As the founder and CEO of Ten Thirty One productions (TTO), Melissa Carbone has built a multi-million dollar empire around the Halloween and horror industry and is not slowing down anytime soon. Living the corporate lifestyle as the youngest General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Los Angeles, now known as iHeart Media for a decade, Carbone gained a true understanding of the entertainment and business worlds. During this time, she discovered a passion for producing live large scale horror-themed experiences. She kicked off TTO in 2009 by creating the beloved Los Angeles Haunted Hayride attraction, which expanded to attractions like Ghost Ship, the Great Horror Campout (which has gone to seven cities nationwide), the Great Horror Movie Night outdoor movie series, and, most recently, bringing her flagship Haunted Hayride brand to New York City last year. After appearing on Shark Tank in 2013, Carbone partnered with Mark Cuban to gain capital for her rapidly growing empire. Now, the successful businesswoman is gearing up to launch the Haunted Hayride in more markets including Dallas, which will be her third location. In addition to her themed attractions, Carbone is in the process of completing her first book based on her business expertise, sharing her story and tips so readers can create their own success stories. Adding to the excitement, the queen of Halloween has launched a new production powerhouse titled Shadow House Films, which will debut its first feature length film in October 2016. Shadow House Films will be the first to create a franchise where a film is simultaneously released surrounding the opening of a synergetic-paired themed attraction. Now, it’s time to take a look at where this horror-loving CEO comes up with her multi-million dollar ideas.
- Computers – I always have two computers working on my desk. One is a big screen for really visually stunning viewing so that I can review creative images since so much of our work is visual renderings and creature art. The other computer is for everything else.
- White hand holding chalk – The white hand holding chalk is critical as you can see my entire wall is a chalk wall. The wall is a malleable sort of vision board. Once I put it on the wall…It’s happening. No negotiation.
- My pups – Macy and Gwen are the loves of my life so they keep their eye on me at all times.
- Coffee – Coffee is ALWAYS next to me and kind of self-explanatory. I work all hours of the day and night.
- Kubota Tractor – the little orange Kubota tractor is the anchor of all that is Ten Thirty One and where it all started for us. The very first customer we ever served was on a hayride pulled by the real thing and to this day, orange Kubota’s are the spine of our flagship brand.
- Leatherman – Leatherman is smart to keep within reach because you never know when you may have to fix fencing in the middle of the woods at night or defend yourself!
- Glass of sand and seashells – from my favorite beach hangout in Santa Monica, California. It has been on my desk for 7 years.
- Pile of new projects – always rotating. Right now the brand new incredible script for our first feature length film which is going to be the first installment of our horror franchise is finalized and sitting pretty on the top. It’s a very exciting pile.
- My Brain Lamp – It’s the preverbal lightbulb over my head. While the light is on, my cerebral activity is flowing at max capacity.