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Life on Brand

Author: Life on Brand

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Because history doesn't remember those who follow the rules - only those who break or make them.
30 Episodes
Some brands care about people, policies, and planning, including Patagonia, Allbirds, and Oshki. Today’s guest is Jackson Riegler, founder of Oshki—a social impact clothing brand based in Michigan. It protects the Great Lakes by making clothes entirely out of plastic. Jackson talks about why he dedicated his business to one of the great natural wonders of the world and how social impact businesses find balance in impact and cash flow. --- Send in a voice message:
How do entrepreneurs come up with a great business idea and find their first customers? Today’s guest is Phil O’Brien, founder and publisher of W42ST—a hyper-local lifestyle print magazine and media brand that connects readers to the New York City experience. --- Send in a voice message:
Foodfillment: Positive relationship with food to serve a larger purpose—one centered around you, your family, your broader community, and the world. Today’s guests are Jenny Bouchier-Hayes and Lisa Kjellström, co-founders of the Reflection Institute. Its mission is to help people Pause On Purpose (POP) by focusing on one theme for a year followed by an annual retreat for fun and gain feedback. --- Send in a voice message:
Can you imagine being bred to be an engineer, but decide to be an entrepreneur by opening a pop-up shop because baking cakes brings you joy? Today’s guest is Rachel Martindale, founder of Milk and Honey. It’s a custom bakery based out of Ann Arbor. Besides making delicious treats and cakes, a portion of profits are donated to the Ozone House, which supports homeless youth in the community. --- Send in a voice message:
Believe it or not, it is possible to practice being purposeful by prioritizing people over profit. It just takes a community of positive people and business leaders to impact the bottom line. Today’s guest is Hamsa Daher, Executive Director of Small Giants. The community of businesses that believes doing good is good for business. --- Send in a voice message:
Every business should follow the mantra: Do Good Work, and people will notice. How? By supporting community projects and partnerships through simultaneous understanding. Today’s guest is Lisa Sauve, principal at Synecdoche Design Studio in Ann Arbor. Synecdoche is an award winning design-making architecture practice with more than 100 projects that merge the built environment with craft and fabrication. Lisa talks about how the studio applies its vision, mission, and mantra to select projects. --- Send in a voice message:
What may cause the next financial crisis? Student debt. Most of us have some and get stuck paying it off for a long, long time. Today’s guest is Joseph Gracia, CEO of Nickels, an Ann Arbor-based business focused on reducing borrowers’ student loan default rates. By being a trusted financial guide, Nickels helps them enter the working world and build up their credit profiles, rather than undermine their financial futures. --- Send in a voice message:
Hungry? Thirsty? As an Ann Arbor business owner, why not provide nourishment for the community with traditionally fermented foods? Today’s guest is David Klingenberger, founder and chief fermentation officer (CFO) of The Brinery—which processes more than 200,000 pounds of local family farm vegetables yearly to make sauerkraut, hot sauce, tempeh, and kimchi. --- Send in a voice message:
When you were in college, what did you spend most of your time doing? Socializing? Stop waiting for someone else to change the world. Today’s guests are Jeff Sorensen and Jeff Pituch from optiMize, a student-led organization at the University of Michigan. The program supports and funds self-directed student projects that make a positive social impact. Go blue! --- Send in a voice message:
Fake it until you make it when pursuing professions and exploring intrapreneurism. Do the hustle—from watering plants to managing millions of dollars. Today’s guest is Joe Malcoun, CEO of Nutshell, a sales automation customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Also, Joe is the co-founder of Cahoots coworking space, founder and president at CKM Capital Partners, and co-owner of the Blind Pig music venue. --- Send in a voice message:
Sick of Silicon Valley? Shift from being an engineer to a dirtbag for less responsibility. Choose a lifestyle of mangos and mushrooms. But the no-brainer idea of growing mushrooms being easy became idiotic. Today’s guests are Chris Carrier and Deana Wojcik from The Mushroom Factory. Wanting a break from their software and education careers, they started something unique by making creative reuse of available resources. --- Send in a voice message:
Design is inherently a communication art. If you’re not trying to say something or make a point, it’s art open to interpretation. However, designers are often not given the credit that they deserve for making a business impact. Today’s guest is Pete Baker, Director of Brand, Creative, and Digital Strategy at Duo Security in Ann Arbor. Before Duo Security, Pete ran his own brand studio, established a photography business, and to top it off, he has an amazing beard—better than most and the host. --- Send in a voice message:
While friends worked at Little Caesars, there was no free pizza for academic kids in the chemical engineering lab! Today’s guest is Rishi Narayan, founder and managing owner of Ann Arbor-based Underground Printing, a national, custom apparel and swag company with more than 35 locations. Even if Rishi’s only been an entrepreneur for a hot minute, he’s a Jack of all Trades, Master of None by being an angel investor, lecturer, mentor, board member, and co-owner of AFC semi-pro soccer team. It’s good to be a generalist. --- Send in a voice message:
They say that money isn't everything. And Melissa Joy joins us on the show to talk about the things that really matter. Melissa shares how the lessons she's learned throughout her two-decade career as a financial advisor has helped her build a successful business. These lessons range from the importance of seeking support, having mentors, giving back to the community, and balancing life with work.  Melissa also talks about how wealth is more than money in the bank - it's about giving and supporting others and having peeps and a posse in your corner giving and supporting you. --- Send in a voice message:
Dawn Verbrigghe started her company, Jottful, with a simple yet powerful mission - to make it possible for every small business to be found and tell their story online.  And while we get into the story behind Jottful in this episode, the powerful conversation revolved around the topic of diversity. As a woman-owned tech startup, we wanted to understand the challenges and issues related to the lack of diversity in this space.  Along for the journey, we also have Jottful's Customer & Business Development Lead, Natalie Bruno, to discuss the issue of diversity as well as the importance of role models and mentors in helping to reshape the tech world. This was a tough and eye-opening conversation - one that we hope helps to make it possible for every person, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation, can be truly seen and have their story heard in an environment greatly lacking in diversity. --- Send in a voice message:
It's a simple truth - without money, you have no business.  And it's Jonathan Goldstein's job to help startups get the money and capital needed to bring their idea to market and keep them going. Jonathan's firm, Narrow Gauge Ventures, primarily focuses on emerging health tech, but he has a rich history invested with startups going back to his first exist in his mid-twenties. Since then, he's been helping other startups get their start to become scaleups. We chat with Jonathan to learn about venture capitalism and to clear up common misconceptions when it comes to venture cap. We also wax on about the pressure startups feel to become the next unicorn and where profitability fits into the picture. --- Send in a voice message:
If you're like most people, your Sundays suck something terrible because it means Monday is just around the corner. But what if we said it's possible to be excited about Monday?  Josh Levine is on a mission to do just that - to make Mondays...great.  Josh is the author of Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture Employees Love and he shares with us why culture is more than just touchy feely mumbo jumbo.  According to Josh, you can design a great company culture by focusing on 6 key attributes. And at the end, he gives an exercise you can do to share creating a company culture that makes Mondays great for your company. --- Send in a voice message:
While most creatives think of business as a necessary evil, Eli Altman, the creative director of A Hundred Monkey, sees it as a means to help creativity flourish. Eli joins us today to chat about why he decided to put pen to pencil and write his new book, Run Studio Run, in addition to the 3 goals he believes every creative business needs to have. And seeing as how Eli spends his day naming everything under the sun for a living, we get into the power of niching down and how to say no to things that don't bring out the best in you. --- Send in a voice message:
"This won't work for us because there are 'no throats to choke'."  Rich Sheridan, the Chief Joy Officer, of Menlo Innovations is working to show the world that the "throats to choke" mentality doesn't work. In this episode, Rich shares how leading with fear is ineffective and why the desire to spread joy works.  --- Send in a voice message:
When you look up the word authentic in the dictionary, the definition you'll get is "Jason Zook."  He's what we call aggressively authentic. Jason plays by his rules to wild and unbelievable success. Jason shares how he ideates on ideas and how ideas turn into reality. Like how he came up with the idea for IWearYourShirt. --- Send in a voice message:
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