Special to The Ledger
Power couple Jessie and Gerard Artigue host their podcast Marriage is Funny with a blend of candor and optimism. Building on a message of “great love,” the two have garnered a large online following together. Jessie runs a fashion and lifestyle consulting business in addition to the podcast and is at the brink of launching a new clothing line, Season. This Friday the Performing Arts Series brings them to JCCC for a live recording session.
Now living in Long Beach, CA, the couple got their start in Kansas City. Jessie Artigue began her fashion business as a local street style blog, Style and Pepper (thus the nickname “Pepper”). She grew the blog into a fashion consulting business, then lifestyle coaching, and now a clothing line, amassing an online community of thousands along the way.
“One of the things that I’m always so appreciative about in terms of starting my own business in Kansas City is that there’s so much room for creativity because of the size of the market,” Artigue said.
Her advice to local entrepreneurs is to make full use of Kansas City’s encouraging atmosphere.
“Really harness and take advantage of the city that you live in, that is so encouraging to entrepreneurs, local entrepreneurs especially and use Kansas City as a platform to really hone your skills and develop your talents,” Artigue said. “What’s most important is that you are encouraged and inspired by your current surrounding, and if that happens to be Kansas City, then I would say you’re in a very small list of very lucky people.”
The Peppers’ branding strategy is something of a success on its own. Memorable and inviting, the couple have understood how to effectively utilize online platforms, using the concept of a “flavorful life” to tie together their creative work.
Artigue’s branding tip is to find an angle that is unique to you.
“Figure out what your own personal angle is, and then use that as the point of view from which you write, post or share or whatever it is,” Artigue said.
And, she says, be confident.
“When I say I was confident, I don’t necessarily mean that I thought I was doing it best, but I think because I knew I was the only one in that outfit, it gave me a lot of confidence to share in a way that felt like I was providing something at least somewhat unique,” Artigue said.
In Kansas City, the couple’s favorite spot was McCoy’s.
“I feel like that just a Kansas city classic,” Artigue said.
They miss the warmth of the Midwest the most.
“My all time favorite characteristic of Kansas City is the people… it seems like every new person we met became an instant friend.”
The Peppers will be hosting a live podcast recording for Marriage is Funny at the Polsky Theatre this Friday, 8 p.m. Additional details are available on the Performing Arts Series website.