Renee Moore on Fostering Community in Kirkwood
CEO & Founder
Coffee Lunch Coffee
Owner / Publisher
Kirkwood City Lifestyle Magazine
Renee Moore, owner and publisher of Kirkwood City Lifestyle magazine, shares how she broadens her network by connecting with other inspired, motivated professionals in the tight-knit St. Louis, Missouri suburban town.
“It's just really knowing what people's passions are about and understanding how to connect those passions in a really meaningful way… Relationships come from people who are really out seeking more, right?”
Alana Muller 00:10
Welcome to Enterprise.ing, a podcast from Enterprise Bank & Trust that's empowering business leaders one conversation at a time. We'll hear from different business leaders about how they found success and cultivating their professional networks and keeping them healthy and strong. I'm your host Alana Muller, an entrepreneurial executive leader whose primary focus is to connect, inspire and empower community. We at Enterprise Bank & Trust thank you for tuning in to another episode.
Alana Muller 00:40
Hello, listeners, welcome back to Enterprise.ing Podcast. Today we have Renee Moore with us. Renee is the owner and publisher of Kirkwood City Lifestyle magazine, which she launched in 2020, combining her past business experience with the unique opportunity to craft hyperlocal stories that capture an audience and connect readers to brands. Renee welcome to Enterprise.ing podcast.
Renee Moore 01:03
Thanks, Alana. I'm really excited to be here.
Alana Muller 01:06
So glad to have you. Let's dive right in. Just as the pandemic was taking hold, you decide to take all of your previous experience having worked with big pharma brands and small tech startups, and launched a company. Tell me more about Kirkwood City Lifestyle magazine, and what inspired you to start the company?
Renee Moore 01:22
Yeah, thanks for asking. It's a franchise, first of all. City Lifestyle is a franchise. And there's, like 150 City Lifestyle magazines across the country. But what inspired me to start the Kirkwood franchise was...I have worked with very big brands and very small brands, in terms of their marketing and helping them connect their brands with their audience. And it doesn't matter if it's a big, huge pharmaceutical brand, or a tiny, small tech startup, the thing that was the commonality between both of those is that their story needed to connect with their audience in a really meaningful way. Right? I mean, people want to know more about the people that they're investing in, or the brands that they're investing in.
Renee Moore 02:10
So for me, marketing was always about storytelling and figuring out. And this is how I always approach it with people -- when you're at a party, and you are in a cocktail party. And there's a group of people talking, and they look like they're having a lot of fun and laughing and engaging. Don't you want to be a part of that group?
Alana Muller 02:27
Of course, I love it.
Renee Moore 02:30
Right? Right. Okay. So take that group as an example. Right? So if you're the person that wants to get in that group, you want to know what's going on? How do you make your way into that group? How do you be like, "Hi, um," you know, like, how do you fit in, right? That's the first part of that. But then the second part of that if you're in the group, and let's say you're the one throwing the cocktail party, and these are your friends, when you see somebody new, who wants to kind of join the conversation, don't you start with like, "Oh, my gosh, this is Joe. You did not know that Joe tried out for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985. Like, that's so crazy. Who would have known that about Joe, you know, it doesn't look like that."
Renee Moore 03:06
So I always view storytelling as a conversation. And when I write the stories for the magazine, I write them from a conversational perspective, where people feel like they're just entering in a conversation, right? They're just picking up right where the conversation left off. But it's not high journalism. I always tell people, right.
Alana Muller 03:25
That's great. I mean, what's nice about it, it's it's like the conversation’s ongoing and you can, as you described, kind of jump right in?
Renee Moore 03:32
Yeah, yeah, definitely. So, I always think that's the most interesting part of people. And people ask me how I get my stories, or how I find the content for the magazine. And I just love taking people to coffee and just saying, "Tell me about yourself." And when they start talking, "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," the first part of the conversations are usually like, "This is what I do, and this is who I am." It's all the standard verb, "blah, blah, blah". But when you get into the meat of the conversation, and their eyes start to twinkle, that's when I know that there's a story to be told, right there. Right? When their eyes light up, and I'm like, "Oh, tell me more about that." And then they're like, "nobody ever asks me that." But if you pay attention to when people are talking, you can find the little cute nugget in their conversation to really kind of hone in on.
Alana Muller 04:21
So, I want to dig deeper on that. Talk a little bit about how this has served you when it comes to establishing and fostering relationships. I take it that the idea that you ask probing questions, that you're actually listening to what people are saying, as they're saying it -- talk about what has that meant to you from a relationship building perspective.
Renee Moore 04:40
Yeah, I think that's the biggest thing. I always tell people if you wanted to partner with a magazine or partner with a publication, there's 1,000 different publications to do that. You can use Kirkwood Lifestyle magazine is one of thousands to choose from. But, if you want to connect with people, then I am the best platform to do that, because I really take the time to understand who my readers are and who the advertisers and the partners are, and figure out ways to take those relationships that I know and connect those to other people, right?
Renee Moore 05:16
So I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, Julie, you need to go meet Angela. Angela is in the same business as you, or she has a friend who designs flowers, and you would love to meet her." So, it's just really knowing what people's passions are about. And just understanding that how to connect those passions in a really meaningful way, right? Like, whatever they get excited about finding that little piece of that and connecting other people in that way.
Alana Muller 05:43
And what what I'm hearing you talk about is not just the stories that you're publishing in the magazine, but you're using a variety of mechanisms to make, to foster these connections, to to help people engage not only with your own brand, but with the brands that you serve. So there's sort of what I would call sort of "online media" and "offline media." And I just don't I don't just mean the internet. But I mean, sort of like you have your print publication, you have online channels, you have face to face verbal channels. And it sounds like you're leveraging all of those. Do you want to talk a little bit more about when you've seen kind of that layering effect? When that means something in a very significant way?
Renee Moore 06:20
Yeah, I think for me, the biggest thing is when people have kind of lived within the same circles, but have never connected and to be able to make those meaningful connections, right? To be the spark that does those cross connections, feels really, really good.
Renee Moore 06:36
And I think one of the biggest examples of that is, I was working actually, they're a client of Enterprise's with Seeds of Happiness, and they are happy clients of Enterprise Bank, but I was talking with the owner of Seeds of Happiness. And he's been living Kirkwood for years, right? Everyone knows them. He's a big Kirkwood guy, and Seeds of Happiness is a great organization, great company. But he had never met a very prominent person in Kirkwood, Wallace Ward. He had never met him. And the owner of Seeds of Happiness is Mark. And he was like, I'm like, "How long have you lived in Kirkwood your whole life and never met Wallace Ward? How does that happen?" And he's like, "It hasn't happened." So I introduced both of them and they talked for three hours.
Alana Muller 07:19
Oh my gosh.
Renee Moore 07:19
We sat in the parking lot and talked for three hours. Yeah.
Renee Moore 07:22
And so to me that was so meaningful, because it really sparked a connection that - think of how often this these two will probably crossed paths in Kirkwood, right? And they never, they never knew each other until I was like, "Oh my gosh, you guys, you have to meet like you have such history together." That's one of the most meaningful examples and honestly it gave Mark, the owner Seeds of Happiness, such a kind of injection of happiness of his own to meet somebody new that he thought he knew everybody in Kirkwood, you know, and then he had this great conversation, and I felt so good about it. But so then he came back to me, he's like, "Alright, who else do you know?"
Alana Muller 08:02
You've become now the permanent connector, right?
Renee Moore 08:05
Yeah, right, right. I don't know about that. But it just, it just feels so good to make other people feel good. And listen, I love Mark who owns Seeds of Happiness, all my clients, right? He's not even a client. I don't even he doesn't even do business with me. I just love him as a person. But anything that I can do to help promote his business is great. I'm passionate about what he's what he's doing in the world. So, yeah.
Alana Muller 08:30
So fabulous. Well, so, let's talk about let's talk about you. What's an interaction with one person that's resulted in a big breakthrough for you in either personally or professionally?
Renee Moore 08:38
So professionally, I think, you know, I'm gonna go back. I'm not even just saying this, but I'm gonna go back to Enterprise again. Only because it's true, right? But I'm gonna go back to Enterprise. So, when I first started my magazine, I had a relationship with Enterprise on a business level. When I said, I was going to start my magazine, I went to somebody Enterprise and said, "Hey, I'm gonna start my magazine." And they were like, "We want to follow you and we want to partner with you because you understand storytelling." And I was like, "Really?" I'm like, "But you guys, like you're a business bank, and the magazines go into homes." And they were like, "no, no, no, homes are where businesses start, like people that own businesses live in homes."
Renee Moore 09:21
And so I love that. And so that I think the biggest breakthrough for me was just from a business perspective, having that trust and that confidence from really a business like Enterprise that had the confidence in me to help me launch my business. I mean, that to me was everything. And there was not an event that I go to or anything that I'm at where I don't say, Enterprise, and they're just their vision of helping small businesses start out is just it's life changing.
Alana Muller 09:55
Well, and it feels so good when you know that there are community organizations that believe in you and are encouraging you and standing by as not just support, but to champion the work that you're doing. So it's a such a sweet story, I appreciate you sharing that.
Renee Moore 10:09
Alana Muller 10:09
When when you think about when you think about the way that you're engaging with the community, so whether it's a client, a prospect, maybe somebody you may never do business with, but as you described, you know, somebody prominent in your community, are you finding that most of the networking or the relationship building that you're doing -- is it organic in nature where it simply happens? And it's kind of unintentional. Or, do you find that you're more deliberate about it, and you're proactively asking for seeking out business and referrals?
Renee Moore 10:37
That's a great question. So, I find I like it to be organic. Do you remember when 2020 first hit, and then 2021, people were kind of like coming out of their boxes a little bit into and out of their houses and kind of venturing out into the world. And I found that just organically sitting in coffee shops and talking to people or striking up a conversation in Dierbergs, or whatever it is, I love that.
Renee Moore 11:05
There's so many instances of things that that have happened in my life personally and professionally, that never would have happened if I wasn't just out in the world. And so it's that organic-ness that I love about it. But having said that, though, I will say this, there is a methodology to finding people to talk to, right? To intentionally figure out who are the right people to talk to. And I just have to say this too: figuring out who the right people to talk to, for whatever job you have, or whatever goal you're trying to achieve, it's just who's showing up in that industry or in that community? Like that's who to talk to, right? Like it's not, it's not like I don't know who to talk to, it's well, who in the industry is showing up to other things. Those are your that's your people, those are your people right there. It's not hard.
Alana Muller 11:54
Yeah, it's such a good point, just that people are actually making the time they're making a commitment. They're being intentional about being out in the community. I think that that makes so much sense. And, of course, those are the right people that you want to connect with. They're the people making things happen.
Renee Moore 12:06
Yeah, yeah. I mean, the people who are sitting behind the desk and saying, "Oh, I need to do this, I need to get out and doing and do that." I get it. Like they're so focused on probably the day to day aspects of their business. But really, for me, the stories and the connections, and the relationships come from people who are really out seeking more, right? Getting out from behind the desk and seeking more.
Alana Muller 12:30
Makes so much sense. Well, so with that as the backdrop, what advice would you give to maybe a young person, somebody who's just exploring networking for the first time? What advice would you give them for beginning to build or cultivate their own relationship base?
Renee Moore 12:43
Yeah, thank you for asking that. I actually just had two meetings last week. One was a brand new business that just opened up in Kirkwood. And she was like, "How do I start meeting people?" And I said, "You show up." And I said that and "It's hard, I get it, you walk into a room and you don't know anybody or you don't know where to start, right? It's hard."
Renee Moore 13:02
And I said, but what you can do is usually in organizations, there's usually a leadership team, right? I said, So reach out to that leadership team, and just let them know that you're coming to whatever that networking group or whoever is organizing the networking group, or the activity or the event or whatever it is, reach out to them and just say, "Hey, my name is Renee, and I'm coming to your event. I don't know anybody, is there anyone I should talk to?" Or, you know, "Is there a good person for me to connect with?" And let them help guide you, that's what they love doing if they're in leadership positions, especially for groups or events. They love that, right? Like, that's their space that they want to play in.
Renee Moore 13:42
So kind of, they don't know what they don't know. Like, if somebody shows up to an event, and it's a big event. And I've been in that situation, like a luncheon or something where somebody's new, but if you didn't call my attention to it, I might have missed you, or introduce you to people because I didn't know you were going to be there. Right? So if you sent but so it doesn't. So literally, that's the reason that we're creating these events that people who create networking events or opportunities is we want to connect people. So by far, the simplest thing to do is just email who leads of the event and say, "I'm showing up, who do you think I should connect with?"
Alana Muller 14:17
That's a great idea. Excellent.
Renee Moore 14:19
Alana Muller 14:20
I love that advice. I love that advice.
Renee Moore 14:22
Alana Muller 14:22
And many people say that, but it's just such an obvious resource that I mean, so few people actually leverage that. So what a great idea.
Renee Moore 14:30
Yeah, you do not have to do anything else and let them run with it.
Alana Muller 14:34
I mean, they're gonna they're gonna tell you exactly what to do.
Renee Moore 14:37
Alana Muller 14:37
So cool. So I have a couple of fun questions I love to throw at you. If you could meet with one person living, not living fictional nonfictional, who would it be and why?
Renee Moore 14:48
Living, nonliving, fictional or...Well, that's a fun question. I'm gonna have to say...there's so many choices to this, right? Okay. So, here's the deal. I'm gonna have to say Paul McCartney.
Alana Muller 15:03
Renee Moore 15:08
Here's the reason why: I wouldn't fan out on him because I'm not a Beatles fan. But, I love his relationship with Linda. And so I would love to know more. I just want to dive into that aspect of it, like just his relationship with his kids. And he's like, I love like James, his son. What is James doing? We even heard from James and Stella's designing stuff, and Mary's a photographer. So like, I want to just talk all I want to do is talk about his kids and his family.
Alana Muller 15:36
Okay, you actually know all their names. I only knew about Stella, so I'm pretty impressed - that's great! You are kind of a fan girl, but you're not going to fan out on him. But wow.
Renee Moore 15:46
No, I really would not. I would really not fan out on Paul McCartney, because I'm not a Beatles fan. And I like know barely any of his songs. But I do like the idea of his life.
Alana Muller 15:57
Okay, that's so cool. So cool. So what's currently on your nightstand?
Renee Moore 16:01
Oh, guess what? This is so weird. I got a book sent to me in the mail called "My Messy Life." And I was just telling my friend the other day, I'm not even kidding. Listen to this. This book just showed up in the mail. And it was like, "Hey, Renee, here's a book I wrote. You might want to look at it." And I was like, I have no idea who it's from. I don't even know. But I just started reading it. And it's a little autobiography of this guy. I don't even know who it is yet, because I haven't I've just I'm only halfway into the book. But it's just his musings about his messy life and how life is messy. And it's supposed to be messy and how we deal with the mess. And I love it. I didn't know who this is. But I was just telling my friends and my kids I was like "You guys where did this book come from?" I've no idea, but everyone needs to read it.
Alana Muller 16:47
That's so great. So the universe I think delivered it to your door. That's great.
Renee Moore 16:50
I think the universe did deliver it.
Alana Muller 16:52
I think we're gonna be seeing an expose on this book and Kirkwood City Lifestyle magazine.
Renee Moore 16:57
Yes, yes, it's true.
Alana Muller 17:00
I love it. I love it. Well, with that in mind, I've loved our conversation. Tell our listeners where they can go to learn more about you and Kirkwood City Lifestyle magazine.
Renee Moore 17:10
Thanks. You just go to citylifestyle.com/kirkwood. Or if you just Google "Kirkwood City Lifestyle," it just comes up. It's the first thing on Google but yeah, just citylifestyle.com/kirkwood.
Alana Muller 17:23
Excellent. Renee Moore, thank you so much for being on Enterprise.ing podcast.
Renee Moore 17:27
Thank you so much. This is so much fun. Have a great day.
Alana Muller 17:31
Thanks for joining us this week on Enterprise.ing. Be sure to visit our website enterprisebank.com/podcast to subscribe so you'll never miss an episode. If you found value in today's program, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or telling a friend about us. Enterprise.ing, powering business leaders one conversation at a time.
Alana Muller 17:56
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