In light of the recent changes that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah Howard ’20 created a podcast that highlights the challenges faced by small businesses. Howard graduated from Lewis & Clark with a major in Rhetoric and Media Studies and a minor in Art and Art History. She calls her podcast “The Self-Made Podcast” and interviews a variety of small business owners that have been forced to shut down their businesses until further notice.
Howard aims to provide business owners with a platform through her podcast by sharing their stories and the sudden realities of online business.
“I’ve always loved listening to podcasts, but I never thought I would make my own until the pandemic impacted our world and daily lives,” Howard said via email. “I was reading stories about individuals who had to close the doors to their business and I was heartbroken by how it was drastically impacting our community. I wanted to raise awareness about these entrepreneurs and share their story online!”
Howard has reached out to business owners over Facebook and LinkedIn and communicates with local Portland entrepreneurs that she met throughout her college career. Her podcast explores businesses in industries ranging from skincare to sports gear, performing virtual interviews with people all across the country.
The interviewees include owner of Portland Gear Marcus Harvery, owner of Dream Scene Parties Annie Meinberg and CEO of ApexPWR Jaron Mastrud. Howard’s podcast showcases the processes involved in starting small businesses, the personal process for owners and how the pandemic has affected their businesses.
“I love having a range of guests because they all have an interesting story to tell and it doesn’t limit the conversation to a singular type of business,” Howard said. “It has been great learning about how individuals have pursued their own business goals and dreams and I’ve learned a lot from my conversations with them!”
“The Self-Made Podcast” currently has 12 episodes available on eight different platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, with new interviews going live each week. Howard hopes that her podcast will raise awareness for these entrepreneurs while also giving people who are interested in small business ownership career advice.
“Small businesses need help more than ever before,” Howard said. “As college students, an easy way to support your favorite companies is to follow them on social media, leave positive reviews about them on Yelp, and spread the word about the places you love!”
As a recent LC alum, Howard is in the process of applying to digital marketing jobs on the West Coast. With her passion for marketing and advertising, she envisions herself owning a small business that assists entrepreneurs in developing brand identity for their companies.