We had the good fortune of connecting with John Stephens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was the lead engineer at one of Houston’s top commercial recording studios for 5 years before deciding to start my own business; a private recording studio in Houston’s East End. For me, the choice was more about quality and the ability to choose what projects I take on and which ones I recommend to other audio engineers. When you’re working at a commercial studio, the idea is that you take every session that comes through the door because simply running a facility like this comes with a lot more overhead cost. I wanted to focus more on projects that I felt I could personally contribute to and enjoy the process for. Third Coast Recording Co. has enabled me to serve a diverse community of artists around our city, state and from across the country. The main thought behind a great deal of the forming of my company was always to elevate the production value of the local artistic community here without having to break the bank in the process.
What role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m a firm believer in asking the universe for what you want and taking the risks necessary to provide that opportunity. I gambled what was essentially mine and my wife’s entire savings account to finance the equipment to start the studio with 0 guarantees that this would actually work out. In August we celebrated the 5 year anniversary of the business. When I’m not working I’m thinking about my work. I spend 5-6 days a week, every week, in the studio and even on days when I don’t have a paying client on the books I work in the studio to provide the best possible experience for the next client; considering ways to upgrade equipment or maximize productivity. Running your own business is never easy but if you love what you do, it is rewarding. I try to remind myself often of where I started and where I am now.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To eat: Tacos Bomberos, Paulie’s, Moontower Inn. To drink: Xela, Lil Danny’s, Moontower Inn, To see: The Menil, Rothko Chapel
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Xela Coffee Roasters for fueling me on a daily basis.
Photos by Daniela Hernandez