Tony and Lori Melendez, Home Video Studio owners from Amherst OH, have an important anniversary coming up very soon! “Robert [Hanley, founder and CEO of HVS] told us the day we bought a Home Video Studio that we’d never forget the date,” says Tony, “and he was right! We decided to become studio owners on May 11, 2002.” That makes Tony and Lori nearly ten year veterans and, in many of their colleague’s eyes, the “Deans” of Home Video Studio owners.
What makes them successful? If you’re looking for secrets or shortcuts there are none. Tony and Lori exhibit the age-old traits of teamwork, a tireless work ethic, daily attention to goals and doing what needs to be done. They also display good old-fashioned kindness – a winsome quality that makes them a hit with their customers and a joy to be around.
Like many Home Video Studios Tony and Lori have worked as a team their entire married life. Tony spent his career as an educator - teaching and coaching - and has run his video business alongside of these demands, first on his own and then as a Home Video Studio franchisee. “A mentor told me when I first started teaching not to put all my eggs in one basket,” says Tony. Some teachers paint or clean windows on the side. I liked video so I started my own video business and worked it in the evenings, on weekends and in the summer.” Lori, who has a background in marketing and also ran a successful daycare while tending to the video venture, has partnered with him from the beginning. Together they took the daily steps necessary to fulfill their dream of a full-time video business. Upon Tony’s retirement from teaching last May that dream has become a reality. Not only that, but it is a family affair with children Evan, Kaitlyn, Rocky and Amanda chipping in along the way as well.
So how did they find Home Video Studio? “That’s really interesting,” laughs Melendez. I had taken on a wedding job and it was turning into a nightmare. It started out with my needing technical support and I couldn’t find any help – even with the manufacturer of my equipment. I happened to pick up a Videomaker magazine and saw an ad for Home Video Studio and called. Soon I was talking to a stranger named Robert Hanley who not only pointed me in the right direction for my technical problem but advised me on some pricing as well.”
With that Tony realized he wanted to be in business for himself but not by himself and soon Tony and Lori attended a Show-N-Tell in Indianapolis. On that fateful day in May they became studio owners and have enjoyed the income, support, expertise and camaraderie that Home Video Studio brings.
In the past ten years Tony and Lori have built a business and made money doing what they love…creating videos and making people happy. They have also won many international awards, including Studio Owners of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Best Video Production, Best Wedding and Best High Concept Video.
Do Tony and Lori have any advice for someone looking into being a studio owner? “This is a good time, maybe even necessary for some people, to go into business for themselves. If you have a passion for video this is the best way to do it.”