Hi everyone! Today I am super excited to share my conversation with my friend, Amy Howard, who is from Memphis, Tennessee. Amy has an uplifting and humbling story!  She tells us all about how she took a risk and started her very own company in the early 1990s called Amy Howard Collection—a company where she and her husband, Gene, designed and manufactured beautiful, high-end furniture.

They started out small but worked tremendously hard and eventually gained a huge following. They found themselves selling high-end furniture to people all over the world, including celebrities! Amy was also kind enough to tell us about her setbacks, such as in 2008 when her target audience suddenly changed—people were no longer buying luxury furniture and manufacturers were copying her furniture line at a much cheaper rate, but Amy didn’t give up.

She got creative, pivoted and started the Amy Howard at Home paint line in 2011, which is a distinguished class of high-end artisan quality paint products and training. People can simply buy her paint line and rescue, restore and redecorate their furniture on their very own. Then in 2015, she partnered with ACE Hardware, where her paint line was sold in stores all over the world. Her “One Step Paint” was recently featured on the Today Show! She has also published two books and I LOVED them both!  I hope you enjoy my conversation with Amy as much as I did!

Amy Howard at Home:

Books:

“Rescue, Restore, Redecorate: Amy Howard’s Guide to Refinishing Furniture and Accessories” by Amy Howard

“A Maker’s Guide: A Letter and Roadmap to Creative Entrepreneurs” by Amy Howard

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins

Website:

http://www.amyhowardhome.com

 

Hi everyone! I have a really special guest today, Eustace Wolfington. Eustace is 85 years old and he and his late wife, Marcy, had 10 children, 33 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. He is one of the most renowned innovators in the history of the car industry. Euse tells us his story of how he revolutionized the car industry with his company, “Half A Car.” His concept was to have the customer finance or lease half of the vehicle’s price, then after two years, the dealer would take the car back and resell the vehicle for the depreciated price. I know it’s a little complex so to put it in simpler terms, if you lease a car today, it is because of Euse Wolfington.

So it took nearly 20 years for the rest of the world to catch onto Euse’s idea, given that at that time, the majority of the world was more familiar with the concept of purchasing a car at full price. Although so many people told Euse to give up, he persevered and his “Half A Car” concept was adopted by Ford in 1982 and eventually by the car industry as a whole. From 1982 to 2000, Euse’s “Half A Car” concept expanded to over 18 countries, with more than four thousand dealerships in the system. In 2000, he sold the company for $200M.

Throughout our conversation, Euse not only tells us his entrepreneurial story but also feeds us with an extraordinary amount of wisdom that you will be able to apply to your everyday life. I hope you enjoy!

Hi everyone! Super excited to share my conversation with my friends Kimberly Caccavo (56) and Kate Nowlan (40). In 2013, these two amazing women co-founded GRACEDBYGRIT: an athletic apparel company based out of San Diego. Throughout our conversation, Kimberly and Kate tell us all about life before GRACEDBYGRIT and share their GRITTY stories, such as when Kimberly lost her first husband to cancer at age 30 and when Kate went through a divorce at age 29. But don’t worry, there are silver linings to these GRITTY moments!

We then dive into their incredible entrepreneurial journey of launching GRACEDBYGRIT. They tell us all about their unique brand,  how it’s different from competitors (i.e., lululemon), how they overcome the naysayers, how they juggle working full time with kids, what they have learned about investors, and so much more. I hope you guys enjoy our conversation as much as I did!

Books:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Website:

https://www.gracedbygrit.com/

Hi everyone! Super excited to share my conversation with my friend Holly Finigan. In 2012, Holly founded The Nantucket blACKbook, a modern-day guide to Nantucket based on trust and genuine marketing. As always, we get real in our conversation! We talk about Holly’s years before Nantucket blACKbook—when she traveled the world (St. John, Argentina, New Zealand and Hawaii) and her bartending days where she learned a ton of life lessons (i.e., the art of hustle, patience, people skills and mastering difficult situations).

Holly then tells us the story of when she launched Nantucket blACKbook. We discuss how it disrupted the media industry in Nantucket, how she persevered against the naysayers, her “ah-ha” moments, how she has built genuine trust and friendships with her clients and so much more. Holly was also kind enough to share personal stories, such as when she lost her mom just around 4 years ago and how she recently had open heart surgery just 10 weeks ago!

Through these adverse life experiences, she is able to be a true model for listeners that may be going through similar hardships. I hope you enjoy Holly’s stories as much as I did!

 

Books:

The Secret by Rhonda Bryne

The Magic by Rhonda Bryne

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

Website:

http://nantucketblackbook.com/

Instagram:

@nantucketblackbook

Hi guys! Super excited to share my conversation with my friend Suzie Welsh Devine. Suzie and I grew up in the same area, right outside Philadelphia, and we are right around the same age (I’m 30 and Suzie is 29). Suzie has an incredible start-up story that I am super excited to share with you. As we know, infertility is a hot topic right now—at least 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility and around 7.4 million women. While Suzie was an IVF and fertility nurse at Penn Fertility Care, she became passionate about helping women struggling with infertility on a larger level.

Just over two years ago, Suzie entered the Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Program, where she founded her company called BINTO (short for “bun in the oven”). BINTO is a women’s health company developed to partner with you on the journey to parenthood. The program ended in 2016 in a Shark Tank-like experience. The idea for BINTO did well and she got her first angel investor from the pitch.  When she graduated from the program, Suzie quit her job and went full-steam ahead with BINTO.

BINTO curates all of the best scientifically-backed fertility and pregnancy products on the market. If you subscribe to BINTO, they will deliver a monthly box of safe and effective products and supplements that will best match your body’s needs. The products vary from woman to woman and from month to month, depending on the customer’s life stages and personal experiences. They range from pre-pregnancy products and menstrual support to prenatal and postnatal care to infertility support if necessary. It’s convenient and much more cost effective than going to the local CVS or pharmacy trying to figure out what vitamins or probiotics will best suit you.

I loved not only listening to Suzie’s entrepreneurial story but I’m also very grateful she was able to educate me on infertility, given that millions of couples and women all over the world struggle with this on a daily basis. Enjoy!

 

Website: https://mybinto.com/

Books: The Art of Awakening by Charlotte Davis and  Konchog Lhadrepa

Hi everyone! Very excited to share my conversation with my friend Christina Mallon. Christina and I are the same age (Christina: 29, me: 30) and we both grew up right outside of Philadelphia, so our social circles overlapped a lot in high school and college. I always remember Christina being very sweet and welcoming!

Christina started losing feeling in her hands and arms around 8 years ago, right after graduating college. She is now completely paralyzed in her hands and arms. She has seen over 400 doctors around the world, but no one can quite figure out what caused Christina to lose complete feeling in her hands and arms. But that has not stopped Christina from living her best life in NYC—she works full time, has become a spokesperson for people with disabilities, has an awesome boyfriend, and is super involved with Open Style Labs, a non-profit that designs clothing for people with disabilities. Open Style Labs has gained national recognition and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNN, ABC News and many other platforms.

As always, we get real in this conversation—we talk all about the disability, how she has adapted her daily life with no use of hands and arms, what dating is like with a disability, the frustrations and setbacks she has experienced, how she continues to stay positive, and so much more. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Christina as much as I did!

Books

A Man Search by Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Website

Open Style Lab

So excited to share my conversation with Lauren Dudley Stephens and Kaki Dudley McGrath. They are two sisters from Greenwich, Connecticut who have a really cool startup story!

Lauren and Kaki found themselves living in fleeces, whether it be on cooler summer nights in Nantucket, on ski trips in Vermont, or on boat rides on the Long Island Sound—they always wore fleeces for that extra warmth. The two kept wondering why fleeces couldn’t be more fashionable! So in 2015, they reimagined fleeces and launched Dudley Stephens—fleeces for women that can be worn casually or dressed up! I bought one back in December and I legit live in it; I find myself throwing it on as I walk to flywheel classes, run errands and go out with my friends. They are so comfortable AND flattering!

During our conversation, the Dudley sisters not only tell us about their entrepreneurial journey since 2015 but also life leading up to it—a testament that everything happens for a reason! Lauren was kind enough to share a personal story of how she and her husband struggled with infertility for two years. The creation of Dudley Stephens was her silver lining during that difficult time. We also talk about the different jobs Lauren and Kaki had leading up to Dudley Stephens and how they now apply those skills to their business (side note: Lauren worked in PR at Calvin Klein and dressed celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow). We talk about juggling the mom life and working full time (Kaki and Lauren both have two small children), what it’s like working with family, and so much more! I hope you guys enjoy my conversation with Lauren and Kaki as much as I did!

 

Books:

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

Website:

www.dudleystephens.com

Instagram:

@dudley_stephens

 

Photo by Lindsay Madden Photography |@lmaddenphoto (Instagram)

Hi everybody! I am so excited to share my conversation with the renowned Sister Mary Scullion, an incredible hero in Philadelphia who has been fighting to end chronic street homelessness since 1976. Although she is one of the most humble humans I have ever come across, her work has not gone unnoticed. She was named by Time Magazine one of the Most Influential People in the World in 2009 (alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey), received the Laetare Medal from The University of Notre Dame in 2011 (which is the highest award given to an American Catholic), was the Georgetown Commencement Speaker in 2017, and the list goes on!

Sister Mary is most well-known for co-founding Project HOME in 1989 with Joan Dawson McConnon. It is a nationally recognized organization that strives to end the chronic cycle of homelessness. The H stands for Housing, the O for Opportunities for Employment, the M for Medical Care, and the E for Education. The vision is that the homeless need a combination of Housing, Employment, Medical Care and Education to overcome poverty. Throughout our conversation, Mary takes us on the journey of how Project Home came into existence. She was kind enough to share the early setbacks she encountered and how she used grit and perseverance to stay committed.

30 years later, her grit certainly paid off. Project HOME has an established headquarters in Philadelphia, where I interviewed Sister Mary. I loved my time at the building, as it was amazing to see so many people working together to end homelessness. It really inspired me to get more involved! They have over 800 units of affordable and supportive housing: the Stephen Kline Wellness Center (which addresses the medical care for the homeless), the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (a state of the art four-story building that addresses the education needs), and they just recently partnered with Septa and the city of Philadelphia to open the Hub of Hope in Suburban Station in Philadelphia. It’s a safe place where the homeless can enjoy a warm cup of coffee, take a shower and wash laundry, and begin the process of finding a permanent home.

I also was very curious as to why so many of the homeless are often resistant to come off the streets. Sister Mary explains that, as with anything in life, you can’t force someone to do something—they have to be ready to do it. But if you keep gently shedding light on their significance, it could make the difference. So next time you pass a homeless person on the street, try to offer a smile! It might give them that confidence they need to take the first step in getting off the streets! Hope you guys enjoy!

Hi everybody! I always love when I have the opportunity to interview guests from my high school, Notre Dame Academy in Villanova. So far I have had Martie Gillin who is 82 years old and started the non-profit Speak-Up and I have had September Rinnier Votta who was a year above me and co-founded the online retailer Tuckernuck. And now I’m super excited to share my conversation with Maureen Doron, another Notre Dame Academy alum! Maureen lives right outside Philadelphia with her husband and three young sons. She has made quite the footprint along Philadelphia’s mainline – she founded Skirt Boutique (located in Bryn Mawr, PA) back in 2001 at the young age of 24. They sell amazing women apparel and accessories. She then went on to open two additional locations, one in Stone Harbor, NJ (a very popular shore town) and the third in Rittenhouse Square in the heart of Philadelphia. Maureen has had a tremendous amount of success at all three locations.

I had so much fun hearing all about how Maureen founded Skirt and what her entrepreneurial journey has been like over the past 17 years. She was kind enough to not only share the success stories but also how she handled the setbacks. What I love the most about Maureen is her really optimistic outlook on life, which all three of her store locations reflect. I always love visiting Skirt because all of the stylists who help me are full of positive and vivacious energy, and always make my search for the perfect outfit easy and fun. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Maureen as much as I did!

 

Books

The Gold Finch

Hug Your Customers

Go Take a Bath

Important Links

Skirt

 

Hi everybody! Very excited to share my conversation with my friend Laura Vanderkam – and special thanks to my older sister Mandy Hayden McConnell for connecting us! Laura currently lives right outside Philadelphia with her husband and four young children (10, 8, 6 and 3 ) – she is a super mom! Laura is the author of several time management and productivity books, including I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make The Most of Their Time, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think  (all of Laura’s book are included in the show notes).

Her work has appeared in countless publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, USA Today, Reader’s Digest and so many more. Laura has appeared on numerous television programs, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, hundreds of radio segments and has spoken about time, money, and productivity to audiences of all sizes. She even did a TED talk that has 5.5 million views!! Laura also launched a podcast a few months ago, around the same time as me. It’s called “The Best of Both Worlds” where she and her co-host Sarah Hart-Unger (who is a physician) discuss work/life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity and making time for fun. She even had Gretchen Rubin as a guest who has written several NY Times Bestsellers! Definitely check it out – their episodes are awesome.

I absolutely loved Laura’s humbleness, her perseverance during setbacks and her passion for what she does – please enjoy.

Books:

I Know How She Does It: How the Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

168 Hours: You Have More Time Thank You Think

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

Important Links:

Laura’s Podcast: “The Best of Both Worlds with Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger”

Laura’s Blog