We had the good fortune of connecting with Meggan Kimberley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meggan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My business had become more and more difficult because of all the mergers in the entertainment industry. It was a combination of events that led me to start my own business. We bought the ranch in Westlake Village so my commute to Santa Monica was going to be more difficult, my company did several rounds of layoffs and I was in the second round. My husband and I had dreams of making the ranch an income generator so now seemed the time to explore those dreams. I continued to look for some kind of work consulting in my business and at the same time as I spent more time at the ranch, I realized maybe now was the time to make a business out of it. In January we decided to start Prospector Ranch and I started working to register it on sights as a location for filming, photo shoots and small events. We also planned to put up 3 luxury safari tents up in the mountain on our 10 acres. Then Covid hit but I am still pushing ahead thinking of different ways to make money. I signed us up as hosts for Hipcamp and that has been fun, Building this business is similar to selling films for me, it is a dream you make into reality and you can be as creative as you want, I love meeting people from all over looking for something different and off the the beaten path which Prospector Ranch is just that!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have been in the entertainment business for over 25 years as a sales and marketing executive in International distribution. It was amazing because I travelled the world during this period handling the sales of major motion pictures and television series. My job took me all over Europe, Asia, Latin America and most recently Eastern Europe and Russia/CIS. The company I was with (Starz) got bought by another company (Lionsgate) where I went and then they had massive layoffs so I was out of a job. My husband and I had purchased a ranch in Westlake Village that we were renovating so as we were doing this, I was looking for work but started thinking maybe I could apply all my years of sales/marketing to making our ranch a business. Then Covid happened and the entertainment business came to a screeching halt especially in my business. The ranch became my only focus but starting a business after 30 years in corporate was much more difficult than I thought especially during Covid! It has been hard but my years in sales keep me continually thinking of new ways to pivot and open different doors or windows to getting business. The whole social media marketing has also been a challenge as I do not like spending so much time on the phone nor am I good at this. Our main business we hope is as a location for filming of films, television, photo shoots and to offer our ranch as a venue for small boutique weddings, birthdays, wine tastings, fundraisers and special gatherings.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my goodness, this is easy for me as I always had clients from around the world coming to LA for business or the Television market. Instead of taking them out to some of the best restaurants in Beverly Hills, Hollywood or Santa Monica as most did, I tried to give them an experience and something they would not normally see of Los Angeles or California. I would do several different days depending on what they wanted to do, starting with taking them to Paramount Ranch, then hike at Malibu State Creek Park to see the Mash set, then on to Cornel Winery/ Old Place for brunch maybe ending with Music Festival in Malibu. If they had an afternoon free on a Friday, I would take them to Malibu Vineyard (before the fires) with a great Picnic and stop by to see my horse off of Kanan on the way home. One time I took a client who became a friend up the coast to Santa Barbara and then wine tasting at the various wineries. These clients were from places like Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia. They loved seeing different areas of beautiful California.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a Shout Out to Michelle Perkins of Limit Free Life who was assigned to me when I left Lionsgate to help in my career transiton. She has been an amazing mentor for me in navigating all the twists and turns as I first positioned myself to consult in the International Film and Television world and then had to focus only on building my own business with Prospector Ranch. It was a big change for me. I am in a Friday morning class that Michelle runs which she started pro-bono when Covid began. It was her way of giving back because of Covid but I am sure never did she imagine this would still be going on 9 months later!!! Lots of great things have evolved out of this. It has been an incredible experience having this group of basically all entrepreneurs to share the challenges with. My husband deserves a lot of credit too as he supports my vision for Prospector Ranch, does a lot of the “heavy lifting” and helps with great ideas too. .
Linkedin: Meggan Kimberley
Facebook: Prospector Ranch