In Conversation with Samantha Kanter of Girl and the Gov

Samantha Kanter_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Rebranding politics, Girl and the Gov is a multi-faceted company built around flipping the world of politics on its head. In contrast to politics as usual, Girl and the Gov generates sustainable interest and understanding of today’s political landscape amongst a hyper-critical demographic. Targeting millennials, a group known for their opinions, but not their voter turnout, we educate millennials on politics today, while connecting them with one another and their community through three active channels – bespoke events, an interactive Podcast (Girl and the Gov, The Podcast), and active digital channel and interview series.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I always had an itch to start a business. Over the years many GoogleDocs of business ideas were started and then promptly abandoned. I think my funniest idea was a book sharing all of the learnings my friends and I had garnered from our exes. Turns out – not enough learnings for a book (or even a page).

This time around was different. I was always searching for the hole in the market, but here, the hole in the market came to me. Taking the leap meant not missing an opportunity to capitalize and serve a market segment that so desperately needed attention from the lens that Girl and the Gov provides. That was the only catalyst I needed. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Prior to and currently I also work in public relations as a communications director at an agency here in Manhattan. Contrary to Girl and the Gov’s focus on politics, my role is dedicated to the design industry and sharing the core ethos of makers, manufacturers, and designers with the target market of each.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes and no! In reflection, there’s not a specific point in my upbringing that screams “ah-ha moment” or “yes, one day I will be an entrepreneur.” However, I’ve always been fiercely independent, curious, and creative, which seems to be the perfect recipe for entrepreneurial roots to take hold. In becoming an entrepreneur, I can’t say I’d see it any other way – the shoe fits.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When we first launched, we were solely events-focused. Naturally, we needed to get the word out about the events and sell tickets. What worked might not come as a surprise –  a central focus on Instagram, listings within event directories and with related influencer accounts, and newsletter-style email blasts. The strategy was to engage with our target demographic in the same way we designed our events – by meeting them where they are. The strategy worked. 

Now we have a digital channel and podcast, Girl and the Gov, The Podcast, which has altered our larger marketing strategy in a very positive way. Our approach now includes collaborative brand campaigns, partnerships, giveaways, multi-platform cross-promotional marketing, and more. Marketing is always a moving target in efficacy, but we’ve managed to find success in the campaigns executed thus far. 

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

We sure do! As a company that is rooted in interactive, multi-faceted events, 2020 wasn’t exactly the dream we expected. However, what we learned from it was the art of the pivot. In lieu of our events during these inevitable shutouts, we launched Girl and the Gov, The Podcast. The podcast, hosted by myself and Maddie Medved extends Girl and the Gov’s mission and extends its reach further than ever before. The podcast, which has a national following, has taken a challenge and turned it into a gift, providing a larger-scale medium for us to engage with millennial women on politics. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

This is like asking to name a favorite child, so I’m going to pick two. Pre-COVID-19 at the end of February we sold out our event with Pop Physique and 21 in ‘21. We hosted the most engaged crowd yet in the approachable setting that is Pop Physique’s Bowery Barre Studio. I’m excited to once again engage with New York’s businesses and political organizations to bring these events to life. 

The launch and success of Girl and the Gov, The Podcast with my co-host and podcast co-founder Maddie Medved is also an accomplishment worthy of some serious pride. As we close out the year, we’re gearing up a sleuth of amazing guests for 2021 and brand partnerships that provide exciting opportunities for the Girl and the Gov brand as whole. This accomplishment in and of itself is the impetus for so much more, and that is something to be proud of. 

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

We’re in the process of hiring interns for the spring semester. Circle back with us in a few months and we’ll let you know what worked and what flopped (hopefully nothing).

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 prevented us from hosting any of our regularly scheduled events. Our IRL events are interconnected with the activities, classes, resources available onsite at local businesses. Girl and the Gov is guided from an organizational standpoint on doing it correctly or not doing it all. In this case, that has been passing up on online, webinar-style events. There is no shame in the game, but it wasn’t a brand fit for us. In lieu of, we expanded our roster of offerings to include a podcast and an interview series. Ironically, the pandemic, while a wrench in our events-arm, provided us the bandwidth to extend the wings of the business in a fruitful way.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

There is much to come for Girl and the Gov. First and foremost, the Girl and the Gov, The Podcast will continue to be a segment leader for the brand. This platform will continue to be a resource for millennial women, as well as younger generations for answering every political question under the sun with guests. Our events, which we look forward to bringing back to the main stage, will again be a focus. We hope, like the podcast, to bring these events to more locations and more cities across the country. I won’t say when, but I will say stay tuned for Girl and the Gov merchandise. That’s the short list to be brief.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right for your brand, it’s not. Trust that.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

The cost of establishing an LLC and applying for trademarks. I wish there were a specific estimate that was provided in relation to cost. For example, in New York State, businesses applying for LLC status are required to take part in an archaic publishing campaign where the State selects the publications that your business will have to publish a notice in for six consecutive weeks. The pricing for these notices varies per publication and since you’re unaware of which publications you will be assigned, you can’t estimate cost. You only know the cost your business will undertake once you’re already in the process, and that is information I wish I knew ahead of time.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I’ve managed to stay grounded this year by having a team of people that truly believe in Girl and the Gov’s mission. Shoutout to my co-host Maddie here who has been in the trenches through it all. It’s having those co-creators and partners in the trenches that have allowed for the word ‘grounded’ to even stay in my vocabulary.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Stay hydrated – you might think I’m kidding, but seriously this is a game changer for your brain. 

Take mini breaks – switching your brain to something non-work related even if it’s two minutes for a Snapchat show or Tik Tok scroll, allows a quick refresh in the creative zone. 

The ‘schedule tool’ – scheduling emails to send at set times provides you breathing room and the ability to plan your day a bit better. 

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being en Entreprenista means being nimble and able to problem solve in order to achieve a larger goal.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

1 Comment

  1. Monica on January 8, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Finally the content we all need!!!

Leave a Comment





Randi Shinder on how SBLA explores the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns

Describe your business in a few words? SBLA uses the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns. The non-invasive wand-delivery-system skincare line is clinically proven to build collagen, smooth, lift and tighten the skin while targeting the most fragile areas of the face and neck to deliver a…

How Heather Ouida and her co-founders are amplifying women’s voices in the gaming industry through the*gameHERs

Describe your business in a few words? The*gameHERs is a media platform and social networking community that connects, supports and amplifies women who game and who work in the gaming industry. Our mission is to advance the role, voice, image, and power of all women, femme-identifying and non-binary gamers who are comfortable in spaces that…

Creating a smarter swaddle with Hindi Zeidman through her company The Ollie World

Describe your business in a few words? It all started with an amazing infant named Oliver. I was a single foster parent and he was my foster son. When he came to me he was on the verge of being labeled failure-to-thrive because he struggled with the basics of eating and sleeping. He was also…

Jen Fuller on how Etta Loves delivers both babies’ cognitive development and calmness for parents through uniquely-designed baby products

Describe your business in a few words? Etta Loves baby essentials are uniquely designed with science to support babies’ visual and cognitive development, delivering wonder for babies and calm for parents in the everyday. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had an idea that I couldn’t ignore when my…

How Jessica Jackson is achieving better sleep for both parents and their babies through The Mookabee Swaddle

Describe your business in a few words? The Mookabee Swaddle is committed to helping babies (and ultimately their parents!) achieve better sleep by utilizing the proven power of a parent’s scent. 10% of all profits are donated to Saving Mothers- a non profit dedicated to improving maternal health worldwide. What made you take the leap…

Stacie Stanley on empowering women through her swimwear brand STAYkini™

Describe your business in a few words? STAYkini™ is a swimwear revolution created to empower women through high-quality, backless, strapless swimwear that lets us move freely and soak up the sun while avoiding unwanted tan lines and accidental exposure. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had the idea for…

Healing Trauma and Getting In Touch With Your Power with Kimberly Ann Johnson, Author of Call Of The Wild

What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’ve always worked for myself (beside when I waited tables and a brief foray into public school teaching). But I took the leap from a calling to a career when I became a mother. What was your background prior to starting your own business?…

How Nicole Boyd used her maternity leave to create Prept, a personal style and beauty help service delivered to consumers virtually so that everyone can feel Prept

Describe your business in a few words? Prept is an on-demand style + beauty concierge that matches women in need of style/beauty help to experts that can help in an affordable, personalized, and digital way. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Having TIME OFF from my corporate job while on…

Daniela Schiliro & Heather Kamback on co-founding inBodi Swim, a swimwear brand inspired by different places of the world the duo has traveled together

Describe your business in a few words? Each collection of inBodi Swim has been thoughtfully created based on different places around the world that we’ve been fortunate enough to see and experience. Along with the environments, colors, textures, cultures of each place; we are most inspired by the unique beauty that each and every woman…

Women Making Bold Moves In Business

Your next read: Ali Kriegsman, co-founder of Bulletin, has released her debut book How To Build A Goddamn Empire. We can’t wait to check it out!  🎉 An exciting partnership: Rocksbox, founded by Meaghan Rose, was acquired by Signet Jewelers, making their $1B service business goal that much closer. 🎉 Top sellers: The Jills Zeder Group, a women-led…

Jasmine Carter on how her own obsession for engagement rings led her to create Balacia, a custom bridal jewelry brand that allows shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams

Describe your business in a few words? Balacia is a custom bridal jewelry brand allowing shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams within their budget. We use diamonds, moissanite, and gemstones so buyers have endless options for colors, shapes, and sizes for their rings. In addition to rings, we also make…

How Julianne Fraser is creating meaningful dialogues with Dialogue New York, a global digital marketing consultancy that specializes in influencer marketing

Describe your business in a few words? Dialogue New York is a global digital marketing consultancy, that specializes in building influencer marketing strategies for luxury and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Over the last decade, I’ve watched as the Wild, Wild West of Influencer Marketing took shape,…

Tiffany Buzzatto on pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty with her brand DEW MIGHTY

Describe DEW MIGHTY in a few words? We are pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty. We plan to always deliver effective skin care products without fillers, sans water, free of nasty ingredients, and without plastic or trashy packaging to always USE LESS. DEW MORE™ What made you take the leap to start your own…

Molly Fienning on how Red Clay turned her into a hot sauce fanatic and CEO

Describe your business in a few words? Red Clay is a cold-pressed, made-for-foodies hot sauce and hot honey brand, named “Tabasco for the 21st century” by Food and Wine Magazine and “a hot honey to elevate your meal” by The New York Times. Crafted by a talented Southern chef, we focus on delicious flavor, sustainably-sourced…

Jhoanna Marissa, founder of WILLA Creative Agency, on creating her dream women-led digital creative agency in the fashion and lifestyle space

Describe WILLA Creative Agency in a few words? A digital-first creative agency working with beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Not being able to find my dream job. I wanted to work in the digital e-commerce space specifically in beauty and fashion. And back when…