Small Business War Stories

Small businesses are the soul of America. This is where they tell their stories. We want to showcase how our stories bind us; how America is more united than it sometimes feels. Small Business War Stories is a weekly 30 minute show recorded in person with small business owners. We discuss different topics and get the triumphs, struggles, and funny stories from our guests' everyday lives. Hosted by Pablo Fuentes, CEO and Founder of Proven, the leading small business hiring tool.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts



All Episodes
Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 30, 2017

Starting a photography business is simple, but making it successful and profitable is a real challenge.

Between existing full-time photographers and those doing it as a secondary part-time job, there's a tremendous amount of competition in the market.

But many photographers have managed to succeed by carving out a niche and building a sustainable lucrative business.

We spoke with Dan Mitchell about his journey from budding school teacher to full-time music and events photographer.

His modest beginnings started with uploading a video he created with his cellphone of a friend's open mic performance. That was compelling enough to be contacted about the possibility of making money from creating similar content.

Fast forward to today, and this self-taught photographer has built a growing business specializing in music, portraits and special event photography.

We are excited to share with you our interview with Dan in today's episode of Small Business War Stories.

Aug 23, 2017

The Shack Up Inn embodies the intersection between music and cultural tourism.

A stay at one of their sharecropper shacks immediately immerses you in the history of plantation life while also immersing you in the live music scene at the birth place of the blues.

The Shack Up Inn started nearly 20 years ago as a single sharecropper shack on a plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Tourists interested in seeing what a plantation looked like started asking about renting the shack.

Fast forward to today, The Shack Up Inn has 19 shacks, can accommodate over 100 people, and has its own live music venue that has featured legends such as Robert Plant, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello.

In today's episode of Small Business War Stories, we spoke with Guy Malvezzi to learn how they got their start, why music tourism and much more.

Aug 16, 2017

Claire Flowers was in software sales and after years of suffering through poorly made shoes that would get caught in sidewalk grates and fall apart weeks after buying, she was inspired to design her own shoe.

Now, it turns out, getting someone to manufacture a single shoe is not so simple. It's not like getting a tailored suit. Large manufacturers have no interest in doing one-off business like that and no one overseas will do it.

This is what inspired Claire to start Claire Flowers Shoes. She wanted a woman's shoe that feel like a Nike, looks like a Jimmy Choo, and wears like a work boot.

We sat down with Claire to talk about how she went from idea to full fledged business and much more in this latest episode of Small Business War Stories.

Aug 9, 2017

In the early 90s, Mark Baier was working as a stockbroker, playing music for fun. Having finally made enough money for the first time to buy new music equipment, Mark excitedly purchased a brand new amp.

He was unfortunately disappointed. The new amp didn't sound anything like his old second hand amp.

After comparing the electronics between his old and new amps, he realized that in order to have a new amp that sounded like his old amp, he'd need to build it himself.

Knowing nothing about electronics, he taught himself 1960s electronics via his local library and then went to work.

This incredible story was the modest beginnings of Victoria Amps. We get Mark's full story and much more on the latest episode of Small Business War Stories.

Aug 2, 2017

Like many entrepreneurs, Mike Dalle Molle and Jordan Gurren started out working for someone else. 

Although they loved the work, they felt like there was not a lot of creative freedom. They had to do what they were told.

After receiving a lucky break where a local restaurant asked them to design a shelving unit, which led to designing an entire restaurant, they leapt at the chance to start their own custom furniture business.

They were only 23 and 24 years-old at the time. 

Now, less than three years later, they have a 6,500 square foot facility with 8 people on staff, cranking out amazing furniture every day.

For such young men, they have a lot of perspective and a ton of drive.

On this latest episode of Small Business War Stories, we take a deep dive into how they got their start, how they learned and adapted along the way, and what the future holds for Goodwood NOLA.