Selling out Cubberley
Publication Date: Wednesday Jun 21, 1995

Selling out Cubberley

Name: Mark Weiss

Business name and address: Earthwise Productions, P.O. Box 60786, Palo Alto, Ca 94306. An events company that features soon-to-be-famous bands locally, mostly at the Cubberley Community Center on Middlefield Road. The music ranges from soft rock to pop.

Size of company: "There are about 12 people, mostly volunteers and consultants."

Why the company is unique: "I am interested in community development and having these events bring the community together. This is not a nightclub atmosphere, which makes it rare."

What I used to do for a living: "I had an advertising and consulting business for five years and before that I worked in ad agencies. My work always got me involved in the community, and it was socially conscious."

How I got started: "Many of my friends were really good in their bands, so for my birthday I held an event with my friends in bands and I got the idea for Earthwise Productions."

How long the company has been in business: "Since July 1994."

Annual sales: "Our goal is $500,000. Right now all I can say is that we are somewhere between zero and $500,000."

Toughest moment so far: "One of the band's, The SF Seals, drummer was pregnant and she had the chicken pox. She was not able to perform, so we were in danger of having them cancel. But, a friend of theirs practiced the drums all night and learned their music, and they sounded great."

Where I get my best ideas: "Well, I always keep my antennas up and I also have inspirational dreams. One book in particular inspired me. It is called 'Ancient Futures' and it was written by Helena Norberg-Hodge."

Biggest obstacle: "Getting the word out. We use fliers, posters, public radio, word of mouth and simple public relations."

A typical day in my business: "I am a one-man company. I have people to work at events, but on a day-to-day basis I answer the phones, book bands with agents, help design ads, answer letters in the mail and listen to tapes that are sent. I also spend an hour every day at Printers Inc. Cafe and go to the city about three nights a week and watch bands."

Next big goal: "I want to sell out Cubberley Community Center. The most seats I have filled are 275, and the center holds 325."

Best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs: "Try to learn from every job you have. If you are patient, opportunity will come. Pounce on opportunity."

--Christine Chianese 

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