We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassie Jozefov and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Violet Hour Media based on three fundamental premises: 1) there’s a huge audience of passionate horror fans who love high-quality horror audio content; 2) there is barely any high-quality horror audio content in the current marketplace; 3) horror fans are incredibly diverse, so there should be more content created by people like me (female, Latina) for people like me. Therefore, our mission at Violet Hour Media is to create premium horror fiction podcast content, with an emphasis on elevating underrepresented emerging creators.
What should our readers know about your business?
Violet Hour Media is a premium fiction horror podcast company, which means we produce really high-quality scary podcasts. I came up with the idea after spending a few years doing Strategy & Development for Warner Bros., and leading WB’s strategic market entry into the podcast space. I spent so much time evaluating the unprecedented growth of the podcast industry and making connections in the audio world that it became clear to me that there was a real gap in the market just waiting to be filled – premium, fiction podcasts in the horror genre. I felt uniquely qualified to build a company that would fill that gap based on my experience in the horror genre and in the podcast space while working at Warner Bros. I’ve combined my experience at one of Hollywood’s finest studios with my formal education, an MBA from Harvard Business School, to create a thriving, modern, production company. In short, Violet Hour Media brings a Hollywood studio approach to the podcast genre to create compelling and relevant IP. We’ve been in business for over a year, and have three award-winning podcasts currently available: IN ANOTHER ROOM, where a journalist gets trapped inside a notoriously haunted house and travels back in time to visit other souls trapped there too; BETWEEN THE DEVIL, where a young girl stows away aboard her father’s merchant ship in 1780s Europe to find terror on the high seas; and THE ELMWOOD STRAIN, where a young woman returns to her hometown after a tragedy to find her former friends dealing a potent, and mind-altering, destructive substance. We are on track to have 8 podcasts in our network by the end of 2021. Starting a business from scratch is never easy. I’ve faced my fair set of challenges, especially being a female, Latina founder in a largely male dominated field. However, I’ve found that having a precise, clear vision of exactly what my value proposition is has been critically important. Particularly for creative thinkers, when you have a great idea there’s the temptation to pursue a million different paths to support that idea. It’s a tricky balance, because you need to pursue several of those paths in order to build a successful brand/business, but pursuing too many of them can overwhelm you and lead to a muddled value proposition. Understanding what your core competencies are, both from a personal and business standpoint, is crucial. Then it’s about having laser focus on executing your handful of priorities, while still being open to adapting your plans based on market feedback. My biggest takeaway is that relationships are the single most important asset you can cultivate. Doesn’t matter if you have the best idea in the world or if you possess a skill that no one else does – without a reliable, diverse, and deep network it’s challenging to get something off the ground in a meaningful way. I love being able to build a company from the ground up and imbue a deliberate culture of inclusivity, equality, and respect. I want Violet Hour Media to not only be synonymous with immersive, pristine horror audio experiences – but also be a trusted champion for emerging creative voices.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d recommend spending at least one day in West Hollywood. Start your morning with the Rico Suave breakfast burrito at Alfred Coffee and a great cup of matcha from Cha Cha Matcha. For the afternoon, take a walk down Santa Monica Blvd. and, if it’s a weekday, get the very reasonably priced lunch sushi special at Jinpachi. For the late afternoon catch whatever they’re playing at the one-screen indie film haven The New Beverly Cinema, followed by the best Cadillac margarita in town and the #1 Special at El Coyote across the street. Outside of that area, some of my favorite activities are: Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, walking tour of DTLA’s Art Deco architecture, spending the day at Carbon Beach in Malibu, getting lost in a book at Dinosaur Coffee in Silver Lake, tacos from Guisado’s, catching a world-premiere or a cult favorite from the 80s at The Egyptian Theater, summer evenings with an outdoor films screening at Hollywood Forever cemetery.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Alex, whose unwavering support enables me to be the best version of myself.