Jul 7, 2021
Northwood Retail launches a podcast initiative that aims to inspire shoppers

Eighty million Americans are now weekly podcast listeners, which is a 17% increase over 2020. Playing off this trend, Northwood Retail launched a unique podcast initiative, Backstory Beginnings, aimed at engaging this growing audience, supporting its tenants, and inspiring shoppers.

Backstory Beginnings spotlights the founder stories for the cutting-edge, mission-focused, and community-driven brands that fill Northwood Retail’s mixed-use centers. The new series features short, origin story recordings with big takeaways for listeners in business and life. In a quick two-to-five minutes, each podcast reveals the beginnings of, lessons learned and tips for success along each founder’s business journey.

With a broad reach, the podcasts highlight national, regional and local concepts that span the U.S. and Northwood Retail’s portfolio, with a concentration in Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and South Carolina. Spearheaded by Northwood Retail’s President, Ward Kampf, Backstory Beginnings originated as an idea stemming from his own podcast interviews, along with a desire to create new, technology-driven marketing measures for tenants.

Always on the vanguard, Kampf’s forward-thinking mindset has propelled Northwood Retail’s portfolio to contain 71 first-to-market tenants and 28 digitally native brands, many of which are featured in Backstory Beginnings.

“Tenants constantly ask us how we support their business and how we strategize different marketing approaches,” said Kampf. “Podcasts are rapidly growing in popularity, and the stories we are sharing not only increase awareness but are also powerful and relevant. CEOs from national, regional and local brands talk about their starts and paths to success. For us, Backstory Beginnings is an innovation and a new industry standard at high-level assets, representing the latest intersection of technology and real estate.”

The podcasts feature the incredible stories of the founders of pioneering fashion, culinary and jewelry brands, such as Faherty, Brilliant Earth, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, GOODLIFE, Palmer’s Hot Chicken, Tecovas, Mizzen + Main, and Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria, among others.

“I was inspired to start Tecovas when I was at a crossroads and it ultimately came down to me wanting to be a creative person and imagine something out of nothing,” said Paul Hedrick, founder and CEO of Tecovas. “Six years later, we have around 250 people on our team between all of our stores and headquarters. The Backstory Beginnings podcast series shares a glimpse into our origin story, and I hope it inspires other entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.”

The first 20 of the Backstory Beginning podcasts are now live and only five minutes or less in length to capture busy shoppers and podcast enthusiasts who can easily listen to the series while shopping in one of Northwood Retail’s properties or driving in the car. Tenants who participate in the series will have physical QR code clings on their storefront, encouraging shoppers to scan the code on their phone to listen to the interview. Listeners can also find Backstory Beginnings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and the Backstory Beginnings website.

“In 2013, my husband, his twin brother, their mother and I all quit our jobs to start our Faherty clothing brand,” said Kerry Docherty, co-founder of Faherty. “This idea of finding joy and comfort is something we think about every day in both a clothing and mindset perspective. We want to show up in the world in ways that make us feel proud and part of that is through our sustainability efforts. I hope listeners are encouraged to pursue their own passions in a way that makes a positive impact.”

The podcast is also encouraging listeners with a $1,000 giveaway to start their own entrepreneurial journey. For more information, visit www.northwoodretail.com/podcast/.




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