From Newry To New York: Pauline Turley, Irish Arts Center (#50)
Nostalgia, Entrepreneurship and Art with Aaron Flanagan from Comic Book Guys (#49)
After winning the green card lottery in 1997, Pauline Turley left friends and family in Newry behind to move to NYC.
Since then Pauline has been on a rollercoaster journey that’s included pulling pints in a bar frequented by famous Irish actors, getting married to an American fella and developing the Irish Arts Center into what is it today.
Founded in 1972, the Irish Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to promoting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America of the 21st Century. In October 2018, Irish Arts Center broke ground on the first phase of a new $60 million Irish Arts Center Development project, which is scheduled to open in 2020.
(Looks really incredible so it does).
Pauline is an absolute powerhouse and I had an absolute blast sitting down to hear her story and I know you will to.
A Conversation With Coworking Space King Steve Pette (#48)
In 2014, Aaron Flanagan and his brother quit their ‘proper jobs’ to open Comic Book Guys, Northern Ireland's largest independent comic book store and the first-ever authorised CGC dealer. The one-stop shop located on Great VIctoria Street has been serving Belfast’s thriving comic book scene through golden, silver age, bronze to modern comics, movie memorabilia, toys, collectables and even comics made by local creators (including a comic made by the Comic Book Guys themselves about fighting the zombie apocalypse off in their shop).
“Small Steps To Giant Living” With Scott Riley From Causeway Living (#47)
After working in hospitality since he was 13 years old, Steve Pette has spent his life creating experiences for people. Describing himself as a guy looking to make a positive difference in cities through inspired environments, Steve is a cofounder of Ormeau Baths and Central-Working, two coworking spaces that provide local businesses with a place to thrive. Steve has worked with some big names in the hospitality sector and also in the airline industry with Virgin Atlantic and was one of the founding team members who brought the airline to America: redefining the US travel market.
Rachael Campbell-Palmer From Black Box: “A Space For Things Don’t Have One” (#46)
In June 2014, Scott Riley (the founder of Causeway Living) was 100 lb overweight, suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis and on a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs. He was depressed, isolated and at rock bottom in his life.
But not any more. After some big leaps of faith like being treated by the tribes in the Peruvian Amazon, going 60 days without solid food, and climbing frozen mountains half naked in the snow, Scott now coaches others to “take small steps to giant living” when it comes to their health, fitness and wellbeing.
Brains & Beauty With Miss Northern Ireland Katharine Walker (#45)
With over 600 events every year including live music, discos, art exhibits, comedy sketches, open mic storytelling nights and much much more, The Black Box is without a doubt the creative heartbeat of our city. We sat down with co-director Rachael Campbell-Palmer to talk about the importance of creating spaces where people can experiment with new ideas, mediums and art forms.
The Hero’s Journey With Mark Dowds (#44)
“So Miss Northern Ireland actually has brains?” That’s the question children’s ICU nurse Katharine Walker has been asked on more than one occasion. In today’s podcast, we chat about what she’s achieved this year, how she balances the influencer life with shift work in the hospital and what methods she uses to fight the fear of missing out.
Talking Craft With Musicians Johnny James & Rebekah Fitch (#43)
You may know Mark Dowds as an early investor in Uber, the Chief Operating Officer of Trov, and one the of key people behind the Ormeau Baths coworking space in Belfast. But he sees himself more as “just a guy from Northern Ireland,” a dedicated husband, father, ultra-marathoner, keen cyclist and “possibly the worst pupil the all-boys school Inst has ever seen.”
Three Men In A Tub: A Conversation With Brendan And Shane From Successful Belfast (#42)
Today we’re joined by two incredibly talented young musicians - Johnny James and Rebekah Fitch.
After meeting on Instagram the two have gone on to perform and record together, with their latest single dropping last week.
In this unfiltered conversation, we chat about how they got into music, the challenges of the creative process and their new song Hiding.
Check it out.
Storytime With Willie Jack - The King Of The Cathedral Quarter (#41)
Brendan Gallagher is a photographer, Shane Quinn works for Belfast Building Trust - both are passionate about people, history and telling stories that matter. On today’s show, we chat about identity, heritage, civic pride, mental health, what a Successful Belfast looks like and how we can get there.
Designing Your World With Karishma Kusurkar From Karishma’s World (#40)
Willie Jack describes himself as a barman, street cleaner and bouncer - but he’s also the owner of The Duke Of York - the heart of nightlife in our city. Willie has been investing in the Cathedral Quarter before it was cool and shares a lifetime of stories with us in today’s show.
The Power Of Genuine Relationships With Gareth Quinn From Kairos + Digital DNA (#39)
Karishma Kusurkar left India when she was 6 years old to live in Belfast. It was 1996, she had the army as neighbours and the building wobbled on a windy day. At 18 years old she found herself at a career crossroad between medicine and the arts. After a lot of deliberation, Karishma took the plunge, rejecting her medicine offer at Trinity to study Art at Ulster University.
Creating Spaces That Matter With Barbara & JP Whearty From Cafe Cuan (#38)
Gareth Quinn may be the co-founder of Digital DNA and Kairos - two very successful tech businesses from Northern Ireland - but he claims his road to success was unplanned and somewhat unexpected. ‘Scraping’ his way through school, Gareth grew up working in factories, bars and call centres before eventually landing a job with Belfast City Council.
‘Being Yourself’ With Andrew McCracken And Jason Harvey From GoFyt (#37)
One day not too long ago, I went to visit this new place around the corner from Ormeau Baths called Cafe Cuan for lunch. A mate had told me that they sell these unbelievable BBQ sandwiches and that they had bought the smokers from Bubbacue. So I went, got one of the best lunches I’d had in recent memory.
The Art Of ‘Diving In’ With Street Artist Danni Simpson (#36)
When Andrew McCracken and Jason Harvey met 10 years ago, they had no idea they’d end up co-founding GoFyt, a successful sports tech start-up based in Belfast. After getting injured just before the race of his career in the Commonwealth Games, Jason struggled to find a local physio and get the therapy he needed, despite having a huge range of contacts in the fitness industry.
A Conversation With Belfast Polymath + Storyteller John McGregor (#35)
After quitting her marketing job in Australia, Danni Simpson bought a one-way ticket to Europe to pursue a career as an artist. Stopping off in Belfast for a short-trip to visit her granny spiralled into working on a number of murals in the city while living above the Harp Bar… It wasn’t long before Danni decided to move to Northern Ireland full-time.
Talking Potatoes With Jack Hamilton From Mash Direct (#34)
A polymath is someone with a wide range of expertise in many areas and I’ve never met anyone who fits this description better than John McGregor. John grew up in Short Strand in Belfast during the 1950s and was kicked out of school at age 14. Through a series of twist and turns, this event led John to a widely successful career in almost every industry imaginable.
Chatting Cafe Culture With Specialty Coffee Pro Rachel Snowden (#33)
Jack Hamilton is a 6th generational farmer with a twist. After the family farm faced financial difficulties, the Hamilton Family took the potato industry by surprise and founded Mash Direct.
What started as a mash-potato delivery service via van has grown into one of Northern Ireland’s most well-loved companies and one that sells a pack of vegetables every second.
How To Get A ‘Six-Pack Mind’ - Endurance Athlete Tofe Evans (#32)
Rachel Snowden is a speciality coffee pro who has been working in Cafes around Northern Ireland since she was 17. After getting a degree in psychology and working in the corporate world, Rachel decided to return to her roots and her passion: making coffee. Since then she has entered into several coffee competitions, managed several cafes and has even found the time to dream and scheme about opening her own someday.
Podcast Interview With Kevin Young, A Results Coach From InMynd
Absolute wildcard episode for you all today. In a bizarre twist of events we had the chance to sit down with Tofe Evans, an endurance athlete, public speaker and author from Australia to talk about what he calls ‘a six-pack mindset’. Tofe…
Kevin Young spends his days peeling back the false beliefs and limiting mindsets each of us have.
Whether it’s something from our past, pain we experience in the present or a national negativity etched into our psyche, Kevin is extremely interested - and talented - at challenging the voices in our heads with reason and truth.
In this special ‘New Years Edition’ of Best Of Belfast, we tackle the massive question of why do we not become the person we want to be, discuss the drawback of New Years Resolutions and try to understand the Northern Irish mindset.