How do you turn doom and gloom into boom?

There have been so many products that launched like a rocket, had their extended day and then crashed to earth like a meteor.

Many thought they would last forever.

A few come to mind.

How many record playing turn tables have you bought recently? How many phone booths have you entered into lately? Okay, so you don’t want to go outside to use the phone thus if you stay inside when was the last time you dialed on a rotary phone?

Should we even get started on the typewriter?

Remember Blockbuster? Some of us use to live there. It was so much fun and very social going in to rent a video, knowing the staff very well because you are there all of the time and at one time they were booming.

Few saw their demise.

As reported at on May 28, 2015, “By the 1990s, the CD reigned supreme. As the economy boomed, annual global sales surpassed 1bn in 1992 and 2bn in 1996, and the profit margins were the stuff of dreams. The CD was cheaper than vinyl to manufacture, transport and rack in stores, while selling for up to twice as much. Even as costs fell, prices rose.”

The CD is on the way out, right?

In September of 2015, according to, “Sales of CDs in the US dropped by 31.5% in the first half of 2015, according to music industry figures.

Just 41 million CDs were bought between January and June, down from 56.8 million in the same period last year.”

It raises an important question?

Can you innovate a dying industry and make it relevant again? Create a new niche?

There are some wonderful girls who have done just that.

As reported at on May 28, 2015, “By the 1990s, the CD reigned supreme. As the economy boomed, annual global sales surpassed 1bn in 1992 and 2bn in 1996, and the profit margins were the stuff of dreams. The CD was cheaper than vinyl to manufacture, transport and rack in stores, while selling for up to twice as much. Even as costs fell, prices rose.”

Please meet Zine Pak. article. photo credit

ZinePak is an American music and publishing company founded in 2011.

ZinePak was launched in January 2011 by founders Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe.

The two women met while working at Fathom Communications in 2010, with Brittany coming from a background in music and Kim coming from a background in publishing, specifically having worked for Conde Nast Publications.

ZinePak’s first and primary distributor was Walmart, which was interested in finding a way to combat declining music sales due to piracy and online downloads. article. photo credit

According to Geri Stengel of Forbes Magazine, founders “Hodak and Kaupe came up with a business model that compete[d] with the lure of online purchasing and piracy. Passionate music fans want more than just music. They want an experience. When you’re not attending a concert, interacting with memorabilia achieves that. ZinePak packages a CD with a fan magazine and other items that tie to the musician, such as posters, guitar picks, and even branded greeting cards and perfume samples. These engage listeners in a personalized experience with the musician”.

Okay, we think we get it. So the CD experience is not quit dead, especially when you combine the purchase with other products.

Good idea.

No, make that a great idea.

Let’s look at their Mission Statement on Facebook. “To delight and inspire fans by creating amazing, exclusive collectibles.

Our award-winning editorial and creative teams have one mission: to delight and inspire fans by creating exclusive, curated content. Our unique configuration is structured to support every kind of entertainment platform, so every package—whether it’s a traditional ZinePak release or another customized ZinePak product—is one-of-a-kind. Whether you’re a brand, artist, entertainment franchise, or athlete, ZinePak can take your audience engagement to the next level.”

Very good.

Let’s travel to their website “Every brand has a story. Ours began in 2010, when co-founders Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe met at a New York City advertising agency. The pair shared a passion for pop culture and a desire to connect brands and entertainers with their fans in more exciting ways, so they founded ZinePak (pronounced ZEEN-pack, a fusion of the words “magazine” and “package”), together with Creative Director Abby Downing, to create tangible products for SuperFans. Within weeks, the first ZinePak release was on shelves in Walmart stores nationwide.

In the five years since, ZinePak has grown into a company of dedicated SuperFans, who’ve worked with entertainers as diverse as Katy Perry and KISS; properties ranging from Frozen to Orange Is The New Black; teams including the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets; and brands including Unilever, MillerCoors, and American Express. Millions of fans have spent more than $30 million dollars buying ZinePak products in 20 countries.

ZinePak and its founders have earned recognition on 30 Under 30 and 40 Under 40 lists in Advertising Age, Forbes, Billboard, and Inc., among others. ZinePak was named 2014’s Most Disruptive Young Company in Marketing by Empact at the United Nations. We even reeled in some sharks on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, getting six-figure offers from four of the five panelist Sharks.”

Are you not entertained?

We certainly are. Their innovative success is garnering a load of attention. article. photo credit

ZinePak has produced ZinePaks for clients including Maroon 5, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Pitch Perfect 2, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Chesney, Katy Perry, Miranda Lambert, R5, Guardians of the Galaxy, Styx, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, KIDZ BOP, the Academy of Country Music, Disney’s Frozen, Justin Bieber, Lindsey Stirling, No Doubt, KISS, Dove, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Johnny Cash, Dr. Pepper, Rascal Flatts, American Idol, Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Selena Gomez, Florida Georgia Line, The Best of Me, American Girl, Toby Keith, and Mary J. Blige.

The Beach Boys released a ZinePak upon their 50th anniversary, which according to Billboard, included “a 72-page magazine featuring rare photos and new interviews with Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine and David Marks, plus collectible postcards and an 11-track CD.”

Most impressive is that the company has taken no venture capital and was completely self-funded by the founders. As of early 2013 ZinePak has sold over one million ZinePaks.

Co-founders Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe appeared on the April 24, 2015 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank and struck a deal with Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec, receiving $725,000 for a 17.5% stake in ZinePak. article. photo credit

There is a strong life lesson here. Perhaps many.

Here is one from our vantage point.

Life is constantly evolving and changing. Listen to your vision, listen to your dreams and stay with your mission, no matter what others say to the contrary if you truly believe in what you are doing.

When Femcompetitor Magazine launched in May of 2015, we never dreamed that this publication alone would surge to over 3.5 million sites views in just 2-1/2 years.

We have used only our own money.

And what about vinyl? Is it really dead?

The same article as stated above shares, “The vinyl resurgence continued apace, amid a surge in new independent record shops.

Sales of LPs grew by 52% in the first half of the year, raking in $221.8m (£143m) – roughly half as much as CD sales.”


In life you should never say never, right? article. photo credit

With vision, drive, sacrifice, innovation and passion you can achieve virtually anything you want.

Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe have taught us that to the sound of beautiful music.

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