Detroit Mom’s Local Love series highlights local women and the businesses they have built. We love supporting small business! Today’s Local Love Spotlight belongs to Robin Kinnie, owner of Audio Engineers of Detroit and Motor City Woman Studios.
Robin is left-handed and an only child. She grew up with a large extended family, and attended Catholic school. Robin is a member of a Baptist Church.
We asked Robin to share a little bit more about her business with us. Get to know Robin and her business, Motor City Woman Studios, below!
How did you come up with the idea of your business, and how did you start?
“I grew up listening to talk radio and noticed the lack of women in the broadcasting industry. One of my mentors is Martha Jean “The Queen,” a broadcasting and radio legend whose show was broadcast from Detroit. As a Black woman, she was a pioneer and was the foundation for Motor City Woman Studios. We started the company to amplify the voices of women though producing a digital radio station featuring an all-women lineup of show hosts. We started as a side hustle. I was still working full-time and renting studio time from another company. We recruited women with an interest in hosting their own shows and broadcast them on our digital platform. We have expanded over the years to include a second company, Audio Engineers of Detroit, which focuses on training underrepresented populations in the audio industry.”
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
“That was seven years ago so, the online media space has transitioned dramatically. I would have partnered with more women-focused organizations so that we could have created a built-in audience instead of doing it solo.”
What is the best business advice you've ever been given?
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe (not given to me personally of course but, it’s the best business advice).”
Have you faced adversity in business due to being a woman? How did you navigate that? How do you persevere in challenging times?
“Women only make up 5% of audio engineering professionals. Therefore, when I attend conferences, networking events, and meetings, it is not uncommon to be one of the few women in attendance. It doesn’t bother me because I know I deserve to be in those rooms. My strategy has always been to continue learning and networking so that one day it won’t be uncommon to be a woman leader in the audio industry.”
What impact do you want your business to have?
“My vision for both businesses is to work as a pipeline for underrepresented populations in audio. We want to be a company that creates the next generation of audio engineers with training and workshops while also supporting all forms of media creation.”
What are the pros and cons of being a woman business owner in 2022?
“There are numerous pros to being a woman business owner. I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs and it was never presented to me as a viable occupation. However, after having two kids and being pregnant with a third kid, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to parent the way I wanted to while working for someone else. Why does the school day end at 3:00 p.m. and the work day at 5:00 p.m.??? Even with a partner and support system to share the parenting load, I yearned for more flexibility and to be passionate about my work.
“Being able to set my own schedule is the “pro” that caused me to leave my job and remains the top “pro” now. Other pros include being able to see a vision to fruition and support awesome people with their projects. And let’s not forget having an unlimited income because women don’t talk about money enough. One con, if you want to call it that, would be that you have to be a self-starter to survive as a woman business owner. No one is going to spoon feed you. You have to have the confidence to present your business and yourself as the best. Honestly, the pros far outweigh the cons but, I don’t want to sugarcoat being a women business owner. It has all of the freedom but, all of the risk as well. It’s not for everyone.”
What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
“Be crystal clear and laser-focused. It’s easy to try to go with the crowd and follow trendy strategies. However, if you want to start a business, my advice is clear: know your product/service, know your ideal customer, and THINK BIG!”
What do you do for personal and professional development?
“I have a mentor who is part of my “personal Board of Directors.” These are people with a variety of backgrounds who I share business ideas with and keep me focused on my bottom line. I’ve always loved to read but I read business development and personal development books as well as listen to audiobooks and podcasts (of course). I challenge myself to learn about titans of industry (ex. Warren Buffet, Cathy Hughes, Oprah Winfrey) and their journeys. Success leaves clues and being successful isn’t a mystery.”
What mantra or quote do you live by?
“I am healthy, happy, worthy, and wealthy.”
What's your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?
“My home, and Lake Michigan is a close second (I have a lake house on my vision board; I cannot wait to spend vacations there.).”
Where can our readers find you on social media?
You can follow Motor City Woman Studios on Facebook, Instagram, and on their website!