- A Northwood Retail Podcast -

Backstory Beginnings

Short Business Origin Stories, Big Takeaways

Listen and be inspired by the incredible stories of homegrown creators, movers, and shakers, who are making their mark with meaningful missions, fresh fashions, and next-level sips and bites. Snag pearls of wisdom from visionary founders and leaders.

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Founder and CEO Susan talks about growing up in Chicago, spending time with her immigrant grandmothers, creating a business model that supports women, having a progressive career, and persevering while facing financial roadblocks at the start.

Co-Founder and CSO Annika and COO Olivia discuss the brand’s 10-year journey, the timeless aesthetic of their products, along with the importance of building trust in your team, setting goals, and identifying milestones.

Founder and President Jimbo shares how caring for his staff and his community involvement has made his business more financially viable, how organic foods can be life-changing, and his mission of being a good steward of the environment.

Owner Erica talks about the need for stylish women’s workwear that doesn’t look like a suit for a banker, how her digital website boasts inclusivity for all women, and how. success is a slow burn.

Co-Founder and COO Flint shares his own personal journey of rescuing his pup Bea and nursing her back to health using wholesome homecooked meals, how dogs are their clients, and how providing nutritional food improves dogs’ quality of life.

Owner and Designer Nina shares her passion for the creative process, her struggles in the early years, working with celebrity clients, and the need for a mentor to serve as a guide through the process.

President Brian talks about growing up in a retail family, taking a leave of absence after the sudden passing of his father, focusing on growing their 300SF toy store into a successful collection of California stores, and loving putting smiles on kids’ faces.

Founder and CEO Andy talks about his lightbulb moment while hunting with his 4-year-old son, the core value of building products in the USA, capturing mountaineering, durability, and integrating new technologies.

Founder Brian shares his start in creating a better way to buy socks and underwear, designing innovative products that are different than other brands, serving the community, and moving forward despite the obstacles.

Chef and Owner Dave shares how a summer trip to Italy inspired his love for food, wine, and culture.  By reinventing an existing brand, Dave developed relationships with local farmers to support the community, encourage repeat customers, and grow employee development.

Managing Partners Joey and Kin talk about their family legacy beginning in 1996, their recent visit to China to study modern techniques, how tastes have evolved in China, and touching the local community with Chinese culture.

Founder and CEO Amir talks about his inspiration to create Vitlayc Medspa after a dermatologist appointment, the art of mastering your craft, and treating each client as if they’re your only client.

Co-Owners Kellie and Brandon discuss their commitment to consistency, quality, and a warm customer service experience, the brand overcoming roadblocks with a switch to packaged pints, and the perseverance to never give up on your dreams.

Co-Owner Paul talks about coffee being a part of everyone’s life, their approach to diversity in hiring, and their pride in providing a warm hospitable space to be.

Owner Matt Levin talks about creating an East-Coast-inspired restaurant on the West Coast, building a loyal team, promoting from within, being involved in the community, and staying balanced.

President and COO Bruce talks about enhancing customers’ lives by providing a quality product to create a home that they love, sustainability to protect the planet, determining your niche in business, and continuing to challenge yourself.

Founder Jeni Britton Bauer shares the start of her ice cream shops, the intersection of art and entrepreneurship, consistency, and creating a Lord of the Rings fellowship.

Founder and CEO Paul Hedrick talks about building his boot brand after being rejected from business school, making big bets, and moving fast, all while being nice person.

Brilliant Earth Co-Founder Beth Gerstein shares her responsibly sourced business approach that charted a new course in fine jewelry, along with the importance of waking up excited.

CEO Ryan Kent talks the start of the performance fabric menswear brand, being laughed out of tradeshows, being a first mover, a veteran, a hard worker, and the right hirer.

Co-Founder Kerry Docherty shares the start of the family-run clothing company in a story of joy, comfort, pride, sustainability.

Sandbox VR Founder Steve Zhao talks about his immersive VR experiences, building games since being a boy, moving to Hong Kong, what to worry about in business, and great ideas with decent execution.

Palmer’s Hot Chicken Founder Palmer Fortune speaks about the origin of his restaurant group, his inspiring path to sobriety, and the key experience that taught him people are what make a business.

Founder and CEO Chris Molnar talks about his fashion experience starting his clothing brand, risk and entrepreneurial spirit, and fueling growth and sustainability.

Founder Brittany Grignon talks about expanding her reformer Pilates studios, having the nerve to take risks, and understanding the “why.”

CEO Joseph Ciolli talks about lessons learned while bringing NY-style pizza across the country and the importance of honesty, integrity, and community.

Founder Daniel James talks the start of his beachwear shops, surfing in Spain, surviving near bankruptcy, having a positive attitude, and being slow to hire but quick to fire.

Founder Elizabeth Lindberg shares how she started up after a divorce, trailblazed bringing The Lagree Method Pilates to Texas, and how she advocates being brave not perfect.

Founder Jason Carrier talks about opening the bar, creating a space to connect and let loose, showing everybody a great time, and serving the community.

Scott Hudson speaks about his French, Low Country Bistro, the importance of camaraderie and community to make more than a career, and the need to be fluid like water.

Founders Rebecca Walter and Jeromy Hauser discuss their natural candle business, creating a judgement-free environment, and persevering to do what you set out to do.

Founder Loren Beadle describes starting his wine bars in retirement after an IPO, his passion for collecting, and his transition from sporting goods stores to footwear and more.

Founder Greg Grovey talks about believing in your own vision, grinding toward your goals, and making memories for community members.