We’re excited to announce the launch of our new podcast, Charting Her Course. Host Veronica Kusmuk and her featured guests give an inside look at women who own and run small businesses on California’s Central Coast. Be sure to rate us, subscribe to the podcast and follow us on Instagram: @chartinghercourse.
Episode Ten: Ashe Brown is the owner of Pura Luna Apothecary in Santa Barbara, California, which she runs with her wife, Cristin Brown. Pura Luna Apothecary is an earth-based wellness space for women, and the sister company of Luna Bella Make Up and Hair. Listen as she talks about building a brand and business as a queer black woman in a predominantly white space, using herbal medicine as the tools for personal healing, and what it means to be an ally to small businesses.
Episode Nine: Reyna Chavez is the founder and CEO of Scrubs on the Run, a medical retail store with three locations throughout Ventura County. Listen in as she talks about her business journey to success and how she navigates being at the forefront of COVID-19.
Episode Eight: Nicki Parr is the Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV). She joined WEV in April 2018 to jumpstart business recovery and resiliency programs following the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow. Listen as she talks about what small businesses can do to stay afloat during COVID.
Episode Seven: Zhena Muzyka is the founder and owner of Club Magic Hour, a monthly subscription box with a mission to connect the world through tea ceremony.
Based in Ojai, Zhena started her career by founding Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, a journey that turned 6 dollars into 12 million dollars, which became a pioneer in fair trade advocacy.
Since then, Zhena has become an author and publisher at Simon & Schuster, as well as an executive coach amongst other occupations.
Listen as she talks about the power of self-trust, leading by example, and the importance of how business can change the world through a sustainable mindset.
Please enjoy this talk with Zhena Muzyka.
Episode Six: Sarah McCarthy Garcia is the Vice President of McCarthy Companies, a family-run real estate development and construction company based in Ventura.
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Sarah got into the family business and is now one of four principals who direct the company’s expansion into even more upscale projects.
Listen as she talks about being a woman in a male dominated industry, what it’s like working with family, and navigating new motherhood.
She has deep roots in the Central Coast community and also happens to be a great friend of mine.
Please enjoy this talk with Sarah McCarthy Garcia.
Episode Five: Sumita Pennathur is the founder and CEO of LAXMI Therapeutics and a mechanical engineering professor at UC Santa Barbara. Sumita has two degrees in aerospace engineering from MIT and a mechanical engineering PhD from Stanford. Some of her accomplishments include creating an improved breastpumping device, as well as developing groundbreaking research for type 1 diabetes. Listen as she talks about finding confidence with her identity, her experiences as a woman in science and engineering, and finding motivation from motherhood. Please enjoy this talk with Sumita Pennathur.
Episode Four: Caleigh Hernandez is the founder & CEO of RoHo Goods. RoHo works with local artisans across Kenya to produce ethically-sourced products such as sandals, handbags and jewelry. RoHo’s mission is to create opportunities for their artisans through providing jobs that pay well above industry standards and ensuring that their children have access to quality education. Listen as Caleigh talks about how a trip to a local market led her to start her own business, and how working closely with women artisans shaped RoHo’s commitment to female economic development.
Episode Three: Hayley Pavone (right) is the CEO/Founder of Pashion Footwear, the world’s first fully convertible high heels. Haley got the idea for Pashion in college, and now, three years later, Pashion has been featured on publications like Forbes and Inc., with patents pending in multiple countries. Listen as she talks about her experience as a young female entrepreneur, the process of creating new fashion technology and what it was like pitching to investors. Please enjoy!
Episode Two: Sherry Villanueva (left) is the owner/managing partner of ACME Hospitality in Santa Barbara which operates seven restaurant concepts in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Chances are if you’ve spent time there, you’ve visited some of their places (The Lark! Lucky Penny! Loquita!). We talk about how Sherry pivoted from marketing to restaurant business, her advice for getting started in a new career and how taking a leap of faith can pay off when paired with a detailed plan. Sherry’s wealth of knowledge is inspiring on so many levels. Learn more about ACME Hospitality at: acmehospitality.com Please enjoy!
Episode One: Briana Garcia (right) is the owner of Tiki Girl Boutique in downtown Ventura, CA. We talk about the steps she took in buying and managing Tiki Girl, as well as her insights on social media and running a small retail business. Tiki Girl Boutique’s website is: shoptikigirl.com and they can also be found on instagram @shoptikigirl