Episode 7: Conor Oberst, singer, songwriter & recording artist

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Starting in 2013, a gloomy chapter was added to the story of Conor Oberst. All of a sudden, Oberst was falsely accused of having raped a fan at a show at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina, ten years earlier.

The interview you’re about to listen to, however, does not deal with the details of the accusation, the libel lawsuit that followed it, or how it affected the record sales of Oberst. Suffice to say that Oberst was undoubtedly innocent, and that his accuser completely retracted her story, admitting she lied to get attention.

Instead this interview, which was recorded earlier this year in Copenhagen, focuses on how to find peace in this world. Through meditation, marriage, soothing YouTube videos, getting older, and, especially for Oberst, through songwriting.

After the false accusations, the mental state of Oberst declined. In his own words, Oberst went on tour with his old punk band, Desaparecidos, to outrun the nightmare he was living in. During the tour, however, a doctor had to check in on the health of Oberst, as he was clearly not feeling well. He was diagnosed with unusually high blood pressure, a cyst was discovered on his brain, and the tour was cut short about a month.

He then returned home to his native Nebraska after having lived for over a decade in New York. Back in Omaha, he went through the therapeutic recovery process of writing the songs that would appear on both the stripped-down album Ruminations and then the full-band album Salutations. It is against this backdrop that the following conversation about finding peace took place.

Episode 6: Gabriel Eng-Goetz, founder and creative director, Runaway (Part 2)

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The second part of the interview with Gabriel Eng-Goetz, the founder of Runaway.

In this part, you can hear Gabe share fun stories about getting a visit from Chris Rock in the flagship Runaway store, about a design of Gabe's that simply turned out to be a dud – as well as what he would think of someone wearing a Runaway shirt and a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Gabriel Eng-Goetz is part of American Underground in Durham, North Carolina, also known as the start-up capital of the South. This episode of Toro Town Talks was recorded at American Underground, and it’s part of a series on the wide range of talents and businesses that occupy this unique community in downtown Durham.

Episode 5: Gabriel Eng-Goetz, founder & creative director, Runaway (Part 1)

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Gabriel Eng-Goetz is the founder of Runaway, the coolest and most visible local brand of apparel in Durham. His iconic design featuring a bull and the letters D-U-R-M almost seem like an unofficial logo for the city. Runaway is much more than apparel and its flagship store on Main Street, however. It’s a lifestyle brand that also embodies art exhibitions, concerts and filmmaking.

In the first of this two-part interview, Gabe tells the story behind his iconic design, which he was actually not fully sold on to begin with. He also shares a story of a woman going to great lengths to illegally reproduce this very design

Additionally, he gives an insight into his overall creative process – which, in his own words, is about looking at life and death from the point of hilarity.

Episode 4: Megan Hannay, CEO & co-founder, ZipSprout

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Megan Hannay is the CEO and co-founder of ZipSprout, a company that matches businesses with local marketing opportunities. She’s also a columnist for Marketing Land as well as the host of her own podcast, The Zip.

Megan is a true liberal arts major – having combined English, French and Creative writing – but a large share of her colleagues is made up of developers from the tech world.

In our conversation, she talks about what it’s like for a liberal arts major to work with developers. And she also shares her thoughts on whether or not it’s fair to demand from a job that it doesn’t bore you.

Episode 3: Kate Godly, founder & owner of Primitive Energy

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Kate Godly is the owner of Primitive Wellness, a family practice and yoga studio. One of her main focus areas as a medical professional is lactation – helping mothers with the crucial task of breastfeeding. 

Before starting her own business, Kate worked at a clinic, where she would see an average of 19 patients a day. There, she felt like she was simply sticking a band-aid on the patient’s problem, rather than giving them the best possible care.

This proved to be an all-important part of the motivation for breaking away from the traditional clinic work and starting up her own business – on her own terms. Satisfying her own professional ambitions while increasing the quality of the care she is giving her patients.

Kate Godly is part of American Underground in Durham, North Carolina, also known as the start-up capital of the South. This episode of Toro Town Talks was recorded at American Underground, and it’s part of a series on the wide range of talents and businesses that occupy this unique community in downtown Durham.

Episode 2: Adam Pyburn, motion graphics specialist

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Adam Pyburn is a creative professional with a wide range of skills. If you’ve got a project or a business that you’d like to wrap up in all kinds of cutting-edge visuals, Adam could probably do it all. But after a long time of casting a wide net to capture clients, he has decided to narrow things down and focus his business on one main thing: Motion graphics.

In my conversation with him, he talks about the process of narrowing down what services you are offering as a business, and what the benefits of such a focus can be. He also explains how he’s an avid advocate of napping during work hours – and finishing off the day with a cocktail.

Adam Pyburn is part of American Underground in Durham, North Carolina, also known as the start-up capital of the South. This episode of Toro Town Talks was recorded at American Underground, and it’s part of a series on the wide range of talents and businesses that occupy this unique community in downtown Durham.

Episode 1: Tatiana Birgisson, CEO & founder of Mati Energy

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Tatiana Birgisson is the creator of Mati Energy, the sparkling tea drink that you may have read about in Forbes Magazine or bought at Whole Foods.

In our conversation, we take a step further in exploring the well-known story of Tatiana founding Mati while suffering from depression. It might seem like a case of “something good coming out of something bad”, but, as Tatiana explains, there’s more to it than that.

She also talks about how running a business is a little like being back in school, what it means for your business when you’re named one of Forbes' Under 30, and, not least, what to do in an interview with a prospective employee that is both dishonest and unprepared.

Tatiana Birgisson is part of American Underground in Durham, North Carolina, also known as the start-up capital of the South. This episode of Toro Town Talks was recorded at American Underground, and it’s the very first one in a series on the wide range of talents and businesses that occupy this unique community in downtown Durham.