Creating a fantasy experience business including mermaid sleeping bags with Mark Viniello – AEP # 17

Guest: ​​Mark Viniello
​Company / Business name: ​​OverActive Imaginations, Inc.
Business web site | Twitter | ​​​Linkedin​ | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram


​Mark Viniello, professional Hollywood make-up effects artist turned Entrepreneur and author. Mark has worked on such films as: The Lord of the Rings, Avengers: Infinity War, Stranger Things and the upcoming Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.


Show Notes:

01:06 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Many times, a business idea starts with your passionate interests. Be passionate. 

Mark talks about his love of making monsters and how his work on Adam Sandler’s bedtime stories of making a mermaid tale started the whole thing. Initially, he made some mermaid tails for his four daughters and as the word spread around, Mark started making the mermaid kits for others.

4:55 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Deliver a complete immersive experience to differentiate your offering.

Mark expands on how he grew that one mermaid sleeping bag idea into an entire kit where the customers get a complete experience with inspirational and educational books, a tote, and complete background on the mermaids.

07:37 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning from people who have done similar things before. Your network can also be a huge help. 

Mark talks about how he learned from the likes of Jennifer Kepler, Sara Blakley, and Rowland who successfully navigated the journey from artists to becoming successful business people. Mark then relied on friends and family who are into various aspects of a business like licensing merchandise, tradeshows, and packaging to pick their brains. 

13:38 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Ensure that price, promotion, and quality are in sync.

Mark then talks about pricing and how iterated on coming up with pricing. Once he decided on a price, Mark relied on referrals and testimonials to build his business. Mark also made sure that the product quality is high and the customers could experience the quality of his offering so they feel that the price matches the quality.

20:12 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Test different strategies like unbundling a product and customer segmentation. 

Mark further talks about different strategies like unbundling the product (sleeping bag, book etc.) so the overall price can be lowered without compromising the quality. He also mentioned segmenting the customers so he can provide younger adults with a different product as well.

22:48 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep you passion going. Most successful businesspeople kept investing initial profits into the business.

Mark continues to invest the profit back into the business as he has been expanding his product line. He is not keen on overnight success and believes that the ‘overnight success’ comes from multiple years of hard work. The focus on entertaining and the exciting the kids will pay off.

26:33 minute mark:

Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning, keep momentum going for long term success 

Mark gives advice to would-be entrepreneurs as follows: (1) Learn by standing on the shoulders of the giants (2) Make little advances every day and keep the momentum going (3) Keep your journal (4) Keep asking yourself why started on this journey initially.

​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)



About the Author Ramesh Dontha

I am an entrepreneur, writer, and blogger. I build businesses and love to share my experiences of my successes and failures. My mottos is: Live with purpose, Be Passionate about that purpose, Persevere through ups and downs and keep exploring Possibilities.

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