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Conversations with Chris Nicolaou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Nicolaou. 

Hi Chris, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
After graduating from OU in 2011 – I pursued a career in professional hockey. Earned a position playing for a The Knoxville IceBears in the Southern Professional Hockey League. I played through preseason but after 20+ years of playing, I quickly realized my heart was pushing me to start a new chapter in my life. 

I came home to Dallas, applied the same energy and focus I used to become a professional hockey player toward finding a real job. Despite having graduated with honors and nearly a year of work experience as an intern with credible companies, I couldn’t even earn a call-back. 

Restless and desperate for work, I picked up another internship as a graphic designer for a small marketing agency operating out of a small studio space in Deep Ellum, Dallas’ art district. 

While I didn’t agree with how the business was being run, I did learn a great deal about the business and was introduced to what would later become my life passion, music production. After a 13months or so, I quit my internship and founded my own company, Audia Creatives LLC. That was in 2015; we’ve been operational for over 7 years now. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Reconciling the fantasy of owning my own business with the reality of owning my own business was difficult. I spent the first two years building my company without employees, with little encouragement or support from family and friends, and with money out of my own pocket. But, through this process, I became stronger, more resolute in my goals, and more familiar with what it takes to achieve them. 

Every single day you have to muster up the energy to start your own engine and take steps toward your bringing your dream to life. Nobody owes you anything; it’s your dream, not theirs. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My first business, Audia Creatives, provides digital marketing services to small and mid-sized business and start-ups. We create customized promotional materials, including – video industrials, promotional fliers, business cards, corporate logos, icons, and branding services, etc. We offer agency quality work for boutique prices. 

My second company, Phantom City Records, is the first 360º hip-hop record label in the city’s history and offers committed up-and-coming artists an opportunity to create, learn, collaborate with other area artists and gain access and insight to the music industry. 

What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Money and time are interchangeable; you can always save one by spending more of the other. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ashley Koops
Nicholas Ramirez

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