Vanguard by Shopify Studios

Vanguard by Shopify Studios

Entrepreneurial journeys on the road less traveled

A leather goods store selling custom fetish wear for the LGBT+ and kink-friendly communities. A thriving group of female fans drawn by a manga comic set in a Nigerian university. A haute couture designer of of hijabs made from vintage scarves. All these stories and more can be found in Vanguard, a two-season podcast offering from Shopify Studios–the ecommerce platform’s signature content house. Hosted by writer and activist Anshuman Idamsetty, each episode gets to the heart of an unconventional entrepreneurial journey–be it the founding story or the greatest challenge overcome.

Idamsetty has a knack for getting guests to open up and comfortably discuss tough topics, often doing so by expressing his own vulnerabilities, such as his mental health struggles, and the challenges of representation he has faced as a South Asian man. Many of his sentiments are echoed by his guests, who have all built businesses to improve the lives of niche communities. 

In an episode discussing Northbound Leather (the aforementioned fetish wear store), owner and proprietor George Giaouris candidly speaks of the death of his son, and overcoming his grief to continue running his business for the benefit of his customers and employees. As one of the only businesses in 1980s Toronto to openly support the queer community, Northbound’s journey has been equal parts heartwarming and melancholic. 

Similarly, Jacque Amadi’s Adorned by Chi has grown from an anime-inspired lifestyle business to a fully-fledged content creator on the hunt for licensing deals. The manga, which follows five Nigerian college girls with superpowers, raised US$18,000, or $3,000 higher than the Kickstarter goal. Its popularity now sends Amadi to licensing expos around the world in hopes of expanding the brand into toys, makeup, and more. 

What sets Vanguard apart is the attention it pays to thorny topics, and the warmth and respect with which Idamsetty discusses the nuances of unfamiliar subcultures. It’s all too easy for discussions of marginalized communities or rose-tinted stories of entrepreneurial success to become trite, overplayed, and laden with buzzwords that soon lose meaning. However, the well-researched episodes combined with Idamsetty’s compassionate and conversational style of interviewing make Vanguard an easy listen. –NB

shopify.com/podcasts

Cover art courtesy of Shopify Studios.

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

GuideGeek Expands to Facebook Messenger to Offer Personalized Travel Tips

GuideGeek, Matador Network’s AI travel assistant powered by OpenAI, is now accessible to Facebook Messenger users, expanding its reach beyond WhatsApp and Instagram. This move aims to place GuideGeek in the hands of more travelers globally, offering instant, personalized travel tips at no cost.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Debuts Brain Chip Implant: A Bold Future with Ethical Questions

Elon Musk’s Neuralink is back in the spotlight with a major update: they’ve put a brain chip, called the Link, into a human for the first time. This small device has set its sights on monumental goals, such as helping people who’ve lost their limb functionality. Musk’s big dream doesn’t stop there—he wants the chip to boost our brains, improve our memory and eventually blend the human mind with artificial intelligence (AI).

Mercedes-Benz Launches the New Luxurious CLE Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz has launched the CLE Cabriolet, building on its heritage of creating four-seater convertible vehicles. This new addition is characterized by its expressive design, advanced technology, and high-quality features, ensuring an enhanced driving experience. The model, which evolves from the CLE Coupé, stands out with its traditional fabric acoustic soft top and distinct high-quality details, making it uniquely positioned in the market. Designed to offer dynamic performance alongside exceptional daily comfort, the CLE Cabriolet supports year-round open-air enjoyment.

4 Companies Reusing Coffee Husk for Eco-Friendly Innovations

A daily cup of coffee is more than just a morning ritual—it’s a powerhouse of energy and health benefits. Beyond keeping you alert, coffee supports brain health, maintains liver function and may even lower the risk of depression. However, the journey of coffee from plantation to mug involves an energy-intensive process that produces significant waste, particularly coffee husks.

Fort Worth Hosts New LG Electronics Facility for EV Charger Assembly

LG Electronics has initiated its first U.S. production facility for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Fort Worth, Texas, aiming to bolster the national EV charging infrastructure and generate employment opportunities. The facility’s inauguration was marked by an event attended by Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and LG executives Alec Jang, H.K. Suh and Nicolas Min. This development is part of LG’s strategy to expand its presence in the EV charger market by providing high-quality charging solutions and services.