Who are you and what is the name of your business?
Anthony Lee of Anthony Lee Productions
What inspired you to start your business?
When I graduated from college I went to work as a cruise ship pianist and keyboardist. While on the high seas I learned many things about the life of a musician that they don’t teach you in school! Towards the end of my cruise ship career, I had the honor of serving as the ship board musical director for the Carnival Victory. I loved being a music director for a major corporation because it gave me the confidence and experience to create my own business.
What services or products do you offer?
Live music entertainment and top-level music training.
What is unique about your business?
My job is to have fun with people by bringing their musical dreams to life. I’ve do-si-doed with McKinney cowboys, brought the funk while enjoying McKinney beer, serenaded McKinney brides down the aisle, snapped jazz fingers at McKinney clubs, and rocked out with McKinney ISD band, orchestra and choir students. I’ve also had the absolute pleasure of taking students from their very first musical steps, to their very first musical schools, and into their very first musical jobs.
How does your business give back to the community?
My business carries on a tradition of music excellence that was started at the University of North Texas in the 1940s. Not many people in the world think of North Texas as one of the premier places to hear music but there is no place in the world where you can’t find a North Texas musician. I’m proud to do my part!
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today? (or: What challenges have you faced in running your business?)
I have a healthy appreciation for obstacles and challenges because they are what you find when you interact with the world. They are like rough-cut gems just waiting to be cut and polished into something magnificent!
What methods have you used to grow your business?
One of the most important things that music has taught me is that it takes consistency to build something strong and the keys to consistency are principles. I remain focused on a carefully curated set of principles that I believe are mutually beneficial to my family, my community and I.
What is the secret to keeping happy customers?
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!!!
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Undoubtedly my parents! Sure I could list hundreds of role models off of records or from classrooms but I would have never had any of those records or been in any of those classes if it hadn’t been for my parents!
What is your most/least favorite thing about your business?
One of my most favorite things about this business that I haven’t been able to mention yet is working with DFW music legends. It’s amazing who you can find yourself on the bandstand with in this town, I would be so honored if even a tiny bit of their magic rubbed off on me.
My least favorite thing would be the nights when I get home at 4am!
Where do you see your business going in the future?
When I was a little boy I went to jazz camp at the University of North Texas. The professors would play a concert for us every night and I remember having my mind blown by these professors, some in their 70s, shredding harder on their instrument than any pop star I’d ever listened to. I can only hope that I lead a nice full life and that one day I can be that grandpa who sits down at the piano and redefines what you thought a grandpa could do!
To what do you attribute your success?
I’ve always been told that flossing your teeth is very important and I can’t remember a day that I didn’t floss. Is there a connection here? I’m not exactly sure but I’m going to keep flossing!
What’s the best advice you would give someone thinking of starting their own small business?
Pain may be inevitable but suffering is optional.
Tell us about your involvement with the McKinney Chamber.
I've been a member since 2014 and was an ambassador during 2014 & 2015. When I came back to Texas after working at Carnival it was hard at first. When you move to a new place, even one that you once lived in you can feel very alone. The chamber has always been a great way for me to get to know McKinney. While I definitely enjoyed all of the new member programs and showcases my favorite was being an ambassador and seeing all the nooks and crannies of McKinney. I rode my bike to as many of the ambassador functions as possible, so in a way, the chamber also motivated me to be in shape!