Co-owners of KITESTRING, a Hamilton-based advertising agency, Chris Farias and Jenn Hudder share what they’ve learned in their past nine years of partnership, entrepreneurship and agency showmanship.

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My Better Business Half

Episode 24

Susannah Bleasby

When it comes to “small acts of wonderful,” look no further than the wonderful Susannah Bleasby! Whether it’s a beautifully illustrated card or a large-scale mural, Susannah brings a little bit of whimsy, happiness, and joy to every canvas she paints. We chat about how this self-proclaimed “accidental artist” became an “accidental entrepreneur” and the impacts that five key people had on her career. As always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy this week’s episode of My Better Business Half!

My Better Business Half

Episode 23

Teresa Cirillo

In this episode we chat (and sing along) with Teresa Cirillo, the owner and director of Studio E School of Music and Drama. Teresa takes us through her decision to open her own teaching studio and shares how entrepreneurship can be a form of therapy. We also discuss the value of personal development and the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Plus, Chris makes a compelling case for the merits of the ukulele! Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s show!

My Better Business Half

Episode 22

Graham Crawford

What happens when your business partnership goes south?

Meet Graham Crawford. In 1975 Graham started his career as speech and ad copy writer. He left town for Toronto and in 1983 started his own consulting business. By 2001 he had over 60 employees working in 14 countries. He also had a toxic partnership. Sit back, relax, and take a listen to the story of Graham Crawford!

My Better Business Half

Episode 21

Hive Studios

Meet the guys that make this podcast happen every week, Eric and Michael of Hive Studios! Find out how these two met, what brought them together, and how they seem to make it work as friends and business partners. OH! And more importantly - how do they make Jenn sound so wonderful? Enjoy the show!

My Better Business Half

Episode 20

Kim Elizabeth Murkovich

Eleven years ago, Kim Murkovich took a risk. With a few family loans and a lot of work, she opened Willow Salon.

Last year, she made the decision to put down the scissors, step away from the chair and work on her growing her business full-time. Listen in as she discusses her transition, the need to build fabulous team and the importance of a supportive community.

My Better Business Half

Episode 19

Max and Marilyn Roberts

Ever wonder what it would be like to work with your parent? Meet Max and Marilyn Roberts, the father daughter duo who own Gresham House upholstery. They chat about the positives of working with a relative - and mention a few bumps in their entrepreneurial road. Customer service and client relationships are big for Gresham House - but having fun is key to the happiness of their work relationships. WARNING: This episode contains yodelling that will make you will smile. Enjoy!

My Better Business Half

Episode 18

Welcome to Moncton!

We have some exciting news!!! Kitestring has grown a little bigger with a new office and new staff in Moncton, New Brunswick. We chose Moncton for the same reasons we chose Hamilton – it’s a medium-sized, centrally located city, has a growing and very entrepreneurial population, and we couldn't be more excited to move in! Take a listen to Chris and Jenn as they discuss growing their business in a way that made sense to them. Enjoy!

My Better Business Half

Episode 17

Joshua Lombardo-Bottema: Go Wrench Auto

We chat with Joshua Lombardo-Bottema of Go Wrench Auto - basically the Uber for car repairs. Go Wrench Auto is the second business Josh has built, and you can tell he's an entrepreneur to the core. Listen in as Josh talks about breaking new ground in an already established industry, how he plans to grow the business, and how he's built his social media fan base. Sit back and enjoy the show!

My Better Business Half

Episode 16

Jared Lenover and Clayton Hudder

Behind every good business is a business partner. And behind every partner there's someone supporting them from the sidelines. Everyone knows Jenn and Chris as partners, but there happens to be another half to these better business halves. Meet Jared and Clayton, the men behind the Kitestring power team. These spouses chat about the challenges of being married to an entrepreneur, what Chris and Jenn are like on their off time, and share a few secrets along the way!

My Better Business Half

Episode 15

Julie Cole

If you have kids, you've likely heard of the super successful company Mabel Labels. This week, we talk to Julie Cole, co-founder and Senior Director of Public Relations at the award-winning children's label manufacturer about what it's like to have three other partners, to sell your company to an international organization, and be the face of a very public brand. Enjoy!

About Julie Cole

Julie is the mother of six and a Co-Founder/Senior Director of Public Relations for Mabel’s Labels, the leading provider of labels for the stuff kids lose! Mabel’s Labels has grown from basement start-up into an award winning, celebrity endorsed and international phenomenon. As company spokeswoman, Julie is well-known amongst North American entrepreneurs and her dynamic personality has led to numerous speaking engagements, from university business classes to TV appearances, including NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Canada AM, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, Metro Morning, CH Morning Live, Better TV, The Mom Show, Fox 5 San Diego and WGN’s Midday. She is a syndicated blogger for The Huffington Post, modernmom.com, PTPA Media, Yummy Mummy Club, and her company’s Mabelhood blog. Her writing has also appeared in Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. Mabel’s Labels has been featured everywhere from The View to Forbes.com. Follow Julie on Twitter @juliecole.

My Better Business Half

Episode 14

Natalie Sexton

We chat with Natalie Sexton, solo entrepreneur and style maven, about everything from running a business by yourself to prepping for you TV moment. With a great personality and outlook on life it's easy to see why Natalie is the epitome of success. Enjoy!

Natalie Sexton is a fashion stylist, professional makeup artist, blogger and fashion expert for The Marilyn Denis Show and CHCH Television. For better than a decade Natalie’s passion for fashion and all things girly has been the driving force behind her Canadian made brand of ”Sexton in the City” Makeup, Clothing & Accessories. Natalie has generated a cult like following as women flock to Sexton in the City Boutique and www.sextoninthecity.ca to get their SITC fix!

My Better Business Half

Episode 13

Tim Miron

In this episode, we chat with Tim Miron, CFO at Kitestring and partner at Beckett Lowden Read, LLP. He's an entrepreneur with - wait for it - 7 other partners! Tim chats a little about that and more on My Better Business Half. Enjoy

Tim explains numbers. As CFO, he focuses the leadership team on business development, while providing a strategic perspective to all financial decisions. He also learns a lot from the team, and enjoys being in a room full of people who aren’t accountants.

My Better Business Half

Episode 12

Brandon St. Amand

Did you know we have a third partner? Well we do! His name is Brandon St. Amand and he actually started out as a Kitestring partner when we first opened the business in 2007. In this episode Brandon talks about his struggle with business ownership, and how he rediscovered his tribe and ownership at the Kitestring studio. Enjoy!

Brandon St. Amand has been a part of the Kitestring story since the beginning, and leads the Kitestring digital team on every web, app or search engine optimization project. We often call on his expertise in the online sphere to contribute a digital perspective to every brand and campaign we work on, allowing both the digital and analogue to shine.

My Better Business Half

Episode 11

Jeremy Freiburger

We chat with Jeremy Freiburger, a non-profit entrepreneur, on this episode of My Better Business Half. Jeremy has been a longtime friend and client and has a lot to say on the in and outs of owning a business and answering to a board. Take a listen!

Jeremy has been a leader in Hamilton’s creative community for almost 20 years. After studying theatre and music American Music and Dramatic Academy (NYC), Jeremy returned to Hamilton and has worked at a number of arts institutions.

In 2003 Jeremy founded the Imperial Cotton Centre for the Arts, which later became Cobalt Connects – a non-profit arts service organization the spurs innovative partnerships, facilities and research that advance the creative sector.

Focusing on municipal partnerships, research and facility development, Jeremy is the Chief Connector and Cultural Strategist of Cobalt Connects.

Current projects include Norfolk Revitalization project, International Sculpture Collection at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Expressing Vibrancy and the City of Hamilton Arts Awards.

My Better Business Half

Episode 10

Joanne Corner


We're starting the second season of My Better Business Half by inviting some special guests into the studio! Talking to entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes, we're getting to know them at different stages of their business journey. Our first guest is Joanne Corner, a seasoned entrepreneur, who's starting something new! Enjoy!

Joanne Corner has had an illustrious career as a 26 year NCCP level III Figure Skating Coach and Director of Burlington Skating Centre's annual ice show since 1990. As an active member of the community she's been Community Host/Producer of TVCogeco's, "In Your Corner" and Director/Producer of the "Christmas Collage" ice show. She is also an ECE Educator with Halton Catholic District School Board but is ultimately driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for youth, especially her 14-year-old daughter Eden.

Chris Farias

Facts

  • Sassy
  • Up ‘til 2
  • Loud and proud
  • Fabulous
  • Bonnie
  • Thelma
  • 2 Diet Cokes
  • Right Brain
Chris Farias

Chris Farias

Chris is a dreamer of dreams and a builder of brands. A designer, columnist, and award-winning entrepreneur who's not afraid to wear pink pants after Labour Day.

That being said, he is his own brand. His own superhero. And even his own super villain. He’s over the top and everywhere in between. Some might call him a little vain, but seeing as he probably thinks this podcast is about him, he’d be ok with that.

To quote one of his idols, RuPaul: “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can he get an Amen?

Follow Chris on Twitter - @ChrisPaulFarias

Facts

  • Sassy
  • Up ‘til 2
  • Loud and proud
  • Fabulous
  • Bonnie
  • Thelma
  • 2 Diet Cokes
  • Right Brain
Jenn Hudder

Jenn Hudder

Jenn is a former Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 Company, recipient of The Top 40 Under 40 Achievement Award, CEO of an advertising agency and most importantly, the mother of two crazy kids.

She’s steadfast and true, and looks smokin’ hot in that black and white dress. Her best days start with a client presentation and end curled up on the couch with a good eBook and a spicy Caesar. Though the epitome of class in everything she does, test her and you’ll quickly learn just how feisty this firecracker can be.

Follow Jenn on Twitter - @JennHudder

Facts

  • Classy
  • Up at 5
  • Reserved and refined
  • Factual
  • Clyde
  • Louise
  • 2 kids
  • Left Brain
Jenn Hudder

Facts

  • Classy
  • Up at 5
  • Reserved and refined
  • Factual
  • Clyde
  • Louise
  • 2 kids
  • Left Brain

My Better Business Half is a collaboration with The Hamilton Spectator and sponsored by Hive Studios, Dave Disher and Marta Hewson Photography.

Unlike Cheers, My Better Business Half was not filmed in front of a live studio audience.

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