There’s nothing Booked Parties loves more than supporting the creative, energetic spirit of entrepreneurs. Recently, we are finding inspiration by setting our sights a bit lower…literally. A new crop of entrepreneurs are on the rise, but you won’t find them running their businesses between the hours of 9am to 3pm when school is in session. Gone are the days of paper boys and lemonade stands. Today’s young business owners are savvy beyond belief, successfully identifying niche business models and leveraging the power of social media in a manner that’s so natural to them, it’s staggering to us grown-ups. The children are clearly ready to lead the future.
As the son of a well-known local photographer, Jessica Paschkes, Zachary Paschkes is accustomed to being in front of the camera. He came to find, however, that he’s equally comfortable behind the camera. Inspired to begin his own endeavor six months ago, Zachary launched Vidkid, a business focused on bringing quality video to its customers. Zachary specializes in editing photos and videos or shooting original footage that he skillfully sets to music. Despite being only 11, Zachary is a seasoned professional – for some kids, their business is in their blood.
We sat down with this young entrepreneur to learn more.
How did you become interested in videography?
I’ve always been interested in videography and was inspired by my mom, who’s a photographer. Last year, I had a YouTube channel where I edited and posted short videos. Back in 3rdand 4thgrade, I was into wrestling and a group of friends and I wrote scripts around videos that we shot. It’s been a hobby of mine for awhile.
How did you get the idea for turning this hobby into a business?
One day, I tagged along with my mom to a shoot and decided to take video of the experience. After I edited it down, I realized that the final product was good and something that can turn into a business.
What are the core services of your business?
My website, outlines my services. The most popular service is creating videos based on personal photos and videos people have taken on their trips. Once I have everything, I organize it all, edit it together and add music and transitions to create a video montage. Usually, I coordinate the music that’s playing to the subject of the video so that everything looks really cool. I incorporate all different kinds of music depending on the style of the video and what the customer likes.
I also provide videographer services and have shot a few events for Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester including an Israeli fashion show and my favorite, an Israeli cooking competition that I edited to look like a Top Chef style food show. I bring in my own equipment including a Nikon camera and tripod – I may opt to use different equipment based on the event. For example, I used a special time lapse attachment to shoot very fast still image media to record a Lego-building Menorah event for the Temple. That turned out really great.
How do you promote your business?
It’s mainly word-of-mouth and social media. My mom helps me by posting on her Facebook page and on the Chappaqua Moms group. I also have a whole bunch of examples of my work on the website, so people can see what I do.
What advice has your mom given you and how has that inspired your own work?
She gives me tons of advice! She taught me everything I know from using iMovie to shooting video to just about everything.
How do you balance running a business with all of the other activities involved in just being a kid?
It’s manageable – I usually stick to one or two clients a week. I only shoot on weekends and try to balance shooting and editing time with homework. Some weekends, I might spend an entire day just editing!
Are there any challenges you experienced along the way that you didn’t anticipate and, if so, how did you handle them?
Yes, I’ve had tons of technological challenges! Just a few weeks ago, I was editing a big video and my computer stopped working. I’ve also had some video shooting problems. But, no matter what happens, I take my time and try my best to fix the problem. I’ve never missed a deadline and have always been able to deliver to the customer in under a week, as I promise.
What advice can you give other kids looking to become “mini movers & shakers”?
Even if you experience challenges, keep trying. If you do your best, eventually it will be good and your business will grow.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
At this point I’m not that sure. There are so many new jobs that are going to be created before I start working! I could be a film director or professional photographer like my mom, but it all depends on how the world and technology changes!
Photographs provided by VidKid.
Shauna Levy is a writer, communications professional and a stay-at-home mom. Her interests include flaunting her discount shopping finds, cooking food her children reject and restoring her 125-year old home. She is currently raising three boys, ages 9, 6 and 5 alongside her husband in Chappaqua, NY.