Company Description: 'ZinePak is an entertainment company that creates custom products for celebrities, brands, and athletes, including Katy Perry, KISS, Taylor Swift, and American Idol, to name a few. Founded in January 2011, 'ZinePak aims to elevate entertainment and give pop-culture fans totally immersive experiences with collectible magazines, interactive iBooks, custom merchandise, super-fan ticketing, and more.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Nomination Title: Brittany Hodak, 'ZinePak Co-founder & CEO
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Brittany launched ‘ZinePak with co-founder Kim Kaupe in January 2011. Since July 2012, ‘ZinePak’s revenues have skyrocketed almost 400% under Brittany’s leadership—from $1 million to over $4 million—and the company has grown from a two-person operation to an agency with a fulltime staff of nine and almost two-dozen freelancers, partnering with some of the top entertainers in the world.
In the past fourteen months, consumers have purchased more than one million ‘ZinePaks at Walmart stores alone, for artists ranging from KISS to Taylor Swift to George Strait to Justin Beiber. ‘ZinePaks have also gone international for the first time: releases have been translated into almost a dozen languages and sold in 20 countries.
In addition to brokering partnerships with dozens of top entertainers, Brittany is responsible for ‘ZinePak’s relationship with Walmart. The relationship continues to grow: our first national TV campaign together will launch in October 2013, for Katy Perry’s upcoming PRISM ‘ZinePak. In 2014, ‘ZinePak and Walmart will work even closer together on deluxe offerings for top CD, DVD, and video game releases.
The past year has also seen the growth of ‘ZinePak into many different verticals. Since July 2012, ‘ZinePak has executed custom magazines for fashion lines, brands, fan clubs, and movie studios. We’ve partnered with iTunes to create iBook releases, and used augmented reality to add mobile engagement to our printed products.
In July, we tackled our first custom-ticketing project. We created custom 24-page passports for every fan attending Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road concert tour to be mailed to fans in lieu of traditional tickets. Each passport was printed with the ticketholders name, making scalping nearly impossible and elevating pre-show fan excitement to a new level.
Brittany is an outstanding candidate for the 2013 Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award because she embodies what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. Although fewer than 2% of female-owned companies surpass the million-dollar mark, ‘ZinePak reached the milestone in less than a year and has hit the multiplier several times over. At Brittany’s insistence, 100% of ‘ZinePak’s products are manufactured in the U.S.A.—most with other small businesses.
In January, Brittany and Kim were named to Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 list. In April, Entrepreneur chose the company as its “Startup of the Month.” In May, ‘ZinePak was one of 24 companies chosen from more than 500 nationwide to participate in Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year documentary series. In August, Brittany was named one of the Top 25 Female CEOs in New York City by SmartCEO magazine, and in September ‘ZinePak was named to the Empact100 list of Young Companies Changing America.
Beyond ‘ZinePak, Brittany is dedicated to giving back to her communities—both past and present. She is active in Toys For Tots’ New York operations, and she established a scholarship fund at her Oklahoma high school in late 2012 for college-bound seniors.
Brittany and Kim are working to establish a social giving initiative at ‘ZinePak. Currently, all ‘ZinePak employees are given two paid days off per year to volunteer at a charity or community organization of their choice. Thank you for your consideration.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):
Prior to co-founding ‘ZinePak, Brittany was an Account Supervisor at entertainment agency Fathom Communications. There, she executed award-winning programs for Johnson & Johnson, LG, and A&E Television Networks. She was named to Billboard’s 30 Under 30 list for her work pairing musicians with brands. Before Fathom, Brittany was the youngest Director of Marketing at Sony Music, where she oversaw retail marketing at Walmart, Target, and other accounts for Sony’s RED division. She holds a MS in Marketing from CUNY-Baruch’s ‘Zicklin School of Business and a BA in Communication from the University of Central Arkansas. In 2013, Brittany was named to Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 list, named a Top 30 Startup to Watch by Entrepreneur, and dubbed an “overnight success” by Inc. magazine.