We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Tripp of Tripp Films and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I started college, I had no idea that filmmaking/videography could be a career, let alone my business! My first semester I took a class completely unrelated to my major called “The History of World Cinema.” It introduced me to a whole new world, and I immediately fell in love with all aspects of film! Needless to say, I ended up changing my major to Film. Looking back at my childhood, I loved movies and always chose to make videos for class projects, so it makes sense now.
I was able to intern and work for people who owned their own businesses, so I became familiar with that environment and knew pretty early on that I wanted to go that route. I was drawn to the drive and creativity it takes to run your own business and also the perks of autonomy and flexibility. When I moved to Houston five years ago, I really began to explore what it would look like to run my own business. Through a series of providential events, I was introduced to the small business and creative community here and started getting asked to do brand-style films for them. In 2016 I went on an epic road trip along the west coast that completely blew my mind and changed my perspective: I didn’t want to waste any more time doing things I didn’t care about. I had known for some time that I wanted to start my business, so why wait any longer? I came back from the trip and within a few weeks had started Tripp Films.
Let’s talk shop. Tell us more about your career and what you’ve learned along the way, what can you share with our community?
I work with businesses to produce story-focused cinematic films that engage their customers in a meaningful way. My goal is to build trust and connection between a brand and its customers through a beautifully-crafted film. My working style is organic, personal and approachable in order to help people open up and feel comfortable in front of the camera. An honest approach produces a genuine and relatable story.
Professionally, I believe that kindness, hard work and timely communication go a long way. I think the two biggest lessons I have learned in owning my own business are to trust your gut and that it’s ok to say no. When you do have to say no to people, it’s important to do so with kindness and be direct.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a fun question! I think the best thing about Houston is the food. We would start off the day at Throughgood for coffee and pastries. Then head to the Arboretum for a mid-morning walk. Lunch at Cantina Barba for cheap and yummy tacos. In the afternoon, we would go to the Museum of Fine Arts followed by pre-dinner beers and good vibes at St. Arnold’s. Then it’s dinner at Coltivare or Georgia James if we’re feeling a little fancy. I’ll always pick ice cream over a cocktail, so we’d end that night at Fat Cat Creamery.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my family. My parents have always believed in my brother and me and encouraged us to follow our passions. We both chose to go into creative/artistic fields, and they never once doubted our decisions to follow that path. I probably didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back now, I know that not all parents would support that type of career path. I also would like to dedicate this shoutout to my husband Jordan, who is the steady rock I need to keep me grounded. He believes in my abilities, trusts my decisions and brings a level of perspective needed to keep pushing forward.
Other: firstname.lastname@example.org https://vimeo.com/nikkilarancetripp
Lightbulb League Layla Hillail Tripp Films