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Brittany Hodak
Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur and writer. She’s spent the past decade in New York City pursuing the intersection of her passions—storytelling, marketing, and music—but her perspective is still very much shaped by her small-town Oklahoma upbringing.

In 2011, Brittany launched ZinePak (pronounced ZEEN-pack) with co-founder Kim Kaupe to help music superfans connect with the artists they love. Since then, the company has grown from a two-person operation to a multi-million dollar, international entertainment company. Fans have purchased millions of ZinePak products across the world for almost 100 artists, including Katy Perry, The Beach Boys, Selena Gomez, KISS, and Kenny Chesney.

Brittany has been named to Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 list, Inc.’s 35 Under 35 list, and Billboard’s 30 Under 30 list. She won a prestigious Stevie Award for Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year, was a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year competition, and has been recognized at the United Nations as one of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs in America two years in a row. In 2014, ZinePak was named Empact’s “Most Disruptive Company” at the United Nations ceremony for its role in redefining physical music.

Brittany’s obsession with building a career from her love of music began when she got a job as a radio station mascot in high school. She soon began writing articles and reviewing concerts for the station’s website, blogging before “blogging” was really a thing, and vowed never to get a “real” job. This experience helped her discover a passion for entertainment storytelling.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Arkansas, where she led friends in setting a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Christmas Stocking (a fun effort to collect thousands of toys for children in need), Brittany moved to New York to oversee retail marketing for Sony Music’s RED division. Next, she worked at a small marketing agency, designing and executing entertainment campaigns for clients including Johnson & Johnson, LG, and A&E Television Networks. Along the way, she earned her Master’s Degree in Marketing from CUNY Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business. She also picked up the entrepreneurial bug and decided to pursue an idea she’d believed in since college: that a new, physical configuration of music could be embraced. Luckily, the idea paid off, and ZinePak has helped open doors Brittany never even dreamed existed.

In addition to writing about entertainment and entrepreneurs for The Huffington Post, Brittany regularly writes about entrepreneurship for Forbes and about startup systems for WeWork. She has also contributed articles to Inc., Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and Success. In her free time, Brittany flexes her storytelling muscle—and reconnects with her Oklahoma roots—by pursuing her love of country music songwriting.

Entries by Brittany Hodak

Top 20 Country Artists to Watch in 2016

(7) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 2:45 PM

2015 was a big year for new artists in country music. Several acts had their first career number ones at country radio, including A Thousand Horses, Kelsea Ballerini, Canaan Smith, Michael Ray, Old Dominion, Dustin Lynch, and Chris Stapleton. Others, like Cam...

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Blair Gilley Releases Most Personal Album Yet With 'If It's Just For Tonight'

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 10:35 AM


Blair Gilley always dreamed of being a rock star. From the first time he picked up a guitar at age eleven, he fantasized about performing in stadiums filled with screaming fans, like his idols Billie Joe Armstrong and Nikki Sixx.

After almost two...

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Hollywood Headphones Startup Debuts Wood Speakers in Impressive IndieGoGo Campaign

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 3:57 PM


Hollywood-based headphones startup LSTN Sound Co. is no stranger to making news. Co-founder Bridget Hilton has been featured on elite Under 30 lists for Forbes and Inc. and named one of the world's Top 100 Creatives by...

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Country Newcomer Aaron Parker Takes Old-School Approach to EP Launch

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 7:53 PM


Aaron Parker is an unabashed '90s country music superfan. "I cut my teeth on Kenny, Garth, and Tim," the Daphne, Alabama, native says. "There's something about that era of country music that still hits me." It's no surprise, then, that Parker's...

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Garth Brooks Invites Up-And-Coming Artist Mitch Rossell Onstage in Dallas

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 1:40 PM


As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. That was certainly the case for rising country star Mitch Rossell over the weekend, where he celebrated his birthday in much bigger fashion than he could have ever imagined.

When he's...

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54 Hours of Startup Innovation Take Mid-Missouri to New Heights

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 5:48 PM


As the co-founder of two growing companies, I'm intimately familiar with the daunting, time-consuming nature of launching a startup. It took me almost seven years of networking and planning to launch my first company, ZinePak, after having the idea in college....

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How Appearing on Shark Tank Inspired Me to Tackle a Major Problem in America

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 8:59 AM


It's been almost a year since I flew to Los Angeles to appear on the hit television show Shark Tank to promote my entertainment marketing company, ZinePak. My co-founder and I spent weeks preparing for every possible question we might be asked on...

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Artist Creates Ripples by Illustrating Father-Daughter Stories

(7) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 5:40 PM

Three years ago, my dad died unexpectedly at the age of 51. There's no good time to lose a parent -- especially one to whom you are especially close -- but the fact that his death was a few days before Father's Day and I hadn't had a chance to...

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Starset to Deliver Out-of-This-World Performance at Long Island Planetarium

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 10:40 AM


Starset, the Columbus, Ohio-based band whose unique style has been dubbed "cinematic rock," isn't your average rock band. That's thanks in large part to lead singer Dustin Bates, who as a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering and a former teacher at the International...

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Billy Currington Talks New Album, Tour and More

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 4:40 PM


It's been a busy few days for Billy Currington. In the span of less than a week, the country star notched his tenth career number-one single with "Don't It," released his sixth album, Summer Forever, and kicked off the...

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Laura Bell Bundy: Another Piece of Me

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 4:59 PM


For Laura Bell Bundy, a wait that felt like a lifetime is finally over. After more than five years, Another Piece of Me, the much-anticipated follow-up to her major-label debut album, is finally in stores. "I'm just excited for...

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Canaan Smith: One of Country's Best New Sounds of Summer

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 4:30 PM


Country fans with tickets to Dierks Bentley's 40-city Sounds of Summer Tour, which kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, will be doing themselves a major disservice if they don't show up to venues early. The first artist hitting the stage...

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From Musical Theater to Miranda Lambert's Opening Act: Courtney Cole's Country Music Journey with #NoFilter

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 5:26 PM


Courtney Cole's first time singing in front of an audience was almost her last. The wide-eyed eleven-year-old spent weeks preparing to sing in front of her Louisiana church for the first time. She was so confident in her preparation and eager to make...

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ACM New Artist of the Year Nominee Cole Swindell

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 2:11 PM


There's no denying that Cole Swindell is on a roll. In the past six weeks alone, the Georgia native charted his third consecutive number-one single at country radio, was nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for New Artist of...

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Make No "Mistake," Cam Is One to Watch!

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 4:13 PM


It's notoriously hard for new female artists to break through at country radio, but Sony's Arista Nashville is betting big on its newest singer/songwriter, Cam, and her upbeat debut "My Mistake" to be the exception to the rule.

The California native,...

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Kelsea Ballerini: Artist to Watch

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 4:08 AM


Dozens of country artists were in Nashville last week for the annual Country Radio Seminar conference, but few shone as brightly as rising star Kelsea Ballerini.

Ballerini, whose debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It" is already Top 25 at country radio...

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Exclusive Interview: Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman on 'Girl Crush,' the Grand Ole Opry, and What's Next for the Band

(2) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 1:53 PM

Kimberly Schlapman, left, with bandmates Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, and Phillip Sweet

I'm kind of glad we didn't know 16 years ago, when we were driving ourselves around in a van -- one time we drove all the way [from Nashville] to...
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9th&Elm's Ambitious Goal to Take Independent Fashion Mainstream

(5) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 12:05 PM

Image courtesy Sarah Darby/Missouri Business Alert

In a world filled with discount websites peddling mass-imported fashion, 9th&Elm stands out...way out. Their tagline, "Handmade, Independent, or Otherwise Cool," is the guiding principle behind everything they do. Imagine having a...

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15 Country Artists to Watch in 2015

(10) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 3:36 PM

2014 was a big year for country music. It saw the return of the genre's all-time best-selling artist in Garth Brooks, the exodus of its biggest superstar to pop stations, and more than a few breakout stars, including Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, and Parmalee.

2015 is sure to keep...

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Steven Lee Olsen: Nashville's Next Big Thing?

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 5:01 PM


"I'm a product of 90s country," admits Toronto-born, Nashville-tested singer-songwriter Steven Lee Olsen. "I grew up listening to Garth and Bryan White and George Strait and Vince Gill. Those are the guys who made me fall in love with country."

Olsen, whose debut...

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