Interview with Christine Jose – Cupcake Catacomb
Company: Cupcake Catacomb | Facebook Page
So, today’s very first interview is with a close and dear friend of mine, Christine Jose. She is an artist, website designer and has a story in which I think you will truly fall in love with. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Cupcake Catacomb, it is a local start-up here in Winnipeg, MB where Christine creates macabre décor, skull candles, film props and provides SFX services to movie makers.
Now let’s hear what Christine had to say …
What inspired the passion within you to do what you do?
I had a hard time falling asleep as a kid so, my parents had a tv in my bedroom and the only thing that was interesting enough for me to watch and my love for horror started with that. I think I was about 7 years old when I started watching Masters of Horror, the Scream channel when it used to be around and I really just got into horror. After years of falling in love with that the rock and punk sort of vibe. Everybody has that one stage in their life, and I felt that this wasn’t something that was ever going to leave me. And the fact that as you get older you realize that you have to start acting as a part of society. I just kind of got bored with it and wanted to do something that was subtly morbid. I wanted to have things around my house that said elegant and decorated but from somebody that actually pays attention to detail would question … am I insane or not? Lol!
How did you Christine, continue to ignite that fire within you?
I watch a lot of movies … like a lot of movies! I love film props and what they do to make things so realistic. I love to watch movies that aren’t well liked and are on the “most disturbing list”. The reason why I do that is because I like to see how people push the boundaries as to why these movies are banned. And what made that person really want to put this out there. I feel like to make a film or to write a book like Edgar Alan Poe, what was so important that you could just not get out of your head that you had to have something written down about these dark, disturbing thoughts. It really makes me want to tap into my dark, disturbing thoughts. And I find a release through that. Kind of like an artistic therapy.
Did you start with a business plan? If so, tell me a bit about your vision and mission.
I did not start with a business plan. Well sort of … my first business plan was to be making resin jewelry that was to be of the cute macabre type. I wanted little girls to be able to wear cute pink barrettes but they weren’t really they had skulls and hands and little zombie faces but then I thought it was kind of already done. I wanted to differentiate from what other people were already doing. I found no pride with my work in that, so I decided to take a break.
I really wanted to make my own Halloween props. And that’s how it started. I thought, I do something really different here! I came up with a different idea, like the candles I make and not a lot of people have done it. I wanted to create something that was elegant yet creepy. Something that could be a conversation piece. Like you have a skull that bleeds from the inside out. What does that represent on a psychological level and how does that make you feel? Do you burn it? Is it something you’ve attached yourself to, to let it fade away? Or is it something where you just like the scent and the way it looks. But it truly doesn’t matter … Same thing with the cymbal nuts. I wanted something that other drummers I knew could have something more accessorizing for their drum set. Because guitarists, they get cool picks and really nice-looking guitars. Why not be able to have something that really puts your bands brand out there! I recently decided that I would just be selling those for now as well as a new passion of mine … web design. Why don’t I just do it all?
What are some of the biggest challenges you feel your company is faced with?
Organization and putting thought to paper. I have been diagnosed with ADHD so I constantly have 20 million thoughts going on in my head. My biggest stressor is making sure that I stick to one idea and I commit to that one idea until it’s perfect. Then I move onto the next one because if I don’t, not only do I have seven thousand different projects half finished when I could have had one really good project.
Walk me through a typical workday – from when you eat breakfast in the morning to what you think about on your commute home THEN tell me about what you think about when you’re not in “the office”?
Oh god, okay so … I am never not in the office. No matter what I am doing I am constantly thinking of new ideas. I used to carry a notebook with me until I was told that maybe I shouldn’t carry a notebook because people might think that I am writing notes about them. Lol! So now I carry a tinier notebook which gives me the opportunity to doodle and draw even when I’m on a break at my day job or at any point in the day when I have a moment to spare. My commute to work is already filled with thoughts about what I could be working on when I get home. And then when I get home, I start doing the easier tasks so I can work up to tackling the harder items. Breakfast is not an option for me. LOL!
What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Space! I need more space! I need to figure out exactly how I am going to organize my studio to make it function more efficiently.
What are three words you would use to explain your business? Your personality?
Hmmm … I would have to say that for Cupcake Catacomb I would use the words creative, momentum and life to describe. Then for my personality I would say I am loud, eccentric and empathetic.
Can you tell me about your ideal target market?
My ideal target market would reach out to women and drummers of absolutely all ages. People who are open to communication and putting their own ideas to paper when it comes to design. People who just want to put their dreams out there.
Looking forward into the next few years, what projects or goals are you most excited about?
In the next few years I plan to open Cupcake Catacomb full-time. I would also love to be able to sell my cymbal nuts to a large handful of my all-time favourite bands then tackle putting a patent on my skull candles of course after learning to make my own scents.
If another entrepreneur asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
If you really want something to happen, you’ll make it happen. And if you don’t it is because you didn’t want to hard enough.
Pick one thing in your life you may go back and do differently. What would it be and why? (doesn’t have to be business related)
I don’t regret anything. I think, it is what it is and all you can really do is just take what you have done and apply it to something else. Whether personal or business. There is no point in regretting anything or feeling shame. Just learn from it and move on because life is not going to stop for you. It’s not going to wait for you to catch up.
What is it about your business that keeps you inspired?
I am learning something new every day. I have such a thirst for knowledge. I just want to learn absolutely everything.
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