Female Entrepreneurship

Episode 103: Janessa Nickell and Sacred Circle

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Today on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneur Janessa Nickell and learn about her brand-new business Sacred Circle. Sacred Circle is a space for people to learn, connect, grow, and understand more about themselves through introspection and reflection. Today on the podcast we talk about:

 

·       The energy that Janessa sees in Rochester’s entrepreneurial community right now.

·       The need for authenticity and being able to form deeper connections with ourselves and with others.

·       The initial classes and programming offered by Sacred Circle.

·       What the transition from a long-term career to full-time entrepreneurship with Sacred Circle has been like.

·       Janessa’s personal mission with Sacred Circle, which was born to reduce major burnout in her own life and has resulted in a significant shift in her mind set over the past year.

 

“I’m encouraged to look around and see how people are willing to take risks and are willing to try something different and build something unique.” -Janessa Nickell, founder of Sacred Circle

Episode 101: Abbey Sass with Civil Sass Hops

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This week on the podcast we check in with Abbey Sass of Civil Sass Hops. Civil Sass Hops is a hops yard on a third-generation family farm in Chatfield, MN, owned by Abbey and her husband Jake Sass. Civil Sass Hops is a woman and veteran owned business. On the show today, we sit down with Abbey and talk about:

 

·      Her introduction to southeast Minnesota as a Kansas native and the rural tourism she sees taking place now outside of Rochester.

·      How the dichotomy of the name Civil Sass Hops reflects the culture of the business.

·      The history of hops growth in Minnesota.

·      The value of fresh hops in local beers.

·      How hops factor into the beer brewing process.

·      Abbey’s career as an interior designer, designing hotels nationwide.

·      Her husband Jake’s entrepreneurial passion from a young age and how they collaborate as a husband/wife team to run Civil Sass Hops.

·      The importance of open and honest communication in running a business.

·      The next steps for Civil Sass Hops, including an expansion of acreage and increased collaboration efforts, both with new breweries and with markets that might be just a bit unexpected for hops.

Episode 95: Mackenzie McCormack and Orangetheory Fitness Rochester

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This week on the podcast we sit down with Orangetheory Fitness Rochester Owner and Studio Manager Mackenzie McCormack. Orangetheory Fitness is a one-hour total body workout focused on endurance, strength, and power using heartrate-based interval training. The fitness studio is set to open this fall in the Apache Mall. Orangetheory Fitness just opened its 1,000th studio this July.

Today on the podcast we talk about:

·      What you can expect from a session at Orangetheory Fitness.

·      The need Mackenzie saw in Rochester for the fitness studio.

·      What the process of opening an Orangetheory Fitness franchise was like.

·      Mackenzie’s lifelong desire to open her own business.

·      The process of finding real estate for the business in Rochester.

·      The buildout and renovations that were needed in the Apache Mall space.

·      The lessons Mackenzie’s learned over the past year working to open the business.

Episode 91: Lynn Bounds and Edge Fitness

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This week on the podcast we got to record off-site with one of my favorite business owners in the community, Lynn Bounds Founder of Edge Fitness. Edge Fitness was launched 3.5 years ago in Southwest Rochester as a unique gym experience and continues to evolve in its offerings. Today on the show we talk about:

·      Edge Fitness’ Zumba on the Plaza events taking place this summer.

·      The importance of work/life balance.

·      Lessons Lynn has learned in business and about herself in growing Edge Fitness over the past few years.

·      Lynn’s personal motivation for Edge Fitness to further personal wellness at an affordable level.

·      Being kind to yourself and taking time for self-care.

·      Business resources in the community.

·      The importance of reaching out and asking for help when you need it.

“If you really have a drive for something or a passion for something, you can make it happen. …You need the passion, anything can be learned.” -Lynn Bounds, Founder of Edge Fitness

Episode 85: The Ladies Behind The Commission

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This week on the podcast we sit down with Grace Pesch and Crystal Heim, ladies on the Executive Board of The Commission, a young professionals group in Rochester, Minnesota. This week on the podcast we talk about:

·      Events and initiatives going on the community that Grace and Crystal are excited about, including new ownership of Canvas & Chardonnay and The Commission’s Salute to the 4th celebration.

·      Their work to develop and launch women-focused events in the community, including monthly women’s happy hours and their first roundtable discussion, which will take place on June 12th.

To learn more about these events and other initiatives and networking opportunities from The Commission, check out their Facebook page.

“I want to meet more awesome women because I feel like when I go out to networking events or I want to get engaged with other business and entrepreneurial people, I find myself meeting a lot of men. …But I also want to see a lot more women out there.” -Grace Pesch

Episode 77: Zoey Jantsan and Miss Minnesota, RE/MAX, and Chamber of Commerce

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This week on the podcast we sit down with entrepreneur Zoey Jantsan to hear about all her latest endeavors. Zoey is the former Miss Minnesota US International. She’s also entering into her second year as a real estate agent with RE/MAX and is the current chair of the Women’s Roundtable for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

We had a very full discussion on the podcast today including:

·      A chat about a new community kindness initiative in Rochester that Zoey is a part of, called Read Roch, to connect members of the community through books.

·      Other initiatives going on right now that Zoey is excited about including the upcoming Paws and Claws Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser, EarthFest, and the Rochester Flag Project.

·      What Zoey’s experience was like as Miss Minnesota and how it impacted her public speaking.

·      Zoey’s passion for animal and environmental conservation.

·      The challenges she’s faced in growing her real estate career.

·      The importance of space for business women to share ideas.

 

“When you’re running and you’re starting a new project, and when you’re starting a new career, no one knows that that’s what you do besides you at that point. And to go from there to have the whole community or have the whole clientele know that’s what you do and that’s what sets you apart, I think that’s the biggest hurdle [to growing a business].” -Zoey Jantsan

Episode 75: Talking with Jim and May of Spanish and Go

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On the podcast today, we share the full audio from our latest #Emerge video, talking with local entrepreneurs May Larios Garcia and Jim Fricker of Spanish and Go. Spanish and Go is “your resource for learning real-world, travel Spanish” through a series of blogs and videos. This business developed by blending together Jim and May’s passions for teaching, travel, Spanish, and recording. Now, Jim and May spend their time traveling back and forth between Rochester and Spanish speaking regions both inside and outside of the US to inspire their audience to feel ready to land and be able to talk and engage with the local Spanish culture.

 

Today on the podcast we chat about:

-how May and Jim both developed their love for Spanish.

-their purpose and mission behind Spanish and Go.

-where their next travels will take them.

-their newest product launching soon, Travel Spanish Confidence.

-how they’ve been able to successfully, and rapidly, build up their audience.

 

“I love teaching and I’ve always been in love with connecting with students….Since I was five years old, I said I wanted to be a teacher.” -May Larios Garcia

Episode 72: Talking EatRochMN with Cheyenne and Katie

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This week on the podcast we talk with the ladies behind EatRochMN: Cheyenne Labott and Katie Zupancic Wymer. EatRochMN is a food blog and popular Instagram account started about one year ago where the girls tour through the Rochester food scene, creating meaningful connections and making Rochester feel a little bit more like home. The EatRochMN Instagram account recently hit 1000 followers as Cheyenne and Katie continue their food adventures around the city. This week on the podcast we talk about what drew these transplants to Rochester in the first place, the growth of EatRochMN over the past year, and what they’re looking forward to in Rochester’s food scene this year.

“We just want to keep eating. So, the more that we can get out there, the better!” -Katie Zupancic Wymer

Episode 70: April Dahl and Dahl Dance

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This week on the podcast we travel out to Dahl Dance studio to speak with owner April Dahl. Dahl Dance is a professional social dance studio that teaches nineteen different dances, including swing and Argentine Tango, to adults. April and her husband Gary opened up the studio in 2005 in Rochester and have been operating the business for thirteen years. This week on the podcast, we talk about Dahl Dance’s move to their brand-new space, what it takes to successfully run a business for over a decade, and the studio’s involvement in the Rochester Dancing for the Arts program this spring.

“Just remember when you’re running a business that it’s all about the relationship.” -April Dahl

Diverge Part 4.3: Becky Montpetit and Rochester MN Moms Blog

This week on the podcast we listen in to the full interview with Becky Montpetit, Founder of Rochester MN Moms Blog, in our Diverge series. This is the final piece of our multi-part series where we explore the stories of four Rochester entrepreneurs who left long careers to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

“I think it’s really important to look at where your passions are and where your passions lie. Sometimes, we sit in a job or a career and we realize that we really love it and love what you’re doing, but there is that missing piece of fulfillment.” –Becky Montpetit

Photo Credit: Gina Zeidler Photography

Diverge Part 3.2: Jackie and Ryan Steiner and UNRAVELED Escape Room

This week we listen in to the latest story in our Diverge series, where we explore the journeys of four Rochester entrepreneurs who left long careers to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Today we listen in to the full interview with Ryan and Jackie Steiner, owners of UNRAVELED Escape Room.

“You surround yourself with people who tell you you can’t do it, and pretty soon you think you can’t do it. …Luckily we’re strong enough individuals.” –Ryan Steiner

Diverge Part 2.2: Rosei Skipper with Rosei Skipper Yoga and Wellness

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Our podcast this week features the latest installment in our Diverge series, where we tell the stories of four entrepreneurs who took significant risk to change career paths. On the show today, we speak with local entrepreneur Rosei Skipper. Rosei is a trained medical doctor who completed a five-year residency program at Mayo Clinic in Adult and Child Psychiatry. Now, she teaches yoga and barre classes around town and holds individual and group yoga and meditation classes through her business, Rosei Skipper Yoga and Wellness. On the podcast today, we listen in to Rosei’s full interview, where she talks about her career divergence from psychiatrist to yoga, wellness, and social media guru. 

“The first step for me was actually to practice the thing. You don’t have to make any big change in your life to just start moving in a new direction.” –Rosei Skipper

Diverge Part 1.3: Kim Gordon and HGR Real Estate Investment Cooperative and Management

This week on the podcast we listen in to the full transcript from the latest installment in our Diverge series. In Diverge, we explore the stories of four Rochester entrepreneurs who left long careers to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. First in the series is local business woman Kim Gordon. Kim left a sixteen-year career in physical therapy to launch HGR Real Estate Investment Cooperative and Management with business partners Beth Nordaune and Erin Nystrom. Kim has previous entrepreneurial experience as a co-owner of Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Rochester.

“I think we have a good concept. But yeah, there’s doubt all the time. I think too, when you doubt it, then you keep challenging yourself, how can I make it better? How can I make sure that what I’m creating will last?” –Kim Gordon

Episode 50: Brittany Fenley and Platinum Studios

This week on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneur Brittany Fenley of Platinum Studios Dance and Pageantry. Platinum Studios is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit that offers full scholarship opportunities to children in Rochester and the surrounding community. The studio focuses on children between the ages of three and seventeen and teaches ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and cheer. They also offer a dance competition program and natural pageantry experience.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people out there who want to help you. If someone says no, move on to the next one.” –Brittany Fenley Owner of Platinum Studios

Episode 44: The Story Behind the Digital Solutions Company The Hybrids

This week on the podcast we hear from local digital solutions company The Hybrids. Software developers Nadia and Trent Wood launched the startup in late 2014 to provide web application development, website design, and solution design services. Their first product, Community Care Connections, is a data management system that connects people with healthcare educational programs.

Episode 40: Ali McDowell and AM Fitness

This week on the podcast we talk with Ali McDowell, a young female entrepreneur bringing her in-home and online personal training service, AM Fitness, to Rochester. AM Fitness offers a range of in-home services including rehabilitation, pre- and postnatal fitness, sports performance, fat loss, and nutritional guidance. Online services incorporate individualized weekly workouts and nutritional programming. Listen in today as we talk about the ins and outs of launching a new business in Rochester and the direction that Ali sees fitness headed in the future.

“The thing with entrepreneurship is, my biggest takeaways are risk. Take big risks and be really patient and realize that things are not going to happen overnight.” –Ali McDowell, Owner of AM Fitness

Episode 37: Sarah Pacchetti and FireFly

This week on the podcast we talk with local business owner Sarah Pacchetti. Sarah is the owner of FireFly, a unique barre fitness boutique in the heart of downtown Rochester that merges an urban vibe with a Midwestern welcoming atmosphere. FireFly is a BarreAmped certified studio and was the first Pound certified venue in Minnesota.

“I would say that you definitely have to be stubborn. There’s so many times when you’re starting a business that you just want to give up. …So you just have to have that stubbornness to see it through and know that it just takes time.” -Sarah Pacchetti (on starting a small business).

Photo courtesy of FireFly.

Episode 36: Spring Membership Drive and Favorite Rochester Entrepreneurial Quotes

This week on the podcast we talk about our spring sustaining membership drive, which will move Rochester Rising one step closer to becoming a stable part of the city’s entrepreneurial community. Listen in to learn about the drive and how you can become a champion of Rochester’s homegrown innovators. We also share some of our favorite quotes from Rochester’s entrepreneurs that we’ve collected over the past ten months of Rochester Rising.

Episode 30: The Rochester Startup Part Nine-Tinua

This week on the podcast, we continue with part nine of “The Rochester Startup” series. This week we speak with Tinua, a tenant of Collider Coworking. Tinua is an emerging startup converting gift cards into the currency of charitable giving, starting a movement of doing good one gift card at a time. Today we chat with Founder Tori Utley, a licensed chemical dependency counselor and founder of several nonprofits, about Tinua’s growth and her journey as a new, fulltime entrepreneur.

“[Tinua] really for me fells like the excitement of both worlds: the heart of the nonprofit sector but the fun and strategy of technology,” she explained.

She advised potential entrepreneurs that “there’s no qualification to be the right person or not. And because of that, you are the right person to pursue [your idea]. And so I think if you’re passionate about making a difference. …If you think that there’s a way to do something better or bring something to market that hasn’t been done before, just do it, because you never know what the outcome could be.”

Featured Story: The Rochester Startup Part Five: Rochester Area Foundation

The rochester Startup Series sponsors:

Episode 27: Tinua and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza

This week, we listen in on some audio from the very first 1 Million Cups Rochester. We had two Rochester entrepreneurs speak at this event: Tori Utley of Tinua and Derrick Chapman of Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza.

  • Tinua is developing a digital platform and mobile application to transform unused funds on gift cards into tools they believe can save lives.
  • Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza is Rochester’s hottest food truck, cooking pizzas between 900-1000 degrees.

Featured article: Rochester Teen Empowers Youth Music Community with ROCKchester Festival.