Cruz Productions Shares Love of Music

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Joel Cruz, Patrick Zurn, and Brent King are firm believers in an old adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never go to work a day in your life.” The trio of entrepreneurs turned their love of music into a business, Cruz Productions, a rapidly growing DJ, videography, and photography business serving Southside Virginia and regions beyond.

“I’ve always had a passion for music,” Zurn says. “I saw this as an opportunity to not only enjoy my passion for music, but also to give people a memorable experience.”

CEO Joel Cruz and COO Brent King shared a dorm room at Longwood University. “We met in the community lounge and immediately connected,” Cruz says. “Brent was the first to get me a DJ gig at Longwood, and Patrick was the one who helped us break into the Greek-life market, which ended up being our largest source of revenue during our initial start-up phase.”

They learned about the Longwood SBDC in Farmville from a professor. The trio scheduled an appointment with consultant Kim Ray. “She helped with all the required paperwork, helping us define what our company actually is and how we should run it,” King adds. “She was involved in every aspect, and she deserves all the credit.”

With Zurn’s love of music, Cruz’s DJ skills, and King’s connections, the stage was set, the lights were cued, and Cruz Productions was born. The three friends launched their business on November 3, 2015.

“The SBDC helped our business immensely,” King says. “Although we’re business majors, the classes at the University couldn’t possibly have prepared us for what was entailed in owning our own business in terms of paperwork, approvals, certifications, and doing everything by the book.”

Support from the SBDC didn’t end with start-up help. Cruz Productions has continued to benefit from ongoing check-ins with the SBDC staff. “They’ve been a pillar for us to fall back on whenever we had something we did not quite understand, particularly with tax questions and regulations,” King says. “The SBDC is a place we can walk into anytime and have a question answered.”

“We developed our business out of a genuine passion for music,” Cruz concludes. “Money eventually came, but it’s not the center of our drive. When the hard times come around, which they will, looking back on why we started our business will keep us going. Remember, but never stop pushing forward, and don’t be afraid of risk. Do what you love.”
Virginia SBDC