How The Puppet Kitchen got its start
After working together for several years in a converted industrial kitchen in New York’s East Village, these three independent puppetry artists decided they could tackle bigger projects with more consistency together as…The Puppet Kitchen.
What got you interested in starting your business?
A job opportunity. We had been talking about incorporating for some time, as we were working together side-by-side, when we were suddenly presented with a job opportunity that required a much larger scale of budget and management than any of us had encountered before. We decided that incorporation would not only be the best way to handle this job, but also to get us started on the path to bigger projects.
Each of the three co-owners of The Puppet Kitchen―Emily DeCola, Michael Schupbach, and Eric Wright― also brings a unique perspective to the craft of puppet design and construction. It became clear that our best work was the work we did as a team, with input from all three of us.
To start a business together would ensure that we would be working together on a regular basis, drawing on the professional and creative networks we each bring to the table. Furthermore, we wanted to ensure that we each had an equal say in the work produced. Starting a company based on an idea larger than any of the three of us individually was appealing to us all.
What were your experiences getting up and running?
We found that running a business is a LOT of hard work. We are artists first and business owners second. It has been a challenge to negotiate what may be the two opposite ends of the professional spectrum within each of us. What we’ve realized is how well these two different skill sets can complement one another. Our artistic sensibilities help us solve business-related problems creatively, with playfulness and humor. Our business planning skills help us communicate and carry out our artistic endeavors quickly and accurately.
What’s been your most rewarding experience so far?
During the process of incorporating, and during this first big job as a company, we began to see The Puppet Kitchen as a community. We enjoyed our work— and did best—when we worked alongside all the members of the artist communities we knew. We began to see The Puppet Kitchen as a place that could not only provide consistent employment for its three owners and services of consistent quality to our clients, but also as a place where clients and employees who knew little about puppetry and puppet construction could come to learn more, and produce higher-quality work themselves.
How did BizFilings help you along the way?
BizFilings was a great help in getting us up and running quickly, and with little stress. We needed to get our business going fast in order to accept the big job that would get us off the ground. We didn’t have time to worry about whether we were sending in all the right forms to the right agencies, nor did we have time to navigate a thickly worded incorporation service geared toward those with more business training. We found BizFilings very easy to understand and navigate. When we had questions, their customer service online chat was extremely helpful and convenient.
What’s next for The Puppet Kitchen?
As we move forward, The Puppet Kitchen aims to tackle even bigger projects, and streamline our operations further. We will be putting even more effort into making The Puppet Kitchen a more significant entity in the puppetry community and expanding our workshop and internship programs to provide more opportunities for all to learn about quality puppetry and puppet construction.