As a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Kimberly Kulacz provides Drone Pilot Services to local government agencies and small businesses in her area. Learn more about Kimberly’s story and her journey into the industry.
What did you do prior to coming into the industry?
Before becoming a drone pilot and small business owner, I was (and continue to be) a homeschool mom. An entrepreneurial spirit runs through our household! While the COVID pandemic created a lot of trials for us personally, we saw it as an opportunity to pull together and start our own business. Drones for the industry were quietly growing from its initial take-off in 2014-2018, and it was about to explode during the pandemic! We understood the connection between flourishing communities and solid businesses, and it was hard to watch so many small businesses close their doors. Our goal was to help forward-thinking small businesses maximize their limited resources and increase their online marketing.
How did you get started in the drone industry?
After my husband lost his job of 18 years after the COVID lockdowns, we started researching different business ideas. I always enjoyed drones (crashing them at the park), and my jaw dropped when I read how drones were being used across industries. I said to my husband, “We have to do that!” We devoured all we could on the subject bought a cheap drone to play around with to see if we could make it work. Studying for the FAA Part 107 exam was a turning point for me. It was an industry that I didn’t know anything about, and the more I learned about it, the more I knew we were headed in the right direction.!
Tell us about your current organization
Our company Aerial5 Visual Solutions, LLC is a drone operator company. We provide piloting services for small businesses across industries. Our heart is to help small businesses run more efficiently and market more creatively. Our passion is educating our clients on the value of integrating drones into their workflows. Even with a recent growth spurt, many companies do not understand the value they add to their industry, let alone how drones work.
Share a bit about your current role in the industry
I am 51% owner of our company. I pilot the drone and do a lot of research on the benefits of drone applications. I am also Director of Sales and Marketing. A lot of businesses do not choose to build out a drone program and for good reasons. Therefore, it is important to us that we represent the “third party drone service” industry ethically and with integrity. We want to set the bar high as we blaze the trails with other drone companies!
What do you like most about being in the industry?
At the heart of all business is people and people are as diverse as the industries they represent! It is very rewarding to get to know my clients and learn about their businesses. I enjoy using our drone solutions to help them with particular problems or needs. I also love that I am in business with my family and we are on the ground floor of an amazing industry with a lot of potential for future growth.
What’s your favorite type of project and why?
This is a tough question. I absolutely love flying in construction sites and critical infrastructure. I think it’s because it represents “progress” to me. I also love it because I know my drone is saving my clients time and money by capturing data that is useful for them. But on the creative side, I love flying my drone with my husband and capturing beautiful aerial videos and photographs.
What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?
I think it is important to encourage females in technology. (All things being equal) if we work together, we can really achieve a lot.
What’s your current favorite drone to fly?
My favorite drone is the Mavic Air 2
What You’ve Learned
What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?
It is not just flying a drone!!! There is so much to learn. I had absolutely NO experience (other than crashing toy drones at the park) when we first started. Like anything, the more you work at it the better you get and the more you realize you don’t know! Between staying up on drone regulations, laws, learning how to process photos, videos, software, and actually flying, it takes a lot of practice and hard work. IT IS SO WORTH IT.
What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?
I wish I would have known how much I would need to learn. However, if I knew all that, I may not have chosen to be in the industry and would have missed out on all the blessings and growth that have resulted in building a drone business.
Any suggestions for other women entering the industry?
Pick an industry. We are a bit unique in that we sell to small businesses across a wide variety of industries. I like to learn, so I don’t mind, but a good business model is to specialize and become extremely good at one industry. We’ve only been in business for one year (actively working the business for the last 6 months,) we will most likely pick an industry. I like working for government agencies because as a WOBDBE there are opportunities to work in some very cool jobs.