Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Matthews.
Aaron, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always had a passion for music! My dad was a contemporary Christian soloist that traveled all around the world singing in different locales and I would join him in his travels. My mom taught me the technical and business sides of my dad’s career and he, of course, put musicianship and performance into my blood.
Fast forward through the years, I was in my high school marching band and my church’s praise team. My biggest introduction to the world of musical entertainment though was when I became the youth praise team leader at my church. I found that was my biggest feat—keeping hormonal high schoolers entertained with good clean music and fun for hours! Little did I know how much I was being groomed toward my calling! I realized that I had a love for more than just music—I had discovered my love for people, music, AND partying!
Jump ahead to 2014, a friend asks me if I can join him in DJing a wedding and I was excited to do so! Being a part of that first official DJ experience opened my eyes and tickled my fancy! And then in July of 2015, after being a part of several events with him, Arbutus Entertainment was born! Arbutus was the middle name of my father’s mother who has since gone home to be with the Lord. The name is a flower that represents a singular and lasting love. She was always the life of every get-together and absolutely loved music. Arbutus Entertainment is her legacy.
In our first year, we did 8 events. Then in 2016, I did 30 events and had to bring aboard 1 more DJ due to high demand. Then in 2017, we did 71 events and had to bring aboard 2 additional DJs! Also in August of 2017, I was able to leave my full-time job and pursue Arbutus Entertainment as my full-time venture! 2018 will be the year of 100+ events and 4 total DJs (including myself)! Over these years, my desire to learn and grow and make myself better for my family and my company has only increased and I do not see that slowing down! I first want what’s best for my family and then what’s best for my company.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing worth having ever comes easily! I would say my biggest struggles have been balancing business time with family time. With my hard work ethic, I could work all day and have a great productive time but miss out on important family time that I couldn’t get back. Kelly, my wife, helps me to keep the main thing the main thing and that is first spending time with family AND THEN supporting the family.
After all, that’s why I left my full-time job in the first place. I was working 5 days a week and then DJing on the weekends so I would get 90 minutes or so with my newborn daughter before she went down to bed and then wouldn’t see her again till the next evening. So I’d really only have Saturdays during the day and Sundays to spend with her and my wife. That arrangement was acceptable for only a short time but I started to realize how much time I was missing and quickly changed course!
Other than keeping my focus on the main thing, my only other struggle has been getting myself “out there” and establishing my brand. I have been blessed with a great reputation so word of mouth referrals are primarily what drives my business. But I know if I want my business to grow like I want it to, I need to get myself out there more and become a household name.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Arbutus Entertainment story. Tell us more about the business.
Arbutus Entertainment is a media company that specializes in bringing your celebrations to life! From weddings to corporate events to birthday parties to charity fundraisers, we can do it all. With my background being in audio/visual production, we can provide small to medium AV production support as well.
On the DJ entertainment side, we provide 5-star events that are unique to every individual couple or client. We are the MCs, provide quality dance floor lighting, and assist in the planning process for every event. We also offer great features in addition to our DJ services like a Photobooth, Wireless LED Uplighting, and Karaoke, just to name a few.
I am most proud of the great reputation that we have established over the last 2 1/2 years. Since Arbutus Entertainment is my grandmother’s namesake, I hold it very dear to my heart and want it to continue to be a company that brings honor to her name and Glory to God.
I feel that my Christian roots and values are what set me apart as a DJ company. I am very strong in my convictions for not playing music that contains explicit lyrics or vulgar language because that is not the way that I want to financially provide for my family. I’m a strong believer in making every event one that I would WANT to attend. Meaning, it has to be fun, have a smooth flow, and have good, clean music at the core of its entertainment.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m a strong believer in the saying “the harder you work, the luckier you’ll be”. I believe that because the harder/longer/faster you work, the most opportunities you will have to be lucky and ultimately succeed. That being said, luck (being synonymous to providence or being in the right place at the right time), has played great roles in my up-and-comingness. Primarily because of the people or other wedding professionals that have been put in front of me at just the time that I was looking for them and them for me.
It’s funny though… being a God-fearing man, I do not like to give credit to “luck” as I would rather give credit to God for aligning my steps and those of others. So with that, I must say that He aligned my path with my wonderful wife’s path at just the time that we needed each other and no sooner. Her influence, intuition and type-A thinking has helped to form Arbutus Entertainment into what it is today.
She has also helped to mold me into what I am as well and I’m not going to brag about myself too much… but who I am now is a whole lot better than who I was before God brought her into my life. That is no act of luck but rather one of Grace.
- DJ Services for weddings start at $1099 and includes 5 hours for both the ceremony and reception, quality dance floor lighting, and MC for the event
- DJ Services for events is $175/hour and includes 5-star event that’s completely unique to the client’s vision and being the MC
- Photobooth is $599 and includes 4 hours of high-quality photos, fun party props, and an attendant to help with all the fun
- Wireless LED Uplighting is $199 and really enhances the beauty of the venue and immerses guests in your event theme and colors
- Karaoke services is $249 and includes a 28,000 song catalog, 2 microphones for duets, and lyrics screens for both the performer and audience
- Website: www.ArbutusEntertainment.com
- Phone: 817-808-5698
- Email: Aaron@ArbutusEntertainment.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/ArbutusEntertainment
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ArbutusEntertainment
- Twitter: www.Twitter.com/ArbutusDJ
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/arbutus-entertainment-saginaw