“With resources like the Denver Metro Chamber and the Denver Metro SBDC – and a community of entrepreneurs and leaders who are so willing to share their insights – I have to admit, learning how to run a business has been one of my greatest joys.” Naomi Binkley, founder and managing partner of Fireside Production said.
Naomi Binkley and Tom McDonald make their living telling others’ stories through video. They are committed to bringing creativity, leveraging technology and taking a genuine interest in every project. Now that their business is entering its teenage years, they’re focused on sustaining and growing their company.
Their business started out of necessity.
In 2005, she left her full-time career as a journalist to raise her and McDonald’s daughter. When the downturn hit, much of her freelance work dried up: “Suddenly, we were up a baby – down a salary.”
As they were figuring out their next step, people they knew were asking them to shoot projects, script or voice videos. They started by borrowing or renting equipment and slowly saving up money after each project to purchase their own gear.
By February 2006, they decided to name their venture. Fireside Production was born.
As with many entrepreneurs, Binkley and her husband were experts in their trade, but were new to running a business. They had to connect with the right people and businesses and build the right skills and support to build Fireside.
Binkley began to engage with the Chamber and Denver Metro SBDC in 2009, receiving one-on-one consulting and attending programs. They also applied for Emerging Business of the Year Award in 2011 at the Chamber’s Business Awards – becoming a finalist that year and winning the following. Today, they sponsor the event and provide video services for it.
“The relationships that we’ve built through the Chamber over the past seven years have been some of the most powerful – and meaningful – of my life,” Binkley said. “I’ve made friends. I’ve learned about myself and developed my strengths and skills. I’ve gained new insights into our community.”
As the Fireside team – now five strong – looks to the future, they’re focused on smart growth. They’ve recently added drone video to their arsenal of offerings and have developed their own apprenticeship program to grow their team, Binkley said: “We are working to achieve that delicate balance of maintaining the quality and spirit that Fireside is known for – while needing to add (and pay for) new members to the Fireside team to ensure we can continue to turn videos for our clients quickly and meet demand.”