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Independent Thinking Podcast

125: Upgrading the Cooking Experience with Cooksy

125: Upgrading the Cooking Experience with Cooksy

Launched at KBIS 2022, Cooksy is an innovative gadget that’s designed to be your digital sous chef. Andreas Hansen, part of the Cooksy team, shares what excites him about getting the product into the Independent retail channel.

124: Castle Rental & Pawn Talks NIL Deal with Local College “Rental” Athlete

124: Castle Rental & Pawn Talks NIL Deal with Local College “Rental” Athlete

The stars aligned perfectly for Enos Barger, managing partner at Castle Rental & Pawn, to sign an NIL deal with a local college athlete and recent transfer student. But theirs is a situation that other independent business owners can learn from and look to capitalize on in their own markets.

123: Celebrating 70 Years of Queen City Audio Video & Appliances

123: Celebrating 70 Years of Queen City Audio Video & Appliances

Started as a TV repair shop in 1952, Queen City Audio Video Appliances has grown into a widely successful independent retail business in the Charlotte, NC market. As they celebrate 70 years in business, we sit down with second-generation owner Roddey Player and his kids Roddey Jr. and Kate to talk about the company’s legacy, their expansion efforts and more.   

122: Brand Story Time with Todd Getz from GE Appliances

122: Brand Story Time with Todd Getz from GE Appliances

A lot fo work and effort goes into crafting an effective brand story. Just ask Todd Getz, Executive Brand Director for GE and GE Profile, who has made stops at Coca-Cola, P&G and Colgate Palmolive before landing in Louisville. Todd shares his experience at GEA and dives into some of the things he’s working on.

121: What’s Hot in the Outdoor Category Right Now?

121: What’s Hot in the Outdoor Category Right Now?

There’s nothing like talking about the Outdoor category with John Laing, Nationwide Marketing Group’s director of appliances and outdoor. You learn something every single time, and his passion for all things outdoor entertainment is infectious. Mr. Laing jumps onto the podcast to share the trends he’s watching, talk about the PrimeTime Backyard experience in Orlando and more. 

120: Diving Into Employee Engagement Platforms with Cooleaf

120: Diving Into Employee Engagement Platforms with Cooleaf

Employee engagement has always been a hot topic in the HR world, but the past two-plus years has really put the spotlight on the industry. We sat down with John Duisberg, co-founder of Cooleaf, to talk about the benefits of investing in a platform like theirs. 

119: Schewels Home Celebrates 125 Years of Retailing

119: Schewels Home Celebrates 125 Years of Retailing

With five generations of Schewels successfully guiding the company over 125 years, it’s no wonder the Lynchburg, VA-based retailer will be honored as a Giant of Bedding Retail by Furniture Today. We sit down with Jack Schewel, a co-owner of the business with his brother Marc, to talk about their long legacy and what’s been the keys to their sustained success.

118: Mattress World Northwest Owner Reflects On Growing the Business

118: Mattress World Northwest Owner Reflects On Growing the Business

With a major bedding industry recognition on the horizon, Sean Hathaway, owner of Mattress World Northwest sat down to reflect on his time in retail. While it’s something he never envisioned getting into, Hathaway has seen massive success, growing to more than 20 locations in the Pacific Northwest.

116: Unwasted Founder Shares Incredible Startup Story

116: Unwasted Founder Shares Incredible Startup Story

If it were up to Ashley Gorrie, her company, Unwasted, wouldn’t have enough raw material at its disposal to even exist. But, until we can stop pulling plastic from our oceans, Unwasted will work to use them to manufacture its product. Gorrie jumps on the Independent Thinking Podcast to share the brand’s inspiring story.

115: Catching Up with NMG’s Furniture & Bedding Team

115: Catching Up with NMG’s Furniture & Bedding Team

These first few weeks of 2022 have been some of the busiest for the Nationwide Marketing Group Furniture and Bedding division. After Las Vegas Market and PrimeTime in January and February, the F&B team quickly turned around for High Point Market in April. We recap it all with Mike Derro and Jeff Rose.

114: Connected Design Talks HTSN CI Summit, Home Tech Trends and More

114: Connected Design Talks HTSN CI Summit, Home Tech Trends and More

Just days removed from her attendance at the 2022 HTSN CI Summit in Dallas, Vanessa Zitzmann, senior managing editor at Connected Design, recaps her experience. We also dive into some home technology trends that she’s keeping an eye on and more.

113: An Azione Unlimited Spring Conference Recap

113: An Azione Unlimited Spring Conference Recap

Azione Unlimited is fresh off of its New Dreams in New Orleans event, and Patrick McCarthy, the group’s director of new business and member services, jumps on the Independent Thinking Podcast to recap what went down. We also dive into some of the latest custom integration trends, how the business has evolved and more.

112: Nice North America Shares Simplified Connected Home Vision

112: Nice North America Shares Simplified Connected Home Vision

After their acquisition of Nortek Control in October 2021, Nice North America has big plans to help custom integrators simplify the story around the smart home. Paul Williams, Chief Product Officer for Nice, jumped on the Independent Thinking Podcast to share that vision and talk through the benefits the company can provide to integrators.

111: Snap One’s Greg Simmons on HTSN Partnership, Education Push

111: Snap One’s Greg Simmons on HTSN Partnership, Education Push

Greg Simmons, Vice President of industry partnerships for Snap One, spent the bulk of his career on the custom integration side of the business. He shares what it’s like being on the brand side and more on his push to train and educate inspiring technicians.

110: HTSN is Putting an Emphasis on Education

110: HTSN is Putting an Emphasis on Education

Whether it’s new partnerships like that with Snap One, or upcoming programming with CEDIA Tech Summits and the HTSN CI Summit, education is at the heart of everything Hank Alexander is doing for Nationwide Marketing Group’s network of custom integration dealers.

109: Croix Valley Foods’ Path from House Sauce to Global Brand

109: Croix Valley Foods’ Path from House Sauce to Global Brand

Damon and Lu Holter were never supposed to own a steak sauce and spice brand. But thanks to a single homemade steak dinner and a passion for flavor, the two have gone on to build Croix Valley Foods into a household name around the globe. They hopped on the Independent Thinking Podcast to share their story, which shares roots with the independent retail world. 

108: An Outdoor Entertainment Overview with Furrion

108: An Outdoor Entertainment Overview with Furrion

Over the past two years, the outdoor space has garnered a great deal of attention from consumers looking to invest in their at-home entertainment experience. Furrion, makers of outdoor TVs and other entertainment gear, breaks down the market and opportunities for independent retailers.

107: A Post KBIS Debrief

107: A Post KBIS Debrief

On the heels of a busy PrimeTime in Phoenix, Nationwide Marketing Group’s appliance team was in Orlando for the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). We sat down to talk about the trends they spotted, products and experiences that stood out and more.

106: A Store Visit with Walts After PrimeTime

106: A Store Visit with Walts After PrimeTime

After Nationwide Marketing Group wrapped up PrimeTime in Phoenix, we took a short trip to Tempe, Arizona, where we sat down with Bear Hendley, co-owner and retail sales and installation manager, of Walts. We dive into their evolving in-store experience, the growth of the company and much more.