From pastor to filmmaker might sound like an unlikely path, but when you hear the story of Relicwood Media, it seems to make perfect sense.
Donovan Fulkerson is the owner and creative force behind what is quickly becoming a media powerhouse in the southwest. After attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), he spent more than a decade as a pastor, then, ran a valet company that catered to upper level establishments in Dallas, Texas. It was when Donovan realized he could combine the learning from both those experiences that Relicwood was born.
“I felt the life lessons learned leading and serving people in both church and professional sectors gave me what I needed to operate my own company.”
Donovan moved his family back to his hometown of Roswell, NM to start their own business. While it might seem like a daunting change to many people, Donovan comes from a family of entrepreneurs. And he knew what he wanted to do, too. Even as a child, Donovan was creatively driven – acting, writing, drawing and making music. That influence continued with media throughout his life.
“I’m a serious media junkie and love movies and xbox gaming. My wife calls me a ‘cool geek.'”
In 2011, Relicwood Media opened for business with almost immediate success. The company already has three major film projects on it’s resume.
Camp (2013 release) is a story about a foster boy and a business man. The film is based on true events from Royal Family Kids Camp, a foster care camp system in the US. It was shown nationwide in 85 cities to over 40,000 viewers and DVD/Blu-Ray copies are moving off the shelves right now.
The Roswell Project (2014 release) is a campy revisit of the 1947 Roswell Incident.
And finally, the Tailed Film Series (2013 release & years to come) is an – award winning sci-fi adventure short film and series that follows characters Martin and Corey as they try to survive a futuristic alien invasion of earth by a race of shape shifting aliens who have kidnapped their baby.
All that in two years? How does Relicwood do it?
After my interview with Donovan, I’ll tell you what I think: Vision.
See, it’s not just about business for Relicwood, it’s about creating something positive and hopeful to share with their family, their community and the world.
“My desire for excellence in the film industry is my daily inspiration to push past the regular challenges of operating your own business. I also wanted to establish something for future generations to look to and have inspiration when chasing their own dreams as well as a company they can work for if they choose.”
“Relicwood came from months of creation. I wanted something original and with deep meaning so I created my own brand by combining two words representing my spiritual heritage. A relic is an object of historical spiritual value and wood relates to the cross of Christ. My spirituality is a huge part of all I do.”
And while being a filmmaker sounds like fun, there’s always a serious side to every business. When I asked Donovan about Relicwood’s biggest challenges, he told me the same thing I hear from other clients: the knowledge and courage to price yourself based on what you’re worth.
“Most people do not know how to value what their products are worth. We cost more than the average company but the product you get is far superior to others. The temptation to ‘compete’ comes but the more I maintain our vision, we gain clients who are long term and value our services.”
Looking at Relicwood’s success so far, it’s clear that this young company “get’s it.” They have that magic combination of hard work, creative vision and love for what for they do.
Oh, and persistence. They have that, too. In fact, that’s the advice Donovan offers to would-be entrepreneurs.
“Staying power! You have to be committed whole-heartedly and then even more. Operating your own business is a never-ending job and the actual “making money” part takes a long time. We are almost to where we can start to break even after two and a half years of work. There are people that will attempt to get you to give up and quit so your resolve must be strong. If you have any doubts about starting, do not do it until you are 100% sure.”
Much thanks to Donovan and Relicwood media for sharing their inspirational story with me. Show them some love and learn more about this great company by visiting their web site and liking them on Facebook.