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PepTalk podcast pushes the pause button

Greytown podcaster Grace Kreft. PHOTO/PEPTALK NZ

Mary Argue

Britney or Christina? Ice cream or cake? A book or a movie? Just a taste of the ‘This or That’ questions Greytown podcaster Grace Kreft would soft-ball to guests at the start of an interview.

Such a chat is a good way to warm up before getting down to business, says Kreft.

After a year and almost 50 episodes of interviewing New Zealand business owners, the social media and marketing manager has pushed pause on the popular podcast series PepTalk.

Kreft launched the project during last year’s lockdown as the antithesis to the ‘doom and gloom’ of covid-19, and a means to celebrate and support business in Aotearoa.

The illustrious line-up included the founders of Fix and Fogg, Hello Cup, One Percent Collective, Wellington Chocolate Factory and fellow Greytown creative Felicity Donaldson of Wundaire pottery. During an episode Kreft would take the audience on the fascinating journey of how and why her guest’s business began.

This month she announced she was hanging up the microphone while she transitioned into a new job, which happens to be at the company of a former interviewee.

PepTalk was Kreft’s first foray into the podcasting world, and she was proud to have made it to the year mark.

“You can start things, but sticking with them for a year means you committed to it, and not given up when the going gets tough,” she said.

A corporate lawyer in a previous life, turned cupcake baker and founder and former owner of Wellington’s Sweet Cakery and Bakery, Kreft juggled the podcast alongside family life and a part-time job as a marketing manager.

She credits its longevity to the support of her husband, a love of list making, and a physical diary, which absolutely every aspect of her life goes into.

The idea for a series had been percolating a while so when lockdown hit Kreft ordered a microphone and set about Googling ‘how to make a podcast’.

She half expected the recording gear to be caught in customs and clearly remembered when it arrived: “Oh shoot, looks like it is happening!”

Not someone to do things by halves, she went all in, putting out two episodes a week over lockdown.

“I was in a crazy, manic mindset.”

The guests were a mixed bag of friends, business owners she admired, suggested guests, and approaches to be on the show.

Kreft’s relaxed style meant the interviews felt more like listening to friends chat over a glass of wine rather than a ping-pong match of question-answer.

It wasn’t a strategy Kreft said, but she did find the casual atmosphere elicited some very honest responses about the struggles and successes that came with starting a business.

At the end of each episode Kreft would tease out a pearl of wisdom from her guest, something they wish they’d known at the start or advice for future entrepreneurs.

She said a strong theme that came through was just starting.

“Not expecting everything to be perfect at the beginning, not comparing yourself to other people, just doing something to get started and taking that first step.

“That is something so many of these guests have said.

“They had no idea the business was going to look like it does now when they started.”

Kreft said she hoped PepTalk would continue in one form or another while she settled into her new job as social media manager at Angel Delivery.

For now people can visit peptalk.co.nz to listen to the full 49 episode back-catalogue and learn that the secret of success is just getting started.

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