Meet Lady Boss: Carrie Sagel Burns, The CEO & Chief Movie Buff Behind Atlanta Movie Tours (Q&A)
1. When and how did your brand come about? What is Atlanta Movie Tours & what does your brand mean to you?
I used to give tours to friends coming into town for events like Dragon Con and other conventions, generally around The Walking Dead since we all loved watching season 1 film in Castleberry Hill, where I’ve lived since 2001. Filming has been a big part of Castleberry Hill, so has managing it. Working with productions to try and make things easier on the residents and businesses is always a big deal and always something that can be done better. A girlfriend, Patti Davis, invited me to a dinner in January, 2012 and inevitably we started talking about The Walking Dead, which all fans do. She said we should do these tours as a business and 3 months later we did that.
2. Who/what inspires you both as an individual and business?
My sister says my loft in Castleberry Hill is like a curiosity shop and I feel that way about inspiration. I collect it from everywhere and have so many great entrepreneurs to collect from that I stay motivated regardless of the area where I’m lacking motivation. My husband taught me about centering my life and space and calm and even my Calm app that I use for meditation has great inspirational quotes at the end of every session. Inspiration is literally everywhere.
3. Any advice for other business beginners? other female entrepreneurs?
I would say to learn to prioritize, I think we weight things more heavily that don’t need or deserve the weight, it’s in our heads. Take a breath, organize yourself and prioritize…you’ll feel better. Find the tools that work for you - Asana for task management (or Slack, I find it’s kinda either or depending on your situation), Calm app for meditation, Gusto for payroll, Phone.com for call routing, When I Work for employee scheduling, find your tools! Take time for you, trust me, if the world is going to fall apart because you have your nails done you haven’t built something sustainable, I started using that instead of the hit by a bus methodology when I bought buses. Build a team, start with trust and you will succeed. Just remember that “success” is different for everyone.
We built the brand around our love of movies and Atlanta- it’s the perfect combination of everything fun about filming and tourism in our great city!
Carrie Sagel Burns, Atlanta Movie Tours
4. Your favorite thing about what you do?
Everything! I love building something from nothing, but more than anything, I love learning and building a business from nothing means you are always learning. Learn your limits, set your goals, plan your day before you go to bed, including “me” time and you will love everything about what you do too. We have built a family at Atlanta Movie Tours and much like the fandom behind The Walking Dead we are building fans who love everything about filming in Georgia and Atlanta. Our team is passionate about the guest experience and when you are passionate about what you do you aren’t working, you just want to do it.
5. What's next for you and your brand?
Continuing to further our relationships with the studios and productions and working to connect the fandom is a big goal, it’s the full circle of the energy and passion that our team harnesses. Knowing we are a “bucket list” check mark for our fans is amazing and working with industry partners we can grow into so many areas. Locally we are looking at continuing to leave our mark on Castleberry Hill and Atlanta, bridging the gap between locals and productions and changing up our retail shop. Being able to literally make a movie or TV show come to life for a guest and expanding on that with studio tours and bigger and better experiences is a huge milestone we are striving to achieve.
To learn more on Atlanta Movie Tours visit https://atlantamovietours.com/ and stay tuned for more #ladyboss features to come!
Know a female entrepreneur you'd like to nominate? E-mail your submissions to email@example.com.
Until next time...