Hifyre, a Hamilton-based digital product studio, used to be a one-man show until Matt Hollingshead welcomed Alex Verdurmen as a business partner in 2011. In a first for the podcast, Jenn and Chris explore what a partnership looks like if you didn’t start off as partners in the first place.
Take a listen as the Hifyre guys take you through their entrepreneurial journey. Alex gives his perspective on entering into a partnership in the middle of a business’s path instead of at the beginning. You’ll also learn why Matt says partnership fit is “like a good hug.” Before wrapping up, everyone gets candid when talking about the most enviable and frustrating parts of working with their respective business partner.
It’s an honest discussion that will give you a greater understanding and appreciation of your own professional relationships.
Thanks for listening! If you like what you hear, leave us a five star rating on iTunes.
To learn more about our friends Matt and Alex, visit Hifyre.com.
Fresh off a string of losses, Jenn and Chris are back this week to talk about failure and losing. When you pour your heart and soul into something and still come up short, it can be downright discouraging. But is there value in losing even if it feels terrible?
Debriefing on their recent experiences, our hosts try to figure out whether anything can be learned from those challenges. What they come up with is a list of key takeaways that will help leaders and their teams better manage the disappointment that comes from defeat. Like Jenn says, “Losing sucks, but it’s not horrible.”
When you’re done listening, why not leave us a five star rating and review on iTunes? After all, it’s the least you can do for a couple of losers.
Have a topic you’d like us to tackle? Share your podcast ideas by tweeting @KITESTRING. Thanks for listening!
Follow your passion. It’s common career advice, but what happens when you feel like you’ve found your place and people, but not your passion?
To discuss this topic, we’ve invited our own Manager of Business Development, masterful builder of relationships, and all-around Kitestring cheerleader, Kelly Riley-Dunbavin! Kelly has flourished in her current role where she composes brilliant proposals and is passionate about all things Biz Dev, but that enthusiasm wasn’t always on display in the first position she held at our company.
Join Chris and Jenn as they follow Kelly’s awesome journey at Kitestring and describe how finally finding her “sweet spot” has benefitted the entire Kitestring team, as well as herself. Our team also discusses the importance of being honest with your employer, the concept of “right people, right seats,” and hiring for fit. You may even be treated to some of Kelly’s trademark British slang along the way!
Have a topic you’d like us to tackle? Share your podcast ideas by tweeting @KITESTRING. Thanks for listening!
How do you sell the intangible? That’s the question on Chris and Jenn’s minds in a special Valentine’s Day edition of the podcast. Going back to basics and drawing on their ten years of experience, they tackle the topic from both a client and agency perspective. From the competitive proposal process to the importance of finding an agency that fits your company culture, Jenn and Chris walk you through the process of buying and selling creative services. If this week’s tips made your heart sing, why not show us some love by leaving a five star review on our iTunes page? Thanks for listening!
Erin Dunham and Matt Kershaw of The Other Bird are the brains behind some of Hamilton’s most delectable dishes and unforgettable dining experiences. This week, we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the restaurant business and the lifestyle that goes along with it. Erin and Matt also talk about the importance of learning to let go and trust others to do their jobs even though you may want to do it yourself. It’s an episode full of delicious morsels of entrepreneurial wisdom! Thanks for listening and don’t forget to leave us a rating on iTunes!
When it comes to digital marketing, a DIY approach isn’t such a good idea. That’s where Chris Barnes comes in. As a member of Kitestring’s digital team, Chris navigates the ever-changing worlds of e-commerce and digital marketing. In this episode, Chris gives us sound advice on search engine optimization and we discuss the difficult choice to “divorce” a business partner when a common vision is no longer shared. If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please leave us a review and rating on iTunes. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of My Better Business Half!
Forget about “a box of chocolates.” For entrepreneur and professor, Melanie Sodtka, “Life is like a dessert table.” With so many options to choose from, how do we choose that one slice of life that will make us happy? This is the question that Melanie explores in her new blog, EgoCake. This week, we ask Melanie about creating her blog, how to approach doing business with different personality types, and whether there is a “secret sauce” to hiring millennials (What do they want? What are they looking for?). Talking with Melanie was a real treat, so we hope you enjoy this week’s chat as much as we do! And if you’re feeling extra sweet, why not leave us a review and rating on iTunes? Thanks for listening!
Like many new grads, Kristin Archer finished school and asked herself: “Now what?” What came next was a summer blog project called “I Heart Hamilton” and a mission to encourage Hamiltonians to be tourists in their own city. Today, the blog has a loyal following and has led Kristin to a career in social media management. In this week’s episode, we welcome Kristin to the podcast and chat with this “girl about town” about how she built her personal brand through her blog. Plus, you won’t want to miss her top social media tip for small businesses! Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy this week’s episode!
Batman and Superman. Sherlock and Watson. And now, Taffs and Folsetter! This week, we're talking business team-ups with local Hamilton realtors Tricia Taffs and Doug Folsetter. The duo discusses the importance of compromising and how their male-female partnership works to their advantage when dealing with clients. Plus, have you ever wondered about the strange things realtors find in the homes they sell? Stay tuned to the end when all will be revealed! Thanks for listening to this week’s episode!
Prepare to fall in love with Kitestring's own "heart in Moncton," Natalie Davison! Natalie is the Director, Sales & Operations for Eastern Canada at our office in Moncton, New Brunswick. In this week’s episode we learn about what it's like to work for an entrepreneur and how a year of self-discovery led Natalie to her Kitestring family. We hope you enjoy listening in as the newest member of our team makes her My Better Business Half debut!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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