Wakefield resident Kasey Woods did not let COVID-19 stop her from being successful. During the pandemic, the entrepreneur launched three businesses, including one with her son Treylin Lewis.
Woods, 38, has operated Mecca Made Media a public relations firm in Manhattan for 10 years. In the spring, her daughter London, 11, wanted to go to a drive-in movie for her birthday and Woods recalled looking at her like she was crazy.
“We live in the Bronx, we’re not going to a drive-in movie,” she said.
But this sparked an idea. Not knowing much about this field, Woods wondered if she could bring movies to people’s homes.
She spoke about this with Lewis, who is tech savvy and the duo began researching how much it would cost to buy a projector screen. She used her stimulus check and purchased a 16-foot inflatable movie screen, a 4k HD Bluetooth projector, two Bluetooth speakers, an onsite set-up technician and three halogen work lights.
From this, they launched Movie Mayhem and provide movie and gaming nights at people’s homes.
“We’re kind of introducing the concept of backyard movie screening to people,” Woods said.
Next, she used her experience in public relations to market Movie Mayhem on Facebook and word quickly spread throughout the tri-state area.
Some people played movies they own and others downloaded or streamed them. However, Woods noted that if people are attempting to play movies via the Internet, the Wi-Fi often does not reach the backyard.
They did the first few shows for free to get the glitches out of the way and since then, it has been smooth sailing.
“It’s one of those things that you see a need and start and try to figure out how to make it all make sense,” she said.
Having her son as the co-founder of the company was important to her, she said. Woods said she has tried to teach her kids to be ambitious and start their own businesses. London created a lipstick line and now Lewis has this.
At just 18, Lewis, a freshman at Howard University, is learning about financial literacy, booking, marketing and accounting.
“It’s exciting for me and my mom to have our business,” Lewis said.
Lewis told the Bronx Times he enjoys working with his mom and people are often surprised that someone so young founded the company.
Since launching Movie Mayhem in June, there has been positive feedback and they are booked every weekend in September.
“Everyone loves it,” Woods said. “People love supporting a woman or mother, especially a woman of color. We try to make it an experience, so they literally just have to come and show up and we do everything else for them.”
She noted there are two other companies that provide a similar service, but unlike them, Woods does not charge a travel fee.
Looking forward, Woods said that even if movie theaters begin to open at a certain capacity, there will still be a demand for Movie Mayhem.
Additionally, since fall and winter are around the corner, Woods is now looking into YMCA locations, churches and other venues that could host events where people could socially distance and enjoy movies or gaming inside.
“People need to know they can do it,” she said. “Anybody can come up with an idea and execute if they really want to.”