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Proprietors of Pittsburgh Podcast

podcast episode

Bet on Yourself | Jeff Krakoff, Owner of Krakoff Communications

In this episode, Jeff tells the story of how his company evolved over its 30-year history. It all started with a life-changing phone call when he was just a budding copywriter for an independent agency. He decided to “bet on himself” and start his own firm. In 2007, after 14 years in business, Jeff decided that he needed a change, so he took a senior position in a large PR firm. Seven years later, he was once again yearning for his role as an entrepreneur. He rebooted Krakoff Communications with new goals and ambitions in mind. He has grown his firm over the years, and he is currently joined by his son, Josh Krakoff, who came on board after graduating from college. At the end of our conversation, Jeff leaves us with some practical and motivating advice. Enjoy this episode!

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JEFF KRAKOFF AT:

Website: https://krakoffcomm.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krakoff_communications

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/krakoffcomm

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/krakoff-communications

podcast episode

Surround Yourself With Good People | Toni Shelaske, Owner of Healthy Pet Products

Toni Shelaske purchased Healthy Pet Products in 2008, and she has grown it to four locations. Her company stands out for its customer service and for specializing in raw pet food for dogs and cats. In our conversation, she explains the benefits of being a raw feeder and how she expanded that part of her business. By the way, this is a great episode for learning more about the reasons why someone would buy an existing business instead of creating one from scratch. Toni and I also talk about the fun she is having with her own podcast called Toni Unleashed.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH TONI SHELASKE AT:

Website: https://healthypetproducts.net

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/healthypetproducts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyPetProducts

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@healthypetproducts222

podcast episode

Introducing Season 12 | Proprietors of Pittsburgh Podcast

The theme for this season is “in studio” as I’m back in the studio recording with all of my guests. Check out the incredible lineup that I have for you in Season 12:

Toni Shelaske, owner of Healthy Pet Products

Jeff Krakoff, owner of Krakoff Communications

Steve Dawson, owner of Fat Butcher

Jen Worley, owner of Jen Barker Worley Photography

Sidney and Terri Sokoloff, owner and founder of Specialty Group

Patrick Schober, owner of Poetica Marketing

Lisa Grazan, owner of Brilliant Biographies

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

podcast episode

Get Good First | Destin LeCornu, Owner of Sunset Place Studio

Getting to tour Destin LeCornu’s recording studio was an incredible opportunity. In this episode, he invites us behind the scenes to see everything that goes into making a state-of-the-art facility. The place has vintage vibes, and the multi-room setup gives you the sense that you walked onto a movie set.

Destin is an audio engineer, producer, teacher, and accomplished musician. He plays several different instruments, and he is a vocalist too. In our conversation, he describes how his father, a Nashville singer-songwriter, influenced him from a young age. Destin has managed to create a full-time career in the music industry, which is no small feat in a city the size of Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH DESTIN LECORNU AT:

Website: https://www.sunsetplacestudio.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/destinlecornu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075963441408

podcast episode

Keep Nurturing Your Idea | Claire Landuyt, Owner of Chez Lapin

During our conversation, Claire told the story of how she transitioned from theatre management to working for herself full time. She described how Chez Lapin evolved from a home-based Etsy shop to an established business with a full-fledged production facility.

Claire’s focus on eco-friendly and cruelty-free products is clearly an important part of her mission. Over the years, she has donated her time and a percentage of profits to several different rabbit rescue organizations. “Chez Lapin” is French for rabbit house, and the choice of name was inspired by Claire’s love for rabbits and French culture. I even got to meet her newly adopted companion and shop mascot, Tipsy, a cute little lionhead rabbit. Enjoy this episode!

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH CLAIRE LANDUYT AT:

Website: https://www.chezlapingoods.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chezlapingoods

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChezLapinGoods

podcast episode

Adopt an Abundance Mindset | Chi Ilochi, Owner of Styling By Chi

Chi Ilochi is a one-of-a-kind fashion stylist whose work stands out in the local scene. Although Pittsburgh isn’t generally thought of as a fashion hub, Chi has managed to build a successful brand and business right here at home.

Her refreshing approach has been one of inclusiveness and accessibility. Core to her mission is reaching groups of people who traditionally have been written off by the mainstream fashion industry. Chi has also engaged in projects with non-profits, which is rare in her line of work.

In our conversation, Chi talks about the development of her confidence, which has given her the courage to be herself. This has also allowed her to get the best out of her clients by advising them on the importance of authenticity.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH CHI ILOCHI AT:

Website: https://stylingbychi.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StylingByChi

Email: Stylingbychi1@gmail.com

podcast episode

You Have to Be Patient | Dean Privett, Co-Owner of Moments Climbing USA

In this episode, I took a tour of Iron City Boulders in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Dean Privett, a co-owner of the indoor bouldering gym, showed me around while we talked about his impressive facility and the growing climbing industry. His journey to entrepreneurship was 10 years in the making, and he shared his amazing story with me during our time together. You can tell from listening to Dean just how much he loves climbing and the cohesive community he and his team are building in Pittsburgh and in their Florida location. In fact, Dean and his European business partners are planning an eventual expansion across the U.S. in the years to come. Enjoy this sneak peek into the fascinating world of indoor climbing.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH DEAN PRIVETT AT:

Website: https://ironcityboulders.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ironcityboulders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ironcityboulders

podcast episode

Spend the Time to Get Advice | Nikhil Asher, M.D., Founder of Aspirational Health

Dr. Nikhil Asher realized his dream of creating an integrated health and wellness center when he opened Aspirational Health in 2022. The brand new facility, which was the site of a former fast food restaurant, features a spacious on-site yoga and fitness studio. In addition to traditional medical services, patients also have access to a complete wellness program, including nutrition management, fitness instruction, and physical therapy.

Aspirational Health is an independent primary care medical practice that also functions as an urgent care facility. In our conversation, Dr. Asher describes how his background in critical care medicine and internal medicine, as well as his administrative position at a regional healthcare system, gave him the leadership experience he needed to operate his own private practice. His desire to treat people from a holistic perspective, and to help fill in the missing gaps in their care, has driven him to create a truly unique patient experience in our region.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH DR. NIKHIL ASHER AT:

Website: https://aspirationalhealthandwellness.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aspirationalhealthandwellness

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aspirationalhealthandwellness

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aspirational-health

podcast episode

Believe and You Can Achieve | Jill Garcia, Owner of The Hutton Group

In this episode, I take a look at a beautiful local venue from a unique vantage point. My guest, Jill Garcia, owner of The Hutton Group, gives me a tour of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh. This is just one example of the many event spaces that she utilizes in and around the city for her business meeting and event planning company. Jill also travels throughout the United States and abroad, as she creates and executes corporate events that are customized for her many business clients.

In our conversation, Jill talks about what it was like to purchase The Hutton Group just before the pandemic. She describes what is required to be successful in this highly competitive space. Although the hospitality and event planning industries are often viewed as glamorous and exciting, this episode gives us a behind-the-scenes look into the long hours and intense demands that often come along with the territory. Jill also shares a fun story of getting to meet one of her favorite celebrities early in her career.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JILL GARCIA AT:

Website: https://thehuttongroup.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehuttongroup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehuttongroup

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillgarciainspired

podcast episode

If You Have the Drive, Just Do It | Danielle Bombash, Co-Owner of Bombash and Earley

In this exciting “behind-the-scenes” episode, Danielle Bombash, co-owner of Bombash and Earley, gives us a tour of her store and production space. She and her husband, Tim, run the business out of a charming storefront that resembles a cottage-style home in McMurray, PA. Their impressive and extensive lineup of botanical skin care products is made entirely by hand in small batches from this location.

After viewing their retail displays in the front of the store, I got to see their main production room in the back of the house, which is typically off-limits to customers. Danielle described how their products are made from raw ingredients, and she showed me some of the equipment that’s used in the creation process. We had a terrific discussion about the origin of the business, how she and Tim balance their unique approaches to entrepreneurship, and why family is a central part of what they are building.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH DANIELLE BOMBASH AT:

Website: https://bombashearley.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bombashbotanical

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bombashandearley

podcast episode

Introducing Season 11 | Proprietors of Pittsburgh Podcast

Season 11 consists of episodes that are all recorded “on location” at unique venues. I decided to get out of the studio and into the city in order to bring you behind the scenes of some amazing local businesses. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the nitty-gritty of how a business operates, then this is the season for you. Each episode includes a tour of the location, and we get access to parts of the business that most people never get to see. Plus, we have the added benefit of sitting down with the entrepreneurs to discuss the origin stories behind their business concepts.

Thanks for listening and for your support. If you’re enjoying the podcast, tell a friend. Keep spreading the word, and keep supporting our local businesses. As always, feel free to reach out to me using my contact info below. Take care, and talk to you soon.

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

podcast episode

Let People Know That You Care | Donna Vilano (My Mom), Retired and Former Owner of Studio 507 Hair Salon

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

podcast episode

Today Is the Day | Jim Shorkey, Former Owner of the Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JIM SHORKEY AT:

Website: https://resultsfromthinking.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jimshorkeyjr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ResultsfromThinking

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/results-from-thinking-llc

podcast episode

Small Business Roundtable Discussion | Lauren Marts, Duztin Watson, and RJ Huebert

I’m pleased to welcome three incredible guests back to the show – Lauren Marts, owner of Baked True North, Duztin Watson, owner of The RiP Group, and RJ Huebert, owner of HBT Digital Consulting. In this in-depth episode, we cover a wide variety of topics, including the critical role that small businesses play in the community and how to attract and retain talented people on your team. Plus, each of our guests gives us an update on the latest developments in their businesses and current trends in their industries.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So, please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

Also, check out my guests’ original episodes from when they first appeared on the podcast to share their origin stories.

Lauren Marts – Season 5, Episode 5: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/collaboration-over-competition-lauren-marts-owner-of-baked-true-north

Duztin Watson – Season 5, Episode 35: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/work-on-yourself-every-day-of-your-life-duztin-watson-owner-of-the-rip-group

RJ Huebert – Season 5, Episode 34: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/be-open-and-share-your-knowledge-rj-huebert-owner-of-hbt-digital-consulting

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH LAUREN MARTS AT:

Website: https://bakedtruenorth.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bakedtruenorth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bakedtruenorth

YOU CAN REACH DUZTIN WATSON AT:

Website: https://ripusa.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theripgroup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiPUSAInc

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ripusainc.

YOU CAN REACH RJ HUEBERT AT:

Website: https://hbtdigital.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbtdigitalconsulting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbtdigitalconsulting

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hbtdigitalconsulting

podcast episode

Small Business Roundtable Discussion | TJ Fairchild, Dr. Natalie Gentile, and George Cook

In this all-star lineup of Pittsburgh entrepreneurs, Dr. Natalie Gentile, TJ Fairchild, and George Cook are all back on the show. We cover a wide variety of topics including the importance of investing in our local communities, when to build team, how to navigate a hybrid work environment, dealing with growth challenges, and much more. It was such a pleasure to sit down and chat with these dynamic small business owners. I was blown away by how committed they are to supporting our local communities. I know you will enjoy this enlightening discussion.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So, please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

Also, check out my guests’ original episodes from when they first appeared on the podcast to share their origin stories.

Dr. Natalie Gentile – Season 7, Episode 4: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/do-what-is-authentic-to-you-natalie-gentile-md-co-founder-of-direct-care-physicians-of-pittsburgh

TJ Fairchild – Season 3, Episode 3: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/put-people-first-tj-fairchild-owner-of-commonplace-coffee

George Cook – Season 5, Episode 22: https://proprietorsofpittsburgh.com/episodes/entrepreneurship-is-a-long-term-commitment-george-cook-co-founder-of-honeycomb-credit

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH DR. NATALIE GENTILE AT:

Website: https://www.directcarepgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nataliegentilemd

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/directcarepgh

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DirectCarePgh

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalie-gentile-md

YOU CAN REACH TJ FAIRCHILD AT:

Website: https://commonplacecoffee.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/commonplacecoffee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commonplacecoffee

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/commonplace-coffee

YOU CAN REACH GEORGE COOK AT:

Website: https://www.honeycombcredit.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/honeycombcredit

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/honeycombcredit

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/honeycomb-credit

podcast episode

Entrepreneurship Is a Game of Pivots | Ben Kander, Founder of Welly

Welly was born from the lasting impression that Ben Kander’s late mother had on him and from his passion for addressing the water insecurity that is prevalent in much of the developing world. In fact, the name Welly stems from the combination of the word “wells,” which is central to the company’s mission of funding clean water projects, and the word “Elly,” which was the name his mom was affectionately known by. Ben decided that he wanted to do work that would have a positive impact on our global community and environment and that honored his mother’s legacy.

Ben and his team have built a recognizable and successful brand in the highly competitive reusable drinkware industry, which is dominated by overseas supply chains. The impact of the pandemic made him realize just how vulnerable we are to making products half a world away. He began to wonder why no competitor was making these products in the United States, so he started to research the feasibility of doing just that. It turns out that Pittsburgh has all of the right ingredients for creating twenty-first century, high-tech, lean manufacturing. We have a skilled labor force, experience with steel and durable materials, a growing robotics and automation sector, and advanced engineering professionals. In our conversation, Ben talks about his plans for building the country’s first manufacturing facility for reusable drinkware and the many lessons he has learned in running a rapidly growing business.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH BEN KANDER AT:

Website: https://www.wellybottle.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wellybottle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wellybottle

podcast episode

Figure Out What You're Good At | Christian Kahle and Matt Brudnok, Owners of Lucky Sign Spirits

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH CHRISTIAN KAHLE AND MATT BRUDNOK AT:

Website: https://www.luckysignspirits.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luckysignspirits

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luckysignspirits

podcast episode

Introducing Season 10 | Proprietors of Pittsburgh Podcast

Hello Pittsburgh. It’s your host, Darin Vilano, and I’m super excited to bring you the next season of the podcast. Season 10 is truly special. I will be bringing you some very unique episodes including a “live audience” recording, two group panels with prior guests, fascinating discussions with leading Pittsburgh entrepreneurs, and a conversation with my mom, Donna Vilano.

Thanks for listening and for your support. If you’re enjoying the podcast, tell a friend. Keep spreading the word, and keep supporting our local businesses. As always, feel free to reach out to me using my contact info below. Take care, and talk to you soon.

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

podcast episode

Trust Your Gut | Samantha Story-Camp, Owner of Pip & Lola's

Samantha Story-Camp’s purchase of a homemade soap recipe book was supposed to be a creative way for her to provide gifts to fellow theatre actors after the final night of performances. One evening, she found herself at a local small business association workshop on how to start a business. Her and a friend were interested in creating a singing telegram company with a unique spin. Their idea never got off the ground, but what she learned planted the seed for another entrepreneurial venture. After receiving initial feedback from her friends and online community, Samantha decided to launch Pip & Lola’s.

Samantha eventually moved back to Pittsburgh, the city where she received her theatre degree from Point Park University. She and her husband opened a storefront, and Pip & Lola’s began to grow. The company, which is named after two of her children, is a thriving family business with two locations. They also have a generous donation program in which they provide bars of soap to regional domestic violence shelters and other local charities. In this episode, Samantha talks about what she’s learned from over a decade in business and how her theatre background helps her to relate and communicate with her many loyal customers.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH SAMANTHA STORY-CAMP AT:

Website: https://www.pipandlola.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipandlola

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pipandlola

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@pipandlolas

podcast episode

Own Your Time | Brandon Gilbert, Owner of the Pittsburgh Mobile Tire Shop

Brandon Gilbert decided to put his business and mechanical engineering background to work in his own company when he started the Pittsburgh Mobile Tire Shop. After numerous subpar experiences at traditional repair stores, he decided that there had to be a better way to provide this important service. Low startup costs and lack of competition in the region enticed Brandon to launch a mobile operation where he could bring the tire shop directly to his customers. In this relaxing and low-pressure environment, people are free to ask questions and develop trust and rapport with him and his staff.

Although Brandon became disenfranchised from years of corporate politics, he still needed to overcome the fear of starting his own business. Easing into it by working on it part time helped him to build the confidence to step out on his own. Today, he is leading a thriving operation in an economy that is looking for convenience more than ever before. He recently opened a brick-and-mortar location to expand his service offerings and to compliment his mobile business. When you listen to our conversation you can tell just how seriously Brandon takes customer service and doing a quality job.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH BRANDON GILBERT AT:

Website: https://pghmobiletires.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pghmobiletires

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pghmobiletires

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandon-gilbert-88bb191a5

podcast episode

Believe That You Can Do It | Taylor Fowler, Owner of Taylor Fowler Writing and PR

At the beginning of 2020, Taylor Fowler was at a crossroads in her career. She had a full-time job, but she also had a few clients in her copywriting and public relations business. Unsatisfied with the feeling of burnout that this was causing, she made a decision to go all in as an entrepreneur. Although progress took time, she started to gain momentum with attracting clients and doing the work that she loved. She also started to build confidence in the area of public relations, which wasn’t initially a focal point for her services. Believing in herself and putting in the daily effort proved to make all the difference in her success.

Taylor’s love for writing began at a young age, and she has accumulated a library of personal journals over the course of her life. Always one to gravitate to creative writing classes and journalism, Taylor has developed a talent for non-fiction storytelling. Today, she works with artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and unique brands to help them craft their best stories. She has a knack for bringing out the raw, human, and emotional side of her subjects in a way that is refreshing and insightful. Taylor’s freelance writing can also be found in numerous online publications.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH TAYLOR FOWLER AT:

Website: https://www.taylorfowler.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylorfowlerpr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylorifowler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taylorfowlerpr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/t-fowler

podcast episode

Know What's Most Valuable to You | Jason DeRose, Owner of Gymsupps

Jason DeRose was working as a strength and conditioning coach for a local high school in 2005 when it became the focus of a nationally televised reality show on ESPN. The football team, which was once the pride of its Pittsburgh-area community, was on a perennial losing streak. This all turned around once Dick Butkus and other NFL and top collegiate coaching and training talent entered the picture to lead the team for one season. Jason soaked up this opportunity to learn all that he could, and a trip to San Diego for additional training inspired him to launch Faster Fitness, an athletic performance center with two Pittsburgh regional locations.

In 2015, Jason was accused of physically assaulting another employee at the high school where he was employed. He maintained his innocence and took his case all the way to trial where he was acquitted of any wrongdoing. Although he was reinstated in the school district, this unfortunate experience caused him to shift his focus to his rapidly growing gym business. A self-proclaimed supplement fanatic, Jason was always on the lookout for new products to offer his personal training clients. It was by chance that he was introduced to someone in the supplement industry, and the seed was planted for what would become Gymsupps in 2017.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JASON DEROSE AT:

Website: https://gymsupps.org

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/team_gymsupps

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teamgymsupps

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gymsupps-org

podcast episode

There's More Than One Way to Give Back | Carolyn Keller, Owner of Curio412

In 2019, Carolyn Keller decided that it was time to put her non-profit operational and curatorial background to work in her own firm. She launched Curio412 as consultancy designed for organizations that want to make a lasting impact with their philanthropic missions and giving strategies and programs. As a proud Pittsburgh native, Carolyn chose to put the 412 in her business name as a reminder of the important work that needs to be done in our regional communities and neighborhoods.

From the outset, Carolyn understood that she was uniquely positioned and qualified to serve as a bridge between non-profits and for-profit enterprises. Her work experience, skills, and deep knowledge of both sectors has allowed her to effectively address the needs of each group. As part of a larger team or as an independent contractor, she has worked on diverse projects and programs to help organizations of all types to make a difference in the areas that matter to them. In our conversation, Carolyn talks about the importance of alignment between business mission and philanthropic goals and why it’s necessary to develop a giving strategy that’s authentic and organic to the organization.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH CAROLYN KELLER AT:

Website: https://www.curio412.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curio412

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/curio412

podcast episode

See Your Idea All the Way Through | Jordan Schulz, Co-Owner of Lifeside Studios

When Jordan Schulz was introduced to Zach Miller in 2019, little did they know that their collaboration would take them far beyond the performance stages of Pittsburgh. At the time, Jordan was looking for a guitarist to complement his vocals, and Zach was open to trying out a few gigs with someone new. Their musical styles, instincts, and preferences were similar, and they quickly hit it off. But it was when they began to spend more time together off stage that they realized just how much their skill sets were a match. Jordan’s marketing, design, and media background combined with Zach’s audio engineering and production knowledge culminated in the creation of Lifeside Studios.

Jordan and Zach share a passion to help aspiring and established musicians bring their music to life. With Lifeside Studios, they are able to assist artists in a number of ways including marketing, promotions, website creation, social media strategy, song development, music videos, audio engineering, production, and music recording. They also have the ability to operate as a mobile studio by bringing their equipment with them to record on location in a wide variety of venues. Although their partnership started with a mutual love for discovering Pittsburgh musicians, that vision has now expanded following Zach’s move to the West Coast. Today, the duo continues to write and record new music as well as perform at locations all around the country.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JORDAN SCHULZ AT:

Website: https://www.lifesidestudios.com

Website: https://www.jordanschulzonline.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lifeside_studios

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lifesidestudio

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordansschulz

podcast episode

Be Tenacious and Committed to Your Idea | Elisabeth Leach, Co-Founder of The Women's Collective PGH

When Elisabeth Leach met Andrea Belen-Sandhorst in late 2019, they started a conversation about what they valued most in a networking group. Both were developing their own businesses and careers, and they were interested in meeting new people. Although there were other industry-specific and leadership groups available to them, they felt that the Pittsburgh market really needed an organization that catered to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs and corporate professionals in all industries and career stages. In early 2020, they launched The Women’s Collective Pittsburgh in order to fulfill their goal of creating a welcoming and powerful community for professional women in our region.

They were only three months into the launch of their networking group when the pandemic shutdown occurred in March 2020, but Elisabeth and Andrea were determined to keep their dream alive. 2020 and 2021 consisted of outdoor events, keeping their attendance levels low, and wearing masks as needed, all in order to adhere to safety protocols while continuing to give their members a reason to come out, socialize, and learn from each other. When their membership base exploded in the spring of 2021, they knew that their new organization could be a full-time business. Today, Elisabeth sets the strategic direction and runs the day-to-day operations as the CEO of The Women’s Collective Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH ELISABETH LEACH AT:

Website: https://www.jointwc.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_womens_collective_pgh

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/twc-pittsburgh

podcast episode

You Have to Do the Work | Emily Bezak, Owner of Emily Bezak Writes

Emily Bezak’s love for writing began at a young age with journaling and storytelling. She created and maintained a freelance writing business, while she developed her corporate career as a marketer and communications professional. In 2020, Emily wrote a blog post announcing that she would soon leave her job to work full time in her own business. Early that same year, she launched Emily Bezak Writes to offer a suite of social media, copywriting, content creation, and marketing services to both established and startup organizations and businesses.

In this episode, Emily talks about the many gigs, jobs, and corporate positions that she’s held over the years and the role they have played in shaping her marketing philosophy and writing style. We also discuss the impact that working at Sephora had in highlighting her natural gifts in the areas of customer service and communications. Today, Emily is realizing her dream of teaching the next generation of business professionals as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH EMILY BEZAK AT:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilyjbezak

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emily.bezak

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmilyBezak

podcast episode

We Manifest Our Own Reality | Jan Receski, Owner of OnPar Now

After a successful 30-year career at prominent local company, Jan Receski was ready for a new challenge, not an early retirement. As she was contemplating her next move, inspiration struck following a poor golf club fitting experience. Selecting and trying out new equipment should be a fun and exciting time for any golfer, yet Jan left feeling underserved, misunderstood, and slightly offended. She quickly realized that the local market was lacking in golf establishments that catered to the needs of an increasing base of female players and enthusiasts.

At the height of the pandemic in early 2021, Jan opened OnPar Now, an inclusive and welcoming indoor golf facility that is especially sensitive to the growing numbers of women players. In this episode, Jan talks about how she cashed out her 401(k) and literally put it all on the line to make her dream a reality. She discusses how she navigated a new world of entrepreneurship by fully immersing herself in every aspect of the development of her business. With each meeting and decision made, she grew more confident throughout the process. And today, she continues to live up to her mantra that “failure is not an option.”

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JAN RECESKI AT:

Website: https://onparnow.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onparnow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnParNow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onpar-now

podcast episode

Get Out of Your Own Way | James Mauler, Founder of Cadnetics

James Mauler was still early in his career when he decided to leave college and take a more hands-on approach with his education. Instead of completing a five-year degree in architecture, Jim realized that he could achieve his professional and financial goals by putting his drafting skills to work on the job. As an example, when computer-aided design (CAD) software was still in its infancy, he was the first person in his firm to volunteer to learn how to use it. This made him a go-to resource in the company, and it gave him the confidence he needed to know that he was on the right track.

In the early 1990s, Jim was terminated from the company that he was working for at the time. He describes this as a blessing in disguise because it gave him a compelling reason to start his own company the very next day. Jim has been at the helm of Cadnetics for nearly 30 years, and his business has undergone tremendous growth and transformation during that time. The firm, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, also has a presence in four other major markets throughout the country. Jim is currently realizing his vision of expanding to 10 cities in 10 years, and you can tell from our conversation that he is having a lot of fun in the process.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JAMES MAULER AT:

Website: https://www.cadnetics.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/cadnetics-inc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cadnetics

podcast episode

Start With Why | Patrick Colletti, Refounder of Net Health

In the beginning of his career at Net Health, Patrick Colletti was faced with an unexpected opportunity and a steep hill to climb. It was the early 2000s and the company was teetering on the edge of collapse when board members asked him and another colleague if they wanted one last shot at turning it around. With a lack of job prospects in the wake of 9/11, Patrick felt that he had nothing to lose in giving it a try. The first few years were rough, but their newly organized team eventually got the business on solid ground. Today, Net Health is a leading electronic employee health records, software, and analytics company with an impressive roster of customers which includes over 95% of the country’s largest health care systems.

A few years ago, Patrick stepped down from his position as Net Health’s president, and this transition has placed him in a new role as the company’s advisor and refounder. In 2021, he published his book, which tells the story of his journey and the company’s reinvention and explosive growth over the last twenty years. The book is aptly titled – "Refounder: how transformational leaders take what’s broken and make it better." In our conversation, Patrick discusses the “refounding principles” that served him well in the early days of the turnaround. He also shares the importance of cultivating team and creating culture in building an organization that can stand the test of time.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH PATRICK COLLETTI AT:

Website: https://refounder.com

Website: https://www.nethealth.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-colletti

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patrick_colletti

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nethealthfits

podcast episode

Be as Real as Possible | Jess Iacullo, Founder of Hungry Jess Big City

Jess Iacullo started her brand, Hungry Jess Big City, as a passion project. It also served to give her a leg up on internship opportunities while she was a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Little did she know at the time but in a few short years her Instagram page would explode to over 35,000 followers. After working with a number of noteworthy media companies, such as Forbes, Business Insider, Food Network, and Discovery Plus, Jess realized that her increasing online popularity may be an avenue for her to explore entrepreneurship.

In 2018, after moving back to Pittsburgh, Jess started to monetize her brand through client work and brand partnerships. Just when things were going well for her, she got an unexpected “cease and desist” letter in the mail from a California attorney. The explosion of her brand had reached across the country and caught the attention of someone with a similar business name. Jess had to go through the excruciating work of renaming and rebranding her company, which took a year to fully complete. Today, Hungry Jess Big City is a thriving business, and Jess currently works with many local and national clients.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to chat, you can reach me at my contact info below. The purpose of this podcast is to share ideas, inspire action, and build a stronger small business community here in Pittsburgh. So please say hello, tell me what you think, and let me know how I’m doing. It means a ton!

YOU CAN REACH ME AT:

Website: https://www.proprietorsofpittsburgh.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/proprietorsofpittsburghpodcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darinvilano

Phone: 412-336-8247

YOU CAN REACH JESS IACULLO AT:

Website: https://hungryjessbigcity.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hungryjessbigcity

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hungryjessbigcity

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hungry-jess-big-city

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