Jana Bocchieri grew up with a father who worked as a Los Angeles County fire captain and a stay-at-home mom. "They were definitely a huge influence towards pushing me and guiding me to not only start something but finish it too and do my best at it," she says.
And one of the main activities Bocchieri most loved spending her time pursuing was playing music. "I grew up in a very musical family," she recalls. "My mom's an amazing singer. My dad sang and did theater. He grew up taking us kids to music festivals. He was always blasting music throughout the house." Her brother played the drums, and her sister was a vocalist.
Bocchieri quickly found herself becoming competitive and ambitious when it came to music. Seeing her family members embrace their own passion and aptitude for music sparked an interest in her to take her own talents to "the next level" and hone in on her craft. This led to private voice and guitar lessons. "I was so inspired by singer-songwriters growing up," she adds.
It's no surprise that Bocchieri opted to go to school at Berklee College of Music in Boston, which is where she met her husband. "It was my first day, my first class," she remembers. "We had a singing class together. I got up there and sang, and he got up there and sang and he waited for me outside the classroom—classic—and asked me to hang out."
Following college, Bocchieri began touring as an artist with one of her best friends Bonnie McKee. And when she wasn't on the road, she taught private lessons for local friends and their kids out of her home. Soon, that evolved into teaching kids in groups.
"I wanted to be able to provide that for kids who probably can't play drums in their homes or their apartments, where everybody lives closer together, and be able to give them that creative space to get together and also learn how to play in a band as a team," says Bocchieri.
Little did she know that she was actually on the precipice of starting her business Kid Row. "I was doing something that I loved, and it was so much fun, and then, it continued to grow," notes Bocchieri.
Bocchieri's mission was to move beyond rote music lessons by putting students into bands seasonally and teaching them songs they love as well as rock classics.
Although she had started giving lessons in her apartment, she started doing so well that she had to move into a rehearsal facility. "At that point, I was starting to pay rent for the rehearsal facility hourly," says Bocchieri. "But I was still able to make my own hourly income within it too. So I started investing in myself little by little in that regard."
Along with her husband, Bocchieri began to hire more instructors, studio managers, and studio assistants. "We were able to run private lessons in tandem with our group lessons, and that really gave us infrastructure to grow," she explains.
It took the couple about three years to see their efforts start paying off. By year five, they had their own facility. "We had gone from four students to now we're anticipating 300 students in the fall," says Bocchieri, who welcomed her first son Bravo nine months ago. "Our roster is even larger, but we run seasonally. Students enroll for one season. They might not enroll for the next season, but it's been very consistent."
She also loves feeling connected to everyone in the Kid Row community. "We put on a big rock 'n roll show at the end of each season, and all the parents are in the front row, rocking out," she notes. "It's not a boring recital where everyone's sitting there and just waiting for it to be over. They're up singing along, and it's so much fun. This last show, we had a mohawk and glitter bar and a David Bowie face painting booth, a kids' vintage line, and it was hosted at Frogtown Brewery, and there were amazing food trucks."
Now, the business has locations all over the Greater Los Angeles area, and they offer online lessons as well. Bocchieri's goal: to make the business accessible to anyone and everyone who wants the experience. Here, the entrepreneur's top tips for parents who might like to pour their own passion and creativity into a business.
Take Time for Yourself
Handling mom life and business life is something Bocchieri is still learning. "Both of them are incredible life-changing events," she says. "They're both your babies. They're so different."
While she acknowledges just how hard it can be to find a balance, she recommends taking time for yourself and not shying away from asking for support from others.
Bocchieri says she's kept the company and her family's finances in order by tracking expenses and hiring amazing team members who are dedicated to helping her build her business.
She's also a fan of savings accounts (for instance, one to build up her son's college fund or another devoted to vacation funds) that pull a set amount out of her checking account every month. "Setting up automated transfers and billing just frees up mental space," she says.
Invest in Others and Prioritize a Sense of Community
Not only does Bocchieri believe it's important to not look back and always be one step ahead of others in your industry, but it's a must to "find an amazing team of people around you."
"Learn to let go," she advises. "Within that, you're gonna be able to provide more infrastructure."
You'll also be building a sense of community, which can lead to everyone feeling more invested in the success of the team effort.