Steven Branco has been a staple in Toronto’s digital media industry for over 15-years, and finally branched out on his own when he started Stamina Group Inc just before the pandemic in 2020. Since its inception, Stamina Group has worked with many notable clients including BMW, Fairmont Hotels and Toronto’s very own Fashion Santa, Paul Mason.
Branco has spent his entire professional career building his network, which was taken to another level with his Instagram presence. He’s been able to build connections with influencers, creators and PR professionals alike. We sat down with him to talk all about his experience owning a business, and his aspirations for the future of Stamina Group Inc.
How did Stamina Group Inc. come to be? When did you decide you wanted to start your own digital media firm?
Technically, I have been an entrepreneur for over a decade, just in different capacities…as a partner, or shareholder and event as a sole proprietor. But in January 2020, I decided I wanted to take a plunge and create one brand, and company, that can embody everything I do, and that’s where I came up with STAMINA. I knew I needed to rip off the bandaid and make the investment in myself and my dreams as an entrepreneur, to start an empire. Fast forward over a year and a crazy pandemic…and I have never looked back.
What was the most challenging part of setting up the business?
Being my first time out on my own, and wanting to formalize it by registering an incorporated business, I didn’t know where to start. Didn’t want to spend unnecessary money to do it, and just wanted to learn about going down that path on my own. I just needed some guidance. Funny enough, after saying it a couple times to some different people, I began to see ads for RBC’s ownr program and I jumped to the occasion and within hours, it was done. Searches were made, articles of incorporation generated and everything filed online with the government. It couldn’t have been any easier! Which made me realize many times the “obstacles” we see aren’t as bad as we come to think and make of them for ourselves.
How do you stay organized with all the projects you have on the go?
I’ve always been a juggler, lol. I love being busy, having a lot on my plate, and building processes and procedures to simplify things as I go for the next person, including my team. But one thing I can’t live without is my Apple ecosystem. From my iPhone 13 Pro Max, that syncs with my iPad Pro and MacBook Pro and even my Apple Watch and AirPods. I don’t even have to think about it. All my files are easily accessible from any of them. I just pickup my devices of choice and go…and don’t have to think ohh do I have that file on here, yup they’re all. But also simplifies my process so much too. I constantly find myself saying “ohhhh I have an app for that” lol, notorious for it you can say. Most recently I’ve been obsessed with my iPad. I get in from scouting a location; the photos from my phone have synced to my iPad, I can start planning my production documents, sketch out my story boards or whatever else I’m working on with the pencil on my iPad, or even connect it to my MacBook to extend my screen . I mean, that’s an entrepreneur’s dream: productivity while on the go. I wouldn’t change it for anything!
What are some of your favorite Stamina Group campaigns to date?
One that will have a place in my heart was a fun influencer activation we did during covid lockdowns. We had already planned an epic event just when things got locked down and before the client could even flinch, I had a plan. We were going to bring Spain to all of our guests. The first of its kind, in our network at least. We partnered with a local business to produce the kits with all the ingredients that will make it as easy as possible for participants, but create just enough of a deliciously smelling ambiance to set the tone, curated an epic playlist, asked everyone to light a candle or dim the lights. Uncork one of their provided wine bottles and then we hopped on a virtual wine tasting with our local sommelier, and the brand’s winemaker with his amazing energy, and Spanish flair from across the world. It was amazing. Everyone loved it, raved about it and the client was on cloud 9. I’ll never forget it.
Where do you see Stamina Group in the next 5 years?
I don’t want to jinx it, but my hopes are to eventually expand and see our brands become more mainstream, and bring back a print publication or two. Then expand our agency division into a business of its own, launch or much anticipated Content House studio content, and hopefully even open agency offices across North America, like in Vancouver and New York, to say the least—that can also allow for some of our satellite editorial resources to have somewhere to work from when they want to..
Where can we learn more about Stamina Group and Steven Branco?
On our website at havestamina.com or on instagram at @Stamina.Group. You can also follow me personally on Instagram @Mr.StevenBranco.