Alessandra Maderni is the co-founder and CEO of Shipsomnia a music festival cruise. Take a look at the Shipsomnia photo gallery to really get an idea of what that means. She is also a shrewd business woman who launched the floating music festival with $350K in seed money and turned that into $4.4 million in sales with projected sales of $50 million by 2020.

We talk about what Shipsomnia is and how it creates an immersive experience. Alessandra shares her background in marketing and branding. Her positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. We talk about whether passion can be taught and what to look for when building a team. Alessandra also closes with her top advice for launching a large business venture.

Show Notes

  • [03:29] Shipsomnia is the first fully themed music festival cruise with the world’s biggest production at sea.
  • [03:47] It’s the ultimate vacation experience driven by disruptive content. They are blending the film industry with themed custom travel in a cruise format.
  • [04:07] The end goal is to become a floating theme park. Kind of like a Disney for adults and millennials.
  • [04:21] They create motion picture content that tells a story and then translate it into an immersive experience for the guest.
  • [04:41] They are providing the legends of the Seas from a steampunk perspective.
  • [04:55] It’s an epic voyage into culture and places. It’s an experience in science and technology.
  • [05:57] Alessandra ran a nightclub in Thailand, and she discovered that she loved creating themed events.
  • [06:54] Shipsomnia has enabled Alessandra to combine all of her passions in one huge masterpiece.
  • [07:38] Alessandra discovered that she had a unique skill for handling pressure.
  • [08:01] Shipsomnia is an expensive production. You have to Charter a cruise ship, create a massive production, and book top musical artists.
  • [08:31] She was able to bootstrap sales with her skill in marketing.
  • [10:06] At the seed stage, proving concept is a challenge. The new challenge now is scaling the business.
  • [10:42] Mistakes can be your biggest assets at the end of the day.
  • [12:11] Some issues that Alessandra encountered at the beginning included their server crashing because of going viral and payment issues because of overseas and US payments.
  • [13:19] The concept of Shipsomnia transcends all cultures. They are rewriting the legends of the sea.
  • [14:52] For the market that they are targeting, they only advertise online. 100% social.
  • [17:07] What drives sales is the disruptive content and the storytelling.
  • [18:27] They had to coordinate with cruise line staff to make the events happen.
  • [22:39] Alessandra’s strengths are branding and marketing.
  • [23:19] She has a co-founder who is great at operations.
  • [25:20] When finding team members, Alessandra always looks for passion. People who have true passion for the brand always over-deliver.
  • [26:23] Passion can’t be taught.
  • [29:54] Alessandra likes to think big. She loves the challenge and it keeps life interesting.
  • [30:22] It’s easier to think big, because people like to invest in large projects.
  • [31:33] Looking back, sometimes it surprises Alessandra that she is an entrepreneur. It’s possible she got the bug from her grandfather.
  • [34:47] Having a positive mindset at all times helps overcome obstacles.
  • [37:57] Live the journey is a message that is really dear to Alessandra’s heart.
  • [40:01] When starting a business do your homework and do as much research as possible. The more prepared you are the better off you will be. Have the courage to jump.
  • [40:44] Be flexible. Be able to pivot. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Then keep on knocking on the right doors.

Links and Resources:

Alessandra Madernia


Shipsomnia on Instagram

Shipsomnia on Facebook

@Shipsomnia on Twitter

Alessandra Maderni on LinkedIn