We had the good fortune of connecting with Bear Prandelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bear, what do you attribute your success to?
Summarizing the factors that have made us successful really boils down to a couple things.
1. Growing our network as much as possible.
2. Hiring good people.
3. Don’t being scared to be different.
4. Go with your gut.
5. Be authentic.
In our experience all of these things have been a great formula for growth and recognition. When my brother and I moved to Phoenix in 2017 and started WulfenBear Media we didn’t really know anyone. We had a few friends in this part of the country, but we lacked any sort of business connections. This meant we had to hit the ground running and build out a network as fast as possible if we wanted to put food on our table.
Once we started to build a network and a repertoire of clients we came up with the obstacle of having to hire people. Not having gone to school for business or having ever owned a business prior, we lucked out when we found Katelyn Beal, our current Creative Director and Producer. Being able to bring people on to your team that you can trust and rely on is absolutely critical to creating a better workflow within your organization.
Another crucial factor for us has been point number three; not being scared to be different. We don’t shy away from the fact that we’re tattooed metal heads with a knack for doing wild shit. While we may have some clients that fall much more into the “corporate” category, we’re also not unwilling to take on weird projects, or work in multiple industries rather than pigeon-holing ourselves. This is why we’re happy to work with a public utility company one day, and then turn around and shoot with a cannabis client the next.
Number four is also something I wish I had done more when I was younger, which is to go with your gut. It took me 25 years to really listen to this instinct, but over time I’ve seen how imperative it is if you want to be a business owner.
Lastly it’s really important to know yourself, know the people you work with, and try to reflect that onto your company values. Be authentic. I can’t stress that enough. Be fucking authentic. At the end of the day, if you don’t know who you are, the clients you’re trying to attract won’t be able to feel confident in what you’re trying to pitch them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One thing that inspired me most to go in the direction that I chose to with our business is my past life experience with addiction. I spend a decade shooting heroin and smoking crack, and once I chose to get sober I realized that I needed to be grateful at being given a second chance at life. As a result of this experience, many of our clients have been treatment centers, yoga studios, holistic healing practices, and any client that focuses on community efforts to help others in need. We’ve also tried to be involved with local artists that are making a splash.
WulfenBear Media has given me the opportunity to give back to the community through doing work with non-profit organizations, as well as pursue goals I would have never thought were attainable. It’s something I do not take for granted, and I’m incredibly grateful to my brother and the amazing individuals that we work with for it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The absolute best hike in Phoenix is hands down Piestewa Peak. It’s a rough one, but the view is absolutely worth it.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Jayarr Steiner is a huge part of our story. Jayarr and I met at the beginning of the COVID lockdowns and his enthusiasm and positive attitude played a huge part in our success during a really rough patch. Being able to create art and spend time with someone who is incredible driven was a driving factor in our ability to sweep away all the B.S. and take some time to reflect on what we wanted our future vision to be.
Photos by Raina Virginia Media