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Sapphire Stories Podcast
23 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Ziv Haklili: Co-Founder of Scale
Ziv is the CoFounder of Scale, a next-generation DTC house of brands he founded with his childhood friend and business partner, Ben Flohr to create meaningful connections between brands and consumers—and positively impact thousands of lives. With expertise in strategic vision, product development and creative direction, he built a strong organizational and operational infrastructure that quickly positioned the company for mass multi-million-dollar growth. Always conscious of the ever-changing digital landscape, Ziv is able to anticipate what tomorrow’s consumers want and create cutting-edge solutions that meet demand.
18 minutes | Jun 5, 2021
Lila Stewart: Co-Founder of Hari Mari
Lila, along with her hubby, Jeremy are travellers. They know firsthand that comfortable footwear is an important staple in every adventurer’s pack. Like they tend to do after scampering up miles of mountainous trails and endlessly exploring new cities, theirs wore out. In a futile search for something durable, unique, and free of painful break-in periods, they did what anyone with an unhealthy obsession with flip flops would do ... they designed and built their very own, right here in Dallas, TX! With unique designs, they married color & comfort with premium construction & materials to establish the new standard in footwear and apparel - Hari Mari.
37 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Sarah & Christine: Co-CEO & Co-founder of Glow Recipe
Sarah and Christine are both the CEO & Co-founder of Glow Recipe. It has been their mission since 2014 to empower everyone to feed their skin the ingredients it needs, when it needs it. Because no one day is the same. Naturally potent, clean formulations with sensorial, unexpected textures and antioxidant-rich fruit extracts are their thing, and they like to have fun along the way. Take it day by day, skin by skin.
23 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Michael Wieder: Co-Founder, President, & CMO at Lalo
Co-Founder of Lalo, Michael Wieder, realized very quickly that when it comes to shopping for baby products, parents tend to get overwhelmed by their unlimited options. As a result, Lalo focuses on two core products, the Daily Stroller ($515), and a 2-in-1 high chair and play chair combo called The Chair ($195). When it came to designing these products, Michael wanted to create solutions that would grow with the baby. Thus, parents are able to decrease the height of the high chair as their child’s height increases, allowing him or her to become a crucial member of the home dining experience. Michael shares his top tips for those looking to start a baby gear brand: Target angel investors and small funds. It is important to do your research and know what sector and stage each fund represent. It is important to choose strategic investors who can add value to your company versus just writing checks. Be smart about managing your cash. Future funding isn’t guaranteed, especially in this time of the coronavirus, so balance your growth and profitability. Don’t compare your growth to other companies. Every company should be focused on building their own playbook. Define your ideal consumer early on. Build a brand in relation to their needs, vernacular, and aesthetic.
26 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Cody Levine: Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Twice Toothpaste
Cody is in business with his older brother, Julian, who's in L.A. right now, and Lenny Kravitz, who’s their third business partner. They all came together four years ago alongside their family. Cody's dad is a dentist in New York, or more like an oral health expert scientist turned entrepreneur and philanthropist. His father with his mom, launched a company called GLO Science. It’s a professional at home teeth whitening device, it’s a pretty innovative brand. They kind of led the trend of those LED devices. They launch about six years ago, his dad built it in his office and used it on his patients and had all these amazing clinical studies and then went to market with it. Through their marketing, they are taking a holistic approach to oral health — as the mouth truly is the gateway to the body and they believe that improving one's oral health starts with the basics of brushing twice a day.
36 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Ben Siedl: CEO & Co-Counder of Neyborly
An entrepreneur who finds opportunity in under-utilized assets and hidden human potential. Ben is currently on a journey building exciting, unique short-term rental spaces by transforming vacant retail spaces into thriving creative hubs for professional and social uses. His business is growing quickly and is always looking for new partnerships, ideas, and passionate people...so feel free to reach out to Ben and he'd be happy to to connect!
37 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Richard Henne: Co-Founder of Ivory Ella
Richard Henne is a Temple graduate entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ivory Ella, an elephant themed charitable women’s e-commerce brand, as well as the Co-Founder of TM38 LLC, a full-service digital agency servicing entrepreneurs and established businesses alike with its proven grass root marketing strategies. His newest brand; Soothe LLC, is a health and wellness brand providing high quality and transparent CBD consumer products meant to better the lives of humans and animals alike. You can see it now at Soothelife.com. Richard is always searching for networking opportunities to meet like minded individuals with work ethic and a desire to provide something beneficial to others.
37 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Scott Norton: Co-Founder of Sir Kensington's
Scott Norton is co-founder of Sir Kensington's, best known for making condiments with character. With a mission to bring integrity and charm to ordinary and overlooked food, Sir Kensington's has become an integral offering at the leading retailers and restaurants across the country. In 2017, Sir Kensington’s was acquired by Unilever to join a family of global food brands, and help define the future of good food and good business. Scott has been named one of Fast Company's “Most Creative People in Business” and listed on Forbes' “30 Under 30.” Previous to founding Sir Kensington’s, he began his career at Lehman Brothers in Tokyo and traveled across 23 countries in Asia on a folding bicycle. Scott is an alumnus of Brown University and a member of the University’s Advisory Council on Entrepreneurship. As an angel investor and mentor, he advises purpose-driven startups in food and technology.
36 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Ju Rhyu: Co-Founder/CEO of Hero Cosmetics
Ju Rhyu is co-founder/CEO of Hero Cosmetics. Hero Cosmetics was launched in 2017 with one product, Mighty Patch, as a test on Amazon. Now, Hero Cosmetics sells a box of Mighty Patch every 15 seconds in channels like Amazon, Target, DTC, Neiman Marcus, Goop, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and more. She has been named to the Inc. Magazine 2019 Female Founders 100 list and was named a Yotpo 2019 Amazing Woman in Ecommerce. She is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School and splits her time between Paris and NYC.
34 minutes | Feb 20, 2021
Bassima Mroue: CEO and co-founder of SkinTē
Bassima Mroue is the CEO and co-founder of SkinTē, the first-ever collagen sparkling tea positioned at the intersection of beauty, beverage and wellness. The brand is experiencing rapid growth, was Finalist for Best Ingestible 2 years in a row by IBE, and has been recognized by media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Inc, Allure, Goop, US Weekly, Entrepreneur, PopSugar and WWD. Prior to SkinTē, Bassima worked at heavyweights like Nike and Spanx. As a board member of the Sara Blakely Foundation, she is also an active supporter of female empowerment as shown in her 2012 TEDx Portland talk.
46 minutes | Feb 6, 2021
Jaime Schmidt: Founder of Schmidt's Naturals / Author of Supermaker
Jaime Schmidt is the quintessential maker-made-good. As the founder and former CEO of Schmidt's, Jaime led the brand to sales in over 30 countries and onto the shelves of Target, Costco, CVS, Walmart, and Whole Foods. The brand was acquired by Unilever in 2017, and Jaime continues to support their global expansion. Today, as an investor with her fund Color, and through her media company Supermaker, Schmidt is elevating emerging and underrepresented entrepreneurs. On this episode, we feature Jaime and hear her humble beginnings. Please support her by reading her amazing book Supermaker!
39 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Kara Lynn Joyce: CEO of Lead Sports Co. // Three-Time USA Olympic Swimmer
Kara Lynn Joyce is a three-time USA Olympic swimmer living in Long Beach, CA. Kara competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics for team USA winning a total of four medals. As a swimmer for the University of Georgia, Joyce won 18 NCAA titles and set the American Record in the 50 yard and 50 meter freestyle. In 2010 she moved to Denver to train with Olympic star, Missy Franklin, in an attempt to make her third Olympic team. Her journey has been captured in the beautiful film, "Touch the Wall” which has been screened globally in theaters and is available via blue-ray, dvd and amazon prime. In 2017 Kara founded the Lead Sports Co. for teenage girl athletes. Lead focuses on connecting female athletes with accomplished women in sports through yearly summits and regional seminars. Over the last 4 years the Lead Company has grown from not only a yearly event, but an online community and Academy. The Lead Academy is the home base for teenage girl athletes, parents and coaches with comprehensive online courses in Leadership, Confidence, Sports Psychology, and more.
50 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
Marc Randolph: Co-Founder of Netflix
Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for a service that’s grown to 150 million subscribers, and fundamentally altered how the world experiences media. He also served on the Netflix board of directors until retiring from the company in 2003. Marc’s career as an entrepreneur spans four decades. He’s founded or co-founded six other successful startups, mentored hundreds of early stage entrepreneurs, and as an investor has helped seed dozens of successful tech ventures (and just as many unsuccessful ones). Most recently, he co-founded analytics software company Looker Data Sciences, where he now serves as director. Outside of the tech and startup world, Marc sits on the boards of Chubbies Shorts, Augment Technologies, the environmental advocacy group 1% For The Planet, and the International Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), which he’s been involved with for most of his life. A resident of Santa Cruz, California, Marc travels and speaks all over the world, and still probably manages to go surfing more than you do.
51 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
Kevin Belbey: The Montag Group:
As an agent at The Montag Group, Kevin represents sports broadcasting clients from national networks to local markets. His clients include play-by-play announcers, analysts, radio hosts, writers and reporters. Kevin is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, his Master’s Degree in New Media Management from Newhouse and his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University’s College of Law. He currently serves on several Syracuse boards including the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association, The Newhouse 44 and the Generation Orange Leadership Council. In March of 2017, Kevin was named to Front Office Sports’ “Rising 25” list of up-and-coming sports business professionals. In September of 2019, Kevin was the recipient of the Generation Orange Award by his alma mater, an award recognizing a young alumnus making major contributions in their field of work. In addition to working as an agent, Kevin is the Founder and General Manager of Boeheim’s Army— a team of former Syracuse Men’s Basketball players who compete in the annual $2million winner-take-all “The Basketball Tournament."
39 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Rob Angel: The Creator of Pictionary
Rob Angel is the creator of the popular game Pictionary. On our episode, he shares exciting news about his upcoming book: Game Changer (https://robangel.com) Game Changer is the story of how a twenty-three-year-old waiter from Seattle had the outrageous dream of beating industry giants Milton Bradley and Mattel at their own game. With no experience, Rob Angel used his guts, drive, and intuition to create one of the most beloved board games of all time: Pictionary. Rob did it his way. He produced the first 1,000 games by hand in his tiny one- bedroom apartment, disrupted the market by selling to nontraditional retail outlets, and did countless demonstrations at the bottom of the escalator at Nordstrom, a store with no game department. Anything to succeed.
31 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
WEWEARCUTE: TikTok Creators with over 10M followers
Wewearcute has over 6,400,00 followers on TikTok. They consistently achieve millions of views on their account. Hear their story: Learn how they started What it takes to succeed on the platform Where they got their inspiration and more Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with new podcast episodes: @stackingrowth
30 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Liz Hernandez: Founder of WORDAFUL
My name is Liz Hernandez, I’m a Mexican American Emmy-nominated television personality and journalist. As a former radio host and entertainment reporter for Access Hollywood, E! News and MTV, my career has been built on words, but no chapter more meaningful than the one I am currently living with WORDAFUL, a video and live event series that focuses on the importance of how we communicate with others and ourselves. Through WORDAFUL I’ve created a new form of storytelling that I hope will encourage and connect us to the power of words. We can create new realities for ourselves by changing our internal and external dialogue, ones that support more meaningful relationships and lives. Our thoughts and words from yesterday are what make up our lives today. To stay connected with your host, follow @thomas.ma7 on Instagram
42 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Laura Hutfless: Co-Founder FlyteVu
Laura Hutfless is a Co-Founder of FlyteVu, a Nashville-based full-service entertainment marketing agency founded in 2015 that connects brands to consumers through compelling storytelling, unparalleled experiences, and the power of pop culture. In only four years under Laura’s leadership, FlyteVu has experienced 2230% revenue growth and was named to Adweek’s 2019 Top 100 Fastest Growing Agencies List with an impressive roster of clients including Bumble, Enterprise, Jack Daniel’s, Anheuser Busch, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Converse, Norwegian Cruise Line, Drybar, Spotify, and many others. FlyteVu is known for creating first-of-its kind campaigns that give back to the community and/or change culture. Hutfless led Bumble’s very first Super Bowl commercial and campaign titled “The Ball is in Her Court” featuring Serena Williams with music by Rita Ora. The campaign was the first majority female-led creative team in Super Bowl history. Other notable campaigns include Enterprise’s “Share the Code. Hit the Road” with OneRepublic, Bumble’s “Play x Play” with Tiffany Haddish, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple launch hosted by Kesha, Bumble’s ‘Empowered by Bumble Bizz’ with Kacey Musgraves, Bebe Rexha, and Hayley Kiyoko, and a multi-year partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line and Kelly Clarkson. FlyteVu’s campaigns have collectively earned multiple awards including three Gold and two Bronze Clio Awards, an Emmy Award, a GRAMMY Award, and Davey Awards. In 2018 and 2019, Laura was named to Billboard’s Branding Power Player List, and to Billboard’s Country Power Player List in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She was also named to Billboard’s "40 under 40" power player list in 2012 and 2013 and the "30 under 30" list in 2010. Additionally, Laura has been a featured speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit and NextGen Summit, Advertising Week, Billboard Touring Conference, Biz Bash, Who Knew: Women Who Rock, and has been covered in Ad Age, Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, and more. Laura serves on Boards of the Country Music Association and The Onsite Foundation. After experiencing the unexpected loss of a loved one due to substance abuse as a result of trauma, Laura’s philanthropic efforts have focused on mental health, substance abuse disorder, addiction, and trauma. Laura is currently leading efforts with The Onsite Foundation, as a Board Member, to develop a first-of-its-kind trauma-informed therapeutic program called “Triumph Over Tragedy” that will provide tools, support, and a safe community for survivors of mass shootings to find hope and healing. The first program is set to launch in March and will provide services, funded by full scholarships, to survivors across the nation regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. To stay connected with your host, follow @thomas.ma7 on Instagram
50 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Taiki Green: Co-Founder of Watch Momentum
Taiki Green, co-founder, and former collegiate pitcher, started working at the start-up baseball training company, Driveline Baseball. After working as the head of content there he then left to be a freelance Director/Producer. Taiki has worked with a number of organizations such as ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB, and Parkwood Entertainment. His goal now is to tell visually powerful stories in and around baseball. With his free time, Taiki enjoys traveling as much as he can (at least 2-3 countries a year), great food, solid-well-curated memes, and being around people that inspire him to do better every day. To stay connected with your host, follow @thomas.ma7 on Instagram
43 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Steve Astephen: CEO The Familie, Strategic Partner
Steve Astephen had an entrepreneurial spirit from day one, beginning his career owning 'The Otherside', an iconic snowboard shop in the early 90’s. The shop’s success, along with the loyalty and life long relationships Steve developed within the snowboard community, led him to his passion of managing sports talent. In 1994, Astephen became the Team Manager of Lamar Snowboards and dominated the industry by signing some of the most powerful teams in the sport. Astephen then founded the first action sports agency, fittingly named, 'The Familie.' His success quickly grew a roster of over 30 of the world’s top action sports athletes, spanning across- BMX, motocross, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, and wake-boarding. By 1999, The Familie was established as the premier action sports marketing and athlete management agency with services that included marketing, public relations, creative, licensing, trend research, event activation and consulting. In April 2003, Astephen partnered with Wasserman Media Group where he served as the Managing Partner for 16 years. Astephen was instrumental to the growth of Wasserman as they became the largest athlete representation agency, growing to over 1,600 athletes and representing countless Fortune 500 brands. During this time Astephen was selected by Sports Business Journal as one of its coveted "Forty Under 40" in sports. Astephen, left Wasserman mid-2019 to revive his own agency, The Familie V2, a representation and brand building agency working across sports, music, art, and media. Astephen remains an active investor and advisor today for brands such as Hoonigan Media Machine, Stance socks, Kopari, Art of Sport and Nixon. He currently resides in Cardiff, CA. To stay connected with your host, follow @thomas.ma7 on Instagram
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