Shop PublicSq, a free platform that connects freedom-loving Americans with like-minded businesses
Learn about Public Square, a growing directory of businesses where freedom and American values are prioritized. Christina Werner, SVP of partnerships, shares how PublicSq does the vetting so you can be more intentional with your spending. Join PublicSq at https://publicsq.com/ to find and support businesses that align with your values, locally and online.
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Gerald Ewalt: Welcome to the First Right Podcast, a weekly conservative new show brought to you by Restoration of America. I'm Jerry Ewalt, Chief Marking Officer for Restoration of America, and today we are blessed to welcome Christina Werner, senior Vice President of Partnership at Public Square, which is a company that works to connect freedom loving Americans with like-minded businesses in their community. All right. Well, Christina, welcome to the show.
Christina Werner: Thank you so much for having me. It's fun to be apart.
Gerald Ewalt: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, it's often said that people are the most important asset of any business, and so we're gonna talk a lot about Public Square here, but before we do, I want to know about you. Who are you and what do you do, and how do you, how did you get to Public Square?
Christina Werner: Oh, who am I? Okay. Well, recently I've been known as the Mama Bear, right? So it this, in this season of what's gone on in these past two years with everything shifting in America, it's really the Mama Bears that have not been okay with what's happening, you know, with their kids and in school and the indoctrination and just even the, the rules and the mandates that were set out. So, us Mama Bears kind of poked our heads out and said, not my children. And we got a lot more involved. You know, when you talk to a mom that says, well, I'm not really involved in politics. Well, you probably are. Now it's
Gerald Ewalt: Time, right? Yep.
Christina Werner: Yeah. So that's a little bit about me. I've had the joy and pleasure of getting to be a part of Public Square since its very, we beginnings just a group of friends. It was Michael Seiferts idea, and we all came together and helped start this. And it has grown faster, quicker, better than I could have ever imagined. And so we are just kinda like building the plane and flight, and here we go on a, on a great adventure.
Gerald Ewalt: Well, you, you got some great infographics in your background, so I could tell there's a lot of things going on. There's a lot of things going, I love it. Yeah, it's, it's perfect. So tell us, what is Public Square?
Christina Werner: Sure. Well, let me just back up to say, part of the concept is we thought, you know, what, if we could create a local public square where the businesses that prioritize freedom refuse to infringe upon those rights of the customers and employees, just like we were talking about, the Mama Bears not liking their kids being masked up or enforced, you know, mandates that these business are able to thrive free from as much government intervention as possible. And so that's what we did. We created a platform that is sensor free, where freedom is not just respected, but it's actually prioritized. The free markets prioritized. So we shift the power, power and the money back to we, the people, because you really do vote with your wallet. So that's, that's really where it started.
Gerald Ewalt: Yeah. So, okay, so Public Square. So is this, is this like an Amazon for conservatives or is it something bigger, better, bolder? What is it?
Christina Werner: Well, I'm gonna say it's bigger, better Boulder, of course, you know, eventually we will be able to compete in the e-commerce portion, like Amazon. At the moment, what we are are the nation's largest directory of freedom loving businesses. So it can be businesses both locally. When you go onto your public Square app, you can see businesses on a map locally in your area that have gotten onto public Square. You can also go into an online tab and you can see businesses around the country that you can shop with online. So at the moment, it is a directory, but yes, eventually can't wait till we get to compete with Amazon a little bit more.
Gerald Ewalt: So, so it's a bit of a, it, it, it goes beyond, it's, it's a bit of a hybrid. So you can go and you can do e-commerce, you can order stuff off of the app, but you can also find local businesses that support the conservative movement. Did I get that right?
Christina Werner: Yeah, absolutely. So when a business jumps on to Public Square, now, first of all, let me just say it's absolutely free for businesses to be a part. It's also free for the consumer to use the website and the app. Our goal is really to connect you with those like-minded businesses so that you start to purchase with a purpose, or like I said before, you know, vote with your wallet. Yeah. So when these businesses get on public square, they're gonna adhere by our core values. Those core values being we are united in our commitment to freedom and truth, and that's what makes us Americans. We will always protect the family unit and celebrate the sanctity of every life, which is my favorite. Yeah. We believe that small businesses and the communities that support them are the backbone of our economy, which is what we've seen just drastically shift in these past few years. We believe in the greatness of this nation and will always fight to defend it. And last but not least, our constitution is non-negotiable. Government is not the source of our rights, and so it cannot take them away. So these are the businesses through the pandemic that chose not to discriminate based on anybody's medical status. Yes. But you know, it's, it's grown obviously from there.
Gerald Ewalt: So the, do they have to sign a pledge? How, so? If they want to come onto your platform, they have to sign off like a waiver or a pledge that would say, you know, I subscribe to these values, American values that you just laid out. Is that how it works?
Christina Werner: Yeah, basically, they'll go to the easiest and quickest way to get on public square, and it really takes probably less than 10 minutes to do. You go to the website public sq, which is on my shirt, public sq.com, on the very top, there's a button that says Add your business. When you go to add your business and fill out that information, you're going to go through those core values and just check them, check them off one by one. And then on our end, we do vet and verify businesses to the best of our ability. But so far, to be honest, we haven't had too much issue with people that oppose these values trying to jump on. So it's, it's been a joy to see all the fun businesses that get on there. But yeah, so they do agree to those values,
Gerald Ewalt: So anyone that agrees to it could go on there. So it doesn't have to just be like a local small mom and pop shop. It could be like, let's say Walmart wanted to join, they, they could enter if they wanted to. I, I don't think they would, but if,
Christina Werner: I would just be thrilled if Walmart wants to shift where it's purchasing its products and they want to support the more local, that would be amazing. I love that. I love that. Yes. You know, we don't nec there's, let me also say too, underneath our core values, there's something which I just love. Yeah. When people ask us, well, what about where products are made? We, yes, we get it. It's difficult. Manufacturing here is not an easy thing to do. After NAFTA came in and things went offshore, we understand, but you can also tell the intention behind a business owner's heart when they're wanting to find something local they're wanting to shift to made in the usa or maybe they can't find the product. So there is a box that you can check off at the bottom that just says, basically, I'm doing the best of my ability to make things I see in from the United States. So there is that grace to say, we get it. Not all products are here. We've seen businesses shift from at least not being made in China, you know, trying to shift it elsewhere, or at least make some of their products, you know, made in the usa. But we don't, we're not black and white in that area, and we don't micromanage the businesses. So,
Gerald Ewalt: You know, you're, you're so right on that. It's, it's, so, it's a real challenge to find things that are made in America. And then I I'll also add the quality level too, right? And, and I know it wasn't always like that, but some things shifted. Obviously we're trying, and you guys are doing a great job of trying to shift that back, right? Because there is a massive market out there for things made in this country and then made in this country with a high quality.
Christina Werner: Yeah. Oh yeah. And you know, I have the joy of getting to talk to a lot of these business owners and did some interviews last week, even with a company, Elsie King Manufacturing since 1918. I hope that I got that right. They've been making everything in the United States, and it was so cool to hear him say it wasn't easy, it wasn't easy when everything went offshore. He, he made a choice to keep it made in America and to hear, you know, well, our tags are made in New York City and the buttons are made, I think somewhere in the south. And we found our thread milled in Georgia. I mean, it's really cool to see someone that's taken the effort and not probably the most comfortable, easy path. The not the cheapest path either, right? He plays his employees great wages, but it's a great quality product. I got a jacket and a pair of pants for my husband and he loves them.
Gerald Ewalt: No, it's, it, that's fantastic, right? I mean, and, and, and hopefully it's gonna pay off for these people that have stuck with it and said this, this isn't right. What's happening in this country? We're gonna stay here, we're gonna do this. It might be a higher cost, but it's worth it in the end. And you guys are really playing a big role in, in, in putting the spotlight back on those people.
Christina Werner: Hmm. Well, can I also just give people some hope in the sense that we have seen way more B2B connection than I anticipated so fast, where businesses are so excited to get to connect with other businesses that are in America. Oh gosh, I can now purchase a product from here, or I'm gonna shift, you know, where, where I'm resourcing things to make it back in America. So we are also connecting on the B2B end a lot more than I think we thought would initially just to help these businesses bring stuff back to America.
Gerald Ewalt: Yeah. It's an opportunity to learn from each other, right. And come it's a public square. Yeah. And, and that's what the name of your company is, and it's, you're able to come and kind of work these things out and you have a challenge. Someone else probably over overcame that challenge already and they can help that person out or that business out.
Christina Werner: Yeah. Last Instagram live interview I did was with a business owner, Yakima Apparel, and you could see some frustration where, you know, he was asked, he was asked about the shoes he was making, and he said, gosh, literally to the audience, if anybody can help me Sure. Make shoes in the United States, I would love to. And you can tell he's done his, this research. He's even in school doing a large report. I don't know if it's the thesis, but on things being made in America. But it, it is cool to see the business owners ask the community, I would love to make things made in the United States, just, I just need some help. I'm trying. Yeah, I'm trying. So, and that's what we're asking when people are trying, we can see that intent and it's, it's awesome. And I think it's only gonna get better.
Gerald Ewalt: Yeah. No, that, that's fantastic. And, and roughly how many businesses do you have signed up?
Christina Werner: You know, we have tens of thousands of businesses. That are on there. Yeah. There really are tons. I can tell you one day you'll look in the queue of businesses that are signing up and there's 200 in one day, then another day we've looked and there was a thousand in the wait list to be verified. So if that gives you any hope, America is not up for what's happening and they are ready to support this parallel economy. But I don't even wanna say that anymore because it really is America's economy. It really is.
Gerald Ewalt: So, yeah, let, let's, let's focus a little bit on that, because I think there's a lot of discussion around this, right? So we always talk about the left in cancel culture, and then, you know, the left is coming back and saying, well, you're doing the same thing, right? You're, you know, Budweiser all over the, the news obviously this week for some of their decisions on brand ambassadors, and there's a lot of conservatives saying, I'm never gonna drink Budweiser again. And it's actually quite amazing to hear some of their, their marketing leadership just completely tone deaf and, and going against their, the, the ma the mass amount of people that actually buy their brand, right? But that's a whole nother story. So let's go back to the point, and so what, what would you say if, if you are participating in that, that left idea of cancel culture by going with a parallel economy?
Christina Werner: You know, I I've heard it related to the same thing, right. On the right, Oh, is this creating a cancel culture? We're honestly, in my opinion, helping with the free market. Yeah. Oh, it is fine. I, I am not asking Budweiser to sh shut their doors. I personally with a 13 year old daughter and in my family household don't wanna be supporting that. But again, that's just where I'm voting with my wallet, right? I'm going to shift to a local place that I, you know, I just went to a local brewery with my husband the other day. They're family oriented kids can be there. I know that there's not gonna be anything weird up on the walls. There's not gonna be anything that does not support my traditional American values. In fact, this brewery I went to, they had up on their walls, they had a poster of what nonprofit in San Diego, it's where I live. They were supporting this month and it showed kids with special needs getting to surf with Bethany Hamilton. I mean, it was sweet, right? So I'm, we're not about canceling them. That's fine. Make those, you know, if that's the decision you're gonna make. But I, as a more traditional American with my Judeo-Christian views, would love to go support a business owner that's maybe just, you know, staying away from those brand ambassadors as you called them.
Gerald Ewalt: Yes, yes. No, I, you know what you, I think you answered that perfectly, right? This country, you, you talked about the constitution early on, you talked about Judeo-Christian values we're talk, you, you also just mentioned free markets, so that this is the definition of a free market. So when Budweiser and Nike makes a decis a business decision to market their brand in a certain way that doesn't appeal to the mass audience, then there should be alternatives, right? And you are providing them an alternative that stands behind American values, that's free market.
Christina Werner: Yeah. And in fact, I would actually hope that a business, an example I use fairly often is Starbucks, right? They've chosen this crazy woke stance where they spend their money and who they choose to support and plan parent, and, and it, it's, the average American isn't up for that. I don't necessarily wanna cancel them. What I want to see is in two years, five years, 10 years down the road, when the market has shift, or even with Bud Pfizer, I know their market has dropped super fast, that maybe they turn their head and actually say, gosh, what did we do? Or what are we doing wrong? And they listen to the American public and say, well, maybe stop funding abortion, you know, may maybe don't have these, your woke ideology all over your can. Instead maybe just create your beer and that's
Gerald Ewalt: I just want a beer or a cup of coffee. I don't want your politics to come with it, right?
Christina Werner: Yes!You know, and, and that's one question we get asked to with business owners. Well, if I jump on public square, am I now having to take this really big political stance? No, actually not at all. We're not asking you to, you know, throw up extra signs in front of your door or, or make it actually uber political. We think this actually isn't necessarily a political thing at all. This is an American thing, right. You know, in our American values. And so we don't even want a business owner to necessarily have to change the way they're doing business. If you're just a coffee store and you serve coffee, well, God bless you. Yes. And amen. I wanna go to your coffee shop. I know internally the values that you've checked off and you said you're supporting, but we're not asking you to, you know, jump into the next rally or throw any extra signs on your door.
Gerald Ewalt: That's right. I I love that. Well, no, that's fantastic. So what a, what a great business model that you guys have pulled together. And again, this has nothing to do with politics. It's bi, it's, it's nonpartisan. This is America, this is free markets, it's what the country stands for. And you guys are just enabling that to happen. So how do, how do, how does someone sign up? What is the process? What, how do they get involved?
Christina Werner: Great. So for the consumer and for the business, and let me just say again, businesses of all types, you can have a dog walking company, you can be a cpa, a plumber. We've had, we actually have a cricket farmer on the app. Would you know that?
Gerald Ewalt: You never know when you need crickets. That's, my daughter has lizards, so you need crickets for that. So that's great.
Christina Werner: Well, apparently when he jumped on public square, he ran out of product within like three days. Wow. So, cuz America finally knew where to find their crickets. So you can be a business of any type, right? We, we, we want every business that is gonna support pro-family, pro freedom, pro-life, pro-America values to get on public square so that the general American consumer knows where to find you and how to find you. So you would just go to public sq.com for a business, click on the very top, it says add your business takes less than 10 minutes. You can do a logo, a banner, a description if you want. You can choose to give a discount on there. That's not something that we require, but a lot of businesses like to do that. It's kind of this fun, I found you on, on Public Square Show your app, you know, and it really has created this community too. It's, it's really sweet to watch. And so that's a pretty quick process for businesses. Then we vet and verify it on our end. And you should be live within a few days. Same thing for the consumer. Absolutely free to use. We would just ask, if you download the public square app again, public sq, if you go to the app store, you can download that and it is free to use, just go support those businesses.
Gerald Ewalt: Well, Christina, this, this is fantastic and I think every American should go and register right now because what you guys are doing is definitely so important for our country and, and Amer. And so we thank you for that.
Christina Werner: Oh, well, you know, it's been an honor to be a part of it and to see this from the we beginnings of just starting in San Diego, California and to now, as of eight months, nine months ago, to have just now spread nationwide. So you can find those bus businesses on public square, nationwide, all over. And our biggest ask is in your local community, if you know those businesses that stand for freedom and these values, just let 'em know about Public Square and that they can jump on for free.
Gerald Ewalt: That's great. Well, thank you so much, Christina. We appreciate it.
Christina Werner: Yeah, you're so welcome. God bless you. Yeah,
Gerald Ewalt: Bless you as well. All right, well that's our show for today. Thank you so much for tuning in and supporting conservative media. Don't ever forget that by working together and staying diligent, we conservatives can bring our country back to true greatness. Until next week, let's all keep praying that God will continue to bless America
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