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Spotlight on Top Business Owners in
Music & Entertainment


Trivia Puppet Company LLC

Name: Dustin Curtis

Location: Seattle, WA 

Type of Business:
Puppetry Company

What does your business do?
Make puppets, provide access and training to non-traditional audiences, create puppet shows, films, events.

When and why did you start the biz?
I started my company in 2015 when I dedicated myself to perusing puppetry as a living. I became a LLC in 2018 to go full time as possible. I love bringing objects to life and the skills needed to do it.

How Many People are in your Company?

Where's your office?
I live in a 1920s building in Seattle which focuses on homes for artists. I primarily make shadow, hand, and marionette puppets, which is done on my antique desk. It’s situated by the window and I use my “closet” as a storage and rehearsal room. Since the building is old it’s a good 9x9.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
Making enough money to buy equipment and grow the company in or to find events. The skill requires a Hands on approach and puppets take hours to build and create so the money is not proportional to work in the sense of $$$ per hour.

What's the most fun part?
Everyone loves a puppeteer. I really enjoy making people happy by entertaining them.

Anything you would have done differently?
I would have started as a LLC, and I also would have thought of it as a business instead of just art earlier.

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
I’m trying to produce a festival of puppetry for some disadvantaged youth. Hoping to get sponsors for the 300 seats. Not only does it help them, but creates puppeteer jobs and perhaps inspired the next Jim Henson. I’m also working on YouTube movie series, and a new Punch and Judy show for queer audiences. I’m also performing at a huge festival this summer called bumbershoot.

What advice do you have for others?
Just keep going! It seems like nothing is going to happen but you just got to wait until those seeds are starting to grow. It will pay off.

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I enjoy the resources such as the small business advice. These really help me to figure out any issues that are common in small business. Puppetry is rare and everyone does it differently so it is hard to say there is a business mode. Seeing other small business owners, their ideas and advice, is inspirational. I can also usually find guidance on an issue so I don’t go nuts.

School (where, still in school, degree)?
Seattle Central College

Prior jobs or business?
Customer Service Manager, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Event Manager - Kendall’s DJ & Event, Events Coordinator ,Borders Books, admin- Starbucks Coffee Company.

Favorite Food?

What are your pets' names?
My sabbath is recently deceased

Do any of these pets help with your biz?
No longer applies

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
I got frustrated working in corporations that stifled my creativity. A couple jobs screwed you over by not paying well or not giving raises. So I said I can do it myself and follow my role model (Jim Henson).

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Dmitri Carter for opening the puppetry door when I knocked (okay it was an email, two even!). Puppeteers of America for giving me family.

Contact Info:
Dustin Curtis
1617 Yale Ave, Apt 307
Seattle, WA 98101



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