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Conversations with Heather Dickey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Dickey.  

Hi Heather, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Back in 1999, a friend of mine was getting married. It was a destination wedding. Little did I know that when I was little a movie, I loved Somewhere in Time was filmed at the destination. Yes, I am talking about Mackinac Island. So, we headed to her wedding, and I was entranced. From then on it became a trip with girlfriends to family. Each time I left, I felt such a void. I live about 5 hours away from this little island that stole my heart. So, I made an effort to start going at least 2 times a year. With these trips, I started using the tourism page religiously for lodging options along with other stuff to do on the island I had not done. It is saved on my favorites for this reason. I let anyone and everyone know about my love of Mackinac. Soon people started reaching out to me for insights into the island. So, I decided to start a blog. Now I will be honest- I am not much of a blogger. But during quarantine, I fell in love with podcasts, so I did a little research and how to do a podcast (lots of YouTube videos) I ventured into sharing weekly information on a podcast I created called – Totally Mackinac Island. I still blog, but it is about the episode I discuss and all the links to help guide everyone with what they need. So, I share lodging, history, events, and even interviews with those tied to Mackinac in different ways. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I am from the generation when technology was just really beginning to take off. So, looking into starting a podcast was a true obstacle. Finding out first off that my laptop was not able to do what I needed it to for the podcast. So that meant getting a new one to be able to upload episodes. YouTube was vital. I found the podcast platform to share it from but needed to know where I should record it. Then microphones? But I finally decided to keep it as simple as I needed it to be. That finally helped. Now after almost a year of doing it I am ready for a new microphone, and I realize that it isn’t going to sound perfect all the time But Thank God for editing. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My full-time job is actually as a hairstylist. This year will be my 25th year in the industry. I have always loved talking with people and thought a platform to put all my years of research into Mackinac Island would be great. I tend to work Mon-Wed and then on the weekends are when I do the podcast. I find that my days off are when I concentrate on the podcast which is released on Mondays. This summer I thought it would be fun to release Friday. Mini shows to just keep everyone up to date on what is happening on the island. There are countless events that happen from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and it is great to share all I can with the listener. I have really enjoyed connecting with various people connected with the island. Social media has been huge in that part. On the podcast, the Instagram page is where I have made the most connections. I love to hear people’s origin stories about the island. I think when I started doing interviews, I truly didn’t know it was gonna take me in the direction it has. I try to have at least one interview a month. Then the other shows are varying that I try to mix in some history, lodging ideas, restaurants, or activities. I think what sets this podcast apart is it is told from a tourist point of view to help other tourists enjoy the island. 

Alright so before we go, can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
The main goal is always to educate those wanting to visit the island. Mackinac Island is such a magical place that my whole idea is to give the listener the best knowledge I can. There are direct links in my Instagram bio along with my blog to have contact with me. I encourage anyone with any story about the island to reach out to me. Like so many, we find out something new I swear, every week. I try to get in contact with someone who reaches out Asap- sometimes with working at the salon, I have to pause until mid-week with the podcast, but I do all I can to get back to anyone with questions. If I don’t have the answers, I feel lucky enough to have made some connections that could answer them. If you think your Mackinac story would be fun for the podcast- send an inbox or email. If you are not comfortable talking on air, I will send questions to have your answer. 

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