small business

Episode 141: Adam & Bryan of Almond Eye Productions

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This week on the podcast we chat with Adam Helwig and Bryan Lemke, owners of Almond Eye Productions. Almond Eye Productions is a local full video production company, performing field production, post production, and marketing services for a variety of industries. The business was launched in 2017. Both western Pennsylvania natives, Adam and Bryan met while working for the Outdoor Channel and have won multiple awards, including the Outdoor Channel’s Golden Moose Award, for their work.

 

On the show today we chat about:

  • The value of being self-taught and thinking intuitively.

  • Local marketing trends, including the emergence of video content in the branding and marketing scene in Rochester.

  • Re-locating to the Rochester area.

  • Initial discussions to start their business and early diversification of Almond Eye Productions.

  • Sacrifices associated with entrepreneurship.

  • Internal drive to be an entrepreneur.

  • Navigating the more challenging moments of business growth.

  • Time management.

Links from the podcast today:

Almond Eye Productions

Website: http://almondeye.net

Facebook: @almondeyeproductions

Instagram: @almondeyeproductions

 

Music Attribution: Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by:

LiveAtom

Website: https://liveatom.com/

Facebook: @liveatomnow

Twitter: @LiveAtomNow

Episode 140: Linda and Amy Lorber of Figue

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This week on the podcast we welcome the mother and daughter team of Linda and Amy Lorber! This pair owns and runs Gardenaire, a business that uses organic products to produce and sell teas, spices, syrups, shrubs, drinking chocolates, and marshmallows. The Lorbers are now expanding into a retail space to celebrate food with their latest endeavor, Figue.  

 

On the podcast today we chat about:

  • Amy’s first foray into entrepreneurship with a jam company.

  • Childhood memories of food.

  • Organic growth of Gardenaire and the challenge of finding commercial kitchen space in Rochester.

  • The goal of Figue to allow people to celebrate food through local food products and cooking classes.

  • The wealth of food knowledge housed in Rochester.

  • The canine business mascot Mr. Rusty Buckets.

  • Local resources and tools useful for growing a business in Rochester, including the SBDC and peer groups through the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Rochester Farmer’s Market.

 

Links from the podcast today:

Gardenaire

Website: https://www.gardenaire.co/

Facebook: @thegardenaire

Twitter: @thegardenaire

Instagram: @thegardenaire

 

Music Attribution: Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by:

Alsbrook Accounting

Website: https://www.alsbrookaccounting.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alsbrook-Accounting-PC-188399485212470/

Twitter: @AlsbrookAccntg

Episode 139: From the Edge with Cassandra and Marty

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Today on the podcast we share our latest in the “From the Edge” podcast series talking trends in entrepreneurship with local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders. Today on the show we’re joined by Marty Walsh, community and economic development specialist with CEDA, Cassandra Buck, local artist and owner of the store Clover & Rose, and as always Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager of Collider Coworking.

 

We have an engaging, thought-provoking chat today covering many topics including:

  • Emerging methods of collaboration, including shared products and space.

  • How to encourage community collaboration through spaces that foster connections.

  • Bottom up growth of communities and the value of starting something to bring people together organically.

  • The true utility of social media for both business and connection.

  • Facebook Marketplace.

  • Artisan manufacturing.

  • Advanced manufacturing.

  • The shrinking gap between manufacturing and art.

 

Links from the podcast today:

Cassandra Buck Art/ Clover & Rose

Website: http://cassandrabuck.net/

Facebook: Clover & Rose

Instagram: @cloverrosemn


Marty Walsh

Twitter: @serialhobbyist1

 

Collider Coworking

Website: https://www.collider.mn/

Facebook: @collidercoworking

Instagram: @collider_mn

Twitter: @collider_mn

 

Investors and Innovators Forum

Website: https://web.cvent.com/event/43b7a103-156f-4fc9-b9c9-4038d10e17fe/summary

 

Music: Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Episode 136: From the Edge with Beth and Kathleen

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Today on the podcast we share our latest in the “From the Edge” series discussing trends in entrepreneurship. For this chat we’re joined by local entrepreneur Beth Fynbo, Founder of Busy Baby Mat, Kathleen Harrington, President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, and as always Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager of Collider Coworking.

 

On today’s show we chat about many different trends we’re seeing on a local and national scale including:

·      Collaboration between entrepreneurs, even those in direct competition.

·      A local increase in minority and women entrepreneurs.

·      The presence of collaboration within healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems.

·      The value in “putting yourself out there” as an entrepreneur.

·      What is an entrepreneur?

·      Simple ways that everyone can give back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

·      The value of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to reduce loneliness and to accelerate early stage companies.

·      The value of small businesses as economic drivers.

·      The strength of shopping local.

 

Tune in to the show today to not miss out on this great conversation.

 

Links from the podcast:

Busy Baby Mat

Website: https://busybabymat.com/

Facebook: @busybabymat

Twitter: @busy_baby_mat

 

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

Website: https://www.rochestermnchamber.com/

Facebook: @RochMNChamber

Twitter: @rochmnchamber

 

Rochester Rising Communication Session, Mental Health: https://www.facebook.com/events/2437009946576323/

 

Investor & Innovator Forum: https://web.cvent.com/event/43b7a103-156f-4fc9-b9c9-4038d10e17fe/summary

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by:

Alsbrook Accounting

Website: https://www.alsbrookaccounting.com/

Facebook: Alsbrook Accounting PC

Twitter: @AlsbrookAccntg

Episode 135: Jim and Crystal Whitmarsh of Trail Creek Coffee Roasters

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This week on the podcast we sit down with husband and wife team of Crystal and Jim Whitmarsh, owners of Trail Creek Coffee Roasters. Trail Creek Coffee Roasters is a small business that started out of a garage and has recently transitioned into a shared commercial space in downtown Kasson. The business aims to provide small batch specialty coffee roasts and has a passion for connection, community, and global impact.

 

On the podcast today, we chat about:

·       The value Jim and Crystal found in working with the local organization Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA).

·       How the pair took advantage of Minnesota’s Cottage Food Exemption act to sell their product for several years and build up a customer base before pursuing a commercial space.

·       How the pair was set up on a blind date over 15 years ago during college and spent much of their early relationship in a coffee shop, which fueled their dreams to one day own their own coffee business.

·       How Jim taught himself to roast coffee with online videos and a vintage popcorn machine.

·       The transition to being “all in” in the business.

·       The need to budget more time and money than expected when building out commercial space.

·       The value of growing a business in a sustainable manner.

·       How they’re dealing with fear of failure.

 

Links from the podcast today:

Trail Creek Coffee Roasters

Website: https://www.trailcreekcoffeeroasters.com/

Facebook: @trailcreekcoffee

Instagram: @trailcreekcoffeeroasters

 

Investors and Innovators Forum

Website: https://web.cvent.com/event/43b7a103-156f-4fc9-b9c9-4038d10e17fe/summary

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Episode 134: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Live.Give.Save. and Jeb Taylor Knives

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This week on the podcast we listen in to some storytelling from the June 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is an event that occurs every Wednesday across the nation to caffeinate entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups Rochester takes place the first Wednesday of every month at 9AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen event space. This month we heard from two great entrepreneurs: Susan Langer, CEO of Live.Give.Save and Jeb Taylor, Founder of Jeb Taylor Knives. This was an amazing display of the very diverse entrepreneurship taking place in our city, so listen in to learn more!

 

Links from the podcast today:

1 Million Cups Rochester

Website: https://www.1millioncups.com/rochester

Facebook: @1MCRochester

Twitter: @1MillionCupsRST

Instagram: @1millioncupsrochester

 

Live.Give.Save.

Website: https://livegivesave.com/index.html

Facebook: @spavenow

Twitter: @livegivesave

Instagram: @spavenow

 

Jeb Taylor Knives

Website: https://jebtaylorknives.com/

Facebook: @jebtaylorknives

Instagram: @jeb_taylor_knives

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/


Today’s podcast is brought to you by:

LiveAtom

Website: https://liveatom.com/

Facebook: @liveatomnow

Twitter: @LiveAtomNow

Episode 132: From the Edge with AJ, Jan, and Shanna

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Today on the podcast we share our latest in the “From the Edge” podcast series where we sit down with different innovators in the community and talk about trends in entrepreneurship. This month we chat with Jan Hagenbrock, Founder of LiveAtom a business that helps small businesses grow through website development and lead generation, Shanna Lunasin, a nonprofit entrepreneur who also manages the MBA program at the University of Minnesota in Rochester, and AJ Montpetit, Founder of WRKSHOP, a healthcare marketing business. We talk about many topics on the podcast today including minimalism, over commitment, the basis of the 8-hour workday, and outcomes-based work. We had a great conversation on the show, so take some time to listen in!

 

Links from the podcast today:

LiveAtom

Website: https://liveatom.com/

Facebook: @liveatomnow

Twitter: @LiveAtomNow

 

University of Minnesota-Rochester Labovitz MBA Program

Website: https://lsbe.d.umn.edu/mba-programs/rochester-mba

Shanna’s personal website: http://www.becauselovewins.com/

 

WRKSHOP

Website: http://www.wrkshop.com/

Twitter: @wrkshp_mn

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Episode 130: Leah, Eileen, and Tyler with Canvas and Chardonnay

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Today on the show we sit down with the owners of Canvas and Chardonnay Leah Joy Bee, Eileen Bruns, and Tyler Aug. Canvas and Chardonnay, located in the heart of historic downtown Rochester, is an “art and community space where people of all ages, however you identify, are welcome.” The space offers numerous art classes, live music, yoga, a book and crystal emporium, and much more. On the podcast today we talk more about Canvas and Chardonnay, discuss how the business has grown since this trio purchased it last May, talk about plans for the future, and learn what current initiatives taking place in Rochester’s innovation community these entrepreneurs think everyone should know about.  

 

Links from the show today:

Canvas and Chardonnay

Website: https://canvasandchardonnay.com/

Facebook: @CanvasandChardonnay

Instagram: @canvasandchardonnay

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Episode 125: Laura Elwood and Chamberlain Concierge & Lifestyle Management

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This week on the podcast we chat with local entrepreneur and Rochester native Laura Elwood, founder of Chamberlain Concierge & Lifestyle Management. Chamberlain was launched three years ago mainly as a limousine service. Since that time, the business has expanded its offerings to include a concierge menu based on client needs. On the podcast today we talk about the growth and development of Chamberlain over the last few years, lessons Laura applied to the business from her experience in hospitality and travel, and her love for solving puzzles.

 

Links from the show today:

Chamberlain Concierge & Lifestyle Management

Website: https://yourchamberlain.com/

Facebook: @YourChamberlain

Instagram: @yourchamberlain

 

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Episode 120: Kristin Pearson and Pearson Organics

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This week on the podcast we chat with local female entrepreneur Kristin Pearson of Pearson Organics. Pearson Organics is a small organic vegetable farm growing four acres of diverse vegetables for the Rochester area. The business mainly sells its produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. On the show today we talk with Kristin about Pearson Organics, how she originally got into farming, and how she’s been building her business over the last two years.

 

Links from the show today:

Rochester Rising’s Mental Wellness: Goal Setting and Time Management Workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/575164749665204/

 

Pearson Organics

Website: https://www.pearsonorganicsfarm.com/

Facebook: @PearsonOrganics

Instagram: @pearson_organics

 

Thanks to our sponsors for making this podcast happen! This podcast is brought to you by:

Alsbrook Accounting

Website: https://www.alsbrookaccounting.com/

Episode 115: Talking Business Development with the Realty Edge Team

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Today on the podcast we chat with Dan Kingsley and Kyle Swanson, co-owners of the Realty Edge team, a residential real estate business in Rochester, Minnesota. This interview is part of our #Emerge video series. Check out the abridged version of this show, video-style, on our website! Today on the podcast we talk about Dan and Kyle’s excitement in regard to the growing brewery scene in Rochester. We also chat about their approach to brand development and brand message with Realty Edge, the value of a social network in growing a business, and how they’ve been able to implement a team-based approach with their company.

 

Links from the podcast today:

Realty Edge Website: https://www.therealtyedge.com

Facebook: @TheRealtyEdgeTeam

Twitter: @realtyedgeteam

 

Thanks to our sponsors for making this podcast possible. Today’s show is brought to you by:

Brandhoot: https://brandhoot.com

Facebook: @Brandhoot

Twitter: @Brandhoot

Episode 109: How to Maintain Customer Relationships and when to Cut Ties

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Today on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneur, licensed realtor, and real estate investor Zoey Jantsan to discuss customer relationships and how to recognize when it’s time to cut ties. On the show today, we talk about:

 

o   How Zoey manages her customer relationships, especially with the long-term clients she sees in real estate.

o   How she turns leads into clients.

o   Zoey’s methods to keep in touch with clients including texting, emailing, and calling, which she finds a natural fit. She also does “old school stuff” like sending handwritten notes to clients.

o   How to recognize when a point is reached in a customer relationship when it’s clear both parties needs are not being met.

o   We talk about how Zoey tried to acquire “any and every” client in the beginning phase of her business.

o   She explained how, later on, she learned to perform a risk assessment of her time to decide if what she could give would meet a particular customer’s needs.

o   The value of prioritizing what you do in your business and how this also affects your personal life.

o   How to personally move on and pick yourself up after a “failed” customer relationship.

o   We talk about the value in setting expectations early on in the customer relationship.

o   Zoey chatted about past experiences that helped her understand what processes and procedures she needed to have in place in her business to establish better expectations with her clients.

 

You can find out more about Zoey on the web at www.CharlieAndZoey.com, on Facebook @CharlieandZoey, and on Instagram @charlieandzoey_realtors.

Episode 106: Offices at China Hall

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This week on the podcast we travel to Offices at China Hall for a chat with the owners of that business, Bucky Beeman and Peter Andrews. The Offices at China Hall is Rochester’s newest coworking space, located in the heart of downtown Rochester right across the street from the Minnesota BioBusiness Center. This coworking space is situated on the second floor of a building, which originally was a china store as well as office space at another point in its lifetime. The location has likely been unutilized since the 1950s. The Offices at China Hall is a coworking space that includes a conference room, kitchenette, and six private offices. Bucky and Peter are open to using the space for events and for general support of Rochester’s entrepreneurial community. They see the space as a natural next step for businesses that need to graduate from the open coworking concept.

“We really want to create that sense of community for those that want more than just an office without having a neighbor that they can go and talk to.” -Bucky Beeman, Co-owner of Offices at China Hall

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 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

Episode 54: Edward Cohen and EZ2See Products

This week on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneur Edward Cohen and talk about his small business, EZ2See Products. Edward is legally blind and has difficultly reading text. For himself and others with vision difficulties, the large print calendars on the market just were impractical and the numbers were still difficult to see. To make his life easier, Edward created his own portable large print calendar, which ended up quickly turning into a business. On the podcast today we talk about Edward’s journey to launch EZ2See Products, the things he’s learned along the way, and what he thinks his business needs in order to grow.

“I’m not in the medical profession. I don’t change people’s lives… .It just kept gnawing at me. This might be a way that I could give back to my community.” –Edward Cohen, Founder of EZ2See Products

Episode 48: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Pure Rock Studios, ROCKchester, and Carpet Booth Studios

Today on the podcast we listen in to some audio from the very latest 1 Million Cups Rochester. This month was a very special, music-focused 1 Million Cups. The event had one main pitch from Ryan Utterback of Pure Rock Studios and mini pitches from two entrepreneurs in the music community. Pure Rock Studios is Rochester’s premier music and lesson facility, offering live group classes, performance opportunities, and ways for local musicians to connect with Pure Rock students. Dylan Hilliker of ROCKchester and Zach Zurn of Carpet Booth Studios also told a bit of their story at the event. ROCKchester is an all local music festival that was developed to give teens a place to play live music. Carpet Booth Studios is Rochester’s only studio providing recording, production, and composition session work.

“Art knows the gaps and how to fill them. And so do entrepreneurs.” – Dylan Hilliker, Founder of ROCKchester.

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 39: Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship Examines Startup and Small Business Activity in Minnesota

This week on the podcast, we take an in-depth look at the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, a new set of indicators to measure entrepreneurial activity coming out of the Kauffman Foundation. This index analyzes entrepreneurial trends in three different categories: startup activity, main street entrepreneurship, and growth entrepreneurship. While several methods exist to measure startup and business activity, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship takes multiple data points into account to thoroughly examine the spectrum of “economic dynamism”, from the percentage of new entrepreneurs and businesses forming, to the number of businesses experiencing long term success.

 

Further reading on measuring entrepreneurial activity:

Episode 34: Looking Towards the Future- Entrepreneurship in Rochester

New Data Suggest Minnesota Struggles to Create New Entrepreneurs and Startups, Dominates in Small Business Activity