The Localist: A Podcast for Local Businesses (and the People Who Love Them)

The Localist is a conversation with local makers and independent entrepreneurs. Author and local business advocate Carrie Rollwagen invites mom-and-pops, freelancers, side hustlers, and start-up founders to talk about the ins-and-outs of how they got their start, the pros and cons of owning your own business, how they handle the hard stuff, and yes, even the mistakes they’ve made along the way. Carrie and her guests get into the nitty-gritty details: staffing, funding, hiring, and inspiring — and everything in between.

As a former small business owner, Carrie navigates the conversation to get the insider info we all want to know and delivers it with a sense of humor and humility. This podcast has something for everyone, whether your business is already thriving or you’re just now forming your first big idea.

(Showrunner: Michelle Phillips, Sound Engineer: Brad Davis.)

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Intern, Assistant, Freelancer, Boss: Florist and Stylist Kathleen Varner on Forging a Career as a Creative Professional
September 24, 2020
Kathleen Varner, florist, graphic designer, and prop stylist in Birmingham, AL joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Kathleen tells us what drew her to styling and what being on set is really like (not as glamorous as you might think!). Kathleen breaks down her journey from intern to freelancer, and how every job she’s had along the way has prepared her for what she’s doing now. View Show Notes
COVID-19 and Employment Law: Protecting Yourself, Your Staff and Your Business with Attorney and Influencer Kameron Monet
September 17, 2020
Kameron Monet Buckner, influencer and Associate Attorney practicing employment litigation in Birmingham, AL, joins Carrie on The Localist this week to discuss laws related to remote working. Kameron and Carrie discuss FMLA and the CARES Act, and what is and isn’t legal when you’ve been furloughed. Then they switch gears to cover influencing: how Kameron integrated her love of beauty and fashion with law. View Show Notes
Managing a Remote Team with Deb Miller of Ken Chapman & Associates
September 10, 2020
Deb Miller, managing principal at organizational development consulting firm Ken Chapman & Associates, joins Carrie this week to tackle managing remote teams. Many workforces are still partly remote, and Deb details some of the challenges she’s seen, including technology and equipment and the eternal struggles of effective communication. View Show Notes
Can Company Culture Survive Remote Working? Strategies for Zoom Parties, Staff Recognition, Employee Onboarding and More
September 3, 2020
This week on The Localist, Carrie dives into maintaining company culture while much of the workforce is still working remotely, and who better to join her for that conversation than two of her coworkers! Josh Brown, Customer Support Lead and introvert, and Bo Billingsley, Sales Specialist and extrovert, share their reactions to virtual team building ideas like coworker chat-roulette and Zoom yoga classes. View Show Notes
Communication Tools Your Remote Office Needs with Michael Stuckey of Infomedia
August 20, 2020
Michael Stuckey, Head of Support Development at Infomedia, joins Carrie this week to talk about working remotely and the systems that can help remote work run smoothly. Stuckey and Carrie discuss why they chose the products they currently use at Infomedia, and why Slack is superior to all (Stuckey really, really loves Slack!). They move on to the Google Suite, Trello, VPN security and password managers. View Show Notes
When Your Live Event Goes Virtual: Brooke Fleming of Digital Motion on Pivoting Conferences, Hybrid Events, Meetings and More
August 13, 2020
Brooke Fleming, Chief Revenue Officer of the tech focused event services and AV company Digital Motion, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Brooke and Carrie discuss how Digital Motion actually pulls off virtual and hybrid events, including partnerships, sponsorships, breakout sessions, and even marketing. View Show Notes
Leaving Entrepreneurship: From Coffee Shop Owner to Corporate Vice President
August 6, 2020
The Localist’s showrunner Michelle Phillips joins Carrie again this week for part two of Carrie’s journey from employee to business owner, and back to corporate life. Michelle and Carrie dive in with how a side business for Church Street led to Carrie writing a book and ultimately realizing she needed to move on. Carrie describes building up her freelance work again, and how she landed a steady job that gave her both stability and freedom to continue freelancing and pursuing creative projects. View Show Notes
So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Making the Leap from Employee to Owner
July 30, 2020
The Localist’s showrunner Michelle Phillips joins Carrie on the podcast this week to dive into Carrie’s transition from corporate life to being a small business owner. Carrie describes the process of opening Church Street Coffee and Books, from merely being part of an idea to being fully on board. Both Carrie and her business partner had a lot of experience in their respective fields before opening the shop, and they crafted a business plan to reflect that and gain the confidence of potential investors. View Show Notes
Strategic Partnerships: From Relying on Family to Strengthening Your Network with Tanesha Sims-Summers of Naughty but Nice Kettle Corn
July 23, 2020
Tanesha Sims-Summers, owner of Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn, tells us the ultimate goal behind her business, the fears she felt in the beginning, and how Naughty But Nice became a family business after a dissolved partnership. Tanesha takes us through the process of getting their food truck up and running, and how they’ve maintained their philanthropic goals even through quarantine. View Show Notes
“We’re Open” Is Just the Beginning: Laurin Humphries of Humphries Screen Printing on How Signage Can Build Your Brand and Keep Customers Loyal
July 16, 2020
Laurin Humphries, owner and founder of Humphries Screen Printing, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Masks and signage have been the bulk of pandemic-related requests they’ve received, and Laurin lists some great options for businesses to both communicate and make their customers feel safe. They wrap up with creative solutions Laurin has seen from businesses during quarantine and how to choose effective signage for your budget. View Show Notes
Andrew Thomson of A Studio on Branding, Freelance Design … and Zoom Horror Stories
July 9, 2020
Andrew Thomson, the freelance graphic designer behind A Studio, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Andrew and Carrie share their worst quarantine Zoom calls and discuss how the pandemic has affected their work loads. Andrew tells us more about what he does in a day and gives us the inside scoop on the branding of a few local businesses. Andrew and Carrie talk about the pros and cons of freelancing, the need for a creative outlet that’s not also billable hours, and the elusive state of work-life balance. View Show Notes
Clarify Your Open Hours, Mask Policy and Curbside Rules: Confusion Turns Away Customers
July 2, 2020
This week on The Localist, Carrie is diving into all things communication. Communicating with customers and patrons has always been important, but it’s been taken to a new level with the pandemic, subsequent closings, and regulations that seem to change every day. There are a few main things every business needs to communicate, and Carrie breaks those down along with creating a system to communicate with staff, and tips for in-store signage and social media. View Show Notes
Why Pay for Interior Design? AnthroStyle Designer Courtenay Rollwagen on Build Outs, Budgets and Branding Your Business
June 25, 2020
Courtenay Rollwagen, the stylist and designer behind AnthroStyle Interiors, joins Carrie on The Localist this week. Courtenay and Carrie dive in with the reasons a small business owner would benefit from hiring an interior designer even if they have a small budget, and they discuss practical design tips for small businesses to consider both in COVID-related times and in general. The sisters wrap up with best practices for vetting and working with your interior designer. View Show Notes
How to Buy from Black Owned Businesses
June 18, 2020
It’s just Carrie this week, and she discusses the why behind buying local, and how that ties in to the bigger issues going on in the world right now related to race. Big changes take time, but Carrie breaks down the ways in which buying decisions can have a positive ripple effect in your community. Carrie tells us more pros of buying local, from better policies and more ethical decisions at local businesses versus corporations, to more money going back into your community from buying local. View Show Notes
When Fast Casual Meets Coronavirus: Mary Claire Britton of Greenhouse Talks Carryout, Curbside and Customer Service
June 11, 2020
Mary Claire Britton of Greenhouse, the salad-forward feel-good eatery in Homewood, AL, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Mary Claire tells us how she and her husband Bray started Greenhouse less than a year before COVID-19. Fortunately, to-go orders have always been a big part of their business, but Mary Claire describes other ways they have been impacted by the pandemic including sourcing ingredients, partnering with meal delivery apps, and having to downsize staff. View Show Notes
Running a Touch-Based Business During Social Distancing: Lemar Storey of Life Touch Massage on Networking, Pivoting and Reopening
June 4, 2020
Lemar Storey, owner and CEO of Life Touch Massage, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Pre-quarantine, Lemar was very intentional with every aspect of his business, from aesthetics to customer experience, and he tells us how he drew from his own experiences to bring his vision to life. Lemar then tells us his about the discrimination and blatant racism he’s faced as a black man, both personally and professionally, and how his mentors have helped him deal with those experiences. View Show Notes
When COVID-19 Shuts Your Doors, Explore Your Options: Jody Beasely of HMG Fitness on Online Workouts, Kettlebell Libraries and Working Out in a Mask
May 28, 2020
Jody Beasley, owner and head trainer at HMG Fitness, joins Carrie this week to talk about how the fitness industry is adjusting to pandemic related shut downs and stringent new regulations for reopening. Jody tells us when he realized this was going to be a big deal, the “gym library” system to keep members fit at home (complete with classes and training on Zoom!), and how he’s updated the space and practices after reopening last week. View Show Notes
Food Service During Quarantine: Zebbie Carney of Eugene’s Hot Chicken on Food Trucks, Curbside Service and Reopening
May 21, 2020
Zebbie Carney, CEO and founder of Eugene’s Hot Chicken, joins Carrie this week to discuss how Zebbie is adapting both his restaurant and food truck to deal with the pandemic. Zebbie and Carrie start off discussing how he and his crew have pivoted their food truck strategy, how their sales have been affected after losing foot traffic, and how Zebbie has prepared his staff to follow the ever-changing safety guidelines. Zebbie has worked with several nonprofits to donate meals to hospital staff and talks about the impressive creativity he’s seen from other local businesses. View Show Notes
Wedding Planning in the Time of COVID-19: Neillie Butler of Wedding Planning Company Mariée Ami on Helping Brides through the Ultimate Raincheck
May 14, 2020
Neillie Butler, founder and owner of wedding planning company Mariée Ami, tells us how she and her team jumped in to handle quarantine for their clients. Neillie gives us a glimpse into the experiences that have shaped her drive, her leadership style with her team, and her perspective in both her personal and professional life. Neillie and Carrie then chat about Ami à Vie, the new lifestyle brand recently launched under Mariée Ami, and wrap up with what they’re learning during this crisis and what they hope to continue post-pandemic. View Show Notes
Rebranding Little Professor and Rethinking the Independent Bookstore: Free Textbooks Founder Jonathan Robinson Buys a Brick and Mortar Shop
May 7, 2020
Jonathan Robinson, new owner of Little Professor bookstore in Homewood, AL, joins Carrie this week. Jonathan has an extensive history in the online book industry through Free Textbooks, and he tells us how he is translating that experience to a brick and mortar location. Jonathan took ownership of Little Professor only a few weeks before quarantine started and chats about how it has impacted the business. View Show Notes
When the Show Can’t Go On: Brian Teasley of Saturn on Running a Music Venue During COVID-19
April 30, 2020
Brian Teasley, founder and owner of Saturn in Birmingham, AL, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Saturn is celebrating its fifth year as a music venue, bar, and coffee shop, and Brian tells us how he pulled from his years of experience as both a touring musician and venue co-owner (of Birmingham’s Bottletree) to make Saturn such a success. They talk about the fire that sidelined Saturn years ago and the pandemic that has the venue shuttered today, then wrap up by discussing how to support not only Saturn, but the broader arts and business community as well. View Show Notes
Through a Glass, Darkly: David O’Gwynn on Remote Lectures, Zoom Meetings and Our Attempt at Virtual Connection During Quarantine
April 23, 2020
David O’Gwynn, chair of the computer science department at Belhaven University and freelance security professional, joins Carrie. They dive in with how much harder it is to teach remotely, and how none of the video conferencing apps are really cutting it. David points out that now is the time for tech companies to build something better for humanity than what’s currently out there and discusses the long term impacts this pandemic could have on both students and universities. View Show Notes
How to Lead a Team During Quarantine: Susan Rollwagen on Managing Remotely in a Time of Uncertainly and Stress
April 16, 2020
Susan Rollwagen, owner and founder of Pepperbox Solutions, helps businesses with performance management and achieving common goals, so we thought she would be the perfect guest to talk about working remotely. Susan and Carrie discuss running meetings remotely, how to reprimand employees, how to work with parents who are juggling raising kids and working full time, and how to encourage people. Susan and Carrie wrap up by discussing how to communicate layoffs and furloughs. View Show Notes
When Your Spouse Is Your Coworker: Russell Marbut and Carrie Rollwagen on Remote Work and Professional Partnerships
April 9, 2020
Carrie’s guest this week is Russell Marbut, who is both Carrie’s coworker and her husband. Carrie and Russell already work together, and are also working together remotely during quarantine. Russell and Carrie start off with a typical WFH day, and discuss the differences between working together before quarantine and during quarantine. They then move on to the challenges of communication while working remotely, the emotional roller coaster some of us might be on, and how exercise is a big part of maintaining some semblance of normalcy. View Show Notes
Saying Goodbye to Your Business: Former Business Owner Derek Brown on What to Expect When You Leave Your Company
April 2, 2020
This week, Carrie is joined by Derek Brown, former co-owner of WideNet Consulting, on what it’s like to leave the business you’ve built. Derek tells us what made him decide to leave the business he co-founded and gives us some insight on how to make a business split a little less traumatic. He then touches on the possibility of forcibly losing a business during this global health crisis, how Derek’s business survived the recession of 2008, and what he thinks it will take for a business to survive this new kind of crisis. View Show Notes
Shortcuts to Self Care: When the Bare Minimum Is All We Can Handle, Let’s Make It Count
March 31, 2020
Carrie is back with another short bonus episode about how to take care of yourself during a global health crisis, even if that seems impossible. Carrie breaks down some of the basic human needs (sleep, food, movement, and yes, even showering!) and gives shortcuts for when changing out of your pjs sounds too daunting. She wraps up with the critical importance of community, especially during this time, and introduces us to the idea of health bingo. View Show Notes
Hope in the Time of Quarantine: A Bonus Chat with Carrie Rollwagen
March 26, 2020
In this short bonus episode, Carrie shares unfiltered thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic. She looks to history and to literature for perspective on our current state of events and shines light on the realities of a shut down of most shops and services (especially for small business owners!). She wraps up with some of the opportunities that we still have that hold hope for the future for artists and entrepreneurs. View Show Notes
COVID-19 Threatens Small Business: Connor Knapp of Piper & Leaf Tea Gets Real about Running a Food and Beverage Company During Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Connor Knapp, co-owner and co-founder of Piper & Leaf Tea Co. delves into how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses. In this incredibly honest conversation, Connor and Carrie discuss the pros and cons of shutting down a business, what the stimulus plans really offer, and how big corporations are still making huge profits during this crisis. Connor talks about his contingency plan, how they are trying to pivot the business to meet the needs of the community, and the importance of adapting as quickly as possible. View Show Notes
Handling the Haters: Morgan Johnston of Club Duquette on How to Respond When Someone Bashes Your Brand on Social Media
March 19, 2020
Morgan Johnston of Rugged & Fancy and Club Duquette joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist to discuss the ins and outs of pushback on social media and in building a business. Morgan and Carrie kick off the conversation discussing a recent incident that Morgan had on social media that took her back to a previous experience with a troll in 2014. Morgan tells us how that experience affected everything going on in her life at the time, and how she handles negative comments now versus then. View Show Notes
Go Your Own Way: How Questioning Norms, Cultivating Curiosity and Pushing Boundaries Helped Seth Newell Build Ala Grip Co.
March 12, 2020
Seth Newell, founder and owner of Ala Grip Co., joins Carrie Rollwagen on this week’s episode of The Localist. Ala Grip Co. is a Birmingham-based rental company specializing in lighting, grip, and production equipment. Seth tells us about the logistics of storing all of his equipment and the value in having a supportive community in Birmingham. Seth and Carrie get into networking, the barter system, and how Seth’s early entrepreneurial spirit showed itself with dumpster diving. Seth and Carrie wrap up with some great travel tips and a shoutout to some local companies. View Show Notes
Translating Tech: How Newberry Consulting Changed Its Focus to Help Founders Navigate the Changing Frontiers of Technology
March 5, 2020
Trevor Newberry of Newberry Consulting joins Carrie this week on The Localist. We dig into the topics of software products, the necessity of meeting your client where they are, and the surprising amount of creativity involved in web development. Trevor and Carrie then tell us how not to work with developers. Trevor details networking, mentors, building relationship and working with a digital assistant. Trevor and Carrie wrap up with building your team and the merit of some personality tests over others (Enneagram or Meyers-Briggs!). View Show Notes
Come Back Strong: How to Rejoin the Work Force with a Solid Resume after Maternity, Sabbatical, Extended Leave or Side Hustles
February 27, 2020
Susan Rollwagen, owner and founder of Pepperbox Solutions (and Carrie’s mom!), is back on The Localist this week. Susan and Carrie focus on the topic of stepping away from the workforce with the ultimate goal of returning at some point. Susan gives pointers for how to stay engaged during time away from work and encourages anyone considering time off to make a plan for re-entry. She gives us some killer tips for crafting a resume, discusses the power of transferable skills, and talks about finding opportunities for self development. View Show Notes
Start Lean, Dream Big: Craig Hurst of Gearbox Adventure Rentals on Family-Friendly Camping, Planning for the Future and #VanLife
February 20, 2020
Craig Hurst, owner and founder of the Birmingham-based camper van rental company Gearbox Adventure Rentals, joins Carrie on this week’s episode. Craig tells us how Gearbox refined the process of camper van build outs and running business operations: marketing the business at events, deciding which vans to use, and the surprising benefits of not having investors in the beginning. Craig wraps up by giving us the scoop on some of the future plans for Gearbox. View Show Notes
How Not to Make Money as a Writer: Carrie Rollwagen on Freelancing, Fiction and Imposter Syndrome
February 13, 2020
On this week’s episode of The Localist, Carrie is joined once again by showrunner Michelle Phillips. Carrie and Michelle take a deep dive into Carrie’s experience as a freelancer and writer, getting real about the feasibility of making a living as a freelancer, the misleading nature of social media, and whether all the hard work and hustling pays off eventually. They wrap up the conversation with the double-edged sword of being your own boss, imposter syndrome, feeling like a failure, and whether the struggle between making art and making money is worth it. View Show Notes
When to Quit the Dream Job: Stylist Drea Z. Harbin on Creativity, Burnout, and Her New Fashion Venture, Eyes of Wise
February 6, 2020
Drea Z. Harbin, artist, graphic designer, creative entrepreneur, and owner of the vintage clothing and jewelry collection Eyes of Wise, joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Drea and Carrie dive into Drea’s transition from agency art director to independent entrepreneur, how the advice from men can differ from the advice given by women, how change can sometimes feel like failure, and how slowing down and self care are crucial. They wrap up with the sustainability aspect of buying second hand and local, Drea drops some shocking statistics about the fashion industry and then offers tips on how to make the change to more sustainable clothing options. View Show Notes
Communication Is Critical: Aaron Lane of Lane Woodworking on Why It’s Best to Be Honest about Mistakes, Pricing and Expectations
January 30, 2020
Aaron Lane of Lane Woodworking, a custom cabinetry and fine furniture company, joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Aaron shares his approach to Instagram and talks about what he got out of his marketing degree. Then they dive into business operations: how he discusses pricing with clients and how that has evolved through the years, how he manages working on a team with other designers and contractors, and how important it is to know your own limitations. Aaron and Carrie wrap up with the Airstream Aaron purchased as office space for the team — who wouldn’t want to have a meeting in an Airstream?! View Show Notes
Cultivating Networks, Connecting on Social Media and Building Creative Community with Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography
January 23, 2020
Kelly Cummings of the Birmingham-based photography studio Spindle Photography joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Kelly and Carrie dive into the behind-the-scenes aspects of running your own business: websites, accountants, hard stuff you never thought you’d have to learn, and the joy of finally being able to outsource. Kelly tells us the value in setting boundaries, explains what a styled shoot is, and gives the low down on what a second shooter does. View Show Notes
Working with Family Members: When It Works, Why It’s Tricky, and How to Protect Your Business and Your Relationship (Featuring Susan Rollwagen of Pepperbox Solutions)
January 16, 2020
Susan Rollwagen of Pepperbox Solutions joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Susan is a performance management consultant who works with small businesses to help get their teams aligned. Susan also happens to be Carrie’s mom! So there’s no better topic for them to discuss than the pitfalls and benefits of working with family members (and friends). Susan shares how to go about entering into a professional relationship with someone you’re close to personally: how to tell if you’re making the right hire, how to have difficult conversations, and the importance of deciding on an exit strategy before you begin. View Show Notes
From Side Hustle to Startup: “See Jane Write” Founder Javacia Harris Bowser on Live Events, Facebook Groups and Transitioning from Teaching
January 9, 2020
Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. See Jane Write is a community for writers that offers support, advice, guidance, and so much more to its members. Javacia tells us how she got started with events, how she went about getting those set up, and her goal of doing more events in 2020. Javacia and Carrie wrap up the conversation talking about the hustle of entrepreneurship, work/life balance (spoiler — it’s a myth!), and Javacia’s best tips for anyone who wants to start writing. View Show Notes
Tech to Table: Mary Drennen, Co-Founder of Meal Delivery Service Nourish, on Building a Business in Food Delivery’s New Frontier
January 2, 2020
This week on The Localist, Mary Drennen of Nourish Foods, a meal delivery service based in Birmingham, AL that specializes in providing healthy meal and snack options throughout the southeast, joins Carrie. Mary and Carrie talk about scaling a business, the woes of using new technologies, and the value of designing your products around meeting customers where they are. We wrap up the conversation with how Nourish advertises, a blessing in disguise involving the health department, and what Nourish has in store for expanding their offerings in 2020. View Show Notes
From Barista to Business Owner: Showrunner Michelle Phillips Interviews Carrie Rollwagen, Cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books
December 25, 2019
On this week’s episode of The Localist, Carrie is joined by Michelle Phillips. Michelle is usually behind the scenes as the showrunner for The Localist, but the tables are turned! Carrie and Michelle dive into entrepreneurship: Carrie tells us how she learned how to manage people, how she met her former business partner and how Church Street Coffee and Books came to be, what it was like managing a coffee shop versus a bookshop. View Show Notes
The Machines of Creation: “Timelapse Guy” Paul Bryant on Finding Your Niche, Connecting with a Tribe and Making a Mid-Career Pivot
December 19, 2019
Paul Bryant joins Carrie on this week’s episode of the The Localist. Paul, along with his wife Courtney, own and run Kinora Films, a premier videography and production company based in Birmingham, AL. Paul and Carrie start off with what a timelapse actually is, the technology he uses to create timelapse videos, and how long a timelapse shot usually takes (hint: bring snacks!). Paul then tells us how he got his start with weddings, how he carved out a niche combining film and digital, and just how terrifying it can be to shoot with film on a wedding day. We wrap up the conversation with how Paul found mentors and formed friendships with local photographers, dealing with imposter syndrome, and how everything he’s learned along this journey feeds into creativity even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. View Show Notes
Morgan Mondy of Mae Studio on Building a Business, Expanding a Brand and Making a Graceful Exit
December 12, 2019
Morgan Mondy, owner of Mae Studio, joins Carrie on The Localist this week. Morgan and Carrie dive in with what it’s like to almost simultaneously open a new business and sell a business (it’s not for the faint of heart!). Morgan tells us what she envisioned for Mae, the client experience she wanted to create, how college isn’t for everyone, and how a passion for learning is one of the keys to success. Morgan describes the early days of her first salon and how it differs from Mae, and the importance of company culture. View Show Notes
From Head Baker to Business Owner: Mallory Webb of Daughter’s Baking on the Transition from Side Hustle to Small Business Success
December 5, 2019
Mallory Webb, owner of Daughters Baking, joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Mallory and Carrie discuss when Mallory knew it was time to take the leap and go full-time with Daughters Baking, and how Mallory prepped for that. Mallory then shares how she reacts to feedback and her process for developing flavors. We wrap up with a conversation about the value of making connections, assessing risks, staffing, and how it feels to be a boss. View Show Notes
Shop Small Saturday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday: Is It Too Late to Make Them Work for Your Business?
November 27, 2019
On this special Thanksgiving Day episode of The Localist, Carrie goes solo and dishes out (see what we did there ;) ) some great Black Friday / Small Business Saturday / Cyber Monday / Opt Outside tips that any local business could put into practice. While it might be too late to host an event, there are other ways to get mileage out of the shopping holidays, and setting yourself up for success this holiday season is always a good idea. Carrie serves up easy and practical tips for how to handle everything in-store from figuring out what to put on sale, how to strategically decorate, and how to train your staff for the holiday season. She delves into social media, too, covering everything from hashtagging to highlighting gift ideas to telling the story behind your business. View Show Notes
Music Lessons: Will Mason of Mason Music Shares about Teaching Children, Entrepreneurship and the Upcoming Woodlawn Theatre Renovation
November 21, 2019
Will Mason of Mason Music joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Will is a Birmingham native who is making big moves in the local music world. Will and Carrie start off the conversation with Will and Mason Music’s biggest venture yet: opening up a music school AND music venue in the renovated Woodlawn Theater. Will tells us about their process for opening each of the different locations, the weird things you find when you renovate, and how they went about getting investors to really see the vision behind Mason Music’s aspirations through. View Show Notes
Consume with Respect: Nathan Pocus of Domestique Coffee on Global Impact and Community Connection
November 13, 2019
Nathan Pocus of Domestique Coffee joins Carrie this week and jumps right in with how Domestique got started. Spending time in Haiti sparked Nathan’s interest in the rich and varied coffees from the region and inspired him to bring it back to Birmingham. Nathan then gives us a brief history lesson on Haiti, defines a few cycling terms (fun fact: peloton is not just an expensive indoor bike), and breaks down the nitro cold brew process. Nathan and Carrie discuss forming business partnerships, especially when global trade is involved, what surprised him about buying globally, and how Domestique tells the stories of the farms and communities the coffee comes from. View Show Notes
Vision for the Future: Dr. Lori Jasper of NowVision Eye Care Shares How Customer Connection Is Good for Your Health (and Her Bottom Line)
November 6, 2019
Dr. Lori Jasper, optometrist and owner of NowVision Eye Care, joins Carrie on this week’s episode of The Localist. Dr. Lori and Carrie touch on the woes of healthcare coverage and Dr. Lori tells us how she handles tough conversations with patients. They then move into business operations: choosing a location and making it feel welcoming, hiring and training employees, and how Lori handles owning and operating a business while being an introvert (we’re big fans of her suggestions: self care and naps!). They wind up the conversation with how Dr. Lori competes with the Warby Parkers and other big-box retailers of frames. View Show Notes
Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble: Nancey Legg of Better Kombucha Shares the Trials and Tribulations of Fermenting Tea
October 31, 2019
Nancey Legg of Better Kombucha joins Carrie on this episode of The Localist! Nancey starts us off with the basics: What is kombucha?! (Think good ol’ southern sweet tea, but with a little bubbly goodness.) Nancey then gives us a brief history lesson, tells us about fermentation and ABV, and shares what inspired and motivated her to get started in the first place. View Show Notes
Localist Live: Localist Listeners Share Favorite Birmingham Shops
October 23, 2019
On this week’s episode, The Localist goes live! Well, we WENT live at the the Localist Launch Party hosted at Dreamers Supply Company. To celebrate the official launch of the podcast, Carrie’s dad, Mike Rollwagen, interviewed a few volunteers at the party about a whole host of localist topics! We hear from Stephanie first about the best ways to discover new music; Sara Margaret tells us about the magic of goat cheese and eating local; Andrew persuades us to try out Trattoria Zaza (as if we really needed convincing); Mary Katherine gives some local love to Zoe’s Vintage; and Clay serves up some sizzling local coffee recs. View Show Notes
Living the Dream: Husband-and-Wife Team Kaitlin and Alan Slattery Curate and Create at Dreamers Supply Co.
October 5, 2019
Dreamers Supply Co's charming and magical shop owners, Kaitlin and Alan Slattery, talk with Carrie on today's episode. The husband and wife team share about leaving their comfort zones (Stable jobs! Health insurance! PTO!) to pursue an education at Savannah College of Art and Design. The pair also talk about working with your spouse and balancing the need to take time and space for yourself, learning how to communicate and ask for what you need, and starting a business from the ground up. You’ll learn how these entrepreneurs feel about social media (spoiler: Alan hates it), how to give and receive critiques on creative projects, and how to find a mentor. This episode packs a lot of practical information and delivers it with a sense of humor! View Show Notes
Everything Is Networking: Mateo Zarate, Founder of CrowneWorks Creative Media
October 5, 2019
In this episode of The Localist, Carrie is joined Mateo Zarate (@mateozdigital) of CrowneWorks Creative Media. You’ll learn the best way to refresh your content, the right questions to ask to quote a client, and tips for how to get clients to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. These tips are coming straight from a pro, so you know they’re good! The duo also discuss how they hire freelancers, their positions on taking free work or working for trade, and how that can sometimes work out better in the long run (cough-no taxes-cough). They round out the episode discussing the importance of networking in person (yes, it makes a difference!), and Mateo gives us pointers on how to do a pitch. View Show Notes
Meet the Localist
October 5, 2019
Carrie Rollwagen (@crollwagen) is a writer and entrepreneur with a penchant for frequenting — and founding — small businesses. Carrie co-founded a successful coffee shop and bookstore, worked for years as a freelancer for publications like Southern Living, teaches classes on writing and marketing for small businesses, and is currently a VP at a mid-size web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. She spent a year buying only from locally owned stores and blogging about the experience; she turned that experience into a book, The Localist, published in 2014. The Localist podcast isn’t just the next chapter in her exploration of local business; it’s also a how-to manual for anyone who wants to work for themselves. View Show Notes