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Inspiring Conversations with Anna Harwood of The 12 South Band

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Harwood.

Hi Anna, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My husband and I started the band together after I retired from competitive ballroom dancing. He had a music degree, and I had a business degree and dance background, so forming a high-energy Dance band seemed like a natural business to start together. We began as a 6-piece band doing fairly small Events and expanded over time to a larger band with up to 15 pieces as well as multiple smaller bands.

The band has developed over time into more of a show band with tons of choreography, multiple singers, outfit changes, and a super high-energy and non-stop setlist. Our goal was to bring a different level of entertainment to private events, and it’s been fun getting to be creative while building a business.

We’ve traveled now to over 1/2 the states as well as outside the U.S. and normally do over 100 events a year, so it’s grown quite a lot since the beginning.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Starting a new business always has ups and downs, but it’s felt like a pretty smooth progression with natural growth. In the beginning, the biggest challenge was just the marketing side of things; getting our company to be recognized out of all the other businesses people could hire. Once referrals began to kick in though, and the network of industry professionals grew, that side of things became a lot easier. I’d say another struggle is implementing change.

When you’re working with lots of people both within the company and outside the company, you have to plan really far ahead and relay information well. Making major changes or even just getting everyone to understand the reasons you operate the way you do can be a challenge, but learning to communicate well and planning far in advance seems to help prevent issues.

I think the other big struggle in entertainment is just wanting to do more than you can; sometimes you don’t have enough space or time or the budget so trying to create and provide everything you want within certain confines can be a struggle for artists. We’ve learned to be patient and that usually with time, more and more becomes possible.

As you know, we’re big fans of The 12 South Band. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
The 12 South Band is a high-energy Party/Dance band based in Nashville. We provide entertainment for a variety of events from corporate events to weddings to city festivals and other private parties of all kinds.

Our band is best-known for performing a super high-energy and non-stop show that features hits from all eras and genres, multiple singers, tons of choreography, outfit changes, LED costumes, specialized lighting, and wireless performers who interact with the audience. Our band performs more of a show than most other Event bands, and we find that keeps the audience on the dance floor and excited throughout the Event.

Our goal is to bring people an experience they’ll never forget! We want people to walk away thinking “that was the best party, wedding, Event, etc. I’ve ever been to”, and we know that entertainment is a big factor in that!

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson we’ve learned along the way is to surround ourselves with people who share our vision and take pride in what they do.

When you have people both in and around the company who have similar goals, vision, work ethic, and attitude, it makes everything smoother and enables the company to grow faster and stronger!

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