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.


  • Preparing For Big Success - Virginia Johnson of Gather Here

    28/05/2019 Duración: 01h05min

    I feel so lucky to be releasing today's episode with Virginia Johnson, owner of Gather Here in Cambridge, MA. I've admired Virginia from afar for many years now so when my friend Amanda offered to introduce us, I was quick to jump at the opportunity. And obviously even more excited when she agreed to be interviewed for the show. Gather Here is so many things. It's a stitch lounge (the only one in Cambridge), a yarn and fabric store, a place for events and classes and an overall welcoming space for anyone and everyone. Virginia employs a knowledgable and approachable staff and while her system around staffing seems to be a well-oiled machine at this point, she shares how hiring, training, and overall management are parts of her job that she had to work at getting good at (and oh boy, do I relate to this). Virginia and I talked about being ready for success to come more quickly than we expect and she encourages us to stay open to bigger things. This conversation is full of value and it just makes me reall

  • The Beautiful Thing About Failing - Patrick Stoffel of Fox Naturals

    14/05/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    My guest today is Patrick Stoffel, the owner and creator of Fox Naturals out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I found his beautiful shop on Instagram (where else is there these days?) and knew I wanted to talk to him after seeing his product line up. There's a lot about what Patrick does that speaks my language. His products are made from natural ingredients, not tested on animals and are tailored to all skin types. Additionally, Fox Naturals is priced accessibly based on Patrick's values around providing high-quality skin and hair care that can be used by everyone. Patrick generously shares his story; from his first failed soap-making attempts to his pop-up shops in Chicago to his brick and mortar in Grand Rapids. We talk about going above and beyond for our customers, choosing to step into fear instead of running away from it and how we all cry over IKEA furniture assembly. Patrick is warm and super funny and I can't wait for you all to hear this valuable conversation. Enjoy the show. Find more from Patrick:

  • For Best Results, Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone-Amanda Fleischer of Hooray House Studio

    30/04/2019 Duración: 55min

    Today I'm speaking with Amanda Fleisher retail expert and owner of Hooray House Studio. While Amanda is in the services game now, she's been up close and personal with retail since she was a teenager.  She’s run corporate retail spaces, owned a brick and mortar by way of a pop-up shop (before pop-ups were even a thing) and has had success with online selling platforms for years. Amanda has seen it all and so, has dedicated her current business to sharing this knowledge with brick and mortar stores.  She started Hooray House as a way to support and teach business owners who might not have anyone to help them save their friends and families (and we all know that this isn't really enough). Through strategic business coaching Amanda provides people with real-life business advice designed to make their brick and mortar profitable, systemized and even more beloved by customers.   And here she is, generously sharing this advice with us today. We talk about what types of selling people respond to best, finding valu

  • Thriving In The Messy Middle | DaNay Tossey of Cornerstone Coffee

    16/04/2019 Duración: 01h07min

    Today I’m speaking with DaNay Tossey, founder and owner of Cornerstone Coffee in McBain Michigan. McBain is a farm town and home to around 1000 people. It’s a place that’s been hit in recent years with its share of financial insecurity and hardship. It’s also super close-knit and boasts the kind of community support that bigger cities are always trying to recreate. As DaNay tells her story, it’s clear that her dedication to providing a service to her community has always been top of mind. A full shop, friendly faces at the drive-through, people being creative within her space, all these things add to DaNay’s sense of purpose and her drive as a business owner. We talk about leading strong teams and why it stings a teeny, tiny bit when you realize that your clients start to like your staff a little bit more than they like you. We talk about real success and why it doesn’t always show up the way we think it will. DaNay shares how she manages being the mom of six and why her ability to juggle has a lot to

  • Learning From Mistakes, Favorite Systems & Amazing Staff - SOLO Episode

    09/04/2019 Duración: 34min

    Today's it's just me. I know I promised a Meredith cameo, but as you'll hear, stuff just kept happening and we never found time to record. So I decided to record a little solo episode. Frankly, after I sent the audio files off to be edited, I sank into a serious vulnerability hangover. I was really weirded out by doing a solo episode. Even though I enjoyed recording it, it was different with just me doing the talking and adding the value. When I'm interviewing I'm asking the questions and letting my guests work their magic and without that, I was a little intimidated. Shortly afterward (and knee deep in imposter syndrome) I was listening to a podcast where the host was talking about doing your best work... (and in my head, I was like.."shit, that wasn't my best work") ...but he went on to talk about how the only way anything gets out there EVER is by people just writing it, speaking it, creating it and PUTTING it out there. There's nothing wrong with wanting to do excellent work always, but if you're

  • You Change, So Let Your Business Change Too - Xenia Viray of Myths Of Creation

    12/03/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    Today I have the pleasure of releasing my conversation with Xenia Viray of Myths of Creation in Brooklyn, NY. Xenia’s path to the brick and mortar life is a winding one, marked with serendipitous twists and connections that turned into something more. Xenia and I also talk about using our businesses as an excuse to continue being workaholics, the role of a spiritual practice in weathering burnout and what exactly is human design. We dive deep into money stories and why attracting the abundance we want starts with acknowledging our self-worth (I’m working on it!!!). We talk about how society often undervalues the things that are intuitive to us, the traits that many small business owners naturally possess. Things like connecting, building community and selling genuinely are skills often dismissed as “soft.” In reality, these skills are hugely powerful. They exist through intuition and within spaces that defy traditional success markers. Let’s not forget that the skills that come naturally to us, that we d

  • Staying Open To Your Curiosity | Maryann Gibbons of Plants and Ponytails

    26/02/2019 Duración: 52min

    Today I have the pleasure of releasing a chat that’s been a long time in the making. Last year, I connected with Maryann Gibbons of Plants and Ponytails right when she was getting ready to launch the very first iteration of her business. She was selling at a farmer’s market in her hometown of Kingston, Ma as a way to research and prep for opening the brick and mortar space of her dreams later on. We stayed in touch and a month ago we finally got to talk shop. Maryann shares the story of starting her plants business and it’s a whole lot deeper than just setting up a stall at the farmers market. In fact, the farmer’s market didn’t even exist until Maryann and a group of community members started it. And as you’ll hear, it’s been a wild ride for Plants and Ponytails ever since. From pop-ups to temporary leases, from buildings being sold to tons of leftover Lululemon bags in her space, Maryann has ridden the waves of business ownership in ways many of us, simply put, have not. And she still really, real

  • Hire People Better Than You! - Renee Diaz Of The Queen's Cups

    12/02/2019 Duración: 58min

    Today I'm speaking with Renee Diaz, baker, owner and fearless leader at The Queen's Cups in Worcester, Ma. I found Renee on Instagram and, with my mouth watering, quickly emailed her to see if she wanted to chat for the pod. She agreed and I'm so excited to share our conversation with you today.  Renee started her shop with little knowledge of business ownership or commercial baking. After college, she taught herself how to bake and developed her business with the help and support of her mom and dad.  Her business also grew fast, maybe too fast in terms of its effect on Renee and her personal relationships.  We talk about how Renee found herself completely burnt out and at odds with the people that had supported her from the very beginning. She explains and acknowledges a period in her life when she was "very selfish" and why working through this took her business to the next level.  Renee's ability to lead truly blew me away. She's built a team of nearly 30 people and manages bakers to counterpeople to kit

  • On Burnout, Partnerships and Success On Your Own Terms - The Mothership

    29/01/2019 Duración: 57min

    Today I’m speaking with Megan Bowser, Katie DeConto & Krista Ann Nordgren of The Mothership in Durham, North Carolina. Krista Anne reached out to me while I was on the Keeping Shop Retreat this fall and I as I read her email detailing her business, I 100% wished she and her partners were there with us. Their concept, a co-working space meets retail space, is fresh and welcoming and puts its clients front and center. Whether it’s providing a space for artists to make a living or creating a place for people to work to their full potential, Krista Anne, Megan and Katie are there for it. As I mentioned in my intro, I interviewed these folks after an intense day at the store. Meredith had been sick and I couldn’t find anyone to cover. I had binged a terribly depressing though important podcast (Believed) while the shop was quiet and when it wasn’t, I’d dealt with some difficult people. It had been a long day so it actually didn’t surprise me when the conversation with Krista Ann, Megan and Katie turned to

  • Creating A Welcoming And Weird Community - Lacey Prpic Hedtke of The Future

    15/01/2019 Duración: 01h01min

    Today I'm speaking with Lacey Prpic Hedtke of The Future in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lacey's space is truly magical. It’s comprised of a shop, an artist's residency and the best part? A magical library. The Future is built around the concept of community; it's a place for people to hang out and to connect with each other. Lacey works every day to continuing creating a weird and welcoming space that contributes to her neighborhood. Lacey and I chat about finding her space and why it's worth it to wait for the spot that makes you really light up. The story of finding a home for The Future is pretty amazing - it's one of the best space finding stories we've heard on the show yet - and it has a lot to do with the way that Lacey approached the process, with less fear and more trust in the universe. Hello the way I want to live my entire life. We talk about money (!!!) and how our money stories can trigger that nasty feeling of being unworthy of the success we find in our business. Lacey shares her experiences

  • Size Inclusion & Body Positivity In The Fitting Room-Andy McManis of Skirt & Satchel

    11/12/2018 Duración: 56min

    Today I'm speaking with Andy McManis of Skirt & Satchel in Bloomington, Indiana. I found her rather randomly on Instagram and immediately admired her concept, her personal style, her use of non-professional models and the overall voice and vibe of her brand. Andy is a seasoned business owner and in this chat she offers some really helpful tips and suggestions for effective shop owning. We talk about her road to business ownership, her dedication to body positivity and why size inclusion doesn't have to be as financially challenging as you think. Andy is an adept decision maker having closed businesses, moved businesses and switched up her concept several times all while maintaining her core vision. She's actually in the middle of one of these changes right now, which you'll hear all about in the episode. A lot of business owners (myself included) tend to cling to our concept or space in a perhaps fearful way that can block positive change or growth. With this in mind, I really do admire Andy's willingnes

  • Be Yourself and Don’t Apologize For It - Kristina Burkey of Calliope Paperie

    27/11/2018 Duración: 55min

    Today I’m speaking with Kristina Burkey of Calliope Paperie in both Natick and Somerville, Ma. One of my listeners clued me into Calliope and I sort of freaked when I saw her bright and pink and lovely shop on Instagram. Kristina sells beautiful cards, stationery and all kinds of accessories for fun and meaningful correspondence. She sells cards with all sorts of sentiments attached; from the simple Happy Birthday to a more complicated Infertility Sucks, Kristina is constantly finding ways to connect us to each other through cards. Kristina shares her road to business ownership and offers tips for every step of the process. From selling her wares at public markets to rocking a successful pop-up shop to finally telling her boss she was leaving her 9-5, she gives best practices for navigating the sometimes terrifying process of starting up. We chat about the intoxicating process of finding and signing on the space of your dreams and I get all nostalgic about finally finding a home for Forty Winks. Kristina h

  • Retreat Recap - Bonus Episode with Ashely Seamans of Local Maker

    26/11/2018 Duración: 23min

    Bonus! Want to know what happened at the Keeping Shop Retreat? Listen in as Ashley Seamans of Local Maker asks me all about the retreat. Hear about what stressed me out, what we ate and when we'll be doing it again.

  • Getting Comfortable In The Chaos - Phillip Ouellette of Springer Signcraft

    13/11/2018 Duración: 01h05min

    Today I’m speaking with Phillip Ouellette, sign craftsman and the owner of Springer Signcraft in Waltham, MA. My friend Ari connected me with Phillip because she thought we’d have a lot to talk about and she was right. We talked later in the evening one night and maybe it was the fact that we’re both young parents and were completely exhausted, but Phillip and I were quickly able to let down our respective guards and to get vulnerable about anxiety and people pleasing in a really valuable way. Phillip learned the basics of his craft while working for someone else, which obviously isn’t a requisite for opening a business, but it doesn’t hurt either. We talk about setting prices and sticking to them, putting things in perspective as a working parent, managing two businesses and getting comfortable in the inevitable chaos. Phillip also has an Etsy shop where he sells beautiful sign replicas that he handcrafts. Say you climbed Mount Washington and it changed your life, Phillip could replicate a meaningful tra

  • Clear Out What Needs To Go - Sarah Gottesdiener of Modern Women and visualmagic

    30/10/2018 Duración: 01h07min

    Today I’m speaking with Sarah Gottesdiener online shop owner, designer, podcaster and tarot reader. Sarah is (among many other things) the designer behind the “Women, Wimmin, Woomin, Womxn” design that you’ve probably seen at your favorite witchy, feminist shop. I have a tee and a tote, courtesy of Sarah and I get solidarity compliments wherever I go. She is also the creator of the always-sold-out Many Moons Workbook and the Many Moon Lunar Planner. Sarah talks about wanting to work for herself while being able to control her own time and energy. We talk about the irony in assuming that business ownership means freedom and how we can protect ourselves from the day-to-day energetic drain. Sarah is deliberate about what she allows into her life and we go into the benefits of a slow and steady approach when it comes to the success of our businesses and making money. Sarah shares her tips for preparing for what might be a negative customer interaction and encourages us to seek ways to be gentle with ourselves an

  • Conviction In The Core Concept - Alan Donovan of Oat Shop

    16/10/2018 Duración: 49min

    Today I’m speaking with Alan Donovan of Oat Shop in Somerville, MA. I’ve been frequenting the shop since I had my baby, in fact I had my 36th birthday breakfast there; nursing Sylvie in the sunny front window while enjoying a delicious, hot oat bowl. It was lovely. Oat Shop is a beautiful space. It’s clean, cozy and welcoming and the food is delicious and nourishing. I’ve long admired the shop from a business perspective too because I love when places niche. the. hell. down. Oat Shop is based all around the mighty oat and features both savory and sweet oat bowl options. They also sell coffee and a few in-house created baked goods. It’s a tiny menu, full of well thought out options made from local ingredients. Alan started his career in finance and worked in D.C after college. It was there that he realized that busy people needed real food options. After deciding he wanted to move back home to Massachusetts, Alan started laying the bricks for Oat Shop. Alan and I talk about the start up process and what

  • Are You Coming? (or some info on the Keeping Shop Retreat)

    11/10/2018 Duración: 10min

    A glimpse into what'll be happening at the Keeping Shop Retreat. Find more info at Join us for real talk about money, managing people, systemizing, reconnecting with the soul of our business and so. much. more. The dates are 11/9-11/11. Location, Germantown, NY. The cost is $750 and this price includes all meals, a comfy bed, and connection with people that actually get it. All are welcome. Email me at with questions. Thank you!

  • There's No Moment of Chill - Elissa Paquette of Calico

    02/10/2018 Duración: 01h14min

    Wooohooo! I’m back after a couple of months that were supposed to be chill but turned out to be nutso. I’m so excited to be bringing you EPISODE 50 (!!!) with none-other than one of my personal shopkeeper crushes, Elissa Paquette. I’ve admired Elissa and her shop, Calico for years now. She’s been in business longer than me and she’s seriously boss when it comes to everything from buying to marketing to design. She’s also an incredible risk taker and someone who knows when to walk away from something that’s not serving her. Elissa and I talk about delegating work so that we can get real shit done which leads me to tell her my secret about cleaning the bathroom at the store. She gives us a glimpse into her very intense buying and inventory management systems and gives us some pretty great social media tips. And you want social tips from Elissa, she’s got a huge presence and consistently shows up with amazing self-created content. And check out her About Us page, it’s a great example of non-boring copy/desig

  • Creating Your Own Blueprint - Sarah Van Dyke of Revel Craft Bar

    31/07/2018 Duración: 52min

    Today I'm speaking with Sarah Van Dyke of Revel Craft Bar in downtown Madison Wisconsin.  Sarah's concept is unique and smart and her space brings creativity into people's day in such a fun, effortless sort of way.  You can actually walk into Revel, buy a drink and sit there with your friends and work on a craft project.  From start to finish. Which is something that I'm sure as hell not doing at home.  And these are not cheesy craft projects full of pompoms and potpourri. These are projects that you'll actually be proud of making. From mineral magnets to leather coozies, from hand-selected wines at the bar to top-notch private workshop offerings,  the whole concept of Revel is so well executed.  Sarah and I chat about creating a blueprint for a business that hadn't been done before, hiring the right people to compliment your strengths and setting up systems for everything from sourcing materials to delegating tasks. She also shares a simple exercise that really helped her get clear on what type of business

  • The Possibilities Are Endless - Liza Witonis, Personal Wealth Coach

    17/07/2018 Duración: 53min

    Today I'm speaking with personal wealth coach Liza Witonis. While she's not a brick and mortar business owner per se, Liza works with people like us on getting real around our money stories to bring us into financial freedom both at home and in our workspaces. Money is often top of mind for us business owners; feelings of lack, feelings of imposter syndrome and the fear that we're never going to make enough even when our bank accounts are looking pretty good. Liza addresses all this and more in this conversation about turning around our attitude on money. Liza and I talk about what forms our attitude around money, how to start working through our money blocks and she offers some easy steps to get started on the path to actually feeling good about money. We also chat about positive vs. negative talk around money and how being "realistic" about what you can afford can reveal what it is you really want. I found a lot of value in this episode as I start new business ventures and continue to grow my current busi

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