THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Curious about everything! by Love You Back Productions

Julia, here. This is our week in review!

A commercial by Heineken is one of the best Julia has ever seen.  No exaggeration. No hyperbole.  Published on April 20, 2017, “Worlds Apart” is a thoroughly moving example of commercial storytelling, using “paired interviews.” Read on in blog post and learn more about what I mean by “paired interviews.” 

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW: "What the hell does that mean?" by Love You Back Productions

From a joyful Sunday came a productive Tuesday!  Weenta and I worked together on the set for her documentary project, which concerns stereotype threat.  But, wait!   "What the hell does that mean?" Weenta asks.  She gives a sober answer.

This week included a joyful Easter Sunday! 

Family came to town! Or as she likes to refer to herself, “[Julia's] future mother-in-law.”  Family matters aside, the three of us had a blast! 

Easter Sunday turned into a real adventure. Only in New Orleans, right y'all? But for real. Rare is it that an afternoon in the French Quarter is so fun (given I'm a homebody and us, locals, tend to let the city's visitors enjoy the Quarter). 

Sunday was that.  Sunday was great.  Sunday was so fun!  Together, the three of us hit up 2 Easter day parades.  I documented the experience.  Check it out!

"The three of us had a blast!  Easter turned into a real adventure. Of course. Only in New Orleans." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, Friday, April 21, 2017. Video created Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Weenta asks Dr. Anderson Sunda-Meya, “Could you define, in your own words, what is stereotype threat?“ Dr. Sunda-Meya is Norwood Professor of Physics and Director of Dual Degree Engineering Program at Xavier University.

Weenta asks Dr. Anderson Sunda-Meya, “Could you define, in your own words, what is stereotype threat?“ Dr. Sunda-Meya is Norwood Professor of Physics and Director of Dual Degree Engineering Program at Xavier University.

From a joyful Sunday came a productive Tuesday!   Weenta and I worked together on the set for her documentary project, which concerns stereotype threat.  The project navigates the behavioral science behind stereotype threat, specifically as it affects Black engineers in academic and professional settings.  Stereotype threat is a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their social group.  

Weenta is the director.  The project is funded by the Xavier University Center for Traumatic Research.  Tuesday was all about interviews.  Weenta asked following questions, 

Tell me about a time you felt ignored or overlooked academically because of your race.

Tell me about a time you felt judged in an academic setting because of your race.              

Shooting went well.  Special thanks goes out to Thomas Walsh - Love You Back Productions' audio engineer extraordinaire.

Weenta asks Temple Price, "Tell me about the first time you heard of the term stereotype threat--and how did that term resonate with you?" Price is a graduate student at Xavier University.   Her research concerns stereotype threat. - Video still from Julia's camera on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Weenta asks Temple Price, "Tell me about the first time you heard of the term stereotype threat--and how did that term resonate with you?" Price is a graduate student at Xavier University.   Her research concerns stereotype threat. - Video still from Julia's camera on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

“For now, feel the experience by way of some video stills.” - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

“For now, feel the experience by way of some video stills.” - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

"But, alas, I applied deductive reasoning and figured what was going on." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

"But, alas, I applied deductive reasoning and figured what was going on." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

As for Wednesday…Y'all, remember that crazy Tar Heel fan from two blog posts ago?  That’s Anuraag Pendyal. He’s my dear friend.  He’s also a musician.  A beautiful musician.  Anyway, he hits me up on Wednesday with a text message:

 -“Hey, can I borrow a tripod?” Anuraag.                                                                            -“Sure, what for?” Julia.                                                                                                    -“Maison. 4:30-6:30," Anuraag.

That was it. That was the only information he gave me.

But, alas, I applied my deductive reasoning skills and figured out what was going on.  Anuraag wanted to film his performance.  He wanted to film his performance on his own, by himself.  I’m thinking...Does Anuraag even have a camera?   No.  He doesn't. He wanted to film his performance on his own, by himself, without a camera. I'm thinking....????

Therefore...

On a whim, I decided show up and do the heavy lifting.  As in, I decided to shoot the damn thing for my buddy. Wednesday evening, I recorded Anuraag with his band, Claire and Company, at Maison on Frenchmen Street.  Anuraag is the piano player. The performance was spectacular.  Look out for video of the performance in two weeks.  For now, feel the experience by way of some video stills.

“He hits me up on Wednesday, ‘Hey, can I borrow a tripod?’”  - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

“He hits me up on Wednesday, ‘Hey, can I borrow a tripod?’”  - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017.  Video still from Wednesday, April 19, 2017 shoot. 

"I'm having the time of my life. With my new boyfriend." - How to manage more than one BOY∙FRIEND. @CarolinedeMaigret #Boyfriend#ChanelWatches  ;)

"I'm having the time of my life. With my new boyfriend." - How to manage more than one BOY∙FRIEND. @CarolinedeMaigret #Boyfriend#ChanelWatches  ;)

Thursday proved as productive as Wednesday and Tuesday.  Love You Back Productions had back-to-back meetings in the Central Business District.  

One 9am.  One 10am.  Luckily, these meetings were blocks from each other.

To be sure, Weenta counted.  Our 9am was exactly 7 blocks down the street from our 10am.   Thank the Lord!

Love You Back Productions will produce a beauty campaign of 3 films for Mia Bella Beauty Lounge.  More to come in next week's blog. Yipiiiee!!! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017   Image from Mia Bella Beauty Lounge Facebook page. 

Love You Back Productions will produce a beauty campaign of 3 films for Mia Bella Beauty Lounge.  More to come in next week's blog. Yipiiiee!!! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 21, 2017  

Image from Mia Bella Beauty Lounge Facebook page

While one of two video projects is still nascent, the other is ironed-out.  Love You Back Productions is set to produce a beauty campaign of 3 films for Mia Bella Beauty Lounge.  Our inspiration is Chanel instagram account.   For a beauty campaign, who else could it be? 

In our meeting with saloon owner and next-level” nail artist, Mia McNeal, she thought out-loud, “I love when women business owners support other women business genuinely.”  

"Of course, y’all know. ....We’re all about thoughts and feelings over here at Love You Back Productions." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, Friday, April 21, 2017.

"Of course, y’all know. ....We’re all about thoughts and feelings over here at Love You Back Productions." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, Friday, April 21, 2017.

Of course, y’all know.  That kind of stuff resonates with us.   We’re all about harmony and support over here at Love You Back.   Until next week!

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

---

Our motto is share more stories.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Making Improvements--VROOM VROOM! by Love You Back Productions

Scoot Scoot! 

This week, Julia gets a new scooter.  

Julia's often anxious about driving, especially since she has narcolepsy. She's an avid biker, but with an industrial canal and train tracks between us, the 40 minute bike ride (one way) is a bitch. So Julia and Nik went scooter shopping. The new scoot has drastically improved her quality of life.

Watch the video above to see just what I mean. 

The other big news of the week is...

Love You Back productions is in the process of rebranding. 

If you know our story, you know we just spent the last 6 months bringing our businesses together and carefully crafting our brand. So why the rebrand? 

While Julia was away on her family vacation to Aspen, I watched a webinar that made me reevaluate my outlook on our entire wedding business. I realized that although we've done our best to highlight our personalities and emphasize our company values, we still weren't setting ourselves apart from the crowd. 

The webinar was produced by Muse Storytelling, an offshoot of Stillmotion, an Emmy award winning production company that got their start in wedding films. I've discussed the Stillmotion brand on our blog before

It was taught by Patrick Moreau, one of Stillmotion's co-founders. It was entitled, "How to Build an Irresistible Wedding Brand that Sells."

At the height of their wedding production business, Stillmotion was charging between $20-$50k for their wedding films. Their secret? Prioritize good storytelling above all else, and spend quality time getting to know the couples that you enjoy, rather than increasing the quantity of weddings you film per year.

As a part of the webinar, each participant was required to come up with 5 keywords that summarize their brand. Here's ours:

Love You Back Productions 5 Branding Keywords

1. Intentional - You've put thought and attention into the details of your wedding. Nothing is random, everything has a special meaning to you and your fiancé. 

2. Carefree - You describe yourself as laid-back. While you've put tons of thought into your wedding day, you're not too worried if things go off script. After all, nothing's perfect.  

3. Playful - You have a playful spirit and a fun attitude. You're not shy to do a silly dance at your reception or tell jokes during your toasts.  

4. Authentic - You're personality shines through. You're being yourself, always. 

5. Share - Once the wedding day is over, you're so excited to share your wedding film online and on social media with all of your friends and family. 

We're ready to take our 5 branding keywords and use them as inspiration for our new wedding website. We're aiming to get it up and running in the next two weeks.  

We've also decided that we're splitting our current website into two separate websites. That means our wedding business will have it's own url, separate from our short commercial business.

It feels so crazy doing a rebrand after we spent 6 months combining our two businesses to create the website that we have now.

A big part of entrepreneurship means that you're constantly responding to feedback and creating new iterations. While the rebrand is an upheaval that can feel overwhelming at times, the two of us are looking forward to making improvements and showing potential clients who we really are. 

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Kindness makes champions. by Love You Back Productions

"This past weekend, Weenta and I documented 3 weddings. 3 weddings in 2 days." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"This past weekend, Weenta and I documented 3 weddings. 3 weddings in 2 days." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"'You can never be too kind.' That has always been my motto.  It extends to our work as wedding filmmakers." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"'You can never be too kind.' That has always been my motto.  It extends to our work as wedding filmmakers." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

What makes champions? Kindness. That's my answer. "You can never be too kind." That has always been my motto.  It extends to our work as wedding filmmakers.

This past weekend, Weenta and I documented 3 weddings.  For each event, kindness and grace was our modus operandi, without which there would have been no staying sane.

"Weenta and I tagged team. Delegated roles and positions.  Strove for harmony with everyone involved." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Jennifer and Jeffery's wedding at LaTrobe's on Royal, April 2, 2017.

"Weenta and I tagged team. Delegated roles and positions.  Strove for harmony with everyone involved." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Jennifer and Jeffery's wedding at LaTrobe's on Royal, April 2, 2017.

What else? TEAM WORK!   3 weddings in 2 days.  To some [perhaps those outside the wedding industry], that number may sound overwhelming.  Before this weekend, my boyfriend couldn't fathom it. 

Back to the original question. 3 weddings in 2 days. How was it possible? TEAM WORK! Weenta and I tagged team. Delegated roles and positions.  Strove for harmony with everyone involved.

"Seeing these snapshots now, Julia is wistful. If only I could go to all of the weddings." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"Seeing these snapshots now, Julia is wistful. If only I could go to all of the weddings." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Mike and Nica's wedding on April 1, 2017.

What else? Delegate the work.  Love You Back Productions | Wedding Films always hires additional camera operators for our wedding day shoots.   On Saturday, Weenta had her go-to assistant camera, Nisa East, for Mike and Nica's extravagant wedding shibang at Harrah's Casino.  I had mine.  I worked with Nick Ramey to shoot an idyllic, exuberant celebration in Slidell.  Nick followed the ever-elusive groom, Jonathon Allen, while I covered Kayla and her bridal party...  

And Kayla's bridal party was like...something out of Shakespeare. I arrived on to Jonathon's open tract of land. Spanish moss mixed with the spring dappled the land's vibrant greenery.  Boats drifted by in the near distance.  Birds chirped.  Bridesmaids sauntered.  The bride beamed.  

At Love You Back, Weenta and I truly believe our role is as much about supporting everyone involved at the wedding as it is about working the camera.  This philosophy was at work on Saturday.  Kayla was a joy to work with.  Intentional with each moment, and yet serene throughout her wedding.  

Covering Kayla's wedding was like receiving an early Easter gift.  So much fun and so much connection with her family! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Kayla and Jonathon's wedding on April 1, 2017.

Covering Kayla's wedding was like receiving an early Easter gift.  So much fun and so much connection with her family! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Kayla and Jonathon's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"It was like...something out of Shakespeare. I arrived on to Jonathon's open tract of land. Spanish moss mixed with the spring dappled the land's vibrant greenery.  Boats drifted by in the near distance.  Birds chirped.  Bridesmaids sauntered.  The bride beamed." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Kayla and Jonathon's wedding on April 1, 2017.

"It was like...something out of Shakespeare. I arrived on to Jonathon's open tract of land. Spanish moss mixed with the spring dappled the land's vibrant greenery.  Boats drifted by in the near distance.  Birds chirped.  Bridesmaids sauntered.  The bride beamed." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, April 7, 2017.   This photo is a video still from Kayla and Jonathon's wedding on April 1, 2017.

Confessions: If only...I could go to all the weddings.  Before Saturday, Weenta confessed that she envied me because I got cover to Kayla's wedding. Immediately, I shouted my confession, "I want to cover Mike and Nica!"   Back in January, Mike Paolillo - the groom - collaborated with Love You Back Productions on client communications and marketing strategies. As the executive officer of Flashpoint Agency, a leading marketing firm in the South, Mike's insight was invaluable.

Now, seeing all these video stills from this weekend, I am wistful.  If only I could go to all of the weddings.

Not to be considered cliché.  On Sunday, Weenta and Julia worked side-by-side to document an intimate, candle-lit ceremony at LaTrobe's in the French Quarter.  LaTrobe's on Royal must be highlighted in this post. 

Completed in 1822 as the Louisiana State Bank, Latrobe's is named after its architect: Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Also known as the "Father of American Architecture, his contributions include: the US Capital, the Porticos of the White House, and the Baltimore Basilica...

It's takes a village.  Special thanks go to Rylan of LaTrobe's on Royal. As far as teamwork, harmony, collaboration goes, we enjoyed working with LaTrobe's venue coordinator, Rylan.   Rylan ensured the entire event proceeded swimmingly for everyone.  From the videographers to the photographers traveling in from Philadelphia, to the youngest guest to the eldest hailing from across the country, everyone marveled and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  

Yipee!!! Congratulations to all those getting married in New Orleans during this perfect Spring! We look forward to more shoots at LaTrobe's on Royal. 

All together now. TTTTTTTTAAAAAARRRR HEALS!!!!! TEAMWORK makes.... champions! 

I am the daughter of an UNC alumnus and strident Tar Heels fan.  Thus, I must take a moment to honor University of North Carolina Basketball.   On Monday, Tar Heels won the 2017 NCAA Men's basketball champions. Woohoo! 

Also, my family moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to Tar Heel City, better known as Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Thus, it's not just me.  My close friends have skin in the game, too.  Check it out!

Thanks so much for tuning in, y'all!

 

Love You Back x1,000,

Julia

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: "And the winner is L....La La Land." by Love You Back Productions

On Monday, we executed our pitch for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans' Women-in-Business Challenge.  It was flawless. 100%.  A++!! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017

On Monday, we executed our pitch for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans' Women-in-Business Challenge.  It was flawless. 100%.  A++!! - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017

And the winner is L….La La Land. [Pause]  We didn’t win.  But, on Monday, our pitch execution was excellent. 100%.  A++.  Weenta and I were “second by a hair’s breath” was the review I received over and over.   The Urban League's Women-in-Business Challenge concerns scalability and strategic growth for already established, women-owned businesses.  Not until seeing and hearing our fellow finalists’ business pitches did I really apprehend the fact—   our peers in the competition are all 5-10 years in their respective businesses.  

Of course, Weenta and I have all of 3 roller-coaster months to our name.  Wow, it speaks so much to be working alongside such successful inspiring women as Danielle Mitchel at Mitchel Marketing Group, LLC; Anna Finch of Realized Designs/Realized Partners/Realized Partners, LLC; and Diane Bias of Jin Jenes Productions

Genuinely, writing this WEEK IN REVIEW, I feel humbled.   

"Keynote speaker, Ms. Bevy Smith. Her storytelling craft went beyond." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017 

"Keynote speaker, Ms. Bevy Smith. Her storytelling craft went beyond." - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017 

When the Keynote speaker drops the mic, we all gush.  The Urban League of Lousiana’s Women-in-Business Challenge key note speaker was Ms. Bevy Smith - https://www.noew.org/speakers/bevy-smith.  Her storytelling craft went beyond.

What was it? It was 20 minutes of philosophy-infused, personal experience storytelling.  A combination of business and life anecdotes and adages.  Some points I took home: “I am committed to a creative life.”  Re: business philosophy, Smith asked the crowd, “who here considers themselves a hustler?”  I raised my hand.  Her response was, “I am not a hustler. I am strategic planner…[because] the middle is the meat. In the middle, we no longer hustle. We strategize.”   The so-called "middle" being referred to here is the stage of business development that comes after startup and before crafting a household name.

 Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Julia Elizabeth Evans.

 Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Julia Elizabeth Evans.

"NOEW is dope."  Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Weenta Girmay.

"NOEW is dope."  Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Weenta Girmay.

 “Damn girl, you just made me into a businesswoman!” - Julia to Weenta after pitch. Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Weenta Girmay.

 “Damn girl, you just made me into a businesswoman!” - Julia to Weenta after pitch. Photograph taken on Monday, March 20th 2017 by Weenta Girmay.

Feeling so humbled to be working alongside such successful inspiring women. Congratulations, Anna Finch of Realized Designs!!!! You rocked it, girl. For real. For reeeeal! - Julia

Feeling so humbled to be working alongside such successful inspiring women. Congratulations, Anna Finch of Realized Designs!!!! You rocked it, girl. For real. For reeeeal! - Julia

NOEW is dope. Also, as it turns out, [in my opinion] New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is one of the dopest NOLA festivals. Full stop. 

I turned to Weenta after our pitch. “Damn girl, you just made me into a businesswoman!” And what arena to “come out” as an entrepreneur!  :)

"Now is the time for action.  Less distractions.”  Except when it comes to boys. ;-) - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017

"Now is the time for action.  Less distractions.”  Except when it comes to boys. ;-) - Julia Elizabeth Evans, March 24, 2017

Switch. Pivot. Go. No more distractions. Then, re-start all over again. There’s a pattern— a specific ebb and flow to being entrepreneur. Weenta and I worked for 9 months to plan, research, strategize, re-stratetgize, succeed, estimate, try out things.  With the business growth plan completed, our pitch skills honed and successfully harnessed, now is time for action.  Less distractions.  More opportunity for trial and error.  Wish the company luck on our big client presentation, coming up next week.

While I take some vacation time, Weenta is going in- lone wolf style. hehe.

Note: this video defines Julia’s current, music video aesthetic — Saturated yellows. Primary colors spun in patterns.  Tiny, “cutie” gemstone details.  Yah, yah, yah!

Shout out to Kehlani! Hell yah!

Gotta finish this post!

Gotta finish this post!

Gotta love the boy-dude!

Gotta love the boy-dude!

Gotta love this life! :-)

Gotta love this life! :-)

Special shout out to our boy-dudes, Seth and Nik, for y’alls unerring support.  Flowers were nice, too!  Come to think of it, the fresh bouquet of flowers is nice in the precisely the same way the colors in Kehlani’s “Distraction” video are nice in precisely.   Yah, yah, yah!Thanks, y’all!!  

Yay! Vacay. Vacay!  Y’all, I want to record all my notes from NOEW on this blog, but….can’t a girl get a little vacation in? Just kidding. I love this blog.  I love everything Love You Back Productions, especially the company’s sweet little writing outlet.  Sending y’all all my love as bang out this post on the bumpy ride to Aspen. 

Look out NOEW 2018! Seriously. I am counting down the days till next year’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Cannot wait for next year. I’m bummed I could only make it out Monday and Tuesday.  Energy, inspiration, education, opportunity, encouragement, enlightenment….really all things positive fills the atmosphere at NOEW.  And it’s all FREE. Thanks so much IDEA VILLAGE for your round-the-clock work. 

Y’all! One last thing.   Check this lady out. Woah.  Can you imagine?  #Goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love You Back (x1,000),

Julia!

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Pitch Time! by Love You Back Productions

How we feel right now. 

How we feel right now. 

We're two days away from pitching at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week...and we couldn't be more excited!

Although we've learned a lot of invaluable lessons from this Women in Business Challenge, the one thing we won't miss is working both on our pitch AND in our business. It's been a difficult balance these past 5 months, and we're glad to be birthing our presentation and shifting focus back onto growing our business.

Uh, yeah. Also how we feel right now. 

Uh, yeah. Also how we feel right now. 

This past weekend, Julia and I put the finishing touches on our powerpoint slides for the pitch presentation. We were editing the slides all the way up until the last minute, not because we put them off, but because we were still catching up on work from the bridal show we did the week prior. 

The rules and guidelines prohibited us from using gifs or videos in our presentation, which was a huge bummer. Although with some creativity, we still managed to infuse our personality and brand into the slides. 

We did a final run through of our pitch, with our excellent pitch coach, Desiree Young.

Julia and I as we time our final run through, complete with slide clicker. 

Julia and I as we time our final run through, complete with slide clicker. 

We did an on-air radio interview alongside two other pitch finalists, Diane Bias and Danielle Mitchell on WBOK. Both of these ladies have done an awesome job throughout this competition and sent us good vibes throughout. 

From left to right: Diane Bias, Jin Jeans Productions, Danielle Mitchell, Mitchell Marketing Group, Rachel Graham, WBOK host and founder of Small Hinges Communications firm, Julia and Weenta. 

From left to right: Diane Bias, Jin Jeans Productions, Danielle Mitchell, Mitchell Marketing Group, Rachel Graham, WBOK host and founder of Small Hinges Communications firm, Julia and Weenta. 

This is us before going on air. In other news, Julia broke her glasses this week. Can you tell? Her partner Nik fixed them like the champion metalworker and magic maker of things that he is. 

This is us before going on air. In other news, Julia broke her glasses this week. Can you tell? Her partner Nik fixed them like the champion metalworker and magic maker of things that he is. 

The executive director of the Urban League's Women in Business Resource Center, Klassi Duncan, was also on-air with us. Lynette Colin, the previous executive director, phoned in to wish us luck. 

I must admit, I was nervous before we got in the booth. Turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about. We each only spoke on air for about a minute. We all wished we had a little bit more time to talk more about our individual businesses, even if just to mention our websites. 

The interview was conducted by Rachel Graham, who also happens to be a previous Women in Business Challenge finalist and almost-winner.

Before the interview, Rachel told us about her experience as a finalist in last year's challenge. Rachel's company, Small Hinges, is a communications firm that helps African American women candidates get elected to office.

In the distance: Rachel Graham closes out the previous segment of the show, while the WIB finalists wait anxiously in the control room to go on-air.

In the distance: Rachel Graham closes out the previous segment of the show, while the WIB finalists wait anxiously in the control room to go on-air.

She delivered an excellent presentation, but ultimately ended up losing. Most people watching thought she should have won.

So what happened? 

Well, turns out she lost based on one question in the Q/A section of the pitch.

Rachel Graham's pitch at the 2016 Women in Business Challenge. Wow! What an awesome presentation. Sadly, this video cuts short of the infamous Q/A section.

Quentin Messer of the New Orleans Business Alliance, one of the judges for the WIB Challenge, asked if her communications firm would expand its target market to include the hispanic population. 

Her answer: No. That's not her business' area of interest. She specifically serves the African American community.

Many in the audience thought she answered appropriately.

Apparently, Mr. Messer thought she was missing out on a big opportunity. It was a very close and controversial call, but her answer to that one question ended in a win for her competitor, Diva Dawg, a hot dog food truck.

While she wishes she would have won, she did emphasize one good thing about not winning the money: her mom got ill shortly after the competition, and had she won the $10,000 she wouldn't have had the extra time to help her through her illness. 

Rachel's continuing her work as a journalist and plans to return to her company's growth plan in about 18 months. If she could give us any one piece of advice, she said it would be, "don't ever give up or let anything get you down."

We're taking that advice to heart.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: What's Wrong with This Picture? by Love You Back Productions

1. Bring Your A Game = Build Connections! This week Love You Back Productions went all out for the New Orleans Wedding Magazine Love In Bloom Bride Event.   Fun was had by all.  We danced to the live band.  Weenta lost her voice, and we both meet so many amazing people, both future brides as well as fellow wedding industry vendors.   Good times, for sure. 

Get a feel for where Weenta and I were at, watch here: "The Simpsons:Many D'ohs of Homer."

2. What’s wrong with this picture? In last week’s blog post, Weenta mentioned that there is a mistake in our logo signage.  Julia’s boyfriend noticed the mistake, Thanks Nik! As Homer Simpson put it oh so eloquently, “Doh!”   

Phewww.  No one noticed.  At least, no one said anything.  We had a great Bride Show!!!

"We scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.  The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persisitent." 

"We scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.  The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persisitent." 

3. Precision and persistence!  Up until Tuesday this week, our pitch for the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week felt inauthentic.  No way could we become a million dollar business in just 3 years, so we scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.    The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persistent.  

On Tuesday (just hours before the big bride show),  Love You Back Productions met with our Women-in-Business Challenge pitch advisor, Desireé H. Young - Founder and CEO of Venturewalk.com.  Desireé honed in and channeled our principles. We are looking at a 5 year growth plan, and Desiree was clever to point out, “Sounds like what Love You Back Productions makes in is what you used to make in a year.”  

Yup.  Woah.  Thanks for your precision on that point, Desireé.  

An exclusive look at the Nine Times Second Line Parade in New Orleans which was themed “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter. http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/t2wzbk/mtvnews-series-inside-the-new-orleans-nine-times-second-line-parade

4. Slo-mo, short documentaries here! There! Everywhere! These days one cannot click a link for an independent documentary and not catch some stunning slow-motion video work.  Whether this style technique is pervasive or no?  I can still dig it.

Check out this very poignant, focused short piece about the intersections of New Orleans second line culture and Black Lives Matter activism.   Featured as a talking head is A Scribe Called Quess, a previous collaborator for Love You Back Productions’ first video production project. 

Feeling dreamy? Tune in! Julia describes her experience of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

5. Our Mardi Gras!   I (Julia) made this little video about my experience of Carnival in New Orleans. Watch and feel a charmed and dreamy with me. 

 

 

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Keeping it Real by Love You Back Productions

This week, Weenta and Julia decide to keep it real...

Mood.

Mood.

More mood.

More mood.

We were filmed for an interview about our business for the Women in Business Challenge. Part of the interview will be screened during the competition.

It felt really strange being on the other side of the camera, and to be honest, it wasn't our best interview. We were both tired and stressed and felt like our answers weren't as genuine as they should be.

Pretty much the mood of our on-camera interview for the Women in Business Challenge. 

Why? Because we felt pressured to say we'd be a $1 million dollar business in 3 years, even though we thought that goal wasn't realistic.  

That's why this week, we decided to revise our Women in Business pitch to reflect our actual progress in business thus far. That means changing our projection that we'll be a $1 million dollar business in 3 years to a projection that we'll be a $1 million dollar business in 5 years. Way more feasible, if you ask us. 

That also means getting real about how broke we were 2 years ago, even if it doesn't look pretty. 

Those were desperate times.

Those were desperate times.

We're almost all prepped for our bridal show on March 7th--that's this Tuesday! 

Part of our bridal show prep is a new pricing increase. After the last round of wedding videos, Julia realized that we weren't compensating ourselves for the amount of time and attention we spend on each wedding video. 

You can see our new pricing and package offers in our pricing section. Here are the prices as discounted for the upcoming bridal show:

Speaking of bridal prep, this morning we spotted this mistake on our banner for the bridal show. See it?:

Can you believe we've printed this twice without realizing? Epic fail. 

Can you believe we've printed this twice without realizing? Epic fail. 

We're returning to our creative roots. Upon reflection, we realized our lives as businesswomen have completely eclipsed our creative lives. We want to bring more joy to our work and incorporate more creative projects. Our first idea is to film a music video--which is really where this whole thing started. 

Julia and I met making a music video for Tank and the Bangas. Yesterday morning, we saw that Tank and the Bangas won NPR's 2017 Tiny Desk Concert. Hurrah!

We were mesmerized by Tank's and the gang's infectious, fun-loving energy while working with them. We couldn't be more proud that they're getting the recognition they deserve. Most importantly, it reminded us that's the kind of work we got into this business to make and we shouldn't lose sight of that.

Here's their winning video, a song called "Quick" that has Tank both singing and rapping:

The decision to choose Tank and the Bangas as the winners was unanimous among the 10 judges of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. "Tank is a force of nature, just full of joy — and her band is killing in the background." - Trey Anastasio, Tiny Desk Concert Judge

Look out for next week's blog post, which will include a bridal show recap (and this time we'll remember to take pictures. Lots of them!