109 episodes

Hi. Jen Estill and Karen Stefl here. In The Speak Easy Podcast, we share years of expertise in marketing, branding, video production, strategy—not to mention management, employee development, mentoring, sales, creativity, maintaining life balance, managing money, and.. you get the idea. It takes a lot to keep a couple of creative studios thriving.

We developed this podcast after years of "how do you..." boss lady conversations. It was clear that if we were both in such similar places with regard to business growth, and personal growth, and work/life/motherhood/bossland balance, then other women may be, too. We'd been sharing confessions over cocktails for quite a while—solving problems, asking for advice, and whispering the secret fears and disappointments that successful women are never supposed to have. (You've had those, right? It's not just us?)

Thus, Speak Easy was born. Our goal and our promise is to speak with honesty about the challenges that experienced women in the creative industry face. To create a community where we can support one another and abandon the mantra that we put on a good face and make it look like we have it all together, even when we don't. You can expect honesty, complete vulnerability and even a good laugh.

And cocktails. You can expect cocktails.

The Speak Easy Podcas‪t‬ Jen Estill and Karen Stefl — creative studio entrepreneurs, brand and video experts, boss ladies, moms

    • Business

Hi. Jen Estill and Karen Stefl here. In The Speak Easy Podcast, we share years of expertise in marketing, branding, video production, strategy—not to mention management, employee development, mentoring, sales, creativity, maintaining life balance, managing money, and.. you get the idea. It takes a lot to keep a couple of creative studios thriving.

We developed this podcast after years of "how do you..." boss lady conversations. It was clear that if we were both in such similar places with regard to business growth, and personal growth, and work/life/motherhood/bossland balance, then other women may be, too. We'd been sharing confessions over cocktails for quite a while—solving problems, asking for advice, and whispering the secret fears and disappointments that successful women are never supposed to have. (You've had those, right? It's not just us?)

Thus, Speak Easy was born. Our goal and our promise is to speak with honesty about the challenges that experienced women in the creative industry face. To create a community where we can support one another and abandon the mantra that we put on a good face and make it look like we have it all together, even when we don't. You can expect honesty, complete vulnerability and even a good laugh.

And cocktails. You can expect cocktails.

    Strategy Series 16: Branding For Community Impact

    Strategy Series 16: Branding For Community Impact

    When creating a new brand identity, it's important to keep your end goal top-of-mind. From brainstorming a brand name to designing a logo and tying it all together on a shiny new website, a new brand is a multi-faceted process — and all the while, it is imperative not to get swept up in the process and lose sight of the client's broader goal. At the end of the day, a brand is more than clarifying and enhancing an image. It's about amplifying the client's message and, as a result, inciting positive change.

    In this Strategy Series minisode, Jen references an example from her own work to discuss the balance between branding and the client's broader, community-driven vision. How can we let our own passions for advocacy and change shine through and inform the brands we create? Jen and Karen chat all that and more.

    Mentioned in this episode: BOLD Lansing

    • 7 min
    91: How To Happy (And Know It)

    91: How To Happy (And Know It)

    What makes you happy? Is it finishing a project you've been working hard on? Giving a gift to a loved one? Reading a good book on a rainy day? Or, is it even more subtle than that? To us, happiness is something we can practice in our day-to-day lives. Joy can often feel elusive; unfortunately, we aren't always conscious of the moments that make us feel happy when we're in them. With that in mind, how can we become more intentional about our happiness?

    Of course, happiness is no easy feat. It is often entirely circumstantial and dependent on the cards you've been dealt. Regardless, there are a few methods we can use to be more intentional and present when it comes to the factors within our control. Whether it is simply waking up in the morning and setting your intention for happiness for the day like Jen, or finding your happiness and inspiration in the smaller things throughout the day like Karen, there are small ways we can become more mindful of our emotions. We break down down the importance of practicing happiness both inside and outside our work lives, and how we can strive to change our mindset when necessary.

    Mentioned in this episode:
    TED Talk by Dewitt Jones - Celebrate What's Right In The World

    • 21 min
    Strategy Series 15: Honoring Efficacy and Efficiency

    Strategy Series 15: Honoring Efficacy and Efficiency

    Working in a client-based industry means that, first and foremost, we are problem solvers. Our clients come to us with specific goals, visions, or a problems to be solved, and it is our job to deliver a successful end product that does just that. Our ability to create the best product possible means working in the most efficient and effective manner we can, while also staying realistic about client expectations and what we can provide.

    Karen uses a recent example from her own work to discuss her approach to project management. From efficacy to efficiency, we chat about strategies for approaching projects with equal parts realism and optimism.

    • 6 min
    90: Creating Credibility: How Trust And Success Go Hand In Hand

    90: Creating Credibility: How Trust And Success Go Hand In Hand

    We know credibility as the foundation of trust. In all areas of life, it is so important to be known for delivering on our promises: your staff needs to believe in you, your clients need to trust you, your friends and family need to depend on you. And while all of that is important and at the face of being credible, credibility runs much deeper than that.

    Credibility is established over time, and people often underestimate the hard work, consistency, and time it takes to build a credible reputation. It's incredibly fragile, requires regular upkeep, and can be lost over time if not maintained.

    So, as entrepreneurs, how does personal and professional credible affect our business? How do we build credibility and establish trust? And how can we rebuild this reputation if we've lost credibility? We cover it all.

    • 17 min
    89: Cracking The Glass Ceiling And The Work That's Left To Be Done

    89: Cracking The Glass Ceiling And The Work That's Left To Be Done

    n her nomination acceptance speech, Vice President Kamala Harris shared some moving words that stuck with us: "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities." We thought Inauguration Day would be a fitting time to break into this beast of a topic, the glass ceiling, and all of the nuances that come along with it.

    Women in the workforce are all too familiar with the barriers that the metaphorical glass ceiling presents. While women have outnumbered men on college campuses since the mid-1980s, women have not moved up to positions of prominence and power in America at a rate that is reflective of this. Today, there is a substantial gap between a small number of prominent women at the very top of their fields and the vast majority of women nationwide. While many might feel that the glass ceiling has been shattered and our work is done, this is far from the truth.

    While we're seeing more women than ever step into positions of leadership, the glass ceiling is still looming over our heads. This episode, we're tackling this topic from a variety of perspectives: everything from the large-scale economic impact of the glass ceiling, to the inspiring women who have helped crack the ceiling, to the work that's still to be done.

    Mentioned in this episode: The Women’s Leadership Gap (Center for American Progress)

    • 18 min
    Strategy Series 14: Sensory Branding

    Strategy Series 14: Sensory Branding

    Our senses are directly linked to memory. That's why some of the most iconic brands in the world are attached to sounds (PlayStation's startup sound), taste (Olive Garden's mints), and scent (Delta Airlines). Our senses help us remember hyper-specific factors of a situation, thus cementing a brand in one's long-term memory. As marketers and business owners, it only makes sense that we would want to use this to our advantage.

    Still, while sensory branding is an extremely effective marketing tool, it is often overlooked. How can your brand appeal to your audience's senses to make your product more memorable or build connection? All this and more in this week's Strategy Series episode.

    • 7 min

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