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Startup to Storefront
63 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Today’s guest is the one and only Diana Nyad. The author, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer has swum around the island of Manhattan, from the Bahamas to Florida, and most famously from Cuba to Key West. She is the first person to have ever done that swim without the assistance of a shark cage. She defied intense currents, venomous jellyfish, and even her own age in order to complete the 111-mile open water swim. Even though Diana is the epitome of the phrase “you can accomplish anything you set your mind to”, she’ll be the first to tell you that it doesn’t always come easily. It often requires heartbreaking failure time and time again before you finally achieve victory. She is very candid about the struggles of running her EverWalk foundation, but if her past is any indication of her future, the smart money is always on Diana. Listen in as we cover everything from drawing her inspiration from those who are alive and engaged with the world around them, how she lost her direction in life during her career as a sportscaster, and she even shows off her skills on a bugle.
69 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
Cass & Andrew Walker - Little West
Today’s guests are Cass and Andrew Walker, husband and wife duo, and co-founders of cold-pressed juice company Little West. Their journey began with their wedding—or more accurately—using the money they would’ve spent on their wedding to start Little West. They got some space in a yoga studio and threw themselves into making juice. They’ll be the first to tell you that they knew absolutely nothing about running a commercial juice business, but Cass and Andrew dedicated everything they had to learn and master their craft. Their story is one of perseverance and grit which has paid off in numerous ways, not least of which is selling their company to PlantX. Listen in as we cover everything from the lessons learned in taking bad loans to float their business, drinking coffee in the morning, juice at noon, and wine at night, and why the number one rule of running a business is to invest in marketing.
45 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Muralist & Artist - James Peter Henry
Today’s guest is James Peter Henry, the artist best known for painting the mural in our very own studio! Ok, maybe that’s not his most famous piece of work, but it’s certainly up there in our books. James grew up on a farm in rural Australia, about five hours outside of Melbourne. As he explored the property as a kid, he discovered a set of caves that were adorned with Aboriginal paintings and drawings. These fascinated him and would go on to influence his work all throughout his life. The Aboriginal artists were painting on the walls of the cave in order to pass down stories. Each of James’ pieces today reflects this notion of art as a vessel for storytelling, but instead of being featured on the walls of caves, they’ve been projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Listen in as we cover everything from why he almost talked himself out of his career, why he considers his paintings to be similar to real estate, and how his darkest moment came when he accidentally spilled five gallons of black paint on himself.
63 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Comedian/Actress/Writer- Hannah Pilkes
Today’s guest is Hannah Pilkes, the comedienne, actress, and writer. Hannah got her start in the Kevin Bacon drama The Woodsman. If you’re familiar with that movie you’ll know it’s about as far from comedy as a movie can get. But acting in the movie was enough to reinforce Hannah’s love for performing, and though it took a while, she did eventually find her own voice and a following on Vine. Thankfully, Hannah’s career has lasted much longer than the platform that launched her. She continues to reach a wide audience today through her stand-up performances, comedy skits on social media, and is even writing and developing a tv show. Listen in as we cover everything from why she doesn’t consider what she writes to be jokes, how she’s managed to continuously promote her activism alongside her comedy, and why she thinks 80% of standup in the midwest should probably cease to exist.
41 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Modamily- Ivan Fatovic
Today’s guest is Ivan Fatovic, founder of Modamily. Modamily is a mashup of the words “modern family”, and Ivan is working to redefine what that means in modern culture. This country as well as many around the world have long held up the ideals of the nuclear family as something to strive for. The problem with that is for many, that ideal ranges anywhere from undesirable to unachievable. And for those of us who want to have children outside of the “boy meets girl, they fall in love, they have kids” framework, the path was often complicated and almost never easy. Modamily is a service that allows people to meet like-minded individuals and have kids without necessarily developing a romantic connection. And while it probably won’t be the end of Western Civilization as we know it, it is undeniably groundbreaking. Listen in as we cover everything from how Ivan defines the modern family, why he considers Modamily a hybrid between dating apps and the fertility industry, and why choosing who you have kids with is the most important decision you’ll make in your life.
45 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Chemist Confessions - New Book Launch!
Returning to the show today are Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu, co-founders of Chemist Confessions and authors of the new book Skincare Decoded: The Practical Guide to Beautiful Skin. When we last spoke with Victoria and Gloria, they were busy running an online skincare platform and developing new skincare products. Somehow in the middle of all that, they managed to squeeze in writing a book as well. If you ask them, they initially thought it wouldn’t be much more than repackaging everything they’d already written on their blog. They couldn’t have been more wrong. But the same effort and care that they’ve put into their blog went into their book, and as a result, sales are spiking. Listen in as we cover everything from having to navigate the launch of the book on their own, why Gloria’s excitement about finding her book at her local bookstore was not shared by the cashier, and what humans have in common with guinea pigs when it comes to skincare.
51 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Genius Juice - Alex Bayer
Today’s guest is Alex Bayer, founder of Genius Juice. Alex hasn’t always been an entrepreneur, but he has picked up several valuable skills along the way that have given him a leg up when he did decide to start out on his own. He honed his sales technique while selling Afflack insurance, and he learned all about marketing and distribution during his time at a non-profit. So the preparation was all there when he had his Eureka moment when a friend made him his first whole coconut smoothie. He seized the opportunity and turned a simple healthy smoothie into a nationwide brand. Listen in as we cover everything from the difficulties of having to kick out a partner who is also a friend, the importance of recognizing your own limitations and hiring people who complement your strengths, and why the fourth time was the charm when it came to getting on Shark Tank.
55 minutes | May 24, 2021
Farm Cup Coffee - New Storefront Announced!
Today’s guests are Emerson Haro and Tony Yuan, co-founders of Farm Cup Coffee and co-inhabiters with us in our new space at 7748 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, CA. Farm Cup and their one-of-a-kind coffee truck Sunny take up the front half, while we record in the space right behind them. So needless to say we all know each other pretty well. In the two years that we’ve been doing this show, no one embodies the spirit of Startup to Storefront more than these guys. Aside from literally going from startup to an actual storefront, they pour their heart and soul into their business and it shows. Our first conversation with them was episode 17, and we’re thrilled that we could catch up with them again and talk about just how far they’ve come since then. Listen in as we cover everything from how Emerson’s initial drawings for Sunny were completely impractical, how they fought through low customer turnout last year, and they recount the most disastrous pitch meeting imaginable.
47 minutes | May 18, 2021
Fōnuts - Nancy Truman and Thom Furtado
Today is our 100th episode! It’s also the first time we’ve hosted a guest in our brand new podcast studio. We can’t think of a sweeter way to celebrate this milestone than with some doughnuts. So with that being said, today’s guests are Thom Furtado and Nancy Truman, the couple behind the LA sensation Fōnuts. Those that know Los Angeles know that LA is a doughnut-loving city. There are many, many places that satisfy your sweet tooth, but a few rise above the rest. Fōnuts has made a name for itself not only in the quality and taste of their doughnut, but by making all of their creations gluten-free as well. They’ve come to our brand new studio today to tell us all about how they became the creators of the enlightened doughnut. Listen in as we cover everything from their plans to become a national brand through franchising, why Nancy doesn’t like to lead with gluten-free when asked “what’s a fōnut?”, and why the biggest struggle in running their business has always been hiring quality employees.
17 minutes | May 11, 2021
New Studio Announced!
Today’s guests are Diego and Nick! We’re in the process of opening up our brand new podcast studio, and so today we decided to break it in by recording our first episode in it. We’ll be back next week with our normal content, but this week we decided to reminisce on how far we’ve come and where we plan on taking the podcast. We also offer up a lot of insights and tips we’ve learned along the way, from our routine when we sit down with guests to our thoughts on how we should celebrate our upcoming 100th episode. This is just the start of the next chapter in the Startup to Storefront story, and we’re thrilled that we can share it with you all.
39 minutes | May 4, 2021
Sky Ting Yoga - Krissy Jones & Chloe Kernaghan
Today’s guests are Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan, co-founders of Sky Ting Yoga. Krissy and Chloe began with a single brick-and-mortar studio in New York City, but their following quickly outgrew their studio’s capacity. So naturally, they expanded into more locations. But just as it’s difficult to keep expanding into new studios, it’s also tough to find great teachers to staff them. To be fair, this is a great problem to have. The only real solution was to leverage their instruction style and name into an online platform. And in a moment of unpredictably brilliant timing, they launched this platform a few months before COVID hit and everything switched to an online platform. Listen in as we cover everything from how taking a hit in video quality during the pandemic actually taught them how to create more engaging videos, how they plan to compete with industry titans like Peloton, and how switching from an analog studio to a digital space wasn’t exactly as straightforward as they’d hoped.
38 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Ellenos - Alex Apostolopoulos
Today’s guest is Alex Apostolopoulos, founder of the greek yogurt company Ellenos. Ellenos has gained quite the following in Seattle, drawing crowds through word-of-mouth advertising to their stand at the iconic Pike Place Market. But they wouldn’t have even gotten to Seattle if it weren’t for Yvonne Klein, a flight attendant who loved the yogurt so much that she would bring back cases of it whenever she flew to Australia. Eventually, she and her husband reached out to Alex and his father about bringing their product to the US. The four became business partners and set out to win consumers over one taste at a time. Listen in as we cover everything from the challenges of finding a dairy farmer in the US who would work with them if we’ll see yogurt breweries pop up in the next few years, and why some of the simplest flavors are the most challenging to make.
28 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Bro Dough - Erica Rankin
Today we talk with Erica Rankin, founder of the edible cookie dough company Bro Dough. It’s a guilty pleasure we’ve all indulged in at least once or twice. The problem has always been that those raw eggs that make it dangerous for consumption prior to being baked to golden perfection. Bro Dough isn’t your grandparent’s cookie dough though. It’s vegan, safe for consumption, and packs an extra dose of protein. In fact, though you can indeed bake it, this is a cookie dough that is meant to be eaten raw. Listen in as we cover everything from the benefits of being open and honest on LinkedIn, why she often takes the path of most resistance, and how her dad wasn’t quite convinced there was a market for cookie dough until he saw the sales come rolling in.
39 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
The Comfy - Brian and Michael Speciale
Today’s guests are the Comfy brothers, Brian and Michael Speciale. As you may have guessed from their nickname, they co-founded The Comfy, and they are indeed brothers. The two of them took their idea for a wearable blanket and straight-up sprinted with it. They knew that they were sitting on such a hot ticket item that before they did just about anything else with their company, they were appearing on Shark Tank. They left the tank with a deal in hand and set to work on actually manufacturing the product. It took some time to get their supply chain and distribution figured out, but once they did, the brothers turned The Comfy into one of the most successful companies to ever come out of Shark Tank. What follows is a captivating and energetic conversation about the grit and determination that led them to where they are today. Listen in as we cover everything from why getting their product into retail stores was the best decision they ever made, how Brian spent the early days of his company flipping people from angry customers to supporters of the brand, and why it’s imperative to own up to both the mistakes and successes of your business.
35 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Partake Foods - Denise Woodard
Today’s guest is Denise Woodard, founder of Partake Foods. When her daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies, Denise struggled with finding snacks she could safely feed her. So she set out to create some herself. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Her initial attempts were met with responses of “this is awful” from her daughter. And this is where it’s important to note that Denise was able to bypass so many hurdles that plague entrepreneurs as they grow. Denise recognized her own limitations and instead of laboring for a lengthy amount of time perfecting a recipe, she hired a food scientist. By delegating this task she freed herself up to focus on getting Partake off the ground and running. Partake is now a nationwide brand with venture capital funding from big names like Rihanna and Jay-Z. Listen in as we cover everything from how tough it was to get allergic customers to build up enough trust in the brand before they’d even try it, why frozen is the new fresh, and why at times she feels like she’s flying the plane as she’s building it.
41 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Solento Tequila - Taylor Steele
Today’s guest is Taylor Steele, founder of the tequila company: Solento. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you might have picked up on a common theme: career paths are almost never linear. Taylor’s career path is even more proof of this, as he has gone from indie surfing-filmmaker to creative director of Corona beer in Australia to the head of a premier tequila company. For some, it’s enough to find their passion and make money at it. For others, passions can change over time, and you need to look no further than Taylor’s story to see that if you don’t like the wave you’re currently riding, hop-off and catch another one. With Solento, Taylor is able to bring all of his collective experience and creative energy and pour it into his company. And if the past is any indication of the future, we’ll be seeing a lot more from Taylor in years to come. Listen in as we cover everything from how he distributed his first film by selling one copy at a time to local surf shops, why he felt like a life coach to some of the world-class surfers he was filming, and if he sees Solento as becoming the tequila of choice for extreme sports.
40 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Project Sunscreen - Rachel Henderson
Today we talk with Rachel Henderson, founder of Project Sunscreen. The goal behind Project Sunscreen is simple: get more people to wear sunscreen. It’s not that putting on sunscreen is an inherently strenuous activity that keeps people up at night with anxiety. But there are friction points. Rachel broke these points down and addressed them by designing a product with a roll-on application and without any harmful or irritating chemicals. Our conversation today covers how to prepare yourself for a lot of “no’s” while fundraising, advice on how to get your product into big box stores, and the difficulties of growing while cash-strapped.
54 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
CVT Soft Serve - Joe Nicchi
Today’s guest is Joe Nicchi, founder of CVT Soft Serve. Like a lot of east-coasters who move out West, Joe found himself in Los Angeles searching for comfort food to remind him of where he came from. The problem was that Joe’s comfort food was soft-serve ice cream, and LA really didn’t offer that particular food group. Sure, there were ice cream parlors and frozen yogurt shops, but none of those really hit the spot for Joe. So he did what any self-enterprising person would do: he created his own soft-serve company. Well, first he had to find an old Mr. Softee ice cream truck, fix it up, ship it to LA, get all the permits, yadda yadda yadda… But we’ll cover all that later in the episode. Joe’s story is a perfect example of how a great product paired with an electric personality can catapult a company to uncharted heights. Listen in as we cover everything from why the customer is NOT always right, the trials and errors of finding the best spots to park your ice cream truck, and why there should be ice cream served in every gym.
55 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Neyborly - Ben Seidl
Today’s guest is Ben Seidl, founder of Neyborly. In much the same way as WeWork or AirBnB reimagined how we work and vacation, Neyborly is reimagining how we interact within our community. Odds are high that there are a couple of vacant commercial real estate properties in your town. Some might see vacant properties as nothing more than urban blight, but Ben sees opportunity. Instead of sitting empty while waiting for the next long-term tenant, Neyborly partners with the landlords to rent these spaces out for everything from one-time meetings, limited-time restaurant pop-ups, to multi-year leases for retail stores. Listen in as we cover everything from how he shifted his mentality to succeed in a hopefully-soon-to-be post-covid world, the magic of turning vacant buildings into community hubs, and his bullish views on A.I. and how it will bring new significance to the humble parking lot.
42 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Mandala Tequila - Humberto and Craig
Today’s guests are Humberto Ibarra and Craig Cartozian, co-founders of Mandala Tequila. If it feels like tequila is in a golden age right now, you’re not imagining things. Between the plethora of tequila varieties, celebrity-owned companies, and competition from its cousin mezcal, walking down the tequila aisle of a liquor store is sure to present you with any number of options. So if you’re a tequila company, how do you stand out? First, you need a good product. That should go without saying. Then, you need an eye-catching vessel. If you’re at a store that sells Mandala, it’s unlikely that you’ll miss them. They’ve got the most ornate ceramic bottles you’ve ever seen, decorated by hand and featuring designs that celebrate Mexican folklore and culture. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that what’s inside the bottle is also just as memorable. Mandala’s journey hasn’t all been sun-kissed though, as they very nearly failed to find a foothold in the crowded tequila market. Listen in as we cover everything from how they created their own niche by going against conventional wisdom in releasing their extra añejo first, the initial challenges of convincing restaurants to stock their product, and why there’s no shortcut to success in the tequila market…unless you happen to be The Rock.
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