Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Kyle Johnson. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Kyle, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
Although Dapper Moose Entertainment aims to bring happiness to others, the creation of the company comes from a dark place. I have dealt with a mystery, invisible illness for almost 10 years. In 2018, the illness took a turn and forced me from the classroom, where he taught Social Studies in Rochester, NY for about a decade. Between the illness and inability to work, I entered a deep depression. Thanks to therapy, I was able to rise from the ashes. Toward the end of 2019, the idea of Dapper Moose Entertainment was born.
At first, the plan was for Dapper Moose Entertainment to release a game on Kickstarter called It’s When … Despite being popular, the campaign failed because the goal was set to high. So, in the spring of 2020, I licked my wounds and planned my next move. In the meantime, I began designing a children’s book I wrote several years earlier. In July of 2020, The Cacklecoggler – a story about acceptance and understanding – launched and Dapper Moose Entertainment was officially in business.
In the years since launching, Dapper Moose Entertainment has adopted a plan for slow, steady growth. Its deliberate approach has now put the business in an excellent position. Dapper Moose Entertainment is gaining traction both online and in stores in Rochester, NY. By the end of 2023, the publishing business will have expanded into other markets.
Kyle, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Dapper Moose Entertainment is Changing. The. Game. because our mission is to show that our quality work can compete with the big publishing houses and large businesses. Dapper Moose does not have the same amount of capital at the moment, but its products are equal or superior to those giant corporations. While those industry leaders have thousands of employees, Dapper Moose is essentially operated by one person: me, the founder. I basically does everything for the business except for the illustrations for the children’s books. I write, edit, designs books and promotional materials, ship, direct marketing and public relations, am the sales rep, and much more. Soon, I am giving control of the business side of Dapper Moose Entertainment to the Chief Financial Officer, Gabriella Sessa, who has background in publishing and years of experience in finance. I am thrilled about this partnership and look forward to taking the business to the next level.
I am proud of the quality of his work. It’s only a matter of time. Once these books and games are in peoples’ hands, Dapper Moose Entertainment will take off. For now, it has been slow, steady, and deliberate growth. The old fable is true: slow and steady wins the race. The key is never giving up, which is the heartbeat of Dapper Moose Entertainment. Success is on the horizon because we will not quit until we achieve it.
Can you talk to us about how you funded your business?
The main reason for Dapper Moose Entertainment’s slow, steady growth has been a lack of capital. There simply wasn’t enough capital to invest in the amount of inventory necessary to enter local stores. So, for the first two years, Dapper Moose Entertainment operated exclusively online. While that is still a major focus, the business now is able to thoughtfully enter the marketplace in Rochester, NY. Thanks to a Home Equity Line of Credit, I was able to generate enough capital to really get the ball rolling in the summer of 2022. Since then, the momentum has been strong. Dapper Moose Entertainment has gained serious traction and is growing weekly.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
This entire business is built on resilience. It’s built on clawing out from your lowest point and making your dream come true. It’s built on continuing to grind despite a lack of funds. The goal during that time was to increase brand awareness. Spread the word about Dapper Moose Entertainment anyway possible. Networking and building a fan base was essential to getting the company in the position to take off. It’s built on missing your first shot, but learning from it and grabbing the rebound.
(Side note: I have three tattoos. One is on my left arm. It’s the phrase “You owe it to yourself.” typed on a crumpled piece of paper. This comes from an email I got from a professional writer with whom I shared some of my writing. He said that I owe it to myself to see this through. That I could do this. This tattoo reminds me that I owe it to myself to keep going no matter what and in a number of aspects of life. My second tattoo is a phoenix on my right arm with “rise from the ashes” above it. That kind of speaks for itself, but it’s also a reminder of how far I have come and what kind of heart I have. The third tattoo is an colorized version of the Dapper Moose logo because I AM Dapper Moose. It’s part of me to the core.)
- Website: DapperMooseEntertainment.com
- Instagram: DapperMooseEntertainment
- Facebook: Dapper Moose Entertainment
- Twitter: @Moose_Dapper
- Youtube: Dapper Moose Books & Games
- Other: Our TikTok seems to be fairly popular. That is @DapperMooseEntertainment
Kyle A. Johnson/Dapper Moose Entertainment