8 episodes

A podcast about Raleigh, North Carolina — exploring what this city is and what it will become.

Produced by Chorus Studios with support from Common Desk East End Market.

Why Raleigh‪?‬ Flo Lumsden and Chauncey Zalkin

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

A podcast about Raleigh, North Carolina — exploring what this city is and what it will become.

Produced by Chorus Studios with support from Common Desk East End Market.

    Getting Creative with Jessie Williams of Edge of Urge

    Getting Creative with Jessie Williams of Edge of Urge

    For 21 years, Jessie Williams has run her independent and very stylish shop Edge of Urge in the Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh, more recently adding the menswear store and bar, Unlikely Professionals across the street. She is also part owner of Root & Branch at the Raleigh-Durham airport. This creative entrepreneur extraordinaire has raised considerable funds for reproductive and lgbtq rights as well as efforts to get healthy foods to kids. When I ask about her aesthetic, she mentions giving as a big part of her whole vibe.

    In this interview you'll learn about what I (Chauncey) call her very much "hinged maximalism" that is part of her brilliant vision. She's a maker-doer-mama bear to creative practitioners and is one Raleigh entrepreneur I'm particularly thankful for which is why I chose her as one of my two interviews for this project.

    We get into arts education, raising kids here, North Carolina as a state overall, and her supportive indie store neighbors. We also talk about unconventional business planning that mixes the practical with a big dose of gut feeling and iterative process. I think that's worked out for her quite well. Take a listen and be inspired!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The Optimist Behind Optimist Coffee

    The Optimist Behind Optimist Coffee

    Since the beginning of the Pandemic, Flo has been frequenting The Optimist Coffee to keep her spirits up. Adjacent to the historic Oakwood Cemetery, The Optimist Coffee embodies a cheerful, ironic aesthetic featuring skeletons, deep green velvet cushions and elegant floral illustrations on the windows. Its cozy and light hearted vibe welcomes you in, to spend time and relax. So how did this fabulous coffee shop come to be? In this conversation Flo sits down with owners Andrew and Robyn Ward to find out. The origin story knocked Flo's socks off and revealed... The Optimist! We discuss what attracted Andrew and his wife to Raleigh from Denver, CO in the first place and why they feel like Raleigh is the home they've been searching for. We hope you enjoy! 

    • 36 min
    Crafting more than Beer, David Meeker and the Future of Raleigh

    Crafting more than Beer, David Meeker and the Future of Raleigh

    Today, we are talking to David Meeker. Axios calls David one of Raleigh's most influential real estate developers and for good reason. In his work as a commercial developer, investor, and builder, he keeps Raleigh charm and history intact while fostering creative entrepreneurship and a healthy community today. David's specialty has been adaptive reuse - repurposing historic buildings with a nod to their former life. We discuss the importance of independent, locally run food and retail in or near downtown, which is the lifeblood of a successful, engaging city. Take a listen.

    • 44 min
    Meet Chauncey Zalkin! Writer, Brand Strategist and Mom

    Meet Chauncey Zalkin! Writer, Brand Strategist and Mom

    Welcome to our 4th episode of Why Raleigh? where I, Raleigh native Flo Lumsden, sit down with this season's co-host Chauncey Zalkin, a NYC transplant who’s lived in mostly big international cities working in fashion, magazines, and advertising until now (stay tuned to find out where).
    Chauncey chose Raleigh because she thought it was “an incredible place to raise children and find community.” While I don't have kids yet, I couldn’t agree more! We discuss dinner parties, the intricacies of navigating I-40, creative entrepreneurship, forging non-linear career paths, and owning your expertise. Chauncey Zalkin is not only a talented writer, brand strategist, and storyteller but also a kick-ass mom to twin daughters. 

    • 46 min
    Spyglass Talent and Betting on Raleigh

    Spyglass Talent and Betting on Raleigh

    Flo had the pleasure of sitting down and going deep with John Reid Sidebotham.  Originally from NYC, John has a unique perspective on what makes raleigh special. What's that? The community. People care about each other. Even as Raleigh grows, John claims that people care a lot about the future growth and direction of Raleigh. And John knows people - he’s the founder and president of the talent solutions firm SpyGlass Talent.We talk public transportation, density, and urban design - all hot topics in Raleigh today. 

     Why did this manhattanite decide to build his future and raise his family in Raleigh, NC? Let’s find out. 

    • 40 min
    Glow Fitness! From NY to Raleigh to Start a Fitness Brand

    Glow Fitness! From NY to Raleigh to Start a Fitness Brand

    Ris (short for Marisa) moved from Buffalo, NY with some other fitness entrepreneurs to start the fitness studio of their dreams, Glow Fitness. The only problem? They had planned to open right when the pandemic struck in February 2020. They stuck to their vision and were able to open their in-person studio near Five Points in November 2022. Offering adult dance-fitness classes, Flo was thrilled when they opened and couldn't wait to find out more about these badass women running their own super fun, neon fitness studio in Raleigh. How did they survive the pandemic? How do they manage the business and their investors? Why did they pick Raleigh to start their dream fitness studio? Join us for our first full length interview episode and find out!

    • 46 min

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