243: Lauren & Howie Lang – Lang Construction



So you have a renovation! Where do you start? Maybe it’s just a kitchen counter for your home or 100 kitchen counters for an apartment complex. You need someone who can do a lot of work or just a little – and we know some folks who can do that. For the last few years, while everyone was in a lockdown renovation frenzy, there was a company already at work making great transformations a reality. But they ran into a problem – how do they find the products and people they need for so many large jobs?

Just like necessity is the mother of invention, it’s also the father of entrepreneurship. So who better to be “mom and dad” to a construction – renovation – and stone & tile business than a couple like our next guests on the BrandBuilders Podcast? They’re Howie and Lauren Lang, owners of Lang Construction and also, now, Gorilla Stone.


242: Tim Baier & David Kernodle – Spiracle Films



We all love a good story, but we also know delivery makes all the difference. It needs a beginning that reels in the audience, just enough content to keep their attention, and an end that gives them a “Wow” moment and a satisfying ending or call to action.

Our next guests on the BrandBuilders Podcast learned to tell stories a minute and a half at a time – how’s that for being concise? – and turned that skill into a multi-media business that has thrived and “created a buzz” around Charlotte for 10 years now with Spiracle Media. Welcome to Tim Baier and David Kernodle!


241: Meredith Connelly – Artist



If you’ve been to the Whitewater Center during the winter the past couple of years, one of your highlights has surely been the Whitewater “Lights” along their wooded trails. The popular exhibits have brought in thousands of visitors to the center during colder months when whitewater rafting is not top-of-the-list outdoor activities. Now the same artist is lighting up a couple of popular public exhibits around town – like the Rail Trail in SouthEnd and, in April, Charlotte Shout.

These are exciting times for Meredith Connelly, who blends light and technology with art that dazzles us. And now she’s here on the BrandBuilders Podcast to share what inspires her.


240: Christi Busch – For the Love of Dutch



Let’s be honest – how many of you adopted a pet during the pandemic? It may have been your first pet, and you had a learning curve for how to take care of it. Specifically, what do you feed it? What’s IN what you feed it? Our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast wants you to think more deeply about that very topic.

Christi Busch is a former insurance risk manager and successful mother of four – past and present – happy, healthy basset hounds. Where did that take her? Well, “We’re all ears,” as Dutch would say. (Sorry we couldn’t resist.) For the love of dogs, the idea took hold for Christi to start her own organic dog food company. Fresh, wholesome meals to extend the life of your pups and keep them healthy throughout. And she’s here to tell us about her brand, “For the Love of Dutch.”


239: Christi Powell – 84 Lumber



If you picture your average construction worker, he’s probably a strong, sturdy, male figure. But wait – you wouldn’t be entirely right! Women are making big gains in the construction industry, and our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast tells us it’s because there are some things women are traditionally very good at. Think about it – organizing, multitasking, and any detail-oriented management fit naturally into strengths commonly possessed by women in the workforce.

Christi Powell is the Women & Minority Business Enterprise Marketing Manager at 84 Lumber, a privately-held – and woman-owned – lumber company in the U.S. She’s also the head of a number of organizations to mentor women in the construction industry. She joins us now with the good news about what this means for your daughters, or anyone who works in a stronger, more diverse construction industry.


238: Emily Breeze & Montell Watson



If you want to meet Super Woman, she’s here with us today on the BrandBuilders Podcast. We know her as fitness influencer Emily Breeze Watson – but to her 4 kids, she’s just Mom. And to her husband Montell, she’s “amazing.” They’re both pretty amazing, actually, and have documented practically their whole marriage and family life where you can see it, while encouraging others to get fit and be happy. Now they’re here with us to share their story! Thanks for being with us today, you two!


237: Katrina Sellers – Jules & Vetiver



Nothing sticks in your memory like the scent of perfume. It’s right up there with the smell of fresh-cut grass, flowers in spring, or baking cookies. And the perfume business is worth more than $31 Billion dollars globally! Wow! But in a world of fragrances, how do you find just the right scent for you?

Our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast has the answer: She makes them! Katrina Sellers is a self-proclaimed “perfume nerd” who started her own custom fragrance business, Jules & Vetiver, right here in Charlotte. And unlike those super-secret big companies, Katrina lets you know exactly what’s in the bottle, and helps you choose it. It’s become a pretty cool business and she joins us now to talk about it.


236: Steven Lonnen – SL Home Group



Unless you’re new in town or hiding under a ROCK, you know real estate is hot right now. So SO hot. The inventory is at historic lows and the prices are through the roof. The median home price is in $400,000 range. We’ve got someone here in the BrandBuilders Studio right now who’s in the business of selling homes to talk us through what this means.

Steve Lonnen is a Licensed Realtor with Costello Real Estate and Investments and he’s joining us now to talk about a lot of things, not just home sales.


235: Austin Applefield – Moost Bags



If you’re a woman, or married to one, you probably know about purses. There are probably at least a half dozen (or a few dozen!) in your closet or around your house. And don’t say each one isn’t important – their size, style, and color all have different functions for a day at the beach or a night out on the town. But for most of them, you handle them lightly and store them carefully because they’re just not built to be a durable, one-size-fits-all option.

Welcome to Moost Bags. Durable, colorful, and interchangeable for any outing – and washable in your kitchen sink! Yes, you heard that right. You can build your own and make it uniquely yours, and change up pieces when you want. If this sounds pretty cool to you, you’ll love our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast – the creator of Moost Bags, Austin Applefield.


234: Sophia & Lee Calderon – Arthur Elliot



Creativity has always been a valuable commodity in business and marketing, but what that looks like has changed over the years. It’s not enough to go from mailers to TV to social media… you have to make your work stand out in whatever channel you’re using.

Lee Calderon is a classically-trained artist and architect who knows how to “build” marketing from the inside out – starting with great visuals and connecting them to great ideas. He has lent his colorful touch to several campaigns in his work on the West Coast, and now he brings his edgy work to Charlotte as he teams up with his daughter Sophia at Arthur Elliott.