Two Chicago-based small business owners - Michelle (Michelle Starbuck Designs) & Emily (OrangeBeautiful) - meet each week for breakfast to discuss the perks and problems with running your own company, and the everyday life stuff that happens in between.
It's the 100th Episode of Pancake Town! And it’s the first in a new series we're calling Quarantine Chats... Emily and Michelle record this episode via phone in order to maintain social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. They both share ways that their lives and businesses are being affected right now, as well as some difficult decisions that they’ve had to make in the past few weeks. While they don’t have any magical answers to help everyone get through this, they do hope to become a source of support for other business owners while we all muddle through together.
If you'd like to support our podcast during this crazy time, please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber here.
In this week's episode (our first of 2020!), Emily and Michelle quickly get caught up on how the new year has been going and then they finally get into a topic that’s been on their minds for a while. We’ve all been given the advice,"It doesn’t hurt to ask," but sometimes... it actually does. They share their opinions on question-asking etiquette and how to respond when you’re on the receiving end of those awkward inquiries.
Part 1 of 2: Emily and Michelle review 2019 - focusing on the new habits and attitudes they've adopted over the last 12 months. They’re both ready to be done with this decade and start 2020 with the same energy and drive that they had 15 years ago.
For this week's episode, the listeners asked Emily and Michelle to go back 10 years and think about what advice they would give themselves - and what advice they'd give to other small business owners - just starting out. They take a trip down memory lane to remember successes along the way, as well as decisions they regret.
Spoiler alert: One of us is risk taker and the other... not so much.
Does your business just need a pivot or is it actually time to throw in the towel? In this week's episode, Emily and Michelle research how to read the signs that your business needs a change and get into how to pull that change off. Also, there may be a bit of a rant about removing the stigma surrounding quitting.
OMGIt’s the week of SHOW of HANDS so Emily and Michelle answer your questions about selling at in-person events. They share their favorite dos and don’ts for having a successful show and an important reminder that taking care of yourself should be at the top of your list.
This week, Emily and Michelle are thrilled to welcome special guest, Jen Farrell from Starshaped Press, to talk about the many ways in which the handmade world has changed since starting her letterpress business back in 1999 (that's 20 years ago)! Jen shares the ways she’s been keeping her ship afloat amidst personal and professional setbacks, including a successful pivot from wholesale to fine art. Spoiler alert: Mimosas were had during the recording of this episode.
In this week's episode, Michelle and Emily discuss the constant internal struggle that a lot of makers have when designing new products: Do I give my customers what they want, or do I tell them what they should want? Should I work to please my customer's every whim, or am I the tastemaker? Spoiler: It's a really tricky combination of both!
This week, Emily and Michelle react to an article on thecut.com written by Natalie Beach > a ghostwriter for Instagram influencer, Caroline Calloway. Natalie's side of the story reveals that Caroline created a social media persona with the sole purpose of selling a memoir to publishers (and that she bought tens of thousands of social media followers along the way).
But, somewhat ironically, Caroline wasn’t even able to write her own posts, let alone a memoir, which is where Natalie stepped in and their dark friendship began. It’s the kind of story that unfolds in a made-for-Netflix limited series... and theirs is probably already in the works.