"This is going to be a little bit different of a format, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to meet with our guest one-on-one. First, I’d like to read a quote, “What is a goddess? A goddess is a person who is in the process of learning to know, accept and love themselves on all levels, mind, body and spirit. A person who because they focus on personal growth and self-awareness, experiences a life increasingly filled with peace, love, joy, passion and fun. A person that understands that they have unlimited capacity to make their life anything they want. A person who is inspired to give to those around them because of their sense of gratitude and abundance.” I’m going to be joined with our guest Camille Kauer. She is host and CEO of The E-Spot with Camille. Welcome, Camille, to the show.
Camille: I am grateful to be here with you, Karen. Thanks for inviting me.
Thank you. I’m excited to have this one-on-one. It’s going to be fun. You are incredible in your shows. I was watching your shows. You’ve got such a nice rapport and you’re so pretty in pink.
Camille: Thank you. It’s become a thing. I feel like I have to wear as much pink as possible. I can get away with it.
I read the quote, “What is a goddess?” I want to know what your thoughts are on that.
Camille: I love how it’s about embracing yourself and owning your own power. When I think of goddess as well, I always think of warrior women. I always think the feminine part of it. I love that included the dichotomy of both of what women can be. You can be strong, fierce warriors and still be cuddly pink. We can embrace our femininity and you don’t have to choose.
There are all these qualities of being passionate and strong, yet speaking your voice and truth, and finding that inner goddess strength within you. It seems like you have tapped into your passion. Can you talk about your journey with us?
Camille: It’s funny from doing my show, I’m noticing that my path seems random and happenstance. Hearing from many different people, that’s sometimes how it is. You might have had a dream to go one way, and life doesn’t want to play by your rules, or the saying, “You make plans and the Universe laughs.” That’s pretty much been my life from the beginning. I started in Europe although I was born here in America. My parents were in the Air Force. For the first 11, 12 years of my life, I grew up overseas and I idolized America through TV. That was my way to connect from where I was from, my culture, and how I was related to being an American. When I would watch television, I always imagined myself being those characters, living the luxurious American life that was portrayed on television there.
I didn’t necessarily think that’s what I wanted to become one day but I love the elegance of it all. I would get a lot of Diana Ross concert tapes. I remember thinking she was the most elegant, beautiful woman ever and wanting to have that same grace and elegance as I got older. As I got older, my career unfolded. There were a lot of hurdles I had to overcome because I was raised in Europe. I had a very thick accent. When I first moved to America, I had to go to ESL classes or English as a Second Language classes when I was put in the public school system in America. There was that part of having to overcome because there were not many roles for Black women that have German accents.
I had to change. I had to fit in and I had to assimilate. It’s funny, I ended up majoring in college even in sociology. My mom divorced my father and remarried here in America to a movie producer. That’s when the steps even unfolded even more where I was able to get my first taste of what it was like to work in entertainment and see my mom worked stunts and my stepfather. I see their work ethic, how films came about, the whole creative process, seeing how it was made and unfolded. I fell in love like this is the path for me. It took a lot of hurdles to get there.
You were an actress and model first. How did you get into the podcast world?
Camille: About a few years ago, I got empowered by the idea that men a lot of times will apply for jobs that they’re not 100% fully qualified for or overly qualified for. Women, especially maybe even with Black women, we were always taught that we have to be twice as good to get the same job. I always felt like I would read these different job descriptions and if I felt slightly short of, I felt like I couldn’t apply for it. I started applying for jobs I always wanted. One of those was being a talk show host. I had tried out as a teenager for MTV VJ. I was like, “Another chance.” With the internet, you can look up whatever and the world is at your fingertips.
I was like, “Why not? Let’s see what options there are.” It was a remote option. I did that first. I worked with two other women and it was a lot of fun. We would chat about different issues that were going on. It’s predominantly black women issues, but we would still talk about politics and different things that were going on in the world. I loved it. Since 2008, when my daughter was born, I’ve been working mainly at entertainment. It was freelance in that sense like maybe I’d work every month and then maybe I wouldn’t work for a couple of months. It would be a couple of days here and there. I was pretty much a stay-at-home mom. The idea of having a purpose and reason to know what was going on outside of the PTA and the different volunteer groups I was involved in, I felt like I had more control over my career again.
I didn’t have to wait for my agent or wait for production to film in North Carolina because that was the other part of it too. During that time, we had HB2 law pass, which was the “bathroom bill.” A lot of different productions that we’re filming here left. Even Marvel left because they were filming Iron Man 3. That was the last film they filmed here and they moved to Georgia, and you know what happened then. I’ve loved it. When I started with that podcast, I loved it. Every time another opportunity came up, I had to take it. When the pandemic hit, I was working at a radio station doing the E-Spot there once a week and had won an award for it, which I was excited about. Two weeks after the party for the award, the pandemic hit. It’s like, “Let’s find another way to do this.” Since I had worked before with the same platform I use now, I did it from home. I relearned it because it had been a few years since I’d used that platform, and 115 shows from home.
When I first met you and I heard that you host a podcast called The E-Spot, I’m sorry but I thought the G-spot. You got my attention and I was like, “The G-spot,” but it’s The E-Spot. I love that name. Tell us about the name and your shop.
Camille: I’m glad you asked because not a lot of people ask me why I came up with The E-Spot. During those different hurdles, because a lot of the things with creatives is you’re not just interested in one thing. Your brain doesn’t work that way. It splits off into millions of different things that you want to do. Sometimes you’re limited by health reasons. I was an esthetician and worked as a makeup artist as well. That was my other way through the film industry. I got carpal tunnel and I couldn’t do it anymore. That was another thing. I always had this thought of having a fun name for a medspa would be E-Spot because it would be just for ladies for them to get their esthetics, facials, waxing, laser and medspas.
Camille: I was a spa director in LA for Equinox. I was a spa director in medspa here in Raleigh, North Carolina. I was like, “It could be "E" for entertainment or even for entrepreneurs.” I expanded it during that pandemic because originally, I would mention only entertainment during the radio segment, and do top-five events that were happening in the triangle area locally. When I was at home and there were no live events happening anymore, I was like, “I’ll bring on entrepreneurs to share skillsets that could help entertainers who are maneuvering working from home.” They are figuring out other ways to make money since the film industry had shut down, and unemployment wasn’t including freelancers at first.
The buzz word is pivot. I did the same thing with my show because I was all set to do gatherings here in Chicago. I had different venues lined up, different guests, and then COVID. I’m like, “How am I going to do this?” This is scary for me. I’m getting much more relaxed into it but it’s not scary for me to talk and connect with people. I feel comfortable with that or speaking in front of a group or a large audience who’s listening. The tech part of it, I’ve screwed up on all that. I had my daughters whom I love very much. They’re initially doing some marketing because I wanted to spread out the message. I had to fire them, “Sorry girls but they’re not cutting it.”
Camille: It’s hard to get good help these days.
Family, you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. All of this is challenging but I’m feeling good every day that I’m getting over those little hurdles step by step. Did you find that for yourself or did you just pick it up?
Camille: I jokingly say that that would be the death of me. It’s the stressing over the tech stuff. I feel like we’re in the same age bracket. I won’t age you and you don’t have to age me out. I’m still able to play younger.
The tech stuff was just getting started when I was in college. Myspace was big when I was working and Facebook was too. I didn’t know what SEO was until maybe a couple of months ago. I thought it had something to do with CEOs.
Camille: Thank you for admitting that.
I’ve had people laugh at me besides my kids like, “What do you mean you don’t know this and that?” I’m like, “I don’t.” It’s okay to say you don’t and have it explained to you because I’m a teacher too and I’m like, “There’s never a stupid question.”
Camille: You never stop learning because what’s the point of living life if you’re not going to learn anything new or experience new experiences. I joined a lot of different Facebook groups whether it was the platform I was using or different interest groups that I was interested in plugging into my show. I joined a lot of different groups like that to hear what they were doing, what they were using and what videos they might have suggested. It became almost like we were helping each other. Anytime we found something new, we would share it with the group. You take what you need or get what you can. One thing that’s different than starting your podcast maybe a year ago or earlier is that a lot of things were sold out because everybody was using the same equipment for their Zoom meetings for teachers and speaking events. I was like, “Let’s find out what’s the best no brand webcam for me to use, and what microphone was usable that I could get in a reasonable time.” I was able to afford or find things. Thank you for Best Buy’s waitlist notifications. That helped me through it.
On your conversation with Jeff Pulver's Show, Marc said something about don’t get caught up with production value being perfect. Authenticity is more important. That’s exactly true. As long as you have good audio and semi-good lighting where they can see you, you’re good to go. It’s more important to get the message out there, get connected and take a chance. You feel that you’re living in your purpose. You’re doing something that’s under your control. You figure it out, you love it or you don’t before you invest a lot of equipment and gear. It can get pricey quickly if you’re trying to buy the best of everything and wait until you do this and get the perfect logo. I don’t even have a logo. Everything I have, I’ve made it all myself.
I noticed that and it’s such good quality. You produce everything by yourself. I hired Podetize. They’re an amazing company and they produce hundreds of podcasts. At least to start out, I felt like to connect with them, they’re so personable. Alexandra Hazzard is the go-to person. Thank you, Alexandra. She’s been great. I’ve asked some crazy questions to her where she had to sit with me on Zoom and walk me through stuff like show me on a split screen and now I know.
Camille: At least you have someone that’s on the payroll to help you in that sense too. I’m randomly googling and hoping I get the right thing. That’s the other part of things that’s been a teachable moment even with my daughter in the sense that there are a lot of people putting content out there that’s complete BS. It doesn’t work. It’s not true. You don’t want to buy those products. They’re promoting affiliate links to get the commission off of it. You don’t know that what you’re looking for is legit or that it’s quality, and it’s not just a money grab. You can trust that source in that sense. That’s important too.
On the show, and we’ll do this a little later to talk about our favorite things, it could be a ritual, color or anything. It can be a product but I said to them, “Please don’t just promote your best friend’s new merchandise. It has to be something that you enjoy because I don’t want the readers to go out and get something that they don’t enjoy.” One of our guests talked about dry brushing and how much she loves it. I’ve never done it so I invested in it and I love it. It feels good. I’ve never done it but something like that, I could have looked it up online and found out, but to hear firsthand about how it works and what she likes about it. The readers don’t have to go out and get these products, but if they hear from us these great reviews of them that we truly love this product, then why not? It’s got to be authentic.
On my show, I’m nervous about exposing a lot of vulnerabilities I have. People know that I had cancer. I’ve gone through depression and anxiety. I’ve had marital counseling. These are things that are important to share because you can see the journey and that it’s okay. It’s temporary and the steps and things that we’re doing to help. I love your authenticity on the show. You shine right through it all with your guests. It’s so much fun to listen and to watch. Can you talk about a guest that you’ve had that you feel has been inspiring?
Camille: (cont.) My head always goes to the same person each time just because it was unexpected. Because I’ve had family members on, they’re definitely my favorites and I love them the most. I had Marcellas Reynolds on as a guest. He’s the author of the Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion. He did this book where it was a love letter and history of how Black women were able to make it into the modeling industry and able to get those iconic beauty standard roles, which was very hard to get. I didn’t understand the depths of how hard that had to be at their timeframe.
It’s still hard now even, but to think of it and have all those pictures that you had and so on. In the interview, I was prepared for that conversation. He surprised me with something that was vulnerable. He started crying even when he was sharing the story. I was trying my best because I’m like, “I’m not the Barbara Walters type. This is not what we’re coming for.” At the same time, it’s one of those things he said he never talked about publicly. Because of everything going on, he felt comfortable with sharing. I felt amazing that he felt comfortable to share that with me. I felt a lot of pride in that, but I also felt I had to keep it too. I didn’t want to exploit it. I could have easily edited that part and shared it on social media, but that’s a lot more technical work for me to do.
I listened to that show all the time because it gives me so much. A lot of the time when you’re doing things in the creative space, you don’t always feel that support whether it’s financial or encouragement. You’re like, “Am I doing this? Are people resonating? Is this working?” Hearing and having that conversation with him and getting to have that connection with him, I didn’t know him before I interviewed him. He was someone I had looked up to and idolized. I’d been following him on Instagram for years. When he finally followed me back, I went on for the kill and started messaging him. When this opportunity to have my own show, I had to have him on. He’s been on twice and has said he’d come back anytime and anywhere. I’ve been harassing him since fashion is coming up but whatever.
That would be the one because it gives me on a regular basis the feeling of if nothing else, maybe I’ve opened the door that he can reach out to his homophobic family members. Maybe they can bridge and things can change. At times like this, it’s something so polarizing that shouldn’t be. That’s your family. I think about them all the time and how wonderful it would be if they could bridge together. At the same time in a toxic family, whether they’re blood or not, they’ve got to go.
We can talk about family but that’s a difficult conversation of social injustice and what’s happening in our world right now. This is being recorded in early September 2020. All summer long, it’s always been there. It’s just coming out to the forefront. If you’re comfortable, I’d like to have a little discussion about that. The episode that’s being aired on the show is with a Millennial, Ella St. Hilaire. She has a company that’s a new platform called Bedrock Body. If you haven’t joined up, it’s amazing. She is giving some courses on how to build that bridge, and have these uncomfortable conversations to make them sustainable and taking action towards what we can do, along with bringing awareness. I’m curious though about what’s going on in your head and what’s happening with you. You are a black woman and you have a daughter. What is going on in your life right now with what’s going on in the world?
Camille: It’s interesting because I have a white husband. I get a firsthand view sometimes of systemic racism. I’ll see how differently he gets treated compared to me as opposed to when I was dating someone of the same race. As the woman, I would be treated better. To see that firsthand or even with everything that’s happened with the police issues, political issues and all of it, it’s been overwhelming. It also felt like a purge in a way where all of these feelings that I was having, I was thinking it was me. Maybe I did something or maybe I have RBF like something I had done to deserve that treatment, that it had something to do with myself.
Considering many women and men were coming out, saying the same story I had, I have to admit, I grew up very privileged. I went to private schools, I had tutors and I had a white nanny. I had an Asian one too. I’m just saying in the sense that there isn’t protection from it. It doesn’t matter how nice you are sometimes to a police officer or people, or how far is the society you build yourself up to. Living in nice homes and areas could put a bigger target on your back like, “Why are you here? You don’t deserve to be here.” I felt obligated because I was a stay-at-home mom. I had the freedom to go and volunteer, that I had to represent all the black kids and people of color at my daughter’s school because there were so few. I would volunteer for everything I could to make sure I was there.
I got involved of course with ESL because I always had a special place in my heart for my own experience of being told I couldn’t be an American unless I only spoke English. I lost the language that I used to speak, which was Turkish with a little Dutch here and there. It was heart-wrenching to know that it was not just living in the South type of thing because I felt like in LA, I didn’t ever experience that. Because of my parents’ profession, I went to 26 different schools and about half of those, I was the only black student in. Even in college, I was the only black girl in my dorm for my first year and a half of school. I finally dropped out because I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the racism anymore. A professor told me to my face that she would never pass it "n-word". I had different students say things to me on a regular basis and it was just me. I couldn’t fight everyone. I couldn’t argue like I wasn’t going to. I did want to play up to the stereotype of being an angry black woman either or speaking up for myself. It’s funny when my husband and I were dating, he was working in real estate. His coworker had mentioned to him how he hated renting to black people because they would always complain so much about different things.
I was like, “If your places are up to par, they won’t complain.” It made me even more scared of having that same stereotype of, “If something’s done wrong to me and if I complain, they’ll just assume that’s a black thing and not take it at face value.” There are a lot of insecurities that came with that and it was heavy to unpack all of that. That’s the purging of it all like, “It’s not me.” It’s funny because a lot of people lately have been saying to me how I have this energy about me that resonates and all these different things. It’s weird because before I would get that, “You’ve looked standoffish or RBF.” It was like, “Is it me or them?”
I wonder if not having to carry all those bricks of the different things people had said to me and feeling the weight of, “I can’t complain. I can’t say anything and speak up for myself. I can’t negotiate for higher rates for myself than my coworkers that are doing the same job type.” I feel like, “The world is listening. They see that it’s different. There are proof and papers. There’s a 15% challenge there.” The grocery stores are now carrying more ethnic hair products and skincare. They’re trying to accommodate the rest of the Americans, not just the white Americans. It’s nice to know.
Some people are not listening but there is an awakening. I too had mentioned that on a previous show. It’s hard to say but I’ve been educating and listening. I realized that when I was younger, I was racist. I wasn’t actively racist. I wasn’t going out and actively feeling this way. I was brought up in a way that when I look back, it was racist. In a school where I remember singing a song at recess, I jump rope to a song and it had the N-word in it. I remember singing and thinking it wasn’t anything. It was changed later on,” then I thought, “I get it.” There were things that I did that I learned being a white girl. Does this make sense?
Camille: A hundred percent.
I have no idea we’re racists.
Camille: It’s not just you. That’s the whole thing about systemic racism. I too and we were all part of the machine. We all fed into it. We all ignored it or assume that’s the way it has to be.
I just assumed as I got older and I realized, “This isn’t.” I remember at my public school, there was a whole big thing about their kids being bust in. I realized at the time, these kids are black and that’s the whole big thing. It’s not about the extra kids at the school. I remember white women like housewives coming to school and being upset about it. As a 10, 11-year-old sitting there thinking like, “I’m friends with this girl. What’s wrong with her? What do you mean she’s black?” I saw she was black but it’s like, “Why is that bad?” We didn’t have conversations about it. My parents did talk about it. We were open and in conversations about it, but in school, it was this underlying racist attitude that I’m ashamed to say I grew up that way. Now, everyone’s purging and understanding and we’re having these conversations. It’s important to re-examine who we are, what our beliefs are, the things that are ingrained in us that we grew up with, tackling and dismantling that.
Camille: People like to see the growth.
You told me that because I was scared. I mentioned to you, “I feel like this isn’t going to connect with the audience.” You said, “Don’t worry, just be yourself.”
Camille: People love the idea of catching onto a rising star and being like, “I knew her first or this new hot podcast, you’ve heard of goddess.”
“I knew her when she couldn’t pronounce the guest’s names.”
Camille: That’s another one. Speaking of impediments, I have ADHD and dyslexic. When you add in all those elements too as “impediment,” it’s not because it helps me be able to do many things at one time. It makes it easier for me to multitask because I’m also ambidextrous to make things even more confusing and complicated for me. There are different things that you think, “I can’t do this because I’m this and that.” Maybe for general media, for Entertainment Tonight, my ability to keep looking at comments and still talk might not be the best thing but for what we’re doing, it works. People feel included in the conversation. I get to have fun. I get to use all my brain power at one time. Although about misspelling names, when I’m reading and I’m trying to pay attention at the same time, sometimes it’s harder for me to notice that I’m flipping words or mispronouncing it, but love me or leave me.
We’re human. My last quote is by SC Lourie, “Some days I am goddess, some days I am wild child, and some days I am a fragile mess. Most days I am a bit of all three but every day I’m here trying.” Do you feel like a goddess, a wild child or a fragile mess?
Camille: I feel like 35% of all of them. It’s by the minute and by the hour. Right now, I feel like a goddess because I’m having a wonderful time having a conversation with you. As soon as I get off in the real world, it hits back. I’ll probably feel like a wild child running around trying to figure out, what am I supposed to do next? What’s going on now? Do you need lunch? What class are you in? There’s a lot more traffic control tower work.
It’s okay to be the fragile mess later on too. We go through ups and downs. Let’s not put each other down about it. Let’s give us some space. Don’t be hard on yourself. I’ve learned that over the years. Take that time to comfort. Eat that chocolate and have that glass of wine, just don’t have five glasses and enjoy. Camille, if our readers want to hear and get ahold of you, how can they do that?
Camille: The easiest way is to go to my website, CamilleKauer.com.
Please do it because it’s a lot of fun and she’s so pretty in pink. Thank you for sharing with me and supporting each other podcaster to podcaster, woman to woman, goddess to goddess.
Camille: It’s important at this time because we’re all globally experiencing the same thing. It’s a good time to help a neighbor even if it’s a "virtual neighbor." If it’s someone else with the same mindset, why let location limit you? That’s one of the things to take from this. You can connect with anyone just based on a feeling.
Camille, it’s been such a pleasure. I appreciate your time and all of your great advice, especially about leaping, just doing it and feeling that connection. I appreciate our conversation about social injustice, learning new things, and understanding our different paths but we’ve landed in the same destination.
Camille: Thank you, also for wanting to have these conversations because they are difficult and scary to be transparent and share even your own experiences of what you went through. I’m still dumbfounded about the "horns" thing. I can’t imagine somebody feeling comfortable enough to even ask a question like that. I’m glad she did ask, so she learned quickly that it’s wrong and know that it isn’t a thing. At the same time, I hope she ran into someone that’s not as nice as you, that might have said it to her in a way where she got it.
I was tempted to let her feel my head but I said, “I don’t have them and we don’t have them.” Jews live in Canada and I did not grow up in England. That’s it but I moved on. Hopefully, she learned and if she’s reading out there, she’s more educated about everything and everyone. Thank you again. Enjoy your day.
I’m happy that we met. Thank you for joining us on the show.
As a beauty enthusiast, I was delighted to interview Randi Shinder with the Grateful Goddesses. Randi has created and launched five beauty brands. Her accomplishm so groundbreaking that they have formed new categories in fragrance and skin care—including her latest ventures, with new business partner needs no introduction;
Christie Brinkley. The iconic supermodel, entrepreneur, mother, and has spent most of her life as the epitome of natural beauty believes in aging beautifully and gracefully.