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

Top Must-Follow Productivity Influencers in 2023

Top Must-Follow Productivity Influencers in 2023

Productivity is a key aspect of success in today’s fast-paced world. Being productive enables individuals to balance their work and personal lives effectively while accomplishing their goals efficiently. To help you stay on track and reach your full potential, we’ve identified top influential productivity experts who provide valuable insights to maximize your efficiency in 2023.

What Can Drones Be Used For, and Do They Have a Future?

What Can Drones Be Used For, and Do They Have a Future?

In January 2023, Australian soldiers used drones to search for a missing woman. The drones helped them reach areas that might have been too challenging for a human to enter. For the past few years, the drone economy has been booming. Global investments in the industry amount to US$1.15 billion, with China leading the market.

2022 FIFA World Cup

The Most Controversial VAR Decisions at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The footballing world has welcomed many new technological developments in recent times. Its goal is to make decision-making more accurate and provide a better experience for players and fans alike. These technologies include the video assistant referee (VAR), semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and sensor-equipped footballs, all used extensively during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Self-funding Your Startup? Follow These Expert Tips from Proven Entrepreneurs

Self-funding Your Startup? Follow These Expert Tips from Proven Entrepreneurs

Starting a new business can be an exciting and challenging endeavor, with securing funding being one of the biggest obstacles. Traditional funding options, such as venture capital and angel investing, can be time-consuming, especially for new and untested businesses. In such cases, self-funding, or “bootstrapping”, might be a viable option.

Navigating Ghost Job Postings: How to Avoid Them

Navigating Ghost Job Postings: How to Avoid Them

Job searching can be a daunting task, especially with the risk of encountering scams or fraudulent job postings. Ghost job postings, which refer to open job positions that are not actively being filled, are a common issue that jobseekers should be aware of. According to a survey by New York-based financial consultancy Clarify Capital.

Can AI Help You Flirt Better

Can AI Help You Flirt Better?

“Excuse me, but I think you dropped something: my jaw.” This is the pick-up line the famous artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT dished out when we asked for some viable options. Not the most original, sure, but not bad for a trained algorithm.