Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Whitmore.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Laura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I founded the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) in 2012. I was writing a blog for Guitar World that focused on female players called Guitar Girl’d and I realized I kept hearing the same stories. “They thought I was the merch girl. I’m ignored at music stores. No one shares our stories…” At some point it dawned on me that I didn’t know a ton of women in the industry myself. So I decided to launch the very first She Rocks Awards to bring women together and honor role models. Since then it’s snowballed into a much larger movement with loads of folks involved, both men and women. Our mission is to create a hub for information, education and to amplify women’s voices in the industry. You join our free mailing list at thewimn.com to find out more.
Aside from all of that, I am myself a singer/songwriter with a project coming out later this year. It’s an album focused entirely on inspiring, empowering pop songs for girls called, Girl, the album. I wrote it with my creative partner, Jenna Paone, and we have loads of special guests performing and producing on it. We have a Kickstarter campaign going live in September to help fund the production and loads of industry support. We even have some perks from M.A.C Cosmetics, who have been super helpful and supportive. We have a site live at girlthealbum.com
I also run two other businesses. The first is Mad Sun Marketing, which I founded 10 years ago. We are a small team that specializes in marketing and PR for the music industry. We work with a variety of music brands like Music & Arts, Future publishing, S.I.R and many more. You can find out more at mad-sun.com
And finally, my partner Brad Tolinski and I founded Backstory Events three years ago. We produce a series of interview events that are live streamed from venues in New York City with media partners like Guitar World and Parade magazine. See more at backstoryevents.com
Has it been a smooth road?
Hahahaha. If anyone has told you it’s been a smooth road, they probably haven’t tried hard enough. There have been more bumps large and small than you can possibly imagine. What I’ve learned over the years is that sometimes things work…which is amazing. And sometimes they don’t, which sucks. And then sometimes they don’t in a spectacularly embarrassing fashion, but even then, you don’t die. You somehow power through.
There have certainly been times when I didn’t get the job I wanted, didn’t make the event happen the way I hoped and so much more. But what I’ve found is that there is even opportunity in failure. Some of my worst failures have led to the most amazing new directions down paths I never would have traveled.
I have definitely bumped up against the “woman in the industry” bias, and that has sucked. I have had clients who didn’t pay, internet connections that went down in the middle of a huge live stream, and so much more. The best strategy is to have a plan B. Then when disaster strikes you aren’t completely making it up from scratch…although that sometimes happens too!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Women’s International Music Network – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’ll start with the WiMN. I’m very proud of how this organization has grown very organically into a group that really supports each other. We try to make what we are doing available to everyone, sometimes for free if we can. Our goal is to amplify what everyone is doing in the industry, so we post news and events that other organizations are hosting so that they can be seen by a larger audience. We strive to make things visible in as large a way as possible.
As far as Mad Sun Marketing goes, we are fairly unique in the industry. All of us are musicians. We are all writers. We can shoot and edit video, create social media and so much more. We are passionate users of music products, and truly enjoy participating on both sides of the table in the industry that’s focused on music creation. We can be very gorilla about finding ways to help our clients get the word out. We are often very non-traditional and like to integrate all the facets and avenues we have at our disposal for our clients’ benefit.
I also do a lot of public speaking within the music industry, hosting panels on topics like diversity, the future of guitar, social media, video tips and more. I often present workshops on marketing for musicians and like the share my knowledge and experience.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Well, I don’t personally live in LA, but I love it. I’ve noticed that it’s so accepted to have a career in a creative field there, and that is so refreshing. That doesn’t happen everywhere, and many times people don’t understand how or why you would pursue a creative career that you might not make a ton of money in.
I like that there are amazing restaurants, lots of music venues and loads of musicians. When I come to town I never run out of interesting people to meet with, and fantastic things to do!
- Website: http://www.thewimn.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/the_wimn
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewimn
- Twitter: twitter.com/the_wimn
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/thewimn
Kevin Graft for main photo and live performance photo.