This story was originally published in Metreopreneur January 26, 2011.
As founder of SlapStik Entertainment LLC, an independent multimedia company located in Columbus, Swain features comedians, as well as relevant news and events in the world of comedy from around the globe.
“We talk dirty, but we don’t air dirty laundry,” Swain says. “I think that’s what makes us unique in the market. I think that’s what makes us unique and why comedians reach out to us.”
Dubbed “Little Oprah” by her inner comedian circle, Swain’s original dream was to become a reporter. She studied broadcast journalism at Wright State University and continues her marketing degree at St. Claire Community College.
While a student at Wright State, Swain founded SlapStik in 2002 with a clear mission.
“I wanted to fill the void I saw in terms of comedy publications, create something off the way and, quite frankly, do something that I would really enjoy and make me laugh,” Swain says.
Though she has guided her growing multi-media company and booked comedy shows for nine years now, Swain admits that if she knew what it would take to make SlapStik happen, she might not have started the business.
“I am the company,” she adds. “Everything is up to me and in my hands.”
An upside to owning her own business is the opportunity to interact with comedians and writers throughout the county, Swain says, estimating that SlapStik will have distribution deals in 16 states in 2012.
“It’s exciting to see international hits on our website,” she continues. “We began working with international reporters to gather content from across the country so we can speak to our growing global audience.”
However, SlapStik’s growth has come at a cost.
“I’m on the road an average of 30 weeks a year, promoting comedians and running the business,” Swain says.
In fact, the extensive travel was a factor in her decision to return to the Columbus area from Las Vegas.
“When I receive emails at 4 a.m. from my team, I feel like I should be working too, so it’s difficult to give the business and my two kids the attention they need,” Swain says. “As a single mother to 13 and 10-year-old boys, my mother is great and helps me when I’m traveling.”
Through the years, Swain has learned some important lessons that now shape her business approach, she says, adding that in 2011, “I will be more purposeful in my planning, execution, and networking”.
“You never know who you will meet and what opportunities will come from that,” she says of the latter.
She should know. An accidental meeting resulted in Swain booking a comedy show for United Way of Union County.
Swain also hopes to make SlapStik magazine a monthly, rather than quarterly, publication and do more comedy event booking and promotion in the new year.
To learn more about SlapStik Entertainment LLC, visit SlapStik.com.