We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Hiller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my love for music at a very early age. After getting my degree in music, I finally realized that I had to figure out some way to monetize it. Otherwise, my passion would become my hobby. My business didn’t start initially as an event business. It evolved over the years into what it has become. I’m constantly tweaking, molding, and shaping. The entertainment industry is constantly changing, so we need to constantly change with it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been a musician since I can remember. I used to take all of the pots and pans out of the kitchen drawers and drum along to my parent’s vinyl collection. They finally got me a guitar, (much less noisy and messy… haha) and the rest is history. I played all through school, got a degree in music in New Orleans, toured the country, and landed here in San Diego. I now run a business that specializes in corporate events, weddings, and private parties. I have a house with a picket fence, two beautiful daughters, and a loving wife. It’s about as Americana as you can get, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It was never easy and is still not easy. Challenges are a constant obstacle, but any full-time musician accepts them as a reality of the business. Between laws and regulations, competition in the market, and pesky viruses preventing people from interacting, it’s always a wild ride! I’ve learned to constantly move forward. Even if there isn’t anything pressing, make sure to press on. Find things to accomplish if none are obvious, and stay positive. It’s so easy to be negative and requires much more energy to be optimistic. However, in my opinion, that is what keeps any business above water.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the beaches! Surfing is my favorite activity outside of music, so I’d go to Blacks, Scripps Pier, OB Pier, Diamond st, or 15th st in Del Mar. Mexican food is a must when you’re hungry, and would go to Salud or Las Quatras Milpas in Barrio Logan, Vallertas in Clairemont, or Nicos in Del Mar. The Zoo is my favorite place to take the kids, and a walk through Balboa Park is one of my favorite pastimes as well. Definitely need a cold beer at Panama 56 to finish things off! The Belly Up, Music Box, and Winstons in OB are great places to hear some live music to top off the night.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Josh Jose from the Acoustic Spot, Joe Cardillo and Brian Whalstrom from GigTown, Veronica Carr from Type A Soiree Events, and Steve and Willie Redfearn from Redfearn and Associates. The guys at GigTown: Brian Whalstrom, Joe Cardillo, and Andy Altman.
Brad Golden, MaryAnne McGuire