Within hours of first hearing about how to create her own board games, Carla Annabelle Kopp knew she was in love. But before she could turn her new passion into a startup, she had to embrace something she didn’t even like.
“You have to find something that you’re super passionate about,” says Carla, one of the two Huntsville-based engineers behind Weird Giraffe Games. “If you’re not passionate, you won’t be able to create a startup because it’s a lot of hard work. You’re going to have to do a lot of things that might not be in your comfort zone. They might not be things that you want to do, but you have to do them.”
For Carla, that meant learning the business side of her startup. At the time, she was decidedly unenthusiastic about it.
“I hated social media when I started this,” she says. “But I grew to love it just because I love the board games and the community so much.”
That love developed quickly. After attending a Dragon Con panel on how to create board games, Carla and some friends immediately started designing one of their own during the drive home. Two Kickstarter-fueled projects later, Carla and Weird Giraffe are now creating something else – a buzz in the local gaming community.
Of course, creating that buzz has involved another non-gaming business activity: Networking.
“You have to find where your group is and just join it and be willing to help out people,” Carla says. “You can’t just be a pusher of content. You can’t just push yourself constantly. Nobody will care. You have to be willing to actually meet people – and meet them as a friend.”