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    A podcast about business

    on the rise and examining

    the space between

    Atta Girl and I Told You So 


  • Episodes

    Proofing Stage Season 1 is wrapped! Catch up now on your favorite streaming platform.


    Follow the show for bonus content. Available without subscription for a limited time.


    We're celebrating the end of Season 1 with big slice of creativity, talking inspiration and intention with a generous sprinkling of strategy. After all, if you've started a business or dream of starting one, you've got that creative inside you. Whether it's thinking about a different way to...
    The level of difficulty is slowly intensifying for the BUB crew as they embark on new formats and increasingly longer Roadshow stops from 2021-2023. From overcoming obstacles like staffing shortages and supply chain shortfalls to equipment breakdowns, team injuries and illness, the gnarly bits of...
    Earlier in the pod we introduced the BUB Roadshow, Bottoms Up Bagels (BUB)'s way of busting the water myth and testing new markets for expansion. Part bagel pop up - part traveling circus - at its core, "The Roadshow" is about bringing good bagels to more people with local communities at its...
  • About

    The Proofing Stage podcast examines the origins, progress, struggles, and setbacks of entrepreneurs through the lens of its founders, who, among other things, have run a bagel business for the past 8 years. Join us, as we share wins and cautionary tales from that space between “atta girl” and “I told you so!”

    Season 1 features Joan Kanner and Michelle Bond of Bottoms Up Bagels and is hosted by Amanda Schwarz, of Mended Digital. In Season 2, Joan and Michelle are your Co-hosts, sharing the mic with other minority business owners, and offering tips for founders and supporters alike. We hope you'll join us!


    Notice and disclaimer can be found here.

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    Season 1 Contributor: Amanda Schwarz has led many professional lives, but few seemed to value when she showed up as her authentic self, with a flaming knapsack of life dropped from her hand to the ground.

    Growing tired of being expected to wear a corporate mask, she worked out an escape plan and created Mended Digital - a vehicle to deliver her Swiss-army-knife marketing skillset, knack for storytelling, and love for the underdog direct to small business owners in the DMV and beyond. A “Covid-era” move from Baltimore MD to the Cincinnati Suburbs continues to color this chapter of her life and her work, but she’s grateful to have the experience to learn more about America from another point of view.

    Amanda measures her joy in creative outlets and opportunities for exploration. Current passions include travel, writing, photography, choral performance, marriage & parenting. She’s recently explored ideas of what we once wished for versus what we become in her podcast Aspirations, and What Become of Them.  

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    Co-host: An Irvington, NJ native, Joan is a proud Jersey Girl. Although she grew up under the veil of 12 years of Catholic school, she still lays a claim to her own “Jewy center.” Having been raised by her paternal grandparents- her Catholic grandmother and Jewish grandfather - she benefited from the menu being spurred by their interfaith marriage. But her grandparents brought more than recipes to the U.S. Thankfully, resiliency is Joan's greatest inheritance.


    Before co-founding Bottoms Up Bagels (BUB), Joan had a 15-year career in academia that included social science research and the detail-heavy firehose that is grants and contracts administration. She also created the music streaming app, Fugue, that lets you hear what you want and forget what you don’t. Joan now applies all that knowledge and experience to debunk the myth that it's the water that makes a good bagel.


    When not cooking or hiking, Joan exercises her creative muscle by coming up with skits, punchlines and the occasional new menu item.

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    Co-host: Born and raised in northern NJ, Michelle sought to combine dreams of writing and service, with a Madman-esque obsession for telling the perfect story. With 15 years’ experience in communications and community development prior to co-founding Bottoms Up Bagels, she focused on how to engage others, through diversity training or social media campaigns. Her love of food preparation and the belief that food builds community inflitrates every aspect of BUB.


    Balance. Justice. Stillness. These three words have been a guiding force in her life and work, whether in HIV education in South Africa, or developing park programming in Baltimore City. They speak to the fairness, equity and perspective she seeks in all interactions, and the space she tries to create in a training room, conversation, or bagel line. This also means constantly striving for time to step back and nurture creativity in order to re-enter work with fresh ideas and approaches.


    Michelle is a RPCV, former AmeriCorps VISTA, runner of 11 marathons and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program alum.