Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Thinking about starting a creative business but don't know where to start? From photography to interior design, Gamechangers, the new podcast from local textile designer Savannah Hayes, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design industry from the female perspective.

photos courtesy of savannah hayes

Pittsburgh-based textile designer Savannah Hayes can speak from experience when it comes to owning a creative business.

The California native — who studied textile and surface design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan — launched Savannah Hayes, her own line of textile designs two years ago. Today, she sells her designs on fabrics as well as on products ranging from cellphone cases and marble coasters to throw pillows and blankets. Later this year, she plans to debut a wallpaper line.

Starting, and growing, one’s own business also comes with a lot of questions — how much to charge for a product or how to make your first hire — and these types of real-world quandaries are something Hayes strives to answer on her candid new podcast — “Gamechangers.”

Hayes says she launched the podcast two months ago as a way to engage with other female businesses owners working in the creative industry.

“I love podcasts, and I hadn’t been hearing the stories of women mentors,” she says. “We’re calling this a mastermind for creative entrepreneurs. It’s really design-based — product design, interior design. Those stories, to my knowledge, haven’t been told.”

Each week, Hayes interviews female bosses — from products designers to stylists to boutique owners — and tackles the nitty-gritty details of growing a business. Subjects also include the books, apps and tech hacks that make companies run more smoothly, as well as the daily routines and habits that lead to a successful company.

“We dive into details about differentiating sales channels and revenue streams, how to drive traffic to your website and how to make digital marketing and social media work for you,” she says.

Among her first guests were Aimee Lagos and Christina Coop, the owners of Hygge & West, a successful national wallpaper and fabric company; Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie, the founders of The Beach People, a Australia-based line of luxury towel and seaside products; and Erin Druga, a local lifestyle photographer and recipe blogger. Each segments lasts about 45 minutes.

When it comes to choosing guests, Hayes says she simply reaches out to people she admires, some of whom have careers she has been following for years.

“I definitely took a, ‘Don’t be shy approach,’” she says. “I just emailed a lot of cool people and, lo and behold, some of them answered.”

Hayes, who created a makeshift podcasting space in her design studio, has six podcasts under her belt thus far. They can be found at and on iTunes.


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