NASHVILLE SINCE 2010
Kim Paige didn’t set out to start a business. But when she threw a songwriting festival in her parents’ backyard in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, people loved it, so much so that she had to do it for a second year. Five years later, the annual Roscolusa Songwriter’s Festival draws 6,000 people, and its marketing and branding has caught so many eyes that Kim now runs a business creating the same success for clients in Nashville.
Music has been Kim’s focus from day one. “I was always super hyper, and my mom wanted to put me into things so I could keep focused,” she says. “I ended up taking every class possible: on camera class, improv class, Broadway, private vocal lessons, piano, guitar.” She went to an arts school for high school, where she was a piano major focused on classical piano. In 2010, she graduated and moved to Nashville to attend Belmont and major in songwriting.
“I got very lucky and very fortunate, and my sophomore year at Belmont I got signed to my first – and only – publishing deal, at Young Guns Publishing,” she recalls. “It was an awesome experience, especially being a sophomore in college.” She wrote for them and continued to explore the academic side at Belmont.
The goal of Young Guns was to sign a handful of up and coming singer songwriters and develop them as artists, Kim included. “Because we were all so young, the company didn’t have money to send us on writers retreats and songwriter festivals,” she says. “I’m seeing all these other people and their publishing companies are sending them out and I’m like, well shoot, we can go to hometown, which is in Florida, $49 one way on Southwest, and my family’s there, they live on the Intracoastal (Waterway).”
In 2012, she and a handful of friends bought flights and headed to Kim’s beach town, and the first Roscolusa was born. “My mom had a bunch of friends that were super excited, they love the arts,” she recalls. Friends brought over wicker furniture and Kim’s dad, who owns an electrical company in Jacksonville, built a temporary stage, which Kim and her friends decorated. 150 people came. “It just turned out, into this beautiful event, and that was gonna be it, no big deal,” Kim recalls. “But then the next year everyone’s like, when’s Roscolusa gonna happens again, and I was like, well, shoot, I haven’t thought about that.”
Kim had long been passionate about and involved with the local Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, which helps families tackle childhood cancer. “I was like, maybe this is the opportunity that I can actually make money for them,” she recalls. The nearby community of Nocatee reached out to host the event, and some local partners came on board. Between Kim, her mother, and good family friend, Steve Nix, they put together the second event in just 45 days. They had never planned more than a birthday party, the second year was a hit, drawing 2,000 people. Now the festival, which delivers the intimate atmosphere of great songs paired with the stories behind the writing of them is an annual staple, last year drawing 6,000.
“Through Roscolusa, I fell in love with the business side,” Kim says. As Roscolusa continued to grow, she kept getting the same questions: who does your branding? Who does your socials? Those questions led to an opportunity, and Kim began to take on clients to grow their careers he way she’s grown Roscolusa. She still writes songs once a week, but has recently launched a new business in partnership with Mary Harrington, called What It Is Collective, doing social media and branding work for clients.
It’s grown now to the point that she’s able to hire on team members. “It’s terrifying, but so exciting,” she says. And she’s still growing Roscolusa. “My end goal is a cruise,” she says. “We’re going on a cruise.”
Follow her @kimpaigemusic