meet alessandra maderni co founder of shipsomnia & mad fresh entertainment
'live the journey'
Global entrepreneur, visionary and co-founder of the first ever music festival and cruise to run successfully from Asia and Europe, Alessandra Maderni is the CEO with the BIG vision you want to know and she’s here to tell you how she is ‘Living the journey’ and inspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world with her brand, Shipsomnia. Passionate about business, travel and entertainment Alessandra has been able to forge a global brand and a lifestyle doing exactly what she loves and is helping to encourage other entrepreneurs to do the very same thing. If it’s tenacity and perseverance you’re looking for then you’re absolutely in the right place.
It is my absolute honour and a privilege to introduce you to this remarkable lady. Over to you Alessandra…
So, Alessandra, What’s your story?
I’m a Eurasian, half Italian and half Thai born and raised in Rome. I've always walked the entrepreneurial path since a young age and entered the entertainment industry at the age of just 24 when I opened my own nightclub in Thailand. That's where I discovered that my true passion was in the event space and that my strengths as an entrepreneur were in branding and marketing. Since then, I co-founded an events company and organized several themed festivals and marketing campaigns for global brands such as Bacardi. After a military coup d’etat in Thailand that forced an end to a a large entertainment project that I was working on, I decided that it was time to show the world our talents and conceptualize something on an international level. With just $2,000, a business plan, and lots of drive, Shipsomnia was born. Three years later, I’m now in Los Angeles with an amazing team that is so passionate about our vision and ready to help us relaunch and expand Shipsomnia globally. It’s been a crazy journey so far and it’s only about to get crazier!
What makes Shipsomnia and it’s storyline so unique?
The core competency of the brand is the storytelling. On the surface, Shipsomnia’s story and theme is revolved around original mythical legends of the seas set in a steampunk era. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll see the underlying story speak about modern-day environmental issues in an imaginative way. For example, our 2nd chapter, the Tale of the Kraken, which is a modern take on the origins of the Kraken, is based on the British and European governments dumping thousands of nuclear waste barrels into the ocean during the 30’s and 40s. The next chapter is a continuation of that story and brings up the issue of micro toxins entering our ocean food chain. Other issues we will implement in future chapters are global warming, overfishing, the great ocean garbage patch and more. Having a positive and environmental message is important to us.
How do you find running a global brand with a business partner, is it easier to have someone to share your vision with?
Absolutely! I have the best co-founder anyone could ask for. Not only do our skills complement each other perfectly but we also support each other every way possible. It’s been a bumpy ride and I couldn’t have done it without him.
How do you handle criticism?
I don’t pay attention to negativity but always listen to constructive criticism very carefully. Whatever you do will always have room for improvement no matter if your company is one year old or twenty years old. It’s important to listen to what your customers and the people around you have to say, often times you will get some great new perspective on things.
What has been one of the highlights with Shipsomnia so far?
One of the highlights at the top of my list was definitely the stop at a private island paradise in Phuket, Thailand which we closed down exclusively for Shipsomniacs (our guests) to enjoy. It was not an easy task to make happen as we were the first cruise ship in Thailand to park outside of the normal pier area so it involved permits and environmental surveys from the Thai Navy to anchor the ship near the island and also a lot of logistics to transport thousands of guests by speedboat quickly and safely. We pulled it off and it was magical, I will never forget the smiles on people’s faces.
Have you found any difficulties working as a female CEO in a male dominated industry?
Personally no I haven’t. If you are the best at what you do, people will recognise it and as a female minority you will automatically stand out even more. I always focus on the positive side of things.
How would your best friend describe you?
Extremely passionate and a bit nuts! Lol
What’s the most exciting project you have been involved with for your business?
Definitely the current one as it will bring the vision of the business to life and take the brand to a whole new level. I can’t reveal what it is yet so stay tuned for announcements!
Why did you decide to start Shipsomnia?
After years of experience in the industry and as an entrepreneur, I decided it was time to show the world our talents and started to conceptualise Shipsomnia. Personally, I love the whole creative process and setting the stage for people to just let loose and have a blast. With Shipsomnia we take your vacation experience to the next level by enhancing all of your five senses.
What does ‘Live the Journey’ mean to you?
Live the journey is our brand message and one that is dear to my heart. It’s set to inspire and empower millennials to live the life they want to live and embrace every step along the way. We started Shipsomnia with no real funding and generated millions in sales with guests from over 70 countries. It brought us to 3 different continents and 5 different cities so far and i can’t wait to see where it will take us next! By showcasing how we live our journey through Shipsomnia, we hope to play a little part in inspiring others to start living their journey today.
What’s your top tip for the awesome girl bosses reading this article?
My approach in business is to think big and go and get it done! While you do that it’s important that you feel and look like a winner even when things behind the scene are extremely tough. Nobody supports desperation and they will not trust you if they can’t sense genuine confidence and strength. People will get excited and support your idea if they feel that you have that winner energy that is capable of driving it all the way to the finish line.
What would you change about your journey or what would you avoid if you could do it over again?
I wouldn’t change anything. Mistakes are inevitable and they become your biggest assets as you grow and continue to push the vision forward.
What’s the number one played song on your iPod?
Valerie by Amy Winehouse.
Did you have a vision for Shipsomnia when you started out, does your current business look like you thought it would?
I had an overall vision of wanting to scale the business globally but it certainly wasn’t the vision that it has developed into today. I think as you move along you start to unlock potential within the brand and then you start to connect the dots and the strategy to get to that final masterpiece vision.
Do you have a book or favourite podcast recommendation for our Female CEO members?
“Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream”, by Gala Darling
What have you learned about yourself through this entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve learned that I’m capable of solving extremely complex situations and able to handle pressure like very few people can.