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Rising Stars: Meet Bobby Marsden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby Marsden.

Hi Bobby, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
For the past 20 years, I have worked as a producer for a variety of advertising agencies, production companies and brands creating television commercials, social content and experiential activations (the last full time gig being a producer at Netflix).

I also design and build luxury bespoke furniture with an emphasis on live-edge exotic wood and resin.

In 2017, I went freelance as a producer to broaden my horizons and have more flexibility with scheduling film and television projects, and to command higher pay rates. Having a flexible schedule is what I love most! It opens up time to explore activities outside of the day job. With having more flexibility. I was able to work more with my wife who is a very talented resin artist. In doing so, we were able to take on more commissioned projects which led to an opportunity to design and build a set of Teak/Resin bar stools. The request came from a collector who had commissioned a few pieces of art from my wife Christina. I had a background in wood working so when we were presented with the opportunity to create something neither one of us had any experience making – we said “what the heck” and took the challenge on. She had extensive experience with resin and we felt we could combine our skill sets to create something together,

The result was 4 beautiful stools, a very happy client, and new requests for furniture based on a social media post featuring the new stools. There has been a consistent string of commission requests since that first project back in 2018 and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to apply my varied skill sets in a diversified way that leads to income.

Some days I manage huge commercial productions and other days I am in the wood shop sanding a beautiful piece of wood.

It keeps things interesting which makes life fun.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I don’t think a “smooth road” has been the experience most people have had lately. Our story is no different,

When the pandemic hit we, like many, had to pivot and adapt. We’re fortunate that we bring a varied skill set to the table. Our pivot was to take what could be considered a “hobby” and turn it into a real business that helps to support our family and long-term goals.

Two big pivots I made after the pandemic hit were to:
1. Launch an LLC that I can be paid through when working as a freelance content producer to better manage my finances.
2. Launch a home decor design and manufacturing division to diversify income streams.

Within any project, my natural instinct is to push the boundaries and venture into new territories. Any time you do that there will be struggles. Without struggle there is no growth and I like to grow with each project I take on.

When it comes to working with live-edge wood – there are always unknown hurdles and challenges because you are working with an ever-changing element. It keeps things interesting for sure!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’ve been called a Renaissance Man by some because I work in such a diversified way.

On one hand, I produce content including commercials, social and experiential for some of the largest brands in the world including, Google, Intel, Target, and Oculus to name a few.

And on the other, I design and build luxury live-edge furniture for private residences and commercial operations.

Two very unrelated things… but it’s also what keeps me engaged in my day-to-day. I love being able to think with both sides of my brain. I also love being able to work with my hands in the shop and then break way to use my wits on a film set.

Some people are wired to focus on one thing. I’m wired differently and am happier (and more effective) when I can work on a variety of unrelated projects.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
For me, success is defined by the journey and not the result.

The result is trivial and up to whomever is judging it.

The journey is mine to take and if I’m happy as I take each step… then I’ve succeeded.

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