Keeping Shop: A Brick And Mortar Podcast



A podcast bringing you the stories behind the brick and mortar businesses in our communities. Each weekly episode focuses on the story behind a brick and mortar business by way of a candid chat with the owner. We talk about the broad picture stuff; their start up processes and the philosophies behind their companies, as well as the smaller, day to day realities of running a brick and mortar. New episodes every other Tuesday.


  • Keeping Shop Through Covid: Entry 1

    12/05/2020 Duración: 20min

    Just a little check-in now that life is totally, 100%, unbelievably different. Most of our spaces are closed and we're all treading water, waiting for this nightmare to end. This show is a glimpse into where we at Forty Winks stand with the PPP, what's making us money, and where my head's at as I navigate this. Enjoy....?

  • On Focussing On The Long Game | Lisa Mullan of Uwila Warrior

    16/04/2020 Duración: 51min

    Today I’m excited to release my chat with Lisa Mullan, owner and co-founder of Uwila Warrior in Boston, MA. Lisa’s company is leading the charge against uncomfortable underwear; we’ve carried her line at Forty Winks since close to the beginning and our customers come back for it over and over again.  In fact, we have one customer who just wrote and ordered: “every medium you have in that incredible thong.” She was referring to this thong which is in fact, “incredible” if you’re in the market (restocking soon, btw). Lisa and I talked before coronavirus hit, but there is so much in our chat that’s applicable to what we’re facing right now. I am struck by Lisa’s dedication to creating (and re-creating) the best possible product for her clients and by her decision to focus on steady growth even if it takes a while. She mentions the “long game” a couple of times throughout our chat and even then before I knew we’d have to shutter our store, this struck me as incredibly smart. It’s pretty much the mantra of every

  • On Creating Meaningful Connection Online - Jay Adams

    31/03/2020 Duración: 59min

    Today I have the pleasure of releasing my conversation with Jay Adams co-founder and advisor to Brass, an online and brick & mortar company specializing in quality pieces that simplify and enhance their customer's wardrobes.  Jay and I connected years ago and she's been a constant source of inspiration for me as she and her business partner, Katie have grown Brass into a thriving and innovative online business. While they've always had short-term pop-up spaces, their first long-standing brick and mortar opened in Boston a few months ago so I’m excited to bring Jay on the show as an official brick and mortar boss. I was sort of weirded out by releasing conversations recorded pre-Coronavirus, but my friends and colleagues convinced me to keep releasing shows in an effort to keep things as "normal" as possible.  This conversation is actually really timely in that Jay and I talk a lot about eCommerce and how to create strong, vibrant communities within the online space. Now more than ever, we need to be findin

  • On Creating A Foundation For Growth - Ashley Borchard

    17/03/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    Today I have the pleasure of releasing my chat with Ashley Borchard owner of Cobbygoose in Alpena, Michigan. Cobbygoose is a paint your own pottery, canvas and/or wood studio that also specializes in classes, workshops, and events. Brick and mortar business ownership is Ashley’s dream and this is evident in the community she’s created around her space. Ashley’s road to business ownership is a rough one and she shares her story generously with us. She also shares the downside of buying an established business and offers tips for getting through this process in a graceful, productive way. We talk about the continuous roller coaster of learning on the job and why she looks back at her first months in business with a little bit of embarrassment. She talks about mistake-making and why we need to absorb those mistakes as learning tools. Right now, I’m writing this from my couch, mid-day, on a day that I should be at Forty Winks. Instead, I’m practicing social distancing in an effort to combat a global pandemi

  • On Asking For What You Want - Greer Goodman

    10/03/2020 Duración: 59min

    I’m excited to bring you this episode with Greer Goodman, owner, and founder of Abroad Modern in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Greer used to manage a sweet little children’s shop called Magpie Kids and I met her whilst shopping for baby stuff.  Back then Greer was thinking about starting a very different business than the one she ended up opening (you’ll hear all about this in today’s episode), and she impressed me with her creative yet clear vision for her future business.  A couple of years later, I realized that Greer had, in fact, opened a shop, but a very different concept from the one she had shared with me way back when.  I knew there was a good story here, so I reached out for an interview.  And it is a great story! Greer shares how she found her true brick and mortar calling while on a trip to India. We talk about friendship, values and the importance of cultural exchange.  We talk about sourcing, inventory planning and Greer’s unique talent for being able to merchandise her store in her head.  Greer

  • On Building Community Through Shopkeeping - Stephanie Campbell

    03/03/2020 Duración: 56min

    I’m very excited to be sharing the first episode of the spring season of Keeping Shop with you! Today I’m speaking with Stephanie Campbell of Blue Willow Boutique in Maryville, Missouri. When we connected, I knew nothing about Stephanie or her shop so I got to discover her story right along with my listeners. Stephanie tells us all about why she started her shop; it has to do with a big move for love, a community forced to find gifts at Walmart and the desire for real, honest community creation. Stephanie shares her tips for creating a trusting work environment and building a staff that will go to bat for you over and over again. She shares the way she makes sure she pays her bills, pays herself and makes sure she’s profitable so that she can do things like open a second store, which she just did a few months ago. A big thought-provoker that I took from this episode is the concept of giving clients what they want even when your concept would point you in another direction. Stephanie experienced this, an

  • Oh Heyyy, 2020! (and an update on the show)

    01/01/2020 Duración: 14min

    Hey friends,

  • Oh Hey, 2020! (and some updates + feelings from me)

    31/12/2019 Duración: 14min

    Hey friends.  This podcast was supposed to be a little different, but you  Instead, I’m sharing what went well in 2019, what didn't go so hot and where I’m taking the show in 2020.  I’m also revealing my word of the year and the habit I’m trying to form to keep my head clear(er). Thanks for listening and thanks for another great year.  ️

  • Being Fearless - Melissa Solis of Front Row Cosmetics

    10/12/2019 Duración: 01h09min

    Today I'm speaking with Melissa Solis, owner of Front Row Cosmetics in Raleigh, North Carolina. Not only does Melissa run a brick and mortar, but she's also the creator behind all the products she sells. Melissa and I connected on Instagram (where else these days?) and I immediately knew I wanted to have this make-up creating mastermind on the show. Melissa started her career working in accounting for a robotics company and working for MAC on the weekends. Eventually, she started to work as an on-set makeup artist where she encountered an actress who was allergic to just about everything in Melissa's make-up kit. It was a game-changer for Melissa who started researching clean beauty and eventually created her own clean line of makeup. A brick and mortar space followed. Melissa and I talk about money, budgeting and how she built her business while keeping her finances on track. She encourages us to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself and hit me with my biggest takeaway of the conversatio

  • If It Were Easy, Everyone Would Do It - Sonia Rife of Revival Vintage

    26/11/2019 Duración: 58min

    Today I'm speaking with Sonia Rife, owner of Revival Vintage in Austin, Texas. Sonia started her shop in a 480 square foot space and grew it into a thriving, 2800 square foot, multi-vendor space that delights vintage lovers from all over the country.  It was Sonia's Instagram that caught my eye because she styles her pieces in a really simple and beautiful way that makes you want to buy everything shown and just set it back up in your living room. I was thrilled when she agreed to share her story with this community.   Our chat features real advice about managing to-do lists across the team, being patient as your business grows and what to do with middle-of-the-night money panic. Sonia also shares a story about a tarot reading that took some of the pressure off of her as she built her career.  This story resonated with me because I started my company in my 20's and while that makes me super proud, the amount of pressure I felt (and still feel in many ways) was sometimes pretty crushing. I think a lot of peo

  • Making A Life That Works For YOU - Molly Avellar of Adorn

    12/11/2019 Duración: 54min

    Today I’m releasing my conversation with Molly Avellar of Adorn in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Molly is a terrific supporter of the show and always sends me much appreciated little check-ins and words of encouragement. I’m so happy to finally be featuring her on the show. Molly is not only a shopkeeper but she’s an accomplished jewelry maker. She shares with us the ways she juggles the day-to-day demands of constantly switching gears between her art and running her shop. We commiserate about the naysayers in our past and about choosing to learn from the set-backs rather than letting them slow us down. We also talk a lot about maintaining a strong relationship with your business partner which is something that I especially relate to. Molly owns her shop with her mother and the two have an incredible working partnership. As you’ll hear in this episode, they make it work by playing to each other’s strengths and openly communicating through everything from hurt feelings to huge financial decisions. As a membe

  • Buying A Business, Leading A Team & Making Money On Social - Amy Driscoll of Susanna

    29/10/2019 Duración: 01h24s

    I’m so excited to be chatting with a brick and mortar business owner that I truly admire. Amy Driscoll owns Susanna which has two locations in Massachusetts, one in Cambridge and one in Jamaica Plain. Amy and I both own shops in the same area and while we sell different things, our experiences, successes and challenges certainly overlap. Amy is a lovely person to be around. She’s considerate and engaging, she’s whip-smart yet approachable and I just really like her. I was thrilled that she agreed to be interviewed despite the fact she was 8 months pregnant and had just opened her second store location. And I was especially thrilled that she didn’t freak out on me when I lost the audio from our first recording and had to re-record the entire conversation. Thanks, Amy! And our second conversation was so much better! Susanna, Jamaica Plain had been open for a little while longer and Amy was able to share more about operating two spaces. In this episode, you’ll hear us talk about managing a strong team across

  • Second Round: Courage Comes From Activity - Nesha Frazier of Work Nest

    22/10/2019 Duración: 59min

    **The last of my re-releases (new episode drops next week), this is my value-packed conversation with Nesha Frazier of Work Nest. Enjoy** Today I'm speaking with Nesha Frazier of Work Nest in Summerville, South Carolina. Work Nest is a one of a kind, baby-friendly co-working space that aims to help parents get closer to achieving real work/life balance. Nesha herself struggled with feeling torn between a job that she loved and raising her two babies and she wanted to find a way to make it easier for parents, often mothers, to reach their career goals. Nesha and I talk about her process for opening Work Nest and she shares the amazing 100-day accountability plan that she created for herself to ensure that her business would have the greatest chance of coming to fruition. We chat being financially responsible when finding space and why likes on social media shouldn't be the indicator of how successful you'll be. Nesha shares her process for setting her prices and why she doesn't struggle with presenting her c

  • Second Round: A Botanical Pharmacopoeia - Kinsey Rosene of Crose Nest

    18/10/2019 Duración: 56min

    **Kinsey has experienced lots of changes since this episode aired a couple of years ago. Namely, she opened another spaced, closed her original space and now operates out of her gorgeous 2nd space in Dedham, Ma. This is still a super valuable episode because Kinsey just really epitomizes what building community is all about. Enjoy.** Today I'm speaking with Kinsey Rosene owner of Crose Nest in Lowell, Massachusetts. Kinsey describes her shop as a botanical pharmacopoeia; essentially, she's created a DIY herbal pharmacy where people can come and blend their own teas or body products. The point is to give people the tools and the instruction, and then to let them create what's best for their body and their needs. I've got so much admiration for the way that Kinsey has structured her brick and mortar as an interactive space that helps people take an active roll in the remedies that help heal their bodies. Follow Kinsey's work here and here. Enjoy the show! We talk about: -Taking risks even when you've got

  • Second Round: Providing The Want And The Need- Emily Kanter of Cambridge Naturals

    08/10/2019 Duración: 01h06min

    **Here's the second of the re-releases. It's with one of my personal brick and mortar favorites, Emily Kanter of Cambridge Naturals. This conversation doesn't disappoint. Tune in and remember that a new Keeping Shop episode drops on Tuesday, October 29th** Once I had a terrible sinus headache and I when I say headache, I mean this thing was crushing me. One of my Winks clients suggested that I get my sick self to Cambridge Naturals and while I'd been there many times it was always for fun stuff like make-up, probiotics, oils, teas...never to heal something like a headache. The super knowledgeable women in herbs gave me lots of suggestions including the insanely potent, locally sourced and incredibly powerful ground ginger that ultimately kicked my sinus headache to the curb. That stuff works. So when Cambridge Naturals owner Emily Kanter reached out to me I was flattered and a little star-struck. I think she and her team are kind of a big deal, but as you'll hear in the show she's super down to earth abou

  • Second Round: Going With Your Gut - Debi Beard of Debi's Design Diary

    01/10/2019 Duración: 53min

    **I'm re-releasing this episode because it gave me actual chills while I was recording it. And made me cry. It's a good one. New Episode releases on October 29th. ** Today I'm speaking with Debi Beard, owner of Debi's Design Diary in Solana Beach, CA. In the brick and mortar game for over 20 years, Debi is also the star of her own YouTube channel, the creator of her own chalk paint brand, DIY Paint Company and the founder of the DIY Bootcamp which is a 3-day intensive program that helps shopkeepers run their businesses. Sure, Debi is super successful, but it wasn't always easy. As you'll hear in the episode, getting to this point took some major time and even more than time, it took grit. Debi's stories (she's got a ton!) illustrate her truly remarkable process; from selling Christmas ornaments to moving back in with her parents to reaching millions of views on YouTube. In listening to the finished episode (yes, I listen to every one before it goes live) I was re-struck by Debi's tenacity and her flat

  • Show Up Even If Your Voice Shakes - Lauren Campbell of The Witch's Fix

    27/08/2019 Duración: 58min

    Today I'm speaking with Lauren Campbell owner of The Witch’s Fix in Ontario Canada. The day before we recorded, I'd been working with a coaching client, one-on-one. We were chatting about goals and dreams and she shared with me that she'd always wanted to tap into a lifestyle lived by Meg Ryan's book store owning character in You've Got Mail. And then, while recording with Lauren, it came out that she too had always fantasized about life like the one in YGM. Now while I find many elements of You've Got Mail extremely problematic (sorry don't hate me!), I think what resonates so hard about the YGM lifestyle is that it's a fairly accurate depiction of a woman who's creating her very own life through her business. She's not making millions, she's not traveling the world with all her free time and she's taking scary risks all the damn time. But she's also created a community that values her, a shop that contributes to its neighborhood and presumably enough money to live in a dope (albeit dated) apartment in NYC.

  • When It's Time To Walk Away - Annie Rocchio of Sun and Glory

    16/07/2019 Duración: 01h21min

    Today's episode is slightly different from the others. One, it's my first repeat guest and two, it's the first interview I've done with someone that's closing their brick and mortar. My episode 38 guest Annie Rocchio reached out to me with the generous offer of talking us through her difficult decision to close her shop, Sun and Glory in NYC. While I am clearly sad to hear that the shop is closing, I'm also so grateful for Annie's willingness to share this part of her story with us. Annie and I talk through a lot of feelings in the episode. And If I'm being honest, these tougher conversations are the ones that bring me the most value lately. This life isn't usually the easy choice despite what outsiders might see. We carry our respective loads well; we are vulnerable about our fears but not so vulnerable that it weirds out our customers. We contribute to our local communities and grin and bear it when our communities don't support us with their dollars. Sometimes the clear path forward includes leaving our s

  • The Power Of An Impactful Customer Experience - Brandi Morpurgo of Daisy Chain Book Co.

    25/06/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    Today I'm speaking with Brandi Morpurgo, owner of Daisy Chain Book Co. in Alberta, Canada. I heard the story of Brandi's book store on wheels on the podcast Don't Keep Your Day Job and now am delighted to be sharing it with you on Keeping Shop. Brandi shares her startup story; both how difficult it was to be the first of her kind and also how her natural drive and resilience forged a path to a successful opening. We talk about the myth of social media, building community wherever you go and providing a truly impactful customer experience. Brandi also shares her thoughts on writing a business plan that goes beyond just the nitty-gritty and encourages us all to think bigger for our businesses. I love this. By acknowledging that we're even thinking of a 5-year plan we're imprinting big growth and big success on our business from the very beginning. If our big dreams change that's okay (!!!), at least we're allowing ourselves to be confident in the power of our businesses even when they're young. Brandi sha

  • Leading Change On Main Street - Jess Carter of The Local Variety

    11/06/2019 Duración: 57min

    Leading Change On Main Street - Jess Carter of The Local Variety by Rachel Wentworth

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