Community Spotlight: Andy Levison (Mag-nificent)
Andy was our very first member at SharedSpace and is an Atlanta native. He studied psychology at the University of Maryland, but after realizing he didn’t want to pursue a career in it after he graduated, he moved to D.C. and starting working on Capitol Hill in the Georgia Senate office. It only took him a year to decide that working in politics wasn’t for him, so he moved back to Atlanta to pursue something new and exciting. In 2011, he started his own company, Mag-nificent Photo Promotions, which offers instant custom branded photo magnets and on-site giveaways for all types of events. Since it’s conception six years ago, Mag-nificent has grown from being not only a service to provide party favors, but a promotional tool for businesses as well.
What drew you to starting Mag-nificent?
I always knew I wanted to start my own business. Around the time when I moved back to Atlanta from D.C., my friend from Israel brought me this idea that was popular there and we decided to do it here. I started the business while getting my MBA part-time at Georgia State. I’ve been working on it pretty much full-time since 2011.
What’s your favorite thing about being your own boss?
Hm, good question. The best thing is the freedom, the overall freedom that comes with not having a boss. Everyone has a boss; my clients are essentially my boss, but not having a supervisor allows me to make my own schedule. When I want to go out of town, I don’t have to check and see if I have any vacation days left. If I want to play golf at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday, as long as I don’t have anything scheduled, I don’t have to check with anyone to see if that’s okay. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to having a 9-5
How has the SharedSpace community impacted you?
Having a community of people around to bounce ideas off has been great. Even more than that, having people around to continue to push and push you to take things to the next level. There’s a big difference between working here and working from a Starbucks or from home. When you work for yourself, it’s very easy to go on cruise control. You know, business is good, orders are in, it’s easy to get comfortable and coast. But when you’re around a group of people who are constantly pushing themselves, it’s definitely contagious.
Has coworking changed or grown your business?
I’ve been working at a coworking space for about two years now, and the benefits have shown through my business. We’ve made more changes and added so much more in the past two years working in a coworking space than we did in the four years before. From 2011 to 2015 there was really no change. We had one base product and that was pretty much it. We’d been doing the same thing over and over again, and our industry is constantly changing with new technology. People had been asking us if they could text us their pictures to print at events. Since everybody wanted to take their own pictures on their phones, we made an app for people to use to create magnets themselves.
If you could run your business from anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
I like Atlanta! What do you mean? But look, the great thing about owning your own business is that you can run it from anywhere, all you need is a laptop and internet connection. For vacation, I guess I’d like to go somewhere I’ve never been before, although I love South America. I’ve been there a few times. Otherwise I’ve always wanted to go to Asia or Australia.
Mag-nificent’s clients include the Atlanta Hawks, Falcons, Atlanta United, NASCAR, Delta, Proctor & Gamble, and Ernst & Young. They primarily work with organizations, but also provide services for events such as birthday parties, weddings, and bar mitzvahs.
If you’re interested in Mag-nificent, check out their site (or download the app!):
If you’d like to connect with Andy, you can do so here: