Ep014 - Briana Malmquist, photographer, blogger, & social media guru

Bringing you one of my favorite photographers and an episode full of resources.

Briana has been our family photographer for the last few years. Every encounter she captures those special shots, ones you get as canvas prints that end up proudly displayed for all who visit. We first took photos in downtown Spokane on the bridges near the river. My daughter was at the age where she couldn’t sit still no matter what, but somehow, Briana captured some of the best pictures we’ve ever taken. Now that I’m writing this, I remember we were some of the first families to pose for Briana. She used us for practice sessions and we got some of the best stuff we could imagine! When she delivered the photos to us essentially the same day, it was an incredible gift that we’ve appreciated ever since.

Her ability to compose a shot then further the emotion of it post-production is top freaking notch. I mean top shelf, thousand dollar a bottle, crazy good. I’ve seen some serious editing and I have great respect for all photographers. Briana’s work is special beyond what you already expect from a serious photog. There’s emotion and atmosphere pouring from every shot. Nothing feels overly staged and the candidness helps bring the audience into the scene with the subject. You feel like you’re standing with Briana as she shoots when you look at her albums.

After recording this episode and further learning what makes her tick as a creative, you can see the wholesomeness in her motivation. We discussed her philosophy on using social media for your projects or business and it reiterated some of the comments other guests have had. Briana has a very helpful and sharing mindset. She offers the keys to the kingdom during this episode and does so like she owes it to the world. That’s something others can work towards emulating, eliminating the ego and competitiveness. Aaron from the Cascadian Beer podcast does so as well. They don’t flinch at the idea of a competition or challenge, they just want to help people!

I learned a fair amount myself this episode. We talked significant shop and I walked away with new ideas and directions to implement changes to my brand immediately. The idea that Briana wants a story to be told or an emotion evoked each time she posts is something that I didn't really consider. I’m almost checking off boxes with the posts and there should be more of a connection to the audience other than simply being an announcement and a pretty graphic. An immediate change will be the switching of styles for the audio previews and we’ll have more of them. It doesn’t hurt that the photos Briana provided for my graphics are in the mix as well. Did I mention she takes good photos?

This episode is exactly what the podcast needed - jump start the fall and the looming holiday season. Briana mentioned how nervous she was to record and how little she desires to be captured on video or audio, and I am forever grateful she stepped out of her comfort zone. There has been a guest or two that showed slight initial hesitance and I will never blame them for it. I still get nervous each time I record and my job is easier than the guests!

We have lines out to a few more potential guests so hopefully I can make up some of the missed time for the end of summer. I’d like to get the new segments launched in October so we can hit the ground running in 2019. Is it weird that I’m already discussing events months from now? That’s how fast time moves these days.

You can check out Briana Shae Photography and also Piper’s Zoo for her photography and blog. Please visit her Instagram pages for her photography business and Piper’s Zoo as well and give her a follow!



Ep013 - Mallory Wiebe, founder of We Bee Kind, CBD Herbal Apothecary

Mallory does it all with her business, from production through sales to development of new products. 

A quick tally makes this the seventh appearance by Sehome Alumni on the ‘cast.  Make no mistake, this isn’t for lack of interest from a more diverse guest pool. I had to have Mallory on the podcast, as her business is so unique and successful.  We’ve been trying to align our schedules for quite a while, so I really appreciate her coordination and dedication to seeing this through. 

Fighting through a recent ailment, Mallory gave me the full run down about her CBD herbal apothecary business, how she develops her products and where motivation grew from.  We dove into her past, present and future marketing campaigns, including successes as well as moments where a new approach proved necessary.  We even got to discuss long term goals of Mallory's, in and outside of We Bee Kind. Her vision is noble and there’s room for collaboration. I hope in some shape or form, this episode contributes to realizing those dreams.

Scheduling mix ups aren’t uncommon, but depending on how drastic, they can impact overall flow of conversation. This interview went off without a hitch in spite of any preceding hiccups.  It was clear as I listened to Mallory that the questions I sent beforehand were studied and chewed on. I’m really pleased with this format. It gives everyone additional confidence and has quickly elevated to a "no duh" box to check.  We steamrolled through all our content while also dedicating plenty of thought and attention to each question.

Mallory's business is genuinely fun to follow, because you see it through the owner/operator's eyes.  The veil of commerce is lifted, exposing and engaging what business truly is - comprised of people and vision. Everything at We Bee Kind is executed along a single thread of mindset, and at this point, by one person. This realization makes it all the more impressive when you zoom out and take in everything she’s accomplished.  

This episode of the podcast has special meaning for both myself and Mallory, because it’s a great compliment to her current arsenal of informational material.  The goal is to inform the consumer and make them comfortable, and Mallory goes above and beyond to accomplish that.  I was shocked to hear she offers her personal number and time. She is completely committed to her business' identity and mission, never shying away from the opportunity to explain what her products are, why they exist and the potential benefits. Her products turn your head as a consumer. Figuratively speaking, of course. Along that note, knowledge is power, and we have yet to realize a world void of stigma associated with cannabis products and solutions. If you lack understanding or experience with CBD, I highly encourage you to spend some more time in research, as there is something for everyone. Mallory highlights a ton of great information on the What is CBD? page of her website. 

As with all episodes recording via FaceTime audio, the sound and production of the interview are solid.  It still strikes me as ironic that in-person interviews don't sound as polished as those by phone.  I’m at the point where I must figure out a way to procure more equipment for the in-person recordings.  Then the question becomes - how many possible guests will be recording at the same time? It is in this moment, and many others, that you’re invited to the rabbit hole of recording equipment options. Suddenly you find yourself considering additional investment into a hobby project to the tune of $1,500.  I'm already cutting it close with the website, hosting and software.  What’s the appropriate balance of financials and quality? Maybe we'll get an investor to buy us new equipment and create significant flexibility in the system.  Maybe I just do it myself over time.  Maybe we do nothing and just deal with it.  What would you do?

As far as unanswered questions, the next episode (014) only steepens the pile. I'm currently reeling from technical difficulties during the recording, but the beauty is, there’s a lesson in each of these misfires.  More than one if you’re lucky.  You'll have to check back for a blog post about that episode. Honestly, I’m not sure what will happen. Expect to stray from expectations. 

I’ll leave you with that conundrum of a directive.   Stay tuned, and thank you for the engagement.