginning to feel normalized.
In the process of scaling our business, we have added more members to our ever-growing team. We began with three and have grown to thirteen -- all in under a year! We may be lean and scrappy, but we're not afraid to dream big.
While our home base will always be the Bay Area, we have already begun our expansion process to the Denver Metro area. Our long-term vision involves spanning our events across the nation. Amateur artists across this country deserve more opportunities to showcase their talent. More bridges will be built to the big stage.
With the craze of our day-to-day operations of curating amazing talent and creating more musical experiences for our patrons, it's refreshing to stop and smell the roses -- as cliché as it sounds. I'm extremely proud of the team we've formed and the accomplishments we've made in the past year. We are blessed to work with a group of passionate, selfless individuals who put the MXP brand above their self-interests. And most of all, I'm thankful to be growing this venture with my best friends, Jeanie & Joeson.
The Bay Area has bred a culture of innovation and industry disruption -- no matter what industry that may be. We've always wanted to be entrepreneurs, but with an idea that we were passionate about. This is the perfect fusion of developing our business acumen and musical passion.
I want to give a huge thank you to all who have supported us along our crazy journey. From our friends, partners, and attendees, I appreciate all mediums of support received. Everything we do undertakes a large risk, so thank you to everyone who told us to make the jump and never look back.
2020 will be a huge year for the Mixpression family. We can't wait to show you what we have in store.
Andy C. Quach,
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