From the Basement Up - Season One Recap
Michelle: Hello, everyone. And welcome to-
Emily: Are you going to do the sparkles?
Michelle: Yes. Sparkle. Hello, everyone. And welcome to From The Basement Up. I have Emily here with me today and we are doing the recap of season one. So this is a very exciting day. And did you think we'd ever make it here?
Emily: Honestly, no. I wasn't sure that we were going to ever end with a season one. So I'm excited that it's kind of fallen in perfect timing with the busy season, right around the corner and-
Michelle: Your finals.
Emily: Finals, a busy summer, hopefully a big transitional stage for me and my location as well. And hopefully we come back with season two and-
Michelle: In the fall.
Emily: Yeah, from remote location, maybe New York, New York.
Michelle: I know. I'm trying to talk Emily into staying with me up here in old, good old upstate New York. But I-
Emily: But we all know I'm a 23 year old raising college grad and we all want Emily to go experience the world, right?
Michelle: Yes. But you're going to come back up someday. I just know it, so-
Emily: And those are California. If it's still there.
Michelle: Goodness. Don't say that.
Emily: I know. I'm sorry. I mean, it's a climate crisis. We have to be transparent.
Michelle: Okay. Okay. But what we're going to do today is discuss our amazing guests that we've had. Just a quick recap on everything and kind of what it was like to even get the podcast up and going for all of you out there who are thinking about starting a podcast.
Emily: Yeah. It's been how many weeks I want to say like-
Michelle: Well, I believe that we're coming up to 20 episodes.
Emily: Yeah. So maybe about 20 weeks. About probably 40 weeks of preparation in total and lots and lots of bumps.
Emily: If we had even an extra two weeks at the beginning of this project, just of preparation work, because you get into it and everybody says," Okay, give yourself a month per guest." And we had maybe one week per guest to totally dedicate our time and planning to that guest.
Michelle: Yes. Some guests we did plan for in advance, but I do agree some were rushed. And the other thing I think that we needed to do that we figured out later was to create recording weeks where you'd have three to four guests in a week. And then that gave you the opportunity to take time, to do your amazing, magical editing, and also work around your school. Because you've been going to grad school this whole time.
Emily: Which has been such an amazing opportunity. And just a quick shout out to the master of legal studies at American University. I found you guys online and this is an online program with a one weekend immersion that you get to go to DC. And it was just exactly what I needed, came at the exact perfect time. And it couldn't have been a better balance with just starting this podcast as a passion project and having my master of legal studies to work on the other hand of my balances. So my balancing scale.
Michelle: And don't forget you graduated from University of Indiana and then you were in COVID.
Emily: Yeah. Busy last year.
Michelle: It has been busy, so it was fantastic. I'm not good at getting out there and putting myself forward. So this was flexing those muscles that I don't think I was very comfortable with and it's been good for me to start doing that. But the biggest thing is I loved the stories. I loved talking to people and hearing where they started and their progress and their evolution. And that to me was the biggest joy of starting this and moving forward. We're going to do a quick recap for everyone of all the different episodes and kind of our takeaway about the individual and what they're doing. But at the end of this, I think there were some underlying themes.
Emily: Completely. Yeah, definitely. That some of our guests had just such similar fundamental values and the way that they looked at things like male versus female, that was one that was super prominent. And I did not. That was the last thing I expected was we had predominantly female guests, which is awesome again, women in business and women entrepreneurs, and momtrepreneurs, mompreneurs.
Emily: But yeah, definitely the duality of these, both women and men coming in and saying the differences of female and male and the masculine and the feminine, it's incorporated in business. And I just think that that is the most amazing thing. And it makes me excited to get into the business field.
Michelle: Yes. And it was interesting also hearing that I don't remember that coming from men that we interviewed, I remember that coming from women more than men and under the women understanding the difference. And that was very interesting. The first guest that we had outside of you and I was Maya Gray and Maya has started-
Emily: Well, we had the employee interviews first.
Michelle: Yes. Okay.
Emily: In bulk.
Michelle: In bulk.
Emily: We should have stuck with that, the way we did that. But I don't know. I liked doing it like that. Because we got to not only test out how we were going to ask questions and test out how we were going to record. We didn't even know how to record on Garage Band yet.
Michelle: We didn't know how to do anything.
Emily: Yeah. So we were just Guinea pigs, one in at a time. It's your recording day. Thank you so much. Let's give them the shout out.
Michelle: Yes. Well actually we've got to do... Wait, where is it now? Emily allowed me to use those buttons because all along. She's like," No, you can't use them all." Because I keep trying to push them and she's like," No, they're a little cheesy. You don't want to do them too much."
Emily: You'll have to let us know, season two, if we should incorporate.
Michelle: Absolutely. So as far as the employee interviews go, we had how many? Five?
Emily: Yeah, I think-
Michelle: We had Joanna then Rob, then Amy then Brent.
Emily: Yeah. And then we'll finish with Ashley.
Michelle: Ashley. Okay. And that was good. It really was. I remember in the beginning I was super nervous being on the microphone and you could tell.
Emily: We didn't even have all of our equipment yet. These nice screens that were covering the mics, we were still getting used to that, but yeah. And definitely just asking the questions and those interviews were really fun and just light. And then immediately with Maya, we jumped into just-
Michelle: I pulled in my sister- in- law for the first out of house interview and she was gracious and did that for us and-
Emily: Totally vulnerable and open and we just got to hear everything and it was a complete-
Michelle: And she got into the details.
Emily: Yeah. A great way to kick off the podcast.
Michelle: Yeah. Just kind of put out there her exposure with the student loans and kind of talking about going from a full- time teaching position into law school and then becoming your own independent lawyer.
Emily: And before, becoming a part of a firm that maybe wasn't right for her at the time. And then that forced her to look at what she needed and what was going to be the next thing that would fit her needs and her child's life that had come into the world and-
Michelle: And her growing family.
Emily: Yeah. And then COVID yes.
Michelle: Gosh, that's right.
Emily: At the exact moment.
Michelle: And just fearless, fearless decisions. But just knowing that that quiet confidence that she could pull it through and just be so resilient. So I felt like she's just such a good role model for people in that way. Just you can do this, you can get through it. And then after Maya, we had Ghuan, Ghuan Featherstone and-
Emily: That was awesome. He was really great.
Michelle: With Urban Saddles. And I saw him on a TV show on ABC and his-
Emily: We watched the episode right before.
Michelle: Yes. I made Emily watch the episode and just loved his laugh, just a really infectious laugh. But really, I just have something for people, just this huge admiration who look at people in their community or kids or children, how can I help and make this better? And he came out of the military immediately wanting to help his community.
Emily: Another common theme-
Emily: ...that you just reminded me of-
Michelle: The service.
Emily: Yeah. A lot of people come out of serving and want to start a small business and give back to their community. The reasoning behind it was to help their community.
Michelle: And it just is that American, I can do this, how do I make it happen? And it really was a beautiful theme that we ended up having three guests that had all had military service. So listening to Ghuan, listening to how he's helping kids in his community and also the cowboy code of the west inspiring this culture shift and allowing, creating a safe place for kids to go to in his community. And I love that.
Emily: Yeah, I did too. And especially learning it's not just about taking a ride through the city and calling yourself a cowboy and adhering to the cowboy coat of the west. They took these kids in and the kids formed relationships with these horses and probably developed parts of responsibilities that they had never had to do before and would never have to do before. I've never even touched a horse, I don't think. And so that was very, very cool. It wasn't just hop on a horse and we'll do some good today. It was very intentional and it was down to the independent person and it was just so special. You could feel-
Michelle: A mindfulness. You have to work for this and you have to work for relationships. And then also getting the families involved. So they're very special work, amazing work. And then after Ghuan we had Jeff Brian come in from the Positivity Project.
Emily: Yeah. And that's what maybe why I thought that there was some of the femininity coming in through his interview was because of it was the softer leadership skills that I don't hear about coming from men as often. He was an interview that I really, and this was my first remote interview, Jeff's was, and I just got to sit back and listen to you guys chat. And he was really an interesting interview to listen to as well.
Michelle: Actually Jeff was the first guest, only guest I had come into the studio.
Emily: Yes. Yes. He was on site.
Michelle: And because of that, we talk through it and Name Bubbles is actually promoting the positivity project and the work the positivity project is doing and really trying to get that program into schools around the country. And Jeff and his partner have created this really amazing education curriculum around positive relationships and 24 character strengths and working with schools to implement this curriculum. So trying to work with him to build the awareness for schools around the country. And he was so inspiring as well and listening to how that got started.
Emily: Yeah. And just starting small and with little things, acts of kindness and listening and just developing those small soft, I hate to even call them soft, but I think that it kind of gives them power. We hear about being opinionated or aggressive as leadership skills, but you don't need that.
Michelle: Not at all.
Emily: It's probably better to go the other way around and show that you can be trustworthy and compassionate. So I really enjoyed listening to his and the movement that they're doing, honestly.
Michelle: Yes. And just that they're in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and even on namebubbles. com, the positivity corner is there encouraging families to get involved with this curriculum and let your schools know about it as well. So it just really is helpful. Especially kids coming out of COVID and struggling. I know that it's happening in the high school where my son's at. Kids were really struggling. So needing that positive reinforcement for them. The timing was great having Jeff here.
Emily: Yeah. And something I want to just add in really quickly too. The positivity project sent us a sweatshirt. I think it was. And it's so comfortable, but I also just want to stress the back. It has all of their characteristics on it and it's not only is it so cute and soft, but I don't know.
Michelle: The character strengths.
Emily: Yeah. They have all the character strengths on the back and it's just, I don't know. If you could show some love, no one knows we're doing this recap, but it's awesome. Yeah.
Michelle: I encourage everyone to look into the Positivity Project for your schools and your kids. If your school doesn't do it, the families can do it as well. So then we had my other sister- in- law come on, Brandy Sullivan with One World Cafe came and Brandy's one of those people that she really can do anything. I've always been amazed at her. She'll be running and training for a marathon, raising two kids. No kidding. Is a speech therapist at a hospital working with stroke patients and then running a cafe, a coffee shop. So truly amazing. But listening how she has now stepped back in some areas of her life a little bit. And then also beyond the, what was it? The council member for her town. So truly she really does walk. And Moscow, Idaho is where One World Cafe is and you can't walk down main street without her knowing 30 people. It's a process. So it's fabulous. She's helped create, or is part of an amazing community and listening to what a coffee shop can do in a community that needs it. And again, this theme, again, was people helping their community. That is definitely in there a hundred percent.
Emily: Yeah. And it was so small down to like she told one story about a student that was an international transfer student and she found One World Cafe to be her safe haven, where she could really relax and start to get to know people and find herself here, I guess. And so that was just so special and really, really, I mean, especially now with everything that's happening, it feels sometimes debilitating, we can't make change, but Brandy reminds us that you can start making change just by one person just in your community, just offering a space that makes them feel comfortable and welcome.
Michelle: I think that's a good point. When people think of starting a business, they may think it has to be big or this... Your business can make an impact on people's lives. And as long as you're enjoying the process and doing something you love, that positivity is going to impact other people.
Emily: Oh my God. And another common theme totally through everyone was love, love throughout everything that they do. And I think so far through everyone that we've even talked about in the four guests we've gone through love was definitely an underlying motivator for all of them.
Michelle: Okay. This is the perfect segue. Guess who we have next? We have Nicole Snow. So Nicole Snow, her business is called Darn Good Yarn. And it really does revolve around love, love of people and what Nicole has done and people have to, if you are a knitter, crochet or crafter, go to Darn Good Yarn and check this out. I mean, she has created her own supply chain. And-
Emily: I'm laughing because she calls herself a cult of crafters.
Michelle: She is. Yes.
Emily: That's so cute.
Michelle: Oh, by the way, I ended up getting some wrap skirts after and I have one for you.
Emily: Thank you.
Michelle: So she sells wrap skirts, like-
Emily: And headbands and oh my gosh, I'm signed up for the texts. And I swear to God, they send out a deal every single day. They just literally want people to craft and yeah, they created their own supply chain. And not only did they do that, but it's like benefiting the community in another, in Nepal, I think?
Michelle: So I should have said that, yes, she's creating her supply chain. But the reason she did this was she wanted to make sure that the supply chain was reliable and good, but she's actually creating safe jobs and a safe place for women in India to work and jobs and education for their kids. So she is actually creating like a village. Yeah.
Emily: She's helping definitely. Yeah.
Michelle: I mean definitely helping a village. So she's working with people there who are creating this safe place for a village of women to have a full- time job.
Emily: Yeah. And as the world becomes more globalized too, I mean and it's amazing because I mean, I haven't started a business, but the people that we've spoken to either, they stress that they have their manufacturers are from America or they have their own supply chain worked out. And I wouldn't know the difference of who works well for what or whatever. But she is helping a country that's so far away. And I mean how can you even begin to help with it and think you could have an impact-
Michelle: She blew my mind.
Emily: It's mind blowing.
Michelle: Yeah. So how did you start this? Baby steps is even hard to do, but she got on a plane and she went there and she figured it out.
Emily: And she could have so easily, there's a billion suppliers for craft stuff here. And I mean, you can help your local manufacturers, you can help American small business, all of that. But what she is doing is just as helpful. And it's like, I mean-
Michelle: She's making sure that not the middle person, isn't just the one making the money. She is making sure that the people who are actually making the profit have a good and safe living and for themselves and their families and-
Emily: She's making sure none of it changes either.
Emily: It is very, very cool.
Michelle: So remember Darn Good Yarn. That's a great episode to listen to. Now-
Emily: Darn good love. I think that was-
Michelle: Yeah. That's great. We were like-
Emily: That was the inaudible name. Yeah.
Michelle: Because everything she was doing was really done in love. And so by the end of it, I had totally convinced myself it was Darn Good Love rather than Darn Good Yarn. So the next guest you brought in-
Emily: It was Caitie, Caitie Gehlhausen of Socket Locket. She is my best friend from high school's cousin. And I mean, I met Caitie at her house at the Super Bowl party five years ago. And then now she is an entrepreneur. She's 23, I think, 24. She's my age. And she's a very successful business. She's in Walmart and she has a patent. I mean it's wild like-
Emily: It's so cool.
Michelle: It was her freshman year, right?
Michelle: That she started this project. She's an entrepreneur major goes to college, ends up kind of coming up with a concept through a real life experience and it takes off.
Emily: Yeah. And it was so, I mean, it probably has happened to all of us or at least everyone I know. You go out and you don't have your phone wallet on the back of your phone or you got sick of it or you don't have your purse or your cards fall out of your wallet. And Caitie was just like,"This is a need that isn't being filled."
Michelle: I can do this.
Emily: Totally. And yeah. I mean, it's just the coolest and I see Jenna has it on all the time and she has the little... they have the ones that you can switch in and out now. That have the different stickers.
Emily: She has one with her dog and one that's a plain solid color and I mean, she'll never take it off.
Michelle: That's so smart.
Emily: It's totally great. Yeah.
Michelle: That's great. And the other thing about Caitie was she found a manufacturer here in the US that she could work with.
Emily: Local, yeah. And super local to, and that could scale with her. I remember that was a big thing that she had talked about because I mean, she probably wasn't expecting to go from making an idea and then a couple months later going-
Michelle: Getting Walmart.
Emily: Yeah. Getting into Walmart and having to scale to that. So I can't even... I mean, I don't even know where I would start. If Caitie came to me and said"Here, Emily, run the business." I would be like,"Girl."
Michelle: Yeah. So Socket Locket. That was the brief synopsis of Caitie's experience. But-
Emily: Yeah. And she's not going anywhere. She's a serial entrepreneur too.
Michelle: Yes. And she's going to be fun to watch. She is going to be on Shark Tank someday.
Emily: Or running her own.
Michelle: Yes. I absolutely agree. Who is the woman, because I don't watch it all that much, but she has all these things on QVC, all these ideas?
Emily: I have no idea.
Michelle: Okay. So I just see Caitie coming up with 20 ideas. She's going to be Joy. The movie Joy. Remember Joy with the fuzzy hangers? She's in Target.
Emily: I'm probably embarrassing. I'm not a movie watcher.
Michelle: Generation gaps here.
Emily: No, everyone gets mad at me. Bryce gets mad at me. I don't watch movies. I say, I only watch what I've seen. I'm about to get so much hate.
Michelle: So then you actually brought in the next guest as well.
Emily: Yes. Holly Mundon of Essential Therapy and Counseling LLC. I met her through my program. Again, shout out to American University. Holly was amazing. I met her in my first compliance class and then we had a follow up compliance class where we were both basically supposed to draft our own company. And she started flushing out. She had created her essential therapy and counseling company kind of during COVID as well. And she's her only employee. And so during our class, she really started fleshing out where she would go with this, if she decided to hire anybody else, if she decided to expand. So I was like," Oh my God, you're an entrepreneur? I'm in the midst of beginning of podcast. We would love to talk to you about your experience. And-"
Michelle: And I think it's important for people to see we have some brands that are more established than others, but really kind of seeing the process and where people are. And that it's never too late. I mean, okay, so this is kind of embarrassing, but I was watching this clip on Judge Judy. And Judge Judy is like," If you're 30, it's not too late. If you're 40, it's not too late. If you're 50, it's not too late." And it's not too late to look at what are you doing? What are you doing if you want to make a change and how do I make that change happen? So I wanted to rephrase that and I thought that Holly's experience was really great. And again, working with people in her community and then seeing a need for mental health and wanting to help people in mental healthcare. And it was just really inspiring to speak with her. And I remember feeling very comfortable, like just that wise woman, just very smart. And you felt you could-
Emily: Just loving.
Michelle: Yes. Yes. And get a cup of coffee and sit down and talk to her for hours.
Emily: Yeah. And she totally just knows what you're talking about and she won't make you feel bad about anything that you're saying. I mean, yeah. And I want to say too, it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you're making an impact and you're making a change. And I guarantee the people that she speaks to with on a general basis or weekly basis or whatever, she's helping.
Michelle: She's helping the world. She's putting positivity in the world.
Emily: Yeah. And I don't think that she's going anywhere either. I think that Holly will continue to move mountains.
Michelle: Yes. Yes.
Emily: She's amazing.
Michelle: Again, Holly Mundon. So the next individual we were able to interview, I actually speak to and probably drive him absolutely crazy. He deals with me. He's very patient is Zach ECD Digital Strategy. And he works with me on Name Bubbles and has been a tremendous help. What he has done for me, which is I was leaving so much money on the table as far as email marketing. I'm kicking myself all these years later. And he came in and worked with me and just knocked it out of the park. So it really just is such a specialty in this area and has helped out so much and works with us on strategy. And then he goes in and helps us on development work for the website.
Emily: Yeah. And Zak was the kind of guy that you were talking to and every single thing that came out of his mouth, you learned something crazy new about him. He sailed across the ocean.
Michelle: I had to bring him on just because he's so interesting.
Emily: He's written a book. He walked into Congress and made policy change. He literally drafted two titles of a very big law that all of us use every single day. And yeah. Most interesting man in the world.
Michelle: Yeah, exactly. Forget the beer guy. inaudible. It's Zach. And he was fun. Fun to have him on. Dad, loves his kids, family man. And it's fun listening to him talk in that way. And this was something again, the male female thing. I've seen a migration in my work experience, watching guys become more open about family life. And I think that that's been really a really fun thing. And seeing that here too, as men here are starting to have kids and coming in and talking about their kids.
Emily: And I hate to say it, we're women dominated here at Name Bubbles.
Michelle: We are. I know, but it's been so fun watching the guys come in or having these discussions with them," Hey, listen what happened this weekend with my kids." It's been really, really fun.
Emily: So then maybe that goes to show the secret answer to all of our issues is to make life smaller and get to know your community because I don't know. I mean-
Michelle: Yeah. That's actually a good point.
Emily: I just don't know. And two, we were at the commerce dinner last night and we were looking around the tables and I mean, it's definitely making strides, but-
Michelle: The chamber of commerce?
Emily: Yeah. The chamber of commerce dinner, and we're making strides, definitely. But I mean, and I'm not even a ashamed to say it, I think that our table was one of the only ones that was majority women, if not the only one that was majority women.
Michelle: There's a couple of real estate agencies in town.
Emily: That were probably, yeah. It was a big room. So I couldn't see, but it made me feel really good that I work in this environment and the things that I see day to day of Joanna bringing in her kid or announcing her pregnancy. Yay.
Emily: At the Learn and Lunch talk, this is a very special environment and Zach totally fits in. Perfect.
Michelle: So if you need a marketing guru, Zach is your guy, I can say that.
Emily: He's your dad of business. He's your dad of digital marketing.
Michelle: So I'm just very thankful that I found him and-
Emily: Or he found you.
Michelle: Actually was through a designer, a local designer. So yes, local people. And that's the other thing too. I do have a lot of people who I work with who actually are all over the world in some ways. I think that if it's customer service, if it's design, if it's other marketing pieces, people are all over the country too. So it is definitely kind of cool that he's here. So it is nice.
Emily: Yeah. And he's local. Yeah. Okay. So that's an important part to stress too, and I didn't even know. And I only found that out at our ribbon cutting dinner that he was local.
Emily: Yeah. Because I thought that he was some big, huge... and he is. They are a very well established company, but I thought it was Google out in California. So it was very cool to find out that he was doing all of this really, really great big work right here in the Capital area.
Michelle: Capital region. Yes, you're right. It is really helpful. So then after Zach, we have Alison Martin and Alison's job or actually company is called Engage Mentoring and Alison is a wonderful person who's really making changes in the world. And have you met Allison before? I believe you had. No? Okay.
Emily: My mom had.
Emily: Yeah, they worked together and they really enjoy and they still work together. I mean, I see a lot of the work my mom loves to do in what Alison gets to do every single day. And it's really great. And it's an indie.
Michelle: Yes. So Alison is actually expanding through the country, but it's engage mentoring and it really is allowing people to lead. So Alison's business Engage Mentoring. It's really important. And it's something that you find coming out in women to lead the WPO. And then also, even in the chamber, what Alison's doing is mentoring people. And I know that Emily can talk about this a little bit more on-
Emily: All of the women involved in this and all the people involved in this. I think that they're matched up with people that need a mentor and they basically get to learn firsthand from all of these people who have experience. And if it's in their field, if it's in a field that they want to get to know, I think that that is how, I mean, I remember just listening to her and being like I am jealous of all people in this opportunity-
Michelle: You were.
Emily: ...because yeah, it just sounds like a tutoring session where you walk in and you get to learn about anything that you want and fine tune and really hone in on a skill.
Michelle: Well, exactly. And especially when you're coming out of school and I felt like I was so lost in my twenties. I could have used this so much. And then for companies to be able to work with universities and then find younger people to step in and fill those spots, it was just a kind of a perfect, it just makes so much sense on so many levels to have people who are new in their careers, to find that fit and then grow in certain sections of our economy, certain jobs, certain positions. And then her company helps companies come in and really gives them a structure to make sure that people succeed in their jobs and succeed in their careers. So such a smart thing to do and wonderful for everybody starting out in the world.
Emily: Yeah. And wonderful for the women that are mentoring. I mean, I know how much work I can see. I don't know, because I don't do it, but I can see how much work goes into it. And it's just remarkable. I think the work that is coming out of it that we can all see too. So keep it up.
Michelle: Thank you, Alison.
Michelle: And then after Alison Martin, we have Nicole Love. Yes. And so just so everybody knows, this is probably our biggest woo woo-
Emily: Yeah. Sorry.
Michelle: ...episode. It is with Soul Gratitude and Nicole is my sister. It was funny because I really wanted to talk about the background of Nicole and just because she has such an interesting life kind of reminds me of Zach and just her experiences of the things she did. And then we almost never even got to what Soul Gratitude is. We were just busy laughing and just kind of talking through everything. But Nicole's is really wanting people to work on their inner self and deeper love, love of yourself meditation. And she is also a healer, an energy heal healer, has various meditation classes, just an amazing human being all the way around.
Emily: Yeah. And that interview was, I was also remote for that interview. So it was one of the times that you had to do it on your own and airdrop it to me or Google Drive it to me. And it was so fun. I mean I was laughing throughout listening and editing to it. But then at the end when it ended, I was like," Did we get to hear about what she does?"
Michelle: What's Soul Gratitude?
Emily: And just as a quick shout out as well, she also has for sale on Soul Gratitude's website, Feather Essences, which I live by, swear by, use every day. And she goes to the top of Mount Shasta to get the water. So it's just the most... I mean she, and she's my name's sake too. Thank you, Nicole. For my middle name, but she is really just the most beautiful, loving being on earth. And I just know that she was so happy to come on here and talk directly to every single one of our listeners and send them love.
Michelle: Just really wanting everybody just to all of us, just be mindful, again, of being positive, staying calm, not getting caught up in the chaos of what's going on in the world where it's really easy. It's really addictive. And to make sure that you stay grounded and you focus on things that you can change in a positive way.
Emily: And your journey is your own. I mean, I didn't even know that she lived out of her car like-
Emily: Yeah. And I mean, and I'm not surprised to hear it, but I'm like," Okay. Yeah. That makes sense." And now she's where she is and she's so happy and she's continuing to develop her company and grow her relationship with her kids even more. And her kids are absolutely amazing. Hi, Micah. Hi, Mari. And yeah.
Michelle: Just being a mom and finding-
Emily: And an entrepreneur.
Michelle: And finding your own path. And it's definitely, as she says, she took a different path, a different path than what I think family and friends expected. And she was brave and did what she knew she had to do.
Emily: Definitely brave. And I think that that's another common theme throughout all of these is most, if not all, of our guests had had to take some real sacrifices to launch their dream and to launch their company.
Michelle: Scary steps.
Michelle: Large risks along the way. Definitely. So after Nicole, we have Mark Parobeck and this is Gore Mountain Lodge. And Mark is actually a friend of the family. And I have just been so impressed with Mark with what he and his brothers have created up at Gore Mountain. He ended up finding this little motel that had a ton of potential that Mark saw and-
Emily: Well, and he was looking for a property just to have for him. And my question was if the only property available was a hotel, why did you buy it? Why did you not turn away like any rational person would?
Michelle: Well, actually there were other things available because I'll be honest, I was looking at it going because it was right by the mountain. It's right by the ski hill. And it backs up to the state park. So you have-
Emily: Yeah. Prime location.
Michelle: It's just natural and a lot of land and there's creeks going through and a waterfall nearby. It's amazing.
Emily: They were just like," Okay, we have to. It's a hotel. Okay. Maybe that's a benefit."
Michelle: So then what he's done, he and his brother is they've created this a prey skiing place for everyone. And it's just again, community and creating this really wonderful, magical place for people to ski or go to after skiing at Gore Mountain and Gore is great, but it's not fancy. It's not like one of the fancy resorts. It's run by the state of New York. So it's different. And now we actually have a place we can go to. There's inaudible now. There's live music. There's a restaurant. There's-
Emily: Bike paths. The bike paths.
Michelle: Yeah. Bike paths back in the woods. And there's actually live music in the summer. They built a stage and a great venue for people to go and hang out. And it really did save us during COVID.
Emily: Yeah. I was going to say that too. And that's what I kept thinking when he was just talking through it. I'm like," You probably offered a sense of normalcy instability for when we first got to come out of the pandemic and start being careful and socially distanced, wear masks, starting to get vaccinated." I mean, it was hard and people just wanted to connect with each other again. And I mean, Gore is open and spacious and the government, and that's so interesting too about New York. The government really wants to help. But also have hands off, but also-
Michelle: Well, it's part of the Adirondack Park.
Emily: Yeah. Obviously people, you can't just clear face a mountain and develop the whole mountain into your business and they want to keep the parts of it that are beautiful. And I just think it's great that New York is doing what it can to help move things along.
Michelle: Well and keep things natural and keep it beautiful and pristine.
Emily: And bring business.
Michelle: Yes. But use it logically and be mindful again, the management of it all is they've done a great job.
Emily: So yeah. And shout out to the Mark Parobros, to the Parobros.
Michelle: Yeah, the Parobros.
Emily: Right. Because it's their whole little family developing it up there.
Michelle: I don't think I ever talked about Matt and Doug.
Emily: I think he did a little.
Michelle: So Mark, Matt and Doug and they're amazing. And their families are amazing and the kids are amazing.
Emily: And they're still making changes up there, probably, always.
Michelle: Yeah. I bet they will. At some point I probably see an expansion of the hotel or motel and who knows what's going to happen.
Emily: It's probably adding more fun toys and-
Michelle: Yes, yes. But it's all good. And everyone looks forward to that. And I know that I think it's the Bavarian pretzel is our have to after every ski day. So Dave hits the bar for a beer and Cooper gets his pretzels. That's what happens with a Brandis family. But after Mark, we had our next guest and we did have sprinkle in our employees in between here.
Emily: Yes, which we covered at the beginning.
Michelle: Yes. So just so you know, you'll kind of see this in between the guests. We have Genika Blandshaw and I just love Genika. This is for Juice Factory Seven.
Emily: In Troy.
Michelle: Yes. In Troy, New York, which is a great town and Troy is so lucky to have Genika.
Emily: And we love another local.
Michelle: Yes. And I'm trying to figure out how we can talk Genika into moving into-
Emily: Coming to Starbucks.
Michelle: Into our side of the Hudson River.
Emily: Yeah. And I felt so bad listening to the end of that episode. It just-
Michelle: Did we put the pressure on?
Emily: Yeah. I mean, it's like we just start turning up the heat. We're like," Okay, come to Saratoga." And then we kind of talk for a little bit and then you're like," And I'm just going to repeat myself, come to Saratoga." She was like," Okay, let's talk after this, guys."
Michelle: So just so everyone knows Genika, Juice Factory Seven, the cleansing juices, she actually sells these online. And the cool thing about this is you can go in, if there's some flavors you don't like, you can have it custom made and then she ships it to you. So even though she's here locally in upstate New York, you can definitely have her juices ship nationwide. It's organic. She cares about where she's getting the produce from. And when I saw her, she really does glow from the inside out. And I was like, okay, when you see someone you're like," What are they doing?"
Emily: And I was going to say too, she really knows about her ingredients and what she's putting in. And I said to her, okay, I'm like,"What if I walk in your store and I really need a immunity boost, what goes in there? Tell me the fruits, list them down." And she's like," Yeah, we totally can set you up." And they have a blog and I harped on that too. They have a blog on the citrus food that provide anti- cancer benefits. And I had no idea. There's just the intention and the mindfulness that goes into Juice Factory Seven and even seven, the number seven.
Michelle: That's inaudible.
Emily: inaudible. Yes. It's her lucky number.
Michelle: And she was always about glass half full and being positive again.
Emily: And being there for yourself.
Michelle: Yes. And being there for yourself. Good point. Yes, definitely. So just seeing what she does or hearing what she does, such a hard worker. Amazing. And she's putting her heart into everything she does. So really done with love her whole thing, the decorations. That's why I want her in every town. Just because there's love in her store and she's pushing love. So we all want some of that love pushed on us, definitely.
Emily: And that too, I mean, she's just a juice store. She just like," I didn't like the job before." She had to get laid off and it was Medicare and Medicaid total 180 just opened up her little juice store that now ships nationwide. And we're going to convince her to open up and extend-
Michelle: In Saratoga.
Emily: ...in Saratoga. So stay tuned. And also she's developing her other business. And she's also a serial entrepreneur. Room Chronicles will be out there.
Michelle: Well, she does have this awesome design sense.
Emily: She does. Yeah.
Michelle: When I walked in, I sent you the pictures of the place, because I'm like," Look how cute this is. I love it."
Emily: And her website matches.
Emily: I'm like," Oh my God."
Michelle: God. Absolutely. And you can see the young kids kind of getting in front of her sign and doing little Instagram pictures and they're probably taking little selfies.
Emily: Yeah. Aesthetic. It's definitely aesthetically pleasing in there.
Michelle: Yes. So she was fantastic. I'm so glad she joined us and I did the juice cleanse and it works. So I have to say. Just be careful. You want to do this at home.
Michelle: TMI. Sorry.
Emily: God too fun.
Emily: All right. So next was Jessica Iclisoy California Baby.
Michelle: Huge business. Huge.
Emily: And this is why I said at the beginning, if we had had an extra two weeks at the beginning of our prep in October to just get some more time and get some more things done. Thank God we reached out to her in October when we did.
Michelle: Yes. Yeah.
Emily: Because I mean, it was so incredible to talk to somebody who has been in her business for 30 year.
Michelle: 30 years. Amazing. And I think the other thing as well is looking at where she started in her kitchen and now she's got this state of the art medical grade facility that creates her product. And then everything is done with such mindfulness organic products to the point where she wanted to make sure she trusted her sources and her ingredients so much, she bought a farm.
Emily: She created legislation change as well.
Emily: It's, I mean, crazy.
Michelle: So she's working so hard to be move the organic process forward and making sure that people are able to use healthy products on their skin. So this is interesting. Okay. My son is going to get so mad at me, but-
Emily: Because he listens to the podcast.
Michelle: No. Good point. He does not listen to the podcast, but if he knew I'd going to say this, he would get so mad at me.
Emily: Okay. Hi, Cooper.
Michelle: So he was dealing with, okay, this is kind of a sneaky trick, but in sixth grade, the kids are given... when they have their first health discussions, deodorant from Old Spice. So of course he has the Kracken or whatever it is from Old Spice." Mom, this smells so good. I have to have this." So I go from all this really healthy, good stuff to nasty, sorry, it's not totally nasty, but it's who knows what's in it.
Emily: We don't want to get sued for slander. I think Old Spice smells good.
Michelle: But then he ends up getting dandruff and so then I'm doing shoulder to shoulder Old Spice combination. So you know now there's a issue going on with the product that now shoulder to shoulder is in there. And then I'm on the podcast with Jessica. And I'm like," What am I doing?"
Emily: Light bulb.
Michelle: Yes. And Cooper used to use California Baby. That's what I bought for him as a child because she was in Target and I loved it. And I'm like," Forget that. I'm getting rid of all this stuff." I went home and threw it all away. I did. No, no, the Old Spice and all that stuff. And I got the California Baby, the eczema shampoo and body wash. Guess what? His dandruff is gone.
Emily: Of course it is.
Michelle: Yes, it is.
Emily: Oh my goodness.
Michelle: Yeah. So it was just kind of amazing. And so everyone, I just am a huge fan of California Baby. That was one of the first ones I told Emily she had to go after California Baby.
Emily: Yeah. That was my job.
Emily: Emailing California Baby.
Michelle: Yes. Because I love the product and it was one of the first products I really wanted to make sure Cooper had healthy bath stuff and whatever was going on his skin was healthy. And I used it when he was a baby, so I had an emotional attachment to it. So I was really happy she joined us and talked through the process.
Emily: Yeah. And just talked about, I mean, she was just like," Okay, I assume what I'm using because it's labeled organic, it's organic." She comes to find out there's chemicals in there that are carcinogens. And so she's like," I'm literally going to go in my kitchen and make something better."
Emily: It didn't start out as this gigantic business model idea. It started out as she just wanted to do something that was better for her child, such loving intention.
Michelle: Again, love.
Michelle: Yeah, absolutely. And she has-
Emily: The hearts on everything.
Michelle: She wants love in every bottle. That's one of her beliefs. And you can smell it. I have now bought lotions for myself and the California Baby sunblock and absolutely. And I'm kicking myself that I ever allowed some of the other stuff in my house.
Emily: Well, you have to appreciate what you have. You sometimes don't know it until it's gone.
Michelle: True. True, good point. So I'm going to let you introduce the next guest.
Emily: Okay. Next is Sagel Thacker. She is somebody that I met just randomly because my mom set up a meeting before a flight in San Francisco, after a family vacation with Michelle and everybody in Westport, California. It's gorgeous up there, but yes, I met Sagel and her son and we just talked and it was originally supposed to be a meeting for her and my mom to talk and get to know each other and network. And she was a lawyer and I was a law and public policy student in my undergrad. And I was just like," Oh my God, stars for eyes." She was just such an incredible woman. She has already done so much. She talked so passionately about what she does and what she believes in. And she's just making the most incredible change and leading the most incredible change and influencing people to want to be inclusive and focus on diversity. And again, focus on the softer leadership skills, bringing in compassion and being a good listener and communication and all of that. Acceptance.
Michelle: Yes. So Sagel, actually she's been on Ted talks.
Emily: She just had done her other one.
Michelle: Her second Ted talk. And Emily was talking to me about Sagel and again, made sense it's that her company's name is Train Extra and Train Extra goes in and they make sure that companies are obviously making sure that they're compliant, that there's no bullying, there's no harassment, that there's inclusive culture and Sagel has grown up dealing with a lot of bias, a lot of harassment. And I guess it was a difficult upbringing where she lived. She was the only, I believe it-
Emily: Besides her, I think her sibling, she said. They were the only Indian kids in their school. And so it's just so close to her heart, and you can tell, and she speaks about it with such passion and you want to hop on. You want to say send your training to us, make sure we're in compliance and we're doing all the things that we need to do to be inclusive.
Michelle: And just everybody putting their best foot forward in a positive way. And people do things and they're biased without knowing it, that unconscious bias and that we all need to be aware of it, to make our country better, to make us better as people to make our communities better and to make our companies better. So she's there as a guide. And actually it's interesting because after we got off with her, I had a couple things happen the next week and it just here in the company and we're having a really great culture, but unconscious bias or unconscious things happened. And I just wanted microaggressions, body language can scream and people don't always realize that. So wanting to make sure that how do I train people? How do I make sure that people know what they're doing can hurt someone's feelings? So just really again, creating that positivity in every place she goes and what a powerful way to do that.
Emily: Yeah. And we are, Name Bubbles is a small, we all know each other here, but obviously there are companies that she probably interacts with that they don't know each other. And so HR is receiving all of these kinds of notifications and reports of unfair treatment and behavior and Sagel will have to go in blindly and just attempt to fix these really systemically distressed companies. And it starts small. I think that what we're seeing now is years and years of not talking about the issues, of ignoring the issues. And if we talk about them where we're comfortable and where we are every day where we interact with people the most at work with each other, she just has such a good point. Start with each other and start in your community.
Michelle: And the thing is like human nature. And I think that we just need to... We're in a tough place right now.
Emily: Yeah. And it's really interesting to be doing this podcast and to be doing the wrap up right now it.
Michelle: It is. It is hard. And just trying to... not trying. Be positive. Be the change that you want to see in the world and do the best.
Emily: And I like to say too, because if that's too hard and I've never even thought of saying this before, but if that's too hard, I like to say be the generous stranger that nobody has to remember, but if you leave any impact on the world, leave just being the generous stranger.
Michelle: Thank you for introducing me to Sagel. I've really enjoyed speaking with her.
Emily: Yeah. I hope everyone follows her and watch her TEDx. It's about to come out. I'm pretty sure it's-
Michelle: And she has, yes, definitely, I think on LinkedIn, she's got a really big following. So lots of good information on LinkedIn.
Emily: And always things going on. Always things going on.
Michelle: Absolutely. So the next guest and is actually our last guest of the season and this was another individual I had Emily, I guess, stalk.
Emily: Stalk. Find. I don't even know.
Michelle: This is her name is Shennel Fuller and she is the founder of Miles and Milan. And I just love the clothes. I love the simplicity. It's sublime. And just about her starting her own clothing line. Really things like this I find so scary that I want to know how someone does it. How do you create something like this from scratch? And just hearing her story about coming at this from an accounting major and again, having that style and that sense of style and then finding out that her father was a tailor. And so she's always grown up with clothes and really understood the cut of clothing and understood the fabric of clothing, the fabric and the softness and the quality.
Emily: Oh my God, there are so many things that she said. I'm going to list the two that I'm thinking of right now. First was when she picked out her fabric, she just closed her eyes and went down. And the one that she felt that she liked is the one that she kept for her fabric. I mean, physical touch it's such a brain receptor. I mean the intention of all of these people going in and just paying attention to literally what does my brain do? How can I play on that? Kind of, I mean, it's so cool. It's genius. And then the second thing that she said that I've been thinking about more, was she kind of just... So she developed her company by she had her kid and she woke up every morning and she was just like," I kind of developed my uniform," she said. She said she had her leggings, her sweatshirt or something, her jacket and her hat and her sneakers. And I was thinking after the episode, a couple days later, I was like," I could see how some people might not like that because they want to have their own individuality in their clothes." And that's okay. Because everyone is how they want to be. Whatever works for you, works for you. But since talking to her and just viewing what my day to day outfit is going to be, it is uniform. It is my uniform. I put on my uniform and I have a level of confidence that I feel invincible. I feel like I'm putting on my business outfit, even if this is wearing jeans and a t- shirt today, basically in my Birkenstocks. But it's my uniform for work. So it was a cool mentality that she introduced me to.
Michelle: Well, and I liked how she also said that okay, so you've got your uniform, but then you can add those fun accessories. Those other things, those fun things that the child or you are attached to. And I thought that was neat, but the sense of touch, and I know my son still at 15, there were clothes when he was young, he would not wear because he didn't like the way they felt. He just-
Emily: My mom still does that.
Michelle: So for that is so smart. Because then that's going to be that child's favorite outfit and that child's going to want to wear it over and over and over again. And to be able to have something so soft and know it's made well that you're also investing in this garment. So then the second child, I was the hand me down sister.
Michelle: Yeah. The second child is going to love those clothes just as much as the first child. So it makes a difference.
Emily: And staple pieces. I mean, it's just going and being able to look into your closet and say," Okay, oh God, I have a huge test today. The last thing I need to worry about when I'm going in to take my driver's test is what to wear." So if you just know you're going to go in and if there's five shorts and they're all different colors and five shirts and they're all different colors, but they all go well together. Then you can just put them on.
Michelle: Are you hinting to Shennel that she needs to make an adult line for us?
Emily: I had to go to Old Navy and shout out Old Navy. I love you. But I had to go to Old Navy because I was like," Okay, I need just a uniform because I'm just kidding. It's summer now." And my uniform for the winter was my cute comfy sweats and a sweater. And because it's literally zero degrees here.
Michelle: Sure. Yes.
Emily: In Albany and Folson spa, but now it's 93 degrees. And so I needed to go and get some shorts and t- shirts but-
Michelle: The shift has happened.
Emily: I know. Yes, the shift has happened, but I loved it and I completely agree. And I can't wait to see what she does.
Michelle: What she comes up with. Well I also thought it was interesting that obviously she's onto something, because everything she's done is organically grown where she's made Oprah's favorite things. Celebrities are kind of calling out and giving her," Hey, we love this, that's-"
Emily: In Style.
Michelle: Yes. In Style magazine, she's in Saks Fifth Avenue and she's now in Nordstrom as well. So just remarkable. And you can tell she is just... Everything she does, she does with intent. She follows through and it's done so well.
Emily: Yeah. And she said something too. And her and Genika, you have to work, and everybody said it in one way or another in their own way. But the one common thread was, even though everyone made their company to have their own hours and to be their own boss, they all said that we had to do the work.
Michelle: Yes. To get it to where it is, a hundred percent. Absolutely.
Emily: And it's still a lot of work. None of them seemed to be stress free. All of them were great. And all of them... they were comfortable, decompressed, just having a talk with us. But they all had a million things going on. And to say that you had an hour to take away from your busy schedule to talk to us, thank you so much just again.
Michelle: Thank you. Such an amazing season. So wonderful to meet all of these people and to have you share your stories. It's so powerful. Thank you for being part of From The Basement Up.
Emily: Thank you for joining us this season on From The Basement Up. Please go back to namebubbles. com and view our podcast page. All of our episodes will be up there with transcripts, links, resources for our guests. And also please check out our Casted page and shout out to Casted for platforming us and helping us get our podcast out there these last few months. We really appreciate your help. So check out Casted as well. They have some great takeaways that you can share on social media and share links to family members and friends that you think that they'll enjoy the show as well.
Michelle: And we'll be back in September. Make sure you give us a five star review and subscribe. So we'll see you soon.
Closing this season with gratitude, appreciation, and excitement for what is to come. Thank you to all of our guests who started out with us on Season One of From the Basement Up!