We were lucky to catch up with Thomas and Rosma Newell recently and have shared our conversation below.
Thomas and Rosma, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Risking taking is a huge part of most people’s story but too often society overlooks those risks and only focuses on where you are today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – it could be a big risk or a small one – but walk us through the backstory.
It is never easy starting a business that will impact the community a person resides in and most importantly, acting on the assignment that was given. There was a time when we were wondering where could we go to have clean entertainment that would not compromise our faith. We could not find that place outside of the four walls of the church. This is when our business, “SayThat” was birth. We took the risk financially and spiritually to begin this journey. Not only did we compete with late-night clubs with alcohol and language content, but we had our identity question. Either we were too churchy or a place where we offered the same ambiance as the other clubs offered with our style of music. We continue to press on the vision that God has given us to act on, and we’ve watched other artists grow in their artistry.
Thomas and Rosma, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
As a Mediator and Life Coach, our mission is to help restore healthy and strong marriages through marital coaching. Our business, Newell Mediation Services provide couples strategies to help pull away layers of hurt caused by poor communication. We facilitate with couples with solution-focus outcomes that will give them tools and strategies to use that will help guard their family against destructive conflict, deepen their love and intimacy for each other to begin the journey to a healthy relationship and stronger family. What sets us apart is that we work together as a team helping married couples to see one professional. The couple not only receives the spiritual concept but receive the conflict resolution that will help water and grow their relationship. Our entertainment business, SayThat, brings clean comedy, spoken word, and music to our community that is different from the usual nightlife scene. Our mission is to bring entertainment that will be inspiring for others to begin to explore their gift of artistry to the world that will uplift others with their comedy, words, and music. We want people to leave our events saying, “I’m glad I came out” or ” Wow, I needed that laugh”. Proving a place for people to come out and feel relaxed from the day-to-day stress is our goal.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Shutting down operations due to COVID-19 was not only scary but we had to put the lives of ourselves the entertainers, ad the people to who we provide entertainment. Our brand was building with consistent shows, we were excited about the growth. However; safety was our top priority and we canceled our shows until we believe it was safe. Most small business owners went under and we felt that we were in the same situation. However, we had to resume with caution. If we believe that this is what we were called to bring this platform to our communities, we had to resume with the mindset that we have to market differently. We didn’t have a contingency plan for COVID-19. So we had to remain resilient in continuing what we began in 2015. We have resumed with the first night booked. We celebrate every victory. Every shows no matter the crowd size.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
Unlearn lesson; Placing season artist on the mic. Placing veteran artists or musicians as headliners because of their name or word of mouth without doing research will never happen again. We had to learn that not all artists understand our mission and only about compensation, it will damage our brand with poor performance or insulting a member in the crowd. Now, we only have line-ups and open mic during the show which allows guests to engage with others and capture the style of performers that are presenting.
- Website: https://saythatentertainment.com
- Instagram: funnybone_entertainment
- Facebook: FunnyBone Lounge
- Youtube: SayThat FunnyBones
- Other: For Newell Mediation Services https://newellmediation.org Facebook: Newell Mediation Services
Image credits: Rosma Newell, Carolyn Parker, Gabreal Lyrix