Launching a Management Company is Messy & Magical

Cheyenne Brink Venuti is the founder of Brink Talent, a boutique management company representing the next generation of digital creators. Cheyenne has been working with talent for nearly 10 years and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.



[00:00:00] Cheyenne: I think if you are developing a management company or any company at this point, especially if you’re a consultant, should be a reflection of you and maybe think less about what the industry expects your logo and your branding and your color palette to look like and more what you would enjoy looking like.

[00:00:28] Jessy: Hey guys, welcome to the party. This is the Women in Influencer Marketing Podcast. I am. So excited to have you guys here. We’re going to have such a fun time today. It’s just like a very grounded episode. I have a friend of mine, Cheyenne Brink Vinuti, who is just. A gem. We’ve known each other now for probably like at least five or six years, I think at this point.

And I’ve seen her from working at like a traditional talent agency, representing models and print. To get her dream job, which those are her words at an incredible creator, talent, management agency and transitioning there to that agency, like closing its U.S. operations and her being in a very precarious situation.

Thriving. And now, she decided to launch her own thing, which is the hoodie, it’s not a hoodie, it’s just a sweater, but it’s called Brink, if you guys are watching on YouTube right now, I’m rocking their merch, which she sent me for the holidays. It’s so cool. It’s so comfy and I love it. We’re getting into what it is to launch a management company, what it was like to go through layoffs, and why branding is so fricking important.

She is so real, so honest, so grounded. I’m such a big fan of hers and I’m so excited. so excited for you guys to hear what else do I have to say before we get into this episode? We have a lot of stuff launching in 2024 you guys, if you are not a member of WIIM yet, you should strongly consider it because new year, new you at a.

The theme that we do talk about in this week’s episode, which is very applicable to becoming a member of WIIM, is the concept of investing in yourself. There are a lot of people who we’re so used to, especially as marketers, especially as influencer marketers, we’re so used to supporting our clients and Pleasing our clients, whether they’re the creators, our client, or the brand is our client.

It’s so rare that we get a moment or we make space to have a moment where it’s about us for a fricking second. And it should be because think about it. If you are not going to invest in yourself, who the hell else will? Why should anybody else, if you’re not even going to do it? Wim is just such an incredible opportunity.

I know that a lot of you just. Tune into this podcast and they’re like, Oh, cool. It’s a podcast. It’s so much more than that at its core. We’re a networking community. We are a community of women who come together and support each other professionally in this like creator economy, and influencer marketing realm.

I have seen it. Such support, assistance guidance mentorship, and educational opportunities come from it. We curate some of it and our community also curates the rest of it. It’s really beautiful. space and I hope you guys open your minds to investing in you. We have monthly memberships.

You can always just try it out for a month and see how it feels. I have a strong suspicion that you’re going to love it. So I encourage you to check it out. The link to join will be in the show notes. It’s I am WIIM. com slash join. Check it out. See if it’s for you. I happen to think you’re going to love it.

And I know I teased this a couple of episodes ago or maybe even last week’s, but we’re going to be launching a creator membership in the new year, which will consist of casting opportunities galore. So if you are listening and you’re a creator. And you want to be more self-sufficient, like how do I want to get my deals?

I want to build more relationships. I want to know about all these opportunities. That’s what the creator membership is going to be. So keep an eye out for that. I don’t want to keep talking too long cause I want to get into this episode. So I’m going to shut up. I’m going to stop and I look forward to you hearing more from Cheyenne. So, let’s get into it.

This show is sponsored by Women in Influencer Marketing, better known as WIM, the best online community for the creator economy. You will meet fellow influencer marketers, you’ll meet brands, you’ll meet talent agencies to talk shop, get hired, and even find a mentor. When you become a member, do not forget to check out all of our incredible resources.

For example, we have dozens of masterclasses from the top. Voices of TikTok, YouTube, award-winning agencies, and women who are paving the way for us all. So if you want the chance to network with FooSoo and Influencer Marketing, check out what it takes to become a member. Make more money and have fun doing it.

Visit me at wim.com/join. That’s I-A-M-W-I-I m.com/join today, and I so look forward to seeing you more around the community.

[00:05:13] All right, so I today have a super special guest who you just heard a little bit about in the intro, but I always like to hear it from you. In your own words, a little bit more just about like your path, your professional journey from working at like a traditional agency, or talent agency to now having your own.

I’m repping you. Oh, I have to move my mic too. Fully show this off this awesome, sweater that you just said that I love. I’m like living in it to show off that you should support your local management company because that’s what you have now, your baby, your own company. I’m so proud of you.

First and foremost, welcome. And how are you? 

[00:06:55] Cheyenne: Thanks, Jessy. I’m so excited to be here. A long time coming. I am well, I am excited, I am amid Q4, and things are moving quickly, thank you for throwing your merch on! I should have matched you. I should have ripped my merch today. 

[00:07:13] Jessy: I’m doing it for you.It’s better to have an endorsement from someone else anyway. And I just love this. It’s so comfy and it’s so cute. I love the colors. So I just thank you for sending it to me and I want to make sure to wear it today. So I would love for you to just. walk us through your professional journey, in your own words.So our audience has a sense of it all. Do you want to start, where should you start from? 

[00:07:42] Cheyenne: We can start early days. I started as an intern at a boutique talent agency right in the center of Hollywood that primarily specialized in women’s lifestyle modeling commercials. very traditional. Very boutique.

There was a handful of agents in the office and I was able to work my up my work my way up to an agent at my desk. I was working with women primarily over the age of 35. So we had a great mature lifestyle department and I was at that company for 5 years. I ended up moving up to be the director of the print division.

And I also was spending a ton of time on social media. I ran the agency’s social media in addition to my pages for fun. And so I got the idea to start up the influencer division that still exists today at that talent agency. So five years in, I’m a full-blown agent director, and I just, I am working nonstop, repping so many talents, so many wonderful models and actors.

But my passion was really in social media and the digital landscape. And so I wanted to make a change career-wise. So I interviewed at a bunch of places and landed at a very reputable management company. And that was like my dream job. And I was there for three years. And it was wonderful. I developed a diverse roster of content creators and influencers.

And met some great folks, and made some awesome connections in the digital world. And then that kind of leads us to, I guess, 18 months ago when the rug was pulled out from under me and I was a victim of those mass layoffs that we heard about and had a huge impact on my career. I was at such a turning point.

But I chose to just kind of carry on and I wanted my day to stay as similar as possible to what I was doing before. Because the rug was kind of pulled out from under me and I wasn’t actively interviewing, I was kind of shocked at what was happening at that moment. I already mentioned I had my dream job and I didn’t want anything to change.

So that’s like what birthed Brink Management and that’s what I do day to day now. So I just operate as a solo talent manager working with a boutique roster, primarily women in their, I would say late twenties. Primarily in the fashion space and facilitating a lot of wonderful collaborations, in addition to helping talent develop products and develop their brands.

So that’s kind of what I’m doing today in a nutshell. 

[00:10:36] Jessy: I love it. And that’s like the perfect arc to say oh my gosh, you really came from this incredible place and then found another incredible place, had the rug pulled out from underneath you, like you said, and now you have your own thing.

And I wanna get into like specifics of all of that because I, of course, there’s so much more to dig into and I just wanna acknowledge, I can imagine that this isn’t an. Easy, like the thing to talk about per se, getting the rug pulled out from under you is like a very nice way of, I’m sure expressing how it really felt in the moment and like how it all went down.

And so just so many people listening, I know can relate to that. You know, you’re talking about layoffs, that’s so many people these days are experiencing it. So. I know a bunch of people’s ears probably perked up because they’re like, Oh my gosh, girl, me too. what was it like for you? But before we get into that, I think I just want to know what made you want to venture out to work with creators in the first place.

As you mentioned, you worked with models and more traditional talent. What was the allure for you? 

[00:11:47] Cheyenne: I think I was spending so much time on Instagram and I was really, the part that I loved about booking models was seeing my end product, seeing that print ad, and getting to share that with the talent that I booked.

The print was not bad. Boomie, you know, it was just a little bit of a dying landscape and I wasn’t able to get that satisfaction. There was not a, it wasn’t a super lucrative industry. Some people had been doing it for a lot longer than I had been doing it. And I felt that I belonged in a different space.

I belonged with people who liked brands. That I liked and that we’re into kind of the next wave of advertising, which to me was content creators, influencers. I was able to kind of view the landscape from a traditional lens in the sense that I was comparing the talent and the influencers on my Instagram feed to the commercials during the Super Bowl.

Nordstrom’s beauty sale is an example of an influencer Super Bowl in a sense. And I was consuming a lot of that content and I saw kind of what the marketplace could be like. Using foresight and just comparing it to the traditional realm. And I 

[00:13:10] Jessy: think that perspective of being able to be in the world of influencer marketing and also being able to fully understand and appreciate where it came from is like a really powerful tool in your toolbox.

So I think that it’s like an incredible skill and perspective to be able to have. And so. You like it sounds like you got a lot from the traditional agency that you worked from, and then you just found the next exciting venture that you wanted to pursue. So then you go off and you want to explore the creator economy, which probably wasn’t even called that back then.

It was probably just called work with influencers. And so you left that agency to start working at a talent management company that had been around since. It’s 2010 and like this, so this was many years after that, basically like it had been around for a hot minute. And so you were at that agency once they hired you for, I think over three years, which is not an insignificant amount of time.

So for all intents and purposes to the outside world, especially if that is a stable, successful agency. Until it wasn’t like, and it felt, I, you know, I’m just sharing from my perspective. I have no idea what it was like from the inside and we’re going to get into that. But from my perspective, it felt very set in when they suddenly folded their U.

S. operations. Like I certainly had no idea, but it was very surprising. I just felt so successful. So what was that experience like to live through? I don’t know if you can take us back to that. I think it would be insightful because It was such a, I’m sure, crazy experience. 

[00:14:51] Cheyenne: Absolutely. When I first landed at the company, that was my dream job.

And I was just such a sponge. I soaked up everything about the digital landscape. I owe that company and those fellow talent managers so much. They taught me incredible things. We bonded so much. And it was one of those companies that I think finally gave me the satisfaction of a work-life balance, which is huge in our world and the creator world, and in the talent representation world, you’re always working after hours, the clock never stops, and I was able to just really bond with my coworkers and everything was great until it kind of wasn’t, and I think Early days, what I wasn’t super privy to was we were being acquired by a larger media group.

When I was transitioning to the company, I was so focused on just getting on my feet, starting and building my roster. That was just kind of like a tidbit in the back of my mind and seemed like too big of a deal. And I had come from a world of smaller, more boutique companies. The company before the management company, like I said, was a handful of agents.

So there was no acquisition in play. That was not on the company’s radar at the time. So I didn’t understand how much weight I think that held. And looking back, it seems natural that they would have made changes. But when you’re in the mix and you’re just trying to establish yourself in a new facet of your career, like I was trying to establish myself as a digital talent manager, took that like too lightly.

I think I didn’t let that impact me enough. I was so focused on keeping my roster happy, and making a name for myself that I was not doing a wonderful job of networking. So when I received the notice that I was no longer an employee of the company and everybody else received the same notice I was locked out of my computer, the first.

thought was, Oh my gosh, I’ve made that grave mistake of getting so comfortable in my dream job. I have not done the networking that I know I was supposed to be doing. I’m now working remotely in Philadelphia. What am I going to do? How am I going to get back out there? And that’s when a bunch of other decisions were made.

But I think the key takeaway was in that moment, it was so clear to me that was coming, but also so jarring that I just didn’t know what to do, even with that hindsight, I was able to say, huh. Okay, I’m really sad right now, but I saw that coming. What do I do with that knowledge? Well, it’s also, I mean, 

[00:17:50] Jessy: come on, I don’t know.

I want you to be like somewhat easy on yourself because even if you do see it coming, I don’t know, like nothing’s final till it’s final. And you also, as a talent manager, have your day-to-day operations to continue to do. So who wants to dwell on something that isn’t firm yet? Isn’t the final thing yet?

So I don’t know. I want to give you more credit than that. Look, I think that, you know, an acquisition is it’s a mixed bag. I think that most people, cause I have sold the company and I’ll just be personally, like when I tell people that they’re like, Oh my God, so impressive. Blah, blah, blah. It’s so exciting.

And I’m like. If you only knew what the hell happens behind the scenes of something like that. And I can imagine maybe there are some companies where acquisitions just go so smoothly and it’s just like rainbows and butterflies. But that’s not the majority of the stories that I hear from people.

It’s usually messy is the word that comes to mind. And certainly like people, unfortunately, get less. go. And like a lot of the times it’s due to no fault of their own. And when that does happen, it’s it never seems like it’s handled well. Like I was just interviewing somebody else for the same podcast.

And she was talking about when she got, she was part of the Twitter layoffs back when Elon Musk was acquiring Twitter. So I just have, I’ve had this conversation with so many people. So it’s something else. Entirely when it happens to you and like you’re living it and I feel like no matter what, like you can be listening to this podcast right now and be like, all right, I’m going to listen to Cheyenne.

Like I’m going to prepare myself and I am like, and if that happens to me, I feel ready And then it happens to you and you just are just human and you’re just going to feel what you feel. So I don’t know. I just want to give you more credit than that. And so I remember we had conversations early days of when that happened because I wanted to help you sort of navigate your next steps.

Like, how did you? Do that, what were some of the main considerations that you had in trying to plan out the next steps for yourself? Like, how did you navigate that transition? 

[00:20:14] Cheyenne: It was such a rocky landscape. I think initially when I got the news and I was, you know, like everybody else locked out of their computer and the frantic texts and the group chats were going, that was very emotional.

And I think it was a group of people, there was a handful of us that were, our employment was terminated and the emotions were just flying. It was, you know, did you know? And like you said, Jessye, even if you know, what are you going to do, brace for impact. Nothing’s final till it’s final. So I think it’s, there’s a lot of emotions flying around and I think the best thing that you can do, and my advice to anybody out there that’s experiencing this.

In real-time is to hold on, brace yourself, and have those conversations, but just know that everything truly will be okay. I knew that at the bottom of my heart, I could go out and get another job. I could reach out to people like you, people that I’ve known. I could go back to the traditional space. I knew that I could get a job.

I would be able to provide for myself. My, what broke my heart was that I was no longer at my dream job at my home with my girls, which is kind of what I endearingly call the roster. So I think with talent management. Everything is so personal about our business. Unfortunately, I’ve been working with some of my girls for years now and I couldn’t imagine working without them and that would break my heart.

So it just felt like so many of my relationships and so many of my friends were just gonna be no more. And I think that’s what fueled so many chaotic emotions and The saving grace and what I realized was how much I mattered to those girls and how much I mattered to those people and my colleagues and we all kind of leaned on each other and the roster of people that I was working with at the time were so beyond supportive.

They were texting me things like, I’ll go wherever you go and, you know, can we just do this thing solo? And so that’s, kind of what I learned on were the people that I worked with who were in the same boat as me, the talent that I had worked with and worked hard for the last three years.

And I was able to harness those wild emotions, the unknown, and move forward in a way I like to think I moved forward with grace, and that’s how Brink Management was born, it was born through BrinkManagement. com Wanting to continue to work with the roster of talent I was managing day to day, my passion for them, and their support for me because, they had other options, truly, and I think that just speaks a lot about me in this space, I, that sounds so weird tooting my own horn.

[00:23:31] Jessy: no, it’s your own 

[00:23:32] Cheyenne: horn. It’s true. It’s like I was having conversations with the talent. I was being very real about the situation I was in. What I had done at that company, I think one of my mistakes was making the name of that company and my job as a digital talent manager at that company, such a large part of my identity.

And when that rug was pulled out from under me, when I was terminated, I felt like I lost a chunk of myself. And it. I kind of realized that the roster kind of reminds me doesn’t matter what that company title truly matters, the roster and what we work on together, and the ads that we bring to life.

our relationship. That’s just kind of a home for our work together. So I leaned on the roster so much. I was so real with them. Tears were shed, but at the end of the day, I think looking back, that’s like what saved me. That’s what kept me going. 

[00:24:30] Jessy: I so appreciate that you shared that piece of it too, because I just, at the end of the day, I think that being vulnerable is like hugely important when you are going through something like that and being able to lean on the people who are going to be there for you because sometimes they’re not like sometimes and there’s sometimes there’s like reasons outside of your just like messy.

It can get messy, but When you’re just honest and vulnerable, I guess is the operative word with what’s going on and where you’re at and like your intentions and what you want to achieve here. I think that your true supporters and your true support system just present themselves and that’s who you want to align with anyway.

So it can almost be a blessing to just reveal the people that are. your cheerleaders and just the most important people in your network anyway. So now you’re independent and you launched this incredible company, Brink. I have it on my shirt. And I just want to, I would love for, there are some people who also just have aspirations of starting their own thing, no matter what their current, like their prior situation is.

And so talk us through. That transition, because I want to learn how you decided to launch your own company. Like you said, you’re employable. You can go get a job anywhere else, technically speaking, and you made arguably what might’ve been like the more challenging decision to launch your own company.

What was it like in the earliest days? And. what did you learn from it? 

[00:26:26] Cheyenne: I think early days, it was so messy and it was so emotional. I. Right when I was terminated, I called a family meeting with my husband and my in-laws, and I said, I’ve just been laid off, nobody freaks out, it’s gonna be okay.

I know I can go get a job, there are some, and I have some chats lined up, but what do y’all think about me just starting my own company? And everyone was a little quiet, and then they said, Let’s do it. Let’s do it right now. So I pulled out my laptop, got on LegalZoom, got on LLC, and I said, If it doesn’t work out, if for some reason it fails, and, What does that even look like?

What does a failed, what does look like? I will just go get a job. It’ll be fine. And, That was the best decision I ever made. And I think that, when I was first laid off, I reached out to so many people, and, I got so much great advice, and, But what nobody told me to do was go start my own company. And I wanted to challenge myself.

I’m not one for doing it the easy way. I have always just been a person who has been in it for the long haul. And you can tell that by my resume. I was at my first company for five years, and my second one for almost four years. So I didn’t want to just go get a job. I wanted to build a home. And I had been for the past nine-ish years looking at the inner workings, for lack of a better term, the blood, and guts of management companies and agencies.

And I thought I could do this. I think I can do this. I spoke with some friends who had started their agencies. I have to shout out Taylor Trumbo from Evolve Artist Agency. I was sending her texts in the middle of the night and she was responding. And I was able to have so many great conversations and people gave me such great advice.

And I just, at the end of the day, it was me and the roster. And I had a few people asking me if they could just kind of give me a commission on their jobs. And I thought I’ll do you one better. let’s do an LLC and a logo. And let’s just keep it. everything moving. Let’s keep it like business as usual.

And I think it was so much easier than I ever anticipated. I thought that to start a company, you had to have 30 years of experience and a degree and multiple degrees and you had to have just these crazy previous titles and there is no prerequisite for owning a business and for starting a management company.

I think it’s about you and your relationships and I think we’re so lucky to work in representation where you. The work that you put in and the people that you know matter so, so much. So, I created a home for me and the roster. I never wanted to be laid off again. I never wanted to have that rug pulled out from under me.

And I thought I’d just do it myself. Oh my gosh. I’m so 

[00:29:44] Jessy: proud of you. Cause I just, I like, yeah, I don’t know. I can understand. Like I’ve been there in that transition. And I have also just been privy to a lot of people who want to experience that transition, but are just scared or nervous and whatever.

And understandably so, like we all were, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that we said we weren’t, but I think it’s so amazing to hear your story because like you did it and you’re thriving. And it sounds like you truly created this, like this life for yourself, and are creating this life for yourself.

That’s just like what you want. To be where, as you said, I can’t get laid off again. This is my baby and this is what I’m doing and I’m in control. And of course, things are going to go awry and it’s not going to always be perfect, but you feel, and you feel those lows more than when you’re an employee.

But, oh my gosh, do you feel the highs so much more? And also, I think what’s interesting that you said too, is just talking about, we all have these. Preconceived notions about what it takes to launch a company. And I certainly thought a lot of the same thing as you did. Well, you have to have all of this experience and all this know-how and all of these resources and I couldn’t possibly have those things. That’s not, I don’t maybe identify as a company owner, but I also think it’s such bullshit because it also, what happens because those aren’t true is that it precludes so many people who don’t necessarily have. The access to, you know, an MBA or whatever it is, precludes us from venturing out into that company and starting it.

And the truth is, and I’m curious, to hear your thoughts as well, of course, The truth is we all just sort of learn as we go. And like we, like the relationships piece that you mentioned is hugely important because if you have a network of people, you can pick their brain, they can pick your brain.

It’s reciprocated and you help each other out along the way. But Nobody, even those NBA graduates, like nobody has all the answers. It’s such a fallacy. that doesn’t exist. You can launch your own thing and you can even mess it up a little bit, but you learn and you fix it, There’s an opportunity to do that. Has that sort of been your experience? Have there been moments where? Oops, that wasn’t the right move. Like I need to fix that. Is there any specific thing that comes to mind that you’ve learned along the way that if you were to advise somebody listening, who wants to launch their new thing in 2024, new year, you know, what are their specific missteps that you made that you would.

Advise them to avoid it. 

[00:32:51] Cheyenne: There’s so many learning lessons. The whole process of starting the business and starting my own management company has been a learning process. And that’s been one of the best, most rewarding parts. When I was employed, I felt a constant sense of no. And I think that might be because I’m a people pleaser that could have been in my head.

I don’t know. When I wanted to do brand trips and when I had more creative ideas, I was always kind of hearing the word no. And now that I have my own company, I don’t hear the word no very much. And I think that’s a thing for my type of personality because. At the end of the day, even if I make a wrong decision, it is still a decision and the business is still moving forward and things are still happening every single day and I can always fix it.

Life is making mistakes and a business is a reflection of that. And I am not a perfectionist in the slightest. My business will never be perfect, but it can always be better. And that’s something that I thrive in an environment with an endless to-do list because it keeps me busy. It keeps my mind going.

And instead of pouring my all into a company that could lay me off, I am pouring my all into myself and this business, going back to being more vulnerable. There have been decisions where it’s like in hindsight, well, probably would have made a different decision or probably would have kept better track of the early days as far as my expenses.

Everything has been sorted and everything has been within my power to sort out. I think the big thing that’s, the big crossroads that I’m at right now is with outsourcing do I bring someone on to kind of help me with my day-to-day? I’ve been really kind of against that for so, so far because I really can’t trust anybody.

And I know that’s such a common entrepreneur mistake. You have to expand if you’re going to grow and if you’re going to scale and all these things. But at this point, and this could be the wrong decision, Jesse, I could be making a mistake right now. I’m not willing to kind of. Open myself up and cut off my right arm to let someone be my right arm.

But I think that I might be forced to make a different decision in 2024 with the way the business is going and just how busy it is. But I think decisions and mistakes are made every day. That’s the same, I’m in the same boat as everybody else. The best part about having a business. in our digital industry, nobody has all of the answers.

There’s nobody out there with the handbook to becoming an influencer or a handbook to brand deals. It is constantly changing and I am using that to my advantage. I feel like. It’s still the Wild West, although it is something that has existed for nearly a decade now. It is ever-changing with the rise of TikTok, with Instagram’s new features.

And that is working to my advantage. And just being able to adapt and learn constantly. I 

[00:36:39] Jessy: love that. Cause yeah, sometimes it is. It’s like those soft skills that we don’t even necessarily think are that valuable. It’s I don’t know, I’m adaptable. is that useful? And it’s you’re discovering how incredibly useful that is.

Like the, you know, to be perseverant, to be resilient, you know? , these are some soft skills that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily bring up in a job interview. Like why would I bring up that I’m, you know, resilient in a job interview? That’s a weird thing to bring up. But when you have your own business, these soft skills become invaluable.

And it’s also like very. I think that a lot of the people that you’ll do business with will also appreciate them because like you’re saying, it’s just all a relationship business too. And you know, too, to master the skill of making people feel a certain way, that’s like another soft skill, but That can be so beneficial to have a successful company, whether it’s like employees that you might eventually probably have, or, you know, or, you know, people that are hiring your creators or the creators themselves that have to trust you.

It’s such a personal relationship as professional as it is, it’s just such a personal relationship that you have with creators. So I don’t know the soft skills, they’re very important, but I also very much appreciate when you’re talking about feeling the need for the business’s sake to expand and to outsource things and to hire.

And it’s very honest of you and super relatable to say, while that’s the case, I don’t know if I can trust people because you’ve. been through some shit where you did trust a lot and the rug got pulled out from under you. I have been there and I completely understand. And I don’t think that’s something necessarily that will go away, but I don’t think that’s something that should go away.

I think that’s a very important lesson that you learned. And also here’s a fun fact, like it doesn’t have to be. Black and white when you hire, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. My personal preference, I love hiring contractors and working with people on a 10-99 basis part-time. And when things hopefully do well and everyone’s doing great, you grow that.

But. If I’m being honest, it’s very much what you’re talking about. Like, why am I doing it like that? A lot of it is because of, you know, I have to trust a person, you know, a lot to have them, you know, have that big of a hand and that big of an impact in your, in my company and my businesses.

And it’s just, so it’s very understandable. I guess the only thing I would say is It does. It’s not just black and white. You don’t some people like these are just misnomers that everyone thinks, you know, it’s well, when I start to hire, I have to hire someone full time. Right. And I have to like, give them like health insurance.

Right. It’s not. We’re in such a different world. And I think I love that. You’re like, I’m using all these things to my advantage. That’s another thing that, you know, the world-changing that you can use. to your advantage. I also would love to talk about, I mean, we were joking a little bit about this awesome hoodie that I’m wearing.

And if people have checked out your website and stuff, I think you’ve done such a great job of branding your agency, which is just like a whole other level that not all, you know, agency owners and entrepreneurs would focus on. But I think it’s fricking smart that you’ve Distinguished yourself from a branding perspective.

I love that. so did you build that yourself? did you outsource that? And like, how important is your company branding to you overall? Let’s talk about that. 

[00:41:07] Cheyenne: I have a wonderful designer, Roger Shami. He’s part of Drake’s design team for Drake’s clothing. And he was just, he is a God, he understood the message completely understood the assignment branding is everything to me.

I went to, when I was in college, I went to, I took graphic design courses. I always have had very. Keen eye for typefaces, and I gravitate towards, I’m a millennial, I gravitate towards the packaging that’s, that I like, that makes me feel good, that kind of sparks joy. And I wanted the company to be very reflective of me and my personality.

In the past, I had worked for companies whose logos were just more corporate. Just a very, for lack of a better term, and not to be rude, but drab. It’s, just, you know, lots of blacks and grays and I wanted nothing to do with that in my company. I consider myself to be a very fun person. When you email me, I’m like not shying away from an emoji.

And I wanted the company to reflect that. I, wanted it to be fun. I wanted to have a cute typeface. Those things matter to me. If I’m gonna be looking at my logo in my email signature, I better love it. Especially now that it’s my own and I can pick what I get to invest in and what I get to spend money on.

And I don’t, again, Jesse, I don’t hear any from the CEO of Brink very often, and that might be a bad thing, but for me, branding was everything, and I made a statement with mine, in that it’s not stuffy, corporate, drab, gray, it’s like I pink and red. It’s emotive. It makes you feel good. 

[00:43:00] Jessy: And do you feel like it’s you?

do you feel like you’ve made your stamp on this? Do you feel like it’s a response to what the industry would respond to? Like, how did you sort of approach what you landed on? and I don’t know if I’m making sense, but is it more you or is it more just what you think people would like gravitate towards?

Or is it a combination? 

[00:43:22] Cheyenne: Well, luckily, I know my designer well, and he knows me well, and I think it is a reflection of me and my personality. I am, with my style, I have always really liked pink, and I do think it is something now that is trending. I’m seeing pink and red outside of Valentine’s Day so much more, but I like to think it’s a reflection of me.

I like to think it’s the way that my wonderful designer, Roger Shami, sees me. Which is just I’m, maybe I’m flattering myself, but he killed it. He knocked it out of the park and branding is everything. I think if you are developing a management company or any company at this point, it should be, especially if you’re a consultant, a reflection of you and maybe, think less about what the industry expects your logo and your branding and your color palette to look like and more what you would enjoy to look like.

[00:44:21] Jessy: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s just a, it’s it’s your first impression to a lot of people. And then it could be a lasting impression on the rest of the people. I think it’s like really special that within the first couple of years, you’re sending out your merch to people and it’s like, how are you doing that?

It’s because you want people to. Identify your brands. You have a brand to identify with and it looks different. I think the uniqueness of it is extraordinary. And I just, wholeheartedly upvote the importance of branding, especially in a small business, because like those first impressions are just really important.

And also the exciting thing is that there are so many more people who are venturing out onto their own and doing their own thing, whether, you know, they’re consultants or they consider themselves like to be launching an agency. And how do you distinguish yourself amongst that, those people? And like branding is just such a great way of doing it.

So I love that you’re focusing on that. And so speaking of focusing. Like, how do you hope to grow Brink Talent Management in the next, let’s say, five years? walk us through your dreams. 

[00:45:39] Cheyenne: So I mentioned I am just at the moment not seeking to hire any full-time employees. I am a little bit jaded and I recognize that.

But eventually, I’m going to have to grow. I have a lot of pitches that I want to send out and for larger projects that are just kind of floating in my mind and I need to be able to pass those off to someone who has the skills and the passion to see those through. Most of my day-to-day, as you know, Jesse, being a business owner, it’s not just doing fun brand deals.

There’s. Finances to worry about. There are other things in my mind as an entrepreneur and my bandwidth for my passion projects, unfortunately, is just not where I want it to be. So I foresee myself bringing on some type of assistant, hopefully, someone very creative and passionate about the influencer space to help me to sort of be an extension of my ideas and be my right hand.

I think that’s going to happen sooner rather than later. I also would love to work with someone who can help me grow the roster in a desirable direction. I think there are so many. Unfortunately, I have to keep the roster very small because I am just a solopreneur one-man show. So I don’t want to do anybody a disservice and bring people on.

I would love to house more talent at Brink. There are so many people that I follow, that I have conversations with, that I just would love to bring onto the roster exclusively, but without the bandwidth or other talent managers on board. it’s so limiting and I recognize that. And I think that one of those active mistakes I am making is maybe not expanding immediately, but with the longevity that I have planned for this company, it’s just about hiring the right person.

And they think it’s about hiring the right person at the right time. So that’s kind of where the route that I’m taking is going a little bit slower, not scaling very quickly, not bringing on a bunch of people. And I hate to be the person sort of bootstrapping it. I am going to do that until I feel super confident and super comfortable and find the right person to help me expand the vision.

I also, something I’m personally passionate about is, you know, I always love a great brand partnership and I love for talent to be a part of wonderful ad campaigns with today’s top brands, but I would love to help the roster put out more product and do more creative collaborations. I want I’m biased, but I want everyone on my roster to have a podcast, video, with their podcast and just have all of the things, have the merch and everything, and I think that’s kind of where I’m going to expand is just Out of the box partnerships.

And I think that’s what you can expect from the company in 2024. I love 

[00:48:53] Jessy: that so much. Look, I think one of the distinctions for what I hear is, I don’t know, I hate to make these like broad generalizations, but in this instance, it’s positive. So I’ll make it anyway. I think that is one thing that’s special about women.

Start companies are that they’re listening to their intuitions more and need to feel it and until it feels right, run it how your intuition is telling you to because. probably spot on. I think that when we, again, like this whole conversation, so much of it is about these misnomers of business. So I’ve heard all the same things, right?

Like we all have, you know, you’re supposed to scale your company and you’re supposed to like, hire all these 

[00:49:46] Cheyenne: different people and 

[00:49:49] Jessy: yeah, all those things. I’m saying it in a dude’s voice because That’s who does that in so many instances. I read this really interesting article yesterday, I’ll send it to you, just about how more women are like angels investing in a way that they have numbers that they never had before.

And that informs things like that is such a trickle-down effect in terms of what companies are thriving because women will. Select different types of companies to invest in that resonates with them. And to what you’re saying, you’re going to run your company and perhaps in a very different way than your traditional, one because of what they are taught.

And we all just operate based on what we know. It’s no diss or no shade to anyone. That’s just, that we operate based on how we know. So I feel like. What you said just so resonated, which is to use things to your advantage, whether it’s considered good or bad, or it’s just neither of those things.

Like it just is what it is and fricking use it to your advantage. And this is one of those things. If you have great intuition, who cares what everybody else is telling you to do or what you think you should be doing? that’s all literally bullshit. Just do what your gut says. So. 

[00:51:15] Cheyenne: I could not agree more.

I think as women, we have this idea and again, we hear not a lot. Over the weekend, I was at a summit and I can’t recall the girl who said this, but. She said it so well. She said if you want to make the wrong decision, ask everyone. Oh my god, I love that just like, when I heard her say that, I was like, wow. I have been listening to myself and my intuition and that little voice in the back of my mind.

And it’s so nice to know that’s what I’ve, that’s what you’re supposed to do. use it, use your intuition. Like you said, use those soft skills. Those aren’t even soft skills. Those are like everything. Those are hard skills. And again, if you, yeah, if you want to make the wrong decision, ask everyone. And that’s such a good way of putting it.

[00:52:07] Jessy: Oh my God. It’s such a good way of putting it. And it’s so true. And look, like again, it’s just based on what we know. Sometimes you just have to experience when you do. trust your intuition and you do trust your gut and you proceed forward with that decision. And then you have the reward of Whoa, look what happened when I did that.

Some people are too scared or trepiduous to try that out. And that’s also one of the beautiful things that I’m so excited for you to experience. experience as you continue to own live and grow your own business, which is like the experimentation of it all. And being able to grow this confidence in yourself because you’re going to make decisions and you’re going to be able to be like, wow, like I achieved this because I believed in this.

I saw it through and look what happened. And there are so few instances in life where you can truly experience that. And this is totally one of them. I have a feeling that our audience is going to like, would just want to like, get in touch with you and support your talent, support you and your business growth, and maybe ask you questions, things like that.

Pimp yourself out. How can our audience connect with you? How can they learn all about what you’re doing? 

[00:53:27] Cheyenne: You can check out my beautiful website at www. brinkmgmt.com and you can follow up, you can keep up with what we’re doing and what the talent’s doing. I post everything on the company’s Instagram @brinkmgmt

You can also follow me personally. I will not stop talking about the influencer economy, decorating for the holidays, and making sourdough bread. So follow me on my personal at ChezVanuity. And keep up with me. I 

[00:54:01] Jessy: love that so much. I hope that I’m excited for the people who have watched this conversation on YouTube because they will, see the beautiful tree that’s behind you and how beautifully decorated it is.

So check, her out for all the design, all the inspiration, and just like the passion for what you’re doing. I think it’s. So exciting what you’re doing. I’m so fricking proud of you. I know that our audience will reach out and for you guys, we will include all those links in the show notes.

So check there. Thank you for coming on today. It’s so fun to catch up with you and I appreciate you sharing just like all of your learnings and just being very honest about it all. Cause I know that our audience is really, going to benefit. So thank you for that. I appreciate it. 

[00:54:53] Cheyenne: Thank you, Jessy.

This was such a pleasure. Everyone, just a round of applause for Jessy, a pillar of women in influencer marketing and such an OG in this space. Thank you, Jessy. 

[00:55:06] Jessy: Thank you guys. Thank you. Thank you for listening and we will see you guys next week. Bye, everyone.

If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back.

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Cheyenne Brink


Cheyenne Brink Venuti is the founder of Brink Talent, a boutique management company representing the next generation of digital creators. Cheyenne has been working with talent for nearly 10 years and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

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