Today we’d like to introduce you to Renaudo Christiansen-Robinson.
Renaudo, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was in grad school, I was doing a lot of freelance work as a violinist with various community orchestras, wedding gigs, corporate events and teaching. As I neared graduation, I accepted a full-time job managing two dance studios in Chicago.
The longer I worked in that role, the more I learned about managing a small business. I often picked the owner’s brain because I was impressed with how successful she was. One particular thing that struck me was that she told me it all began with her teaching dance lessons in her living room. Yet, she had built this small yet very successful business. It was also very stable: totally untouched by the recession.
So I learned a lot in that role, both about business management and event coordination, as that’s what that role demanded. And the more I learned, the more I realized that I could use the exact same model with music. So I decided to choose a company name, built my own website and use my knowledge of music and business to branch out on my own.
It’s really quite amazing actually, just thinking about how all of this fell together. You see, when I was at the University of Michigan, I joined the ballroom dance team for fun and I fell in love. So when I went to grad school, I located a dance studio where I could practice even though my focus of my studies was music. So one day as I was practicing, the owner of this dance studio in Chicago approached me. Apparently, someone had mentioned to her that I was looking for a part-time job and referred me. She pulled me off the floor and asked if I wanted to chat about it. So we sat on the couch and just had an informal chat, which concluded with “So. If you want the job it’s yours.” It was great and totally unexpected. Although, it’s rather amusing to think that what turned out to later be my first real job, involved an interview I took in a tank top and running pants! – I’d just finished practicing.
Anyway, it started as a part-time job and as I was nearing graduation, it became a full-time job that taught me a lot about running a small business. Now, I contract musicians and dancers for various events as a business of my own. So that’s how I got started.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road for the most part has been smooth. It helped that I began a lot of this while I was in school. I made a lot of connections that way. So during my time in Chicago, it was relatively smooth.
However this past year, I decided I needed a change. So I picked up everything and moved to San Diego 3 months ago. I didn’t know anyone. So it was quite a risk, and I’m still getting settled. But I’ve already began building partnerships with local music studios and networking to establish relationships here in San Diego. So things are slow now, but I’m confident they’ll pick up.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about RGR Booking & Management – what should we know?
RGR Booking & Management provides musicians and dancers for a wide range of engagements.
For private and corporate events, I offer both solo violin, string trios and string quartets for those looking to enhance their event with live music.
Another service I offer is private violin lessons for ages 8 through adult.
Lastly, I offer services for weddings: string trios and quartets, private dance lessons for a couple’s first dance and even miscellaneous engagements. For example, I’ve offered private group dance classes for a bride-to-be, who was looking for a fun Jazz Funk routine to learn with her bridesmaids as part of the day events for her bachelorette party.
I believe what sets me apart is that I’m all about quality. So those musicians and dancers who work with me are hand-selected. Furthermore, I do what I do because I enjoy it: not because I’m out to get people’s money. So I have no qualms about turning down a request, if I am not confident that I can truly deliver. I think that sets me apart from a lot of businesses.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve definitely had many teachers and mentors. All of my musical training and dance training comes from people who’ve been instrumental in being where I am today.
There are too many individuals to name, but I can say that one person who helped me learn about business management was the owner/director of the dance studio, whom I referenced in the answer to the first question. (I’m not sure whether she would want her name and/or company printed. Thus, I won’t provide them at this time.)
- Website: www.renaudorobinson.com
Anuradhika Roy, Dave Rentauskas, Cierra Asmond