Liz Giorgi, CEO & Co-Founder, soona

“We need visual storytelling to connect with our customers.”

Minnesota native Liz Giorgi fell in love with the news—more specifically, Barbara Walters—at a young age. “I wanted to be her and I wanted to be the one who decided what should be in the news,” she recalls.

This childhood infatuation eventually led to Giorgi enrolling in the journalism program at the University of Minnesota, where she quickly realized that being an on-camera talent wasn’t as appealing as she had once imagined. Instead, she found passion within storytelling and the technical parts of video production.

Now at the helm of the Denver photo and video studio, soona, Giorgi’s mission is to provide brands with professional-quality multimedia marketing content for less than the price of stock imagery—and all within 24 hours.

We talked with the innovative entrepreneur about the failures and victories of starting her new company, the worst advice she’s ever received, her go-to book for female founders and what the term “bitch magic” means to her.

What is your company solving for?

Today’s marketing demands a constant flow of content. No matter what you are trying to sell or communicate, we need visual storytelling to connect with our customers. But to get that level of quality and quantity—and get it quickly? It was impossible. soona makes pro level photo and video accessible TODAY starting at $39.

What’s one mistake you made when you started your company?

In retrospect, we launched with the wrong pricing. We have since changed the pricing, but we started with a menu that just did not make sense to people who don’t work in production.

And one big thing you did right?

Asking Hayley Anderson to be my co-founder. As our Chief Creative Officer, she has taken our product and brought it to life in a way that far exceeds anything I could have ever dream of on my own. She has a vision and a passion for the experience we are cultivating that really inspires me on a daily basis.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I am a power consumer of media. It is my first love after all. Reading: Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”. Watching: “Glow” on Netflix. Listening to: “Summer Girl” by HAIM.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

“You have to pay your dues.” Good ideas and bold vision doesn’t have a career ladder to respect. Instead, it’s about being humble enough to know what you don’t know and cultivating a network of cheerleaders who can help you fill the gaps.

What would be the title of your autobiography and why?

Bitch Magic: How to Stop Being So Nice All the Time So You Can Get Sh*t Done.

What book do you think every female founder should read?

Everything Nora Ephron has written. She understands female neuroticism better than anyone.

What’s one thing that makes your life easier? This could be a product, tool, app, even an employee!

Having a network of women business owners that I have cultivated over the years. You NEED people who get it in your life. I will literally text them the most confusing messages and they always respond.

Describe an instance where you “failed forward.”

soona was the product of failing forward. I had the vision of expanding my first business, Mighteor, into new product categories a few years ago by building a studio. As I was working on the business plan, I realized there was no point in just opening a rental space. And as we thought about problems our clients want solved, Mighteor Studios died and soona was born.

Who is one person you would love to have dinner/drinks with?

My great-grandma Anna Giorgi. I never met her, but she immigrated to the US from Italy and started her own apple store in Minnesota as an immigrant. I would love to know more about Anna’s Apples. A lot of that history is missing from our family and it would be wonderful to understand it.

How will you know when you or your company have ‘made it’?

Most days I feel like I have made it already! I get to work with people I love on a vision I believe in with my entire heart and soul. People send us the most amazing love notes about soona. I am living the dream and “making it” to me is being able to continue the journey to the next chapter.