214 episodes

Windowsill Chats is a podcast for artists and creatives who are curious about what it's like to live, work & walk a creative path. You'll find honest stories, refreshing tips, artistic business advice and real conversations with global artists & makers just like you. Host Margo Tantau, a 30+ year Creative Director, Product Designer & maker, is a cheerleader for your success. Come grab a cuppa & join her in her sunny windowsill.

Windowsill Chats Margo Tantau

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 301 Ratings

Windowsill Chats is a podcast for artists and creatives who are curious about what it's like to live, work & walk a creative path. You'll find honest stories, refreshing tips, artistic business advice and real conversations with global artists & makers just like you. Host Margo Tantau, a 30+ year Creative Director, Product Designer & maker, is a cheerleader for your success. Come grab a cuppa & join her in her sunny windowsill.

    A Season for Change: Steve Hoffman on New Perspectives, Culture, and Finding a Sense of Belonging

    A Season for Change: Steve Hoffman on New Perspectives, Culture, and Finding a Sense of Belonging

    Margo is joined by middle-aged Minnesotan, Author, creative, and Tax Preparer Steve Hoffman. Steve who has always been in love with France, both the country and the idea of it as a place where he can be a better version of himself moved together with his family to the small village of Autignac in southern France, where he quickly realized life there was far from his romanticized expectations. Through cooking what the local grocer suggested and learning winemaking from a neighbor, he discovered the true beauty of a culture deeply connected with its landscape. Steve is a Minnesota tax preparer and award-winning food writer, with his work published in Food & Wine, The Washington Post, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune. His memoir, A Season for That: Lost and Found in the Other Southern France, will be published in July 2024. He shares one acre on Turtle Lake, in Shoreview, Minnesota, with his wife, Mary Jo, their elderly puggle, 80,000 honeybees, and a pair of sandhill cranes
     
    Margo and Steve discuss:
    Steve’s creative journey and the inspiration that found him
    The transformative aspects of his family's extended stay in the Languedoc Region of Southern France
    Impact of working in the vines and a village winery on perspective towards wine and winemaking
    Changes in travel philosophy after the experience in France
    The challenges and rewards of parenting both abroad and at home
    How he inspires and encourages his kids in their creativity
    Sneak peek of upcoming appearance on The Splendid Table on July 18
    Where to find Steve’s work, follow his journey, and purchase his new memoir
     
    Connect with Steve:
    www.sjrhoffman.com
    https://www.instagram.com/sjrhoffman/
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill
     

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Creative Current Events: AI Updates, Sticker Mule Drama, and Beer Marketing Magic

    Creative Current Events: AI Updates, Sticker Mule Drama, and Beer Marketing Magic

    Catching up on all things creative current events and highlighting some fun and interesting articles, Margo is joined by friend and current event co-host Abby Campbell. This week they are discussing the growth challenges Cara has been facing and how we can give grace, Etsy’s updated stance on AI, Sticker Mule's political controversy, how a baseball hit made a beer company millions, and finding inspiration outside of our own online algorithm. 
     
    Have a topic or article you want to hear about in a creative current events episode? Send us a DM on Instagram! 



    Mentioned in this episode:
     
    Cara Facing New Challenges
    https://www.fastcompany.com/91157162/the-cara-app-went-viral-now-it-faces-new-challenges
     
    Etsy’s stand on AI from their Handbook
    https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/1275449912004
     
    More on Etsy & New Naming Categories
    https://www.fastcompany.com/91153074/etsy-is-using-humans-to-stand-out-in-an-ai-obsessed-world
     
    Etsy’s Ad
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUFvwHBZOgo
     
    A Dramatic Reading of a Small Business Customer Service Email
    Leigh Standley of Curly Girl Cards
    https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9nJezDON6E/
     
    Ariadne Kritonos on Instagram!
    Thanks for the thoughtful discussion, Ariadne.
    https://www.instagram.com/ariadnekritonos/
     
    Coopers Light - Coors Light’s OUT Campaign
    Unintentionally started by Angels Player Shohei Otani
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5GQvqfqRSU
     
     
    Connect with Abby:
    https://www.abbyjcampbell.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/ajcampkc/
    https://www.pinterest.com/ajcampbell/
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill
     

    • 33 min
    Mastering Creative Storytelling, Brand Strategy, and Core Values for E-Commerce Creatives with Arianne Foulks

    Mastering Creative Storytelling, Brand Strategy, and Core Values for E-Commerce Creatives with Arianne Foulks

    Margo is joined by Arianne Foulks. Arianne is the founder of Aeolidia, a Shopify development agency that's been working with creative shop owners since 2004. Her team blends strategy and design to create super-effective Shopify sites, email marketing, and branding. She is also a popular educator and small business enthusiast. As a champion for creative brands, she has a 17+ year reputation for thoughtful redesigns that help businesses level up. She loves having a problem to solve, and has focused throughout her career on building online homes for fascinating people. She is also a mom of two teenagers, enjoys walking, and always has a pile of books by her bed.
     
    Margo and Arianne discuss:
    Arianne’s creative history of crafting beaded jewelry and zines in her childhood to transforming the online presence of creative e-commerce businesses
    How she cultivated her niche in the e-commerce industry
    The challenges of selling unique products in a market flooded with mass-produced items
    The power of storytelling in e-commerce.
    Core values and how they guide Aeolidia
    the significance of having a minimum viable product
    continuous evolution of brand voice
    How and why her team switched to a four day work week
    how to avoid scope creep and set good expectations when working with clients
    Using the Entrepreneurial Operating System to run a business
     
    Connect with Arianne:
    https://aeolidia.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/aeolidia/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariannefoulks/
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Creative Confidence, Trusting Your Gut and Navigating the Thin Line Between Inspiration and Imitation With Michael Schultz

    Creative Confidence, Trusting Your Gut and Navigating the Thin Line Between Inspiration and Imitation With Michael Schultz

    Margo is joined by friend and former guest, Michael Schultz. Michael is the co-owner and creative eye of Cursive New York, which operates 2 stores in New York City. Cursive is a tightly focused concept with the simple mission of cultivating joy. Michael, along with his husband, Douglas Duncan, have established Cursive as a strong and forward voice in the industry where they offer gift, stationery, home and lifestyle products and is constantly evolving. Cursive operated in New York City’s iconic Grand Central Terminal for 11 years and within ABC Carpet & Home for 15 years, until the Covid-19 pandemic upended those long runs. Making lemonade out of lemons, Schultz and Duncan doubled down on New York and opened 2 shops in New York’s West Village neighborhood, 4 blocks apart. One shop is true to the original Cursive vision, while Cursive Home is the brand's extension into home goods.
     
    Margo and Michael discuss:
    Going all in on yourself, trusting your gut and having confidence in your creativity
    The thin line between inspiration and imitation within the digital landscape
    The risks of looking too closely at others' work and what it can lead to
    The importance of developing a unique point of view
    The patience and vulnerability required to pave your own path in the creative industry
    Maintaining confidence in one's original work even if it isn't immediately recognized 
    Strategies that artists and designers can use to cultivate their own original ideas
    Setting yourself apart as a leader and visionary by thinking two steps ahead
     
    Connect with Michael:
    www.instagram.com/cursivenewyork
    www.instagram.com/curisvenyhome
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill
     

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Creative Current Events: More on AI, Boosting Confidence, and Innovative Product Design

    Creative Current Events: More on AI, Boosting Confidence, and Innovative Product Design

    Join Margo and Abby Campbell for another creative current events catch-up! They discuss boosting self-confidence by ditching "imposter syndrome," explore innovative product design, and highlight the winners of Penguin Books' 2024 Cover Design Contest. They also delve into the latest trends in the art world and share personal anecdotes on overcoming creative blocks. Tune in for insightful discussions and actionable tips to fuel your creative journey.
     
    Mentioned: 
    https://www.reddit.com/r/DefendingAIArt/comments/1da6ctq/cara_was_doomed_to_fail_from_the_beginning/
    https://www.creativeboom.com/tips/how-to-be-more-confident-as-a-creative/
    https://www.creativeboom.com/news/penguin-reveals-the-winners-of-its-2024-cover-design-award/
    https://www.bandanaofthemonth.club/
    https://hudsonvalleyseed.com/pages/call-for-art
    https://sowtrueseed.com/pages/art-call
    https://www.westcoastseeds.com/pages/artist-packet-contest
     
    Have a topic or article you want to hear about in a creative current events episode? Send us a DM on Instagram! 
     
    Connect with Abby:
    https://www.abbyjcampbell.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/ajcampkc/
    https://www.pinterest.com/ajcampbell/
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill
     

    • 21 min
    Marching to the Beat of Your Own Drum: Dan Checkers on The Art of Personalized Songs and Connecting with Fans in Unique Ways

    Marching to the Beat of Your Own Drum: Dan Checkers on The Art of Personalized Songs and Connecting with Fans in Unique Ways

    Margo is joined by one man band, Dan Checkers otherwise known as Dan & Drum. Releasing his debut album in 2017 with no label, connections, or many friends for that matter, he was surprised to see it get millions of streams in the first year, thanks to creators like Jenna Marbles featuring the music. Since then, he's been consistently releasing music, earning 10s of millions of streams across platforms, while touring across the US. Since COVID, he's been selling personalized songs to fans that are then publicly released later- which he finds to be his most artistically fulfilling venture to date!
     
    Margo and Dan discuss:
    His path into music and niching into personalized music
    The power of networking and connections in the music industry
    How he transformed challenges brought on by the pandemic into an opportunity
    His process of songwriting
    His belief in the personal being universal
    Personal struggles with depression and how a gift from his mom became a crucial outlet
    How social media algorithms can be leveraged to build an audience
    Potential benefits and limitations of signing with a music label
     
    Connect with Dan:
    https://www.dananddrum.com/personalizedsongs
    https://open.spotify.com/artist/1ZajCRAa7VEcTytwxzr20a
    https://www.instagram.com/dananddrum/
     
    Connect with Margo:
    www.windowsillchats.com
    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats
    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill
     

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
301 Ratings

301 Ratings

WonderAndMull ,

So inspiring

I recently found Windowsill Chats through a post by her guest Mary Jo Hoffman. That was a fantastic episode…as have been every other one to which I have listened. I have been prompted with ideas, encouraged when I felt in a rut, and given tips and reminders of next steps. Already this has had a positive effect on how I do what I do, and perspective. Listen to it!

ShinahChang ,

Love this podcast!

Genuine and helpful conversations with creatives - as a creative business owner, I find this show really nourishing 😊💕

Sylvia Hall ,

In love

I love the intro music and I love the guests and I love the topics. I’m in love!! Thank you for this show!

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