Brandon Ross built Abstract Media LLC, his part-time event planning business, in March 2010 by looking for deals on online markets like Craigslist and eBay.
Ross, a policy analyst for the Transportation Cabinet, has a room in his Vicky Way home full of projectors, public address systems, wireless earpieces, and audio and video recorders that he’s collected, mostly through online deals, and rents to customers.
He checks Craigslist and eBay daily for deals on equipment. Ross found a 10-by-10 projection screen worth $1,000 for $170 on Craigslist, a site he prefers because sellers will sometimes accept trades.
In fact, that’s how Ross became interested in black-light parties. He’s put together three in the past nine months, he says.
“I got a black light off Craigslist, and I thought, ‘I’m going to try the black-light parties,’” Ross said.
Ross, 38, bought ultraviolet-reactant makeup, hairspray and paint, which are hard to find in bulk, for the parties, and he says they’re popular for birthdays.
“The only thing I can think is they have seen this on MTV or some other party show,” Ross said. “(The University of Louisville) has a big black-out party every year.”
Aside from parties, Ross can set up or rent equipment for churches, conferences, meetings or other public events, like a showing of last year’s Kentucky Derby at Capital Cellars on the 100-square foot projection screen and setting up mayoral candidate Donna Hecker’s campaign party on election night.
Ross first worked with electronics while selling LCD projectors to churches when he traveled with an evangelist in 1992.
“The projectors were just getting out there, and churches were still using overhead projectors,” Ross said. He rents equipment to two local churches regularly and recently to a revival in Berea.
Charges depend on labor and the extent of work. Ross says he rents projectors for $25 per day and PA systems $35 per week, for example.
Abstract Media is also branching out into marketing and possibly sports recruiting ventures.
Ross said he’s starting to work with businesses on developing web content, chiefly video and audio of events, and linking that material to businesses’ social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. He records and edits all content, he says.
“That’s what brings people back to your site – content,” Ross said. “I think that I can provide digital, audio and video content that’s awesome for web use. It’s not stuff you necessarily want to put on television, but it’s great for the web at a really affordable price.”
Ross also recently shot his first baseball recruiting video for an infielder on Franklin County High School’s baseball team, and he said producing sports recruiting videos could be a new service offered by Abstract Media.
Working for the Transportation Cabinet hampers his availability during the day, but Ross says he’s has found a balance for his two jobs.
“It’s really not that hard because most of the events are in the evening or on the weekend,” Ross said, noting he’s looking for help for busy weekends.
He hopes to pursue a PhD in August 2013 at the University of Kentucky and maintain Abstract Media or another side business for financial support during his studies.
“I really see it as moving in a lot of different directions,” Ross said. “It’s nowhere near what I thought it would be when I started off, and I think that’s part of the marketing process – seeing what your opportunities are and tailoring your business in that direction.”
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