Beyond the Brick and Mortar with Duquette Johnston

In this episode of The Localist, host Carrie Rollwagen speaks with musician and small business advocate Duquette Johnston about the evolution of his business, Club Duquette. Duquette recounts how the store, initially a brick-and-mortar establishment in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood, transitioned into an online store and lifestyle brand. Duquette and his wife, Morgan Jones Johnston, started with minimal funds, shared space with another business and built their brand by deeply engaging with the local community. 

The pandemic significantly impacted their business model, prompting a shift towards a more focused and curated approach. Duquette emphasizes the importance of building community trust through newsletters and blogs long before selling any products. He discusses how the pandemic and economic changes influenced his decision to close the physical store to prioritize personal and professional growth.

Duquette also addresses key business philosophies and leadership principles he values, such as slow productivity and authentic customer engagement. He shares insights from his experience with well-known brands like Levi’s and his commitment to fostering a family-like atmosphere within his business. The episode also touches on the practical challenges of operating a small business, from managing inventory and shipping costs to creating unique customer experiences.

Mentioned in this episode:

Club Duquette Website:

Club Duquette Instagram:

Communicating Vessels and Jeffrey Cain:

Clayton Chambers Spr.ezza newsletter:

Great Bear Wax:

Beverly Hills Juice:

Creative Visualization book:

Buy Yourself the F*ing Lilies:

Frank and Pardis Stitt:

Nine Orchard Hotel:

Human Design:


Ursa Major:

Stan Ray:

Rugged and Fancy:

Evan Kinori:

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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