By Terry Rogers
David Lovett says that he began his entrepreneurial endeavors when he was just 15 years old, operating a small booking company called Rocker Booking out of his father’s basement in Milford. The 2005 Milford High School graduate began booking local entertainment and eventually began booking national tours when he was just 18. While attending Cairn University, majoring in Elementary Education and Biblical Studies, he continued working in a few different music projects. He graduated from Cairn in 2012 and started his first management company before his friend and mentor, Lucas Keller, convinced him to move to California, Today, Mr. Lovett owns Endurance Entertainment, an emerging entertainment company in Los Angeles, California.
“I spent the three years prior to opening my company working at a couple different music companies in Los Angeles,” Mr. Lovett said. “I started Endurance in hopes of expanding outside the music business.” Mr. Lovett operates Endurance Entertainment with one of his oldest friends, Brett Carpenter, who is also a Milford native. Mr. Lovett said that one of the first bands he worked with at the age of 15 had a bass player, Keith Bosco, and the two became friends.
When Mr. Lovett told Mr. Bosco he was starting a new management company and expanding beyond music, Mr. Bosco, who is from Greenwood, told him about a vision he had for a children’s book.
“After hearing it and seeing the illustrations, I knew I wanted to be all in on it,” Mr. Lovett said. “The end project became ‘The Sloppy Okapi.” Mr. Bosco said that the idea for the book came to him while watching “Go Diego, Go” with his son. The episode featured an okapi, an animal from the Congo which looks like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe.
“I thought, ‘that’s a crazy looking animal. It would be fun to use for a story,’” Mr. Bosco said. “Then, I walked upstairs and wrote the first draft of the story in about 30 minutes. I came downstairs and told my wife that I thought I had just written my first children’s book. It all just came to me.” Taylor Patterson, who is also from Greenwood, created the illustrations for the book.
Mr. Bosco said that turning his draft into an actual book was the hardest part, especially when an editor told him to “go back and make it more interesting.” His editor was Claire Smith of Lincoln, making the book an almost entirely “created in Delaware” project. Mr. Bosco said that he also decided to self-publish the book, creating a publishing company called Yellow Light Publishing, which had its own challenges.
“We have decided to do a book tour to promote the book,” Mr. Bosco said. “I stepped down from my full-time job, got an RV and are hitting the road, booking the tour ourselves. We’ve done several events in Delaware, but now are heading to Massachusetts for the first leg of the tour. We decided to go all in. My wife and I are taking our kids with us for about seven months. My wife, Renee, is truly amazing. She is handling the booking plus our online store.”
Mr. Lovett said that anyone who wants to achieve their dreams should never stop imagining, growing, reaching or believing. He said that his career is not what he thought it would be 15 years ago when he was starting out and he thinks of himself as more of a creative than a music manager, even though being a music manager was all he wanted to be from the age of 15. He said the best part of his job as a manager is building meaningful and personal relationships. He feels invested in every person he works with as much on a personal level as a work level.
“Something my mentor, Claire, shared with me,” Mr. Bosco said as advice for anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps. “’Writing is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.’ Also, surround yourself with a team of people who believe in you and your project. My friends, David and Brett, played a huge role behind the scenes. Their encouragement and motivation helped keep me going.”
“The Sloppy Okapi” can be purchased online at www.thesloppyokapi.com.
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