Five Minutes With: Walter Kurt Of Three K Consultants, Inc.
Creative Idea(s) of the Day, a vlog hosted by Walter Kurt, MAS, president and owner of Houston, Texas, distributor Three K Consultants, recorded its 100th episode during the week of the PPAI Expo Direct 2-You. The vlog, which he records on Zoom, features 10- to 30-minute discussions with an eclectic mix of professionals, including a tattoo artist, thrift hunter, circus owner, comedian and jeweler, along with entertainers, actors, musicians and, of course, promotional products professionals; even Santa dropped in for a festive conversation during the holiday season. Kurt started the vlog during the pandemic as a way to understand how other promotional products professionals were faring, and soon after began featuring guests from outside industries to learn how they were faring, too, providing insight into the challenges that distributors’ clients might be experiencing as well. To recognize the show reaching this major milestone and in tune with Expo Direct-2-You being held that week, Kurt interviewed Paul Bellantone, CAE, then president and CEO of PPAI, a returning guest.
PPB spoke with Kurt to learn more about his vlog and what he’s learned so far.
PPB Tell us about how your vision for Creative Idea(s) of the Day started and how it evolved.
Kurt When the pandemic happened or started back in March [of 2020], and business kind of came to a standstill besides PPE material, I decided I could either stare at a screen all day at my computer, or I could do something constructive and give back in some small way. So, I decided to go ahead and start a vlog, or a “show,” so that’s kind of how I got the vision. I actually have a Facebook Live [show] that I’ve done for probably 11 years ever since they started Facebook Live, Walter’s Wednesdays Words of Wisdom, so it wasn’t such a far stretch for me to start a Zoom show.
PPB Over the past year, what were some of the most popular topics of discussion on your show?
Kurt Actually, I have three questions that I always ask every guest, and they’re very pertinent to what’s going on.
- How do you feel about the current climate or environment?
- What have you done, creative-wise, to work through the pandemic or in the environment that is present?
- What do you perceive going into the future once we emerge from the pandemic?
PPB What are some of the major points you’ve learned by producing the podcast?
Kurt I’ve gotten a lot of perspectives, because my guests have been wide-ranging. They come from all different professions and all different industries. I initially started [the vlog] with people in the industry, but I felt there wasn’t a show out there at the moment that was really talking to guests who are outside of our industry, meaning our actual clients and customers. There wasn’t anybody doing that, so I decided kind of early on to branch out and not only talk to people within the industry, but outside the industry as well. Like I said, it’s given me so much perspective, not only on the pandemic and working in the pandemic, but what people have done creatively to work through it … what they’ve done to kind of veer in a different direction or do something that’s outside of their comfort zone, or something that’s helped them sustain their business.
PPB What are some of the best resources that have helped you produce the show?
Kurt I started the show from scratch and I book my guests, reach out to them and interview them, and while I feel it’s my show, it’s really not my show, it’s my guests’ show. It provides them with a platform to tell their story and I’ve always felt, as long as I’ve been in the industry and really as long as I’ve been alive, that everyone has a story to tell and I’m providing a platform for my guests to tell their story and for them to get exposure. I’ve had so many interesting guests from all walks of life. I’ve had a tattoo artist from Las Vegas … I’ve had a comedian who was on Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent. I’ve had a thrift guy who had a show for a short time called Thrift Hunters. I’ve had a country musician. I’ve had people all across our industry. I’ve had an actor who was on a Super Bowl commercial. It’s provided me with a lot of perspective and interesting insight on different industries and what they’re going through.
PPB What are your plans for Creative Idea(s) of the Day moving forward?
Kurt I know that eventually the pandemic will hopefully go away, so one of the reasons why I named it Three K Consultants’ “Creative Idea(s) of the Day” is because I knew that I would be moving away from the pandemic situation and environment, and I would have to come up with other topics and things to discuss. It’s provided me with the ability, down the road, once the pandemic has died down, to be able to talk to people really about anything, specifically about creative ideas they’ve used in their business, how they got started in their business, things like that. I knew going into it there would be a day to come that I would no longer be able to talk about the pandemic to my guests, so that’s why I made it broad, to be able to encompass that down the road.
Walter Kurt’s vlog and earlier episodes are accessible on his personal Facebook page. Earlier episodes of Kurt’s vlog have featured a colorful mix of professionals across an array of industries. Beginning with the promotional products industry, guests featured on Creative Idea(s) of the Day have included Roni Wright of The Book Company, Charity Gibson of Peerless Umbrella Co., Brannon Craig of Southern Plus, Dana Zezzo of American Solutions for Business, Tiffany Tarr of DistributorCentral, LLC, Craig Dickens of Suntex, Joshua Pospisil of KTI Promo, Dan Webb of Webb Company, Meg Erber from S&S Activewear, Nick Lateur of Imagen Brands, Brian Stidham of EMT, Brandon Pecharich of PromoCorner, Gabriel Soltan of Magnets In Print, Reggie Gonzalez of CleggPromo, Inc., Mike Szymczak of Origaudio, Steven Lazarus of Promotional Breezes Inc., and Rich Harbert and Laura Brewer of Ariel Premium Supply. Outside of the industry, guests featured have included artist and gallery owner Liese Chavez; marketing speaker, consultant and author David Avrin; radio and TV personality Dayna Steele; singer/songwriter Thomas Fountain; tattoo shop owner Dirk Vermin; and traveling circus owner Kevin Venardos.
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.