Some people you just want to get to know and learn their story. Valentine Kitamura is one them. She is the owner of Eden West Gourmet, a much-loved shop for all things gourmet in Port Moody, BC. The last two years since Valentine took over the business has seen her do triple duty in every aspect of small business ownership in order to work safely and stay connected with her customers.
Valentine is a no-nonsense, let’s-get-it-done kind of person and she’s done just that by staying focused, stretching her learning and getting outside of her comfort zone. She is a study in resiliency. With humble poise, Valentine offers chefs, foodies and the food curious a place to shop, learn, eat and above all, enjoy and celebrate food with community. This is her story.
Valentine Kitamura on Shop Talk
Watch Video: A Foodie's Feast
Alicia Agarrabeitia of AAGoldsmith tells the story of how she felt she was at a crossroads in her career. The way forward would take her into completely different directions.
Many are happy she chose the path she did. Including yours truly. As a modern, artisan goldsmith and jeweller, Alicia demonstrates her incredible ability and skills with her beautiful collections, transforming old jewellery to new and generously shares her "why" and her process, which is pure gold.
Alicia Agarrabeitia on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Wearable Art
Kelly Strongitharm on Shop Talk
Watch Video: The Power of Love
In this episode of Shop Talk, Louanne interviews Shelley D’Amico, owner of Namaskar Yoga Studio in beautiful Parksville, BC.
With yoga, Shelley transformed her grief into a purpose-filled, intentional life that she has lovingly shared with her clients in her studio over that last five and a half years. For Shelley, yoga is for everyone, every body, at any age, no matter what physical shape you are. As Shelley puts it, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
As a yoga studio business owner, it’s a little different. Shelley isn’t always peaceful and harmonious 24/7. She is human after all! And business is business. It’s tough on any owner. There are risks and lots of decisions to make in order to grow and thrive.
But yoga is there for Shelley and when she needs that peace, she knows where to find it.
She also knows she’s not a typical yoga teacher. You may find her blasting her music, cracking jokes and teaching her students all about the wonders of wine. Yes wine!
As a certified French Wine Professional and a Food & Wine Pairing Professional, Shelley knows what she’s talking about and looks forward to “pairing” yoga and wine in her future retreats.
Sounds like my kind of yoga studio. How about you?
Shelley D'Amico on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Yoga, Wine, Why Not?
Do you crack open a new book with glee because it either came highly recommended or you recently went browsing in a bookstore and found the perfect book? What a feeling!
Meet Danica Sommerfeldt. She owns Coastal Bookstore in Coquitlam, BC. It’s a woman-owned, independent bookstore and Danica opened it during the pandemic. She didn’t know if it would survive. Her plans for it had completely changed, but over the last eight months, Danica has indeed survived. She doesn’t hold back about how difficult it’s been; but every day she reflects upon all the ups and downs, and there are certainly more ups than downs. After all, when you’re doing what you love, you find a way.
This is Danica’s story of firsts. A first for running her own business; a first for dealing with everything a pandemic can throw at a new business owner. If you want to know resiliency and moving forward every single day, then watch this episode of Shop Talk. If you’re visiting the Tri-Cities or if you live here, visit Coastal Bookstore. Or go online. Buy a book. Buy several and help a local business just starting out to not just survive, but thrive.
Danica Sommerfeldt on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Owning an Independent Bookstore in 2021
What do you do when an existing product doesn’t solve your problem?
You may think about how you would change it to make it better, but that's usually as far as it goes.
This was not the case with Wendy Armbruster. There must be a better way, Wendy thought, when she needed to pump occasionally in order to feed her baby. Wendy was a working mom and as such couldn’t always be available for breastfeeding. Out to solve her own poor user experience with existing pumping bras, Wendy engineered a much better, hands-free pumping bra, unwittingly creating a new product. Launched in 2008, Snugabell and the patented and award winning PumpEas󠅴e® Hands-Free Pumping Bra is a category favorite for the fourth trimester market worldwide.
Wendy shares her story.
Wendy Armbruster on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Pumpin' Mamas - When You Need to Pump for Your Baby, Do it Hands-Free!
We all have one and for many of us, they are an absolute treasure. And once you find one who understands that rather important part of you, you really do feel like you’ve won the lottery.
I’m talking about your hairstylist.
In this episode of Shop Talk, I get the opportunity to ask everything I’ve ever wanted to of hairstylist and owner of Mint Hair Lounge and the newly opened Mint Blow Bar, Lisa Smith.
This is literally a study in what it looks like to run a successful hairstyling business.
Hairstylists are ultra creative as we know. But when they’re also owners, they have a whole other layer of responsibilities that we don’t usually get to see.
This is your chance to go backstage, as Lisa generously discusses all things hair and the hair business.
Lisa Smith on Shop Talk
Watch Video: The Business of Hair
Caroline Mundell on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Unleashing Your Inner Strength
Kirsten Anderson of Integrate Play Solutions joins Shop Talk host Louanne Midgley for a fascinating conversation about how play is integral to work. Not only is playing fun and releases dopamine, it is excellent for creative problem solving. Kirsten shares with us how she's on a mission to remind adults that the workplace is just as important to integrate play for optimal functionality as it was when we were children and learned through play how to use our imaginations to ponder big ideas and work together to solve our problems.
Kirsten Anderson on Shop Talk
Watch Video: Do Work and Play Go Together?
Lisa Koo Buysse has been a passionate Independent Norwex® Consultant for 10 years and she's just as much in love with the company and their products today as she was when she started in 2011. Lisa tells us about how Norwex® started from one product brought from Norway to Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada and how a savvy entrepreneur took the company global.
Now Norwex® is in the homes of millions of people who are concerned about reducing chemicals, helping the environment, helping their wallets and most importantly improving their health and the health of their families. One cloth at a time is how Lisa describes her goal in helping people to change their buying and single use habits to ones that not only clean more effectively but more efficiently as well. Could this be the future of cleaning for millions more? Could you make the switch?
Lisa Koo Buysse on Shop Talk
Watch Video: The case for Norwex®
About SHOP TALK
There are millions of small businesses in the world. Most are led by founder entrepreneurs. In common among them is a drive and a desire to learn and push boundaries.
Small business owners are fierce. And they have the courage to face the odds of building successful businesses that endure. It’s not easy.
This video podcast hopes to capture the truth of business building, the behind-the-scenes look at well earned wins and tough lessons, and what we’re all trying to do, which is to follow our passion and share our passion with others.
Louanne Midgley is the author and host of Shop Talk as well as the Founder and Creative Director of Tell Your Story Videos.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org