We had the good fortune of connecting with Stone Stafford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stone, what’s your definition for success?
As we already know, success is different for everyone. Success for me, personally, is simply defined as having the ability and resources to do what I want to do, when and how I want to do it, while being able to help, bless or otherwise benefit others without need for concern for my own viability.
What should our readers know about your business?
At 10,000 ft.², with four main control rooms, and state of the art equipment, Icon Studios is one of the largest major studios in the city of Atlanta. However, unlike most of the studios in Atlanta we are a non-smoking facility. For a while we were the only non-smoking facility in the city amongst the major studios, however over the years one or two more major facilities have also adopted that policy.
I believe that people don’t buy products or services, they buy experiences. Our goal at Icon is for people to have an amazing experience from everything from our staff, to the environment, to the tools we make available for creators to do their work.
Started in 2008, Icon is the only major studio in Atlanta with its original owners since inception. There are many things we can attribute our success and longevity too, but make no mistake, it starts out with being good people who do good and fair business. Sometimes being the “good guy” can make your road a little more rocky and much more steep in an industry where people are used to being taken advantage of and not being able to trust strangers. That was a necessary and hard lesson to learn along the way.
We also learned that people don’t instinctively take care of your stuff! And at the end of the day, everyone is always looking out for number one. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you understand that, it helps you network and negotiate more effectively.
When it’s all said and done, people always return to quality and trust. That’s the brand we hope we’ve established in this industry.
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.
Eat, eat, eat! Every day would be a new dining experience at one of the ladders many infinitely delicious restaurants.. For starters we would definitely hit up Poor Calvins right out the gate for the most amazing Asian-Soul fusion cuisine that ever hit a taste bud. And the drinks will make you love anything you do and everyone you’re with!
Whereas, it’s one of those places were after you’ve been once or twice you’re kind of over it, if you’ve never been, I would definitely take them to the Georgia Aquarium.
Latin night at Sanctuary would absolutely be on the list of to do’s as well as catching a Falcon’s Hawks or Atlanta United game. (We would only do a Braves game if they were a diehard baseball fan, otherwise, we would definitely hit up tourist Park for some bowling at Punch Bowl).
Wine and karaoke recording in one of the studio rooms will be a highlight of their trip/visit.
The rest of the time more than likely would be spent with our incredibly fun friends and family at the house around the fire pit and the pool with food, drinks and tons of laughter. And if they’re comfortable enough, might even put them on the table in the spa room for an incredibly relaxing massage.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out list is quite long, but the major players who established vital mile markers along my journey include: my wife Tashia Stafford, my mother Geraldine Stafford, my good friends Albert “Mac” McKissack, Ian Burke, Christopher Young, Antonio Avant, Renae McNeil, Latanya Davis and James O’Neal.