Harmonizing Success: The Story of Margie Ocdamia and Ocdamia Music Group

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, merging passion with profitability is a rare composition that few manage to master. Margie Ocdamia, a recent graduate of California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), has orchestrated a unique blend of business acumen and musical passion to create a thriving enterprise. As the founder and Operations Manager of Ocdamia Music Group LLC, Margie has not only provided a platform for classical musicians to shine but has also revolutionized how music services are delivered and appreciated. In this exclusive interview, Margie shares her entrepreneurial journey, the crescendos and diminuendos of running a successful music business, and her vision for the future. Join us as we delve into the symphony of challenges and triumphs that define Margie Ocdamia’s entrepreneurial concerto.

CSUF Entrepreneurship: Tell everyone about yourself. Were you always entrepreneurial? Were you always artistic? What inspired your passion for both?

Margie Ocdamia: My name is Margie Ocdamia. I am the founder and Operations Manager of Ocdamia Music Group, LLC. I wear many hats. I am a wife, a mother to a 14-year-old son, and an entrepreneur at heart.

During my final year at CSUF, I found a productive way to pass the time while waiting for a great friend of mine to finish his entrepreneurial class. Since he frequently gave me a ride home from school, I decided to enroll in the same class as him. Driven by curiosity, I felt compelled to delve deeper and discover more about what the class offered and where this road could lead me.

I’ve always been driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. As early as elementary school, I seized every opportunity to sell various items to earn extra money in order to help my parents.

While I wouldn’t consider myself particularly artistic, I do have a flair for creativity in my entrepreneurial pursuits. My husband is the true artist in our family. He is a professional cellist who truly comes alive on stage when performing for an audience. He often says with a smile, “Where else can you find a job where people applaud your work, shower you with compliments, treat you to fancy meals, send you to splendid hotels, and pay you for the pleasure of it all?”

However, he often shared his frustrations regarding his interactions with other musicians and contractors. That’s when I assured him, “Don’t worry, I’ll manage you from now on! I’ll secure the gigs you deserve so you no longer have to navigate those challenges.”

Word quickly spread within his circle of orchestra friends. When they learned we had started an agency specifically for classical musicians, they were eager to join our musicians’ roster, and that’s how Ocdamia Music Group began!

CSUF Entrepreneurship: Why music? Art is always one of the most difficult things to make into a business except for those who already have a following. What gave you the insight that by bringing together talented artists you would be able to find more customers for them and build a successful business from that?

Margie Ocdamia: My eagerness to help my husband in his music career sparked a fire in me. I wanted to understand his frustrations and identify areas for change to improve the industry for musicians and clients.

It’s no secret that the music industry is notoriously difficult to break into. Many incredibly talented musicians dedicate years to honing their craft—starting as young as 5, enduring countless practice hours, and accumulating degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctorates)—only to face disappointment with the typically low pay rates. This can understandably lead to frustration and negativity within the musician community.

Furthermore, many talented artists need more skills to market themselves effectively. Their strength lies in creating beautiful music, not navigating the complexities of client communication. On the other hand, clients often need help to book independent/freelance musicians directly due to a perceived lack of accountability.  Pricing inconsistencies further complicate matters, with some artists charging exorbitant fees and others offering services as low as $100. This disparity leaves clients needing clarification and figuring out how to hire the best fit for their needs.

Here is where Ocdamia Music Group steps in. We bridge the gap between talented musicians and discerning clients. We advocate for our musicians, ensuring they are fairly compensated based on their skill and experience. However, we also champion fair treatment for the clients. We do not believe in inflated fees, ensuring that clients receive exceptional value for their investment. At Ocdamia Music Group, we treat every client with the utmost respect, regardless of their background—from CEOs to doctors to everyday individuals.

CSUF Entrepreneurship: People like learning about success stories but most of those stories tend to gloss over the not so-successful times. What were one or two big obstacles that you had to overcome and how did you overcome them?

Margie Ocdamia: On the business side, I love giving opportunities to artists, which is one reason I’ve attracted so many loyal artists who have been with me since I started the business. However, I still find it challenging to have the uncomfortable conversations necessary to turn down persistent artists who aren’t the right fit. It’s a work in progress, but I’m hopeful that I will become more comfortable with saying “no” in the future to ensure top-notch service for our clients.

On a personal note, growing up in the Philippines was challenging. My father did not support the idea of women pursuing higher education; he felt that women were better suited to household tasks. By age sixteen, I was living independently, funding my education, and committed to becoming self-reliant. Motivated by a deep desire to overcome poverty, I persisted. Now, years later, as a newcomer in a foreign country, I stand as living proof that dreams do indeed come true.

CSUF Entrepreneurship: Do you have any plans on expanding your business? What is in store for the future for you and your business?

Margie Ocdamia: Yes, I do, but in a different sector. I intend to launch another agency, this time in the medical industry. I aim to replicate the success of my music agency business. This new venture will focus on hiring nurses and caregivers and establishing an agency in the medical field. I see a growing demand among baby boomers who require care but need more time to screen potential caregivers themselves. My agency would bridge this gap by ensuring families can trust their loved ones are in the hands of trustworthy, reliable, and highly professional caregivers.

CSUF Entrepreneurship: What advice would you give to others who are thinking about starting their own business?

Margie Ocdamia: Focus on identifying a problem that needs solving. Then, your solution will become your business. Always do the right thing, no matter the cost or discomfort. Don’t be afraid of change, be creative, and innovate. Then, profit and success will naturally follow. If you’re facing challenges, embrace them. Feel the pain and use that experience as fuel to achieve your dreams.

Big thanks to Margie for taking the time to do this interview!

If you’re a CSUF grad or a member of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community and would like to tell us about your entrepreneurial journey please send us a note to csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.