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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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