Aderia Johnson, 24, knew her destiny was in the entertainment business. Johnson got the hit play, Platanos and Collard Greens to perform at her college and realized that her love of theater and entertainment could develop into something huge. The event was successful and Johnson began developing her own entertainment and event planning company: PINK LimeLight Productions.
YOUNG MONEY: Tell us about your background.
ADERIA JOHNSON: I graduated from New Jersey City University in May 2008 receiving a B.A. in Television Production and a Minor in Journalism with a 3.0. During my college experience, I was elected as Editor-in-Chief of Tower Yearbook where I originated thematic ideas to represent New Jersey City University through photography and art. In 2006, I traveled to London to study Media and Cultural Studies at Kingston University. Studying issues relating to the production and consumption of media overseas gave me the opportunity to explore film and television in a different light. Therefore, I was able to develop my own practical media skills.
YM: Tell us about your company
AJ: The name of my company is PINK LimeLight Productions, an entertainment event planning company. The company focuses on providing students and organizations with the opportunity to bring unique entertainment experiences to their University. We specialize in booking plays to tour at Universities giving “off – broadway a whole new meaning.” We book the play as a one day event and help with organizing and promoting while at the same time making students feel more in charge of their on campus activities. The plays we book always include original cast members, and set design. It’s a lot of planning but the events are all worth it when students see the outcome.
Future plans of PINK LimeLight Productions include weekly entertainment events that will showcase small and large concerts, guest speakers and DJ’s, book signings and more. We also plan to expand south and west coast providing travel to ease the expense for the activity budget for colleges.
YM: What gave you the idea to start this business?
AJ: I discovered the idea of PINK LimeLight Productions during the time I served as Editor-in-Chief of Tower Yearbook. As President I wanted to have an event that would bring the Yearbook back in STYLE!!
I always had a love for Theater and came up with the idea to bring the hit play Platanos and Collard Greens, written and produced by David Lamb, to NJCU. I called up David and after a long process of negotiating contracts he had agreed to bring his play to NJCU. During the pre-event process I was on a team of planning and organizing the event.
YM: Where did you get the funding for your business?
AJ: My funding comes mostly from networking with peers and exchanging business services. I find it can be a whole lot cheaper and innovative when you work with peers who have fresh ideas and share the same goals. Other than that, funding comes from my pocketbook.
YM: What was the hardest thing you encountered while starting your business?
AJ: The only hardest thing I have encountered while starting my own business is the paperwork. I can honestly say that so far I have had great experiences.
YM: What surprised you the most?
AJ: What surprised me the most about PINK LimeLight Productions, is how cooperative colleges have been when trying to bring such a large event on campus. The paperwork is a process within it’s self but advisors are very willing to fulfill the students’ desires.
YM: How many employees do you have?
AJ: As of right now I have three staff members who help with promoting/marketing, technical riders, and creative aspects of the company. I am always looking for interns to become apart of a University Street Team.
YM: How do you get your name out there and get customers? What has been your most effective marketing technique or tactic?
AJ: My most effective tactic to gain student’s attention is Facebook, Twitter, email, phone calls, and flyers.
YM: What effect has the recession had on your business?
AJ: The recession has had a positive effect on my company because we provide ways to have events that put the money raised back into the school and organizations that host the event. Schools feel very positive that they can save with the help of promoting and backstage crew that we provide.
YM: What is the one piece of advice you have for other young entrepreneurs?
AJ: My words of advice would be “never just settle for what’s right now… explore your options whether it’s in entertainment, clothing, teaching, or helping others.”