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Musical Artist Lani Joins Mainframe Studios + Makes a Name for Herself in DSM

Lani Startup

April 13, 2023


During the latest Small Business & Startup Stories DSM podcast, Lani, Creative Business Owner and Musician in Greater Des Moines (DSM), shares her business and entrepreneurial journey with Greater Des Moines Partnership Small Business and Member Support Manager Emily McLain.

About Lani

A Drake University graduate — go bulldogs! — Lani majored in vocal music business after growing up in the DSM. It was in 2021, after years of playing around on different instruments, that she began performing at various DSM events, including the recent DSM Book Festival and annual World Food & Music Festival. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Lani amped up her music career as events were gearing back up and she had free time as a student at Drake. In July of 2022, Lani moved into a studio at Mainframe Studios as a tenant where she is surrounded by other local creatives.

As a performer and creative entrepreneur, Lani not only writes and performs her music, but she also collaborates with other artists and bands, handles marketing, accounting and hiring and strategizes how the public views her as an artist. Entrepreneurs wear many hats within their businesses. Lani is no exception, and she has learned to do this well through collaboration, trial and error and by exploring the differences between herself as a person and Lani the brand, while still staying true to herself.

Entrepreneurship in DSM

Geneviève Salamone has served as a mentor to Lani. An artist who has found acclaim in DSM and internationally as a violist, composer and producer, as well as one half of the Dueling Fiddles, Geneviève is a big inspiration, having offered Lani recommendations and advice and shared networking opportunities that have been vital to her success.

In DSM, various music organizations are determined to bring DSM onto the national stage when it comes to music. These organizations, including Des Moines Music Coalition, MIDWESTTIX, Central Iowa Blues Society, B. Well Foundation, The Partnership and more, create opportunities for live music acts in the region and offer regular opportunities for someone to be introduced to your music. Out to Lunch is another event that allows artists a platform to showcase their music. Both mentoring and being plugged into what’s happening around the region are important for local entrepreneurs. In Iowa, Lani knows there are even more opportunities within the community that could be offered that don’t yet exist, like the Latino Block Party she’s been mulling over that would feature booths, food and music especially focused on Latina women and business owners in DSM. As someone with Columbian roots, connecting to the Latino community is important to her.

This weekend, Lani will headline at GDP at Hoyt Sherman Place in the Sherman Hill neighborhood in Downtown DSM. This year’s event will support smaller artists and continue to celebrate 100 years of Hoyt Sherman. See more about Lani’s music on Facebook, including information on other upcoming shows like the Love, Lani – Album Release Show taking place this summer on Friday, July 21 at 7 p.m.

Listen to the entire podcast above.

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.