OV3 Studio

In Service of Community: OV3 Media

Mountain Scape

OV3 Studio

In Service of Community: OV3 Media

By day, and sometimes night, Josh Grim is a firefighter in Henrico, Virginia, where he works 24-hour shifts responding to emergencies in the Richmond area. He works this full-time schedule eleven days per month and spends the remaining 20 days in Stuarts Draft where he lives with his family.   

Twenty-five years ago, when Josh still called the Ohio Valley in West Virginia home, he and his friends started playing music – a pastime that would start his business OV3 media a few decades later. 

Josh remembers, “When we lived in the Ohio Valley area of West Virginia, my friends and I used to play music in the basement of an old townhouse. As life went on, my friend Chad took a job in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I moved to Stuarts Draft, Virginia. We still got together a few times a year and Chad eventually turned his basement into his home recording studio (which was a lot nicer than the original basement in the Ohio Valley). During the pandemic, when we couldn’t jam in person, we switched to Zoom. One night, we came up with the idea that we could utilize the technology we already had to help others look and sound good on these virtual platforms. We had all the gear and the knowledge to offer this service remotely. In addition, we knew we could help others produce quality video content, get their music published and help them with the copyright process. With all these related services, we figured we were able to provide a lot of value in a world that was shifting more and more toward virtual media and communications. While Chad works full time as a mechanical engineer at General Electric and I am a firefighter with a crazy schedule, we decided to take the leap and start this business while working full time.”  

Once they’d taken the leap, Josh and Chad got a website together and got licensed. One of their first clients was to edit the audio and video at Josh’s church in Waynesboro. He explains, “Everyone knows how nerve-wrecking the few minutes are before you hit “live”. Growing up in West Virginia, we didn’t have access to any opportunities that would even get close to what we’re doing now. The closest city to us was Pittsburgh. Now that we’re in this situation with full-time jobs and the internet, we want to help others who don’t have this level of access. We want them to not have to do it all themselves or reinvent the wheel. We love empowering people by taking that fear away and eliminating all the scary steps that lead up to your first live-stream or recording.”

OV3 Media – an homage to Ohio Valley and the initial 3 co-founders, helps people produce their music or podcast, advises them on setting up their home studio, and consults clients on buying the right equipment. 

The Early Days

As a full-time firefighter, Josh had no background in entrepreneurship but he was able to lean on his fellow firefighters, many of whom have small businesses in industries such as electrical, construction, HVAC and landscaping. He talked to them at work and asked for advice. He googled and found the Small Business Administration website. Josh and Chad did lots of research and reading online to figure out the paperwork and licenses. About his personal network Josh says, “It was really about the people around me who encouraged us. They told me what to do and what not to do. They were gracious enough to let me go off of their shoulders.”

Once OV3 media was up and running, the co-founders realized they needed a business and marketing plan to take the next steps. So far, they had figured most things out on their own, and a visit to the movies in Staunton opened up their next opportunity, as Josh recalls. “I took my daughters to see Super Mario Brothers at Visulite. I had never heard of the Staunton Innovation Hub right next door and once I looked it up, I realized it was exactly what we had been searching for. I immediately set up a meeting with Amy Lessley, the community manager, to find out how we might utilize the space and become part of their community. Since our entire business has been built entirely on community and relationships, the Hub turned out to be a great fit. I called Chad and told him “I think we’ve turned the corner.” 

We’ve been progressing much faster in the three months since joining the Hub than we did the twelve months before trying to figure it out on our own. The Hub has great equipment and a cool group of remote workers, small nonprofits and businesses. We got connected to the Shenandoah Community Capital Fund which provided great marketing advice and we met other video- and audio producers. Whenever we meet a potential client who isn’t a great fit for us, but would be well suited for our “competition”, we happily refer them. We don’t think of the other service providers as competition, we know there’s enough work for everyone. For us, it’s about service first: If we help people and make a little money, that’s great. But on a deeper level, entrepreneurship to us  is about being intentional and offering our help in a professional way to our communities.”

The Upside of the Side Hustle

About running a business on the side while working full time Josh says, “Chad and I both wanted to take that big entrepreneurial leap but we also had to stay rooted in reality: We have bills to pay and our families to support. We want to do this well and continue to a point where it might become our full-time job. Right now, running the business on the side allows us the flexibility to devote time, energy and resources to it without the financial pressure. That way, we can grow organically and lay a strong foundation without the stress of replacing two full-time incomes. Besides, doing it on the side helps us stay focused. It’s a passion of ours. We don’t call it work, we call it our small business. It’s never felt like work and we enjoy every minute of it.” 

Lessons So Far

One year into their entrepreneurship journey, Chad and Josh have learned a lot – about business and themselves. 

 “I’ve learned a lot about getting outside of my comfort zone: Your initial projects are not going to be perfect. It’s not going to happen. Set yourself a deadline and do it. Even if it’s scary. How many people are in the world today that have a great idea but never take the leap? It’s also been a great boost in confidence to see that we’re able to help people turn their ideas into reality. It’s been so gratifying to watch our clients realize what they’re capable of with a little bit of help.”

“I don’t know what you’re good at or what your hobby is but getting into a community of fellow small business owners, it makes a world of difference that you didn’t even know you needed it.” – Josh Grim 

Helping People Sound and Look Good Online

Josh and Chad are working with a few clients and are geering up to take on more work. They want to support anyone who needs a little bit of encouragement to step outside of their comfort zone; anyone who has a piece of music or video or even a podcast. “ We help your business to be seen and heard.”, Josh elaborates, “If you’re producing content you typically have to pay for every stock video, every sound clip, etc. We produce your podcast, sound effects, everything that makes you sound good. We have the licenses so our clients don’t have to worry about that part. In brief, we help people be protected and do it right. We love working with small community leaders, churches and businesses here in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.”

To connect with OV3 Media, check out their website. Contact Josh and Chad through the website or meet them at the Staunton Innovation Hub!