Ecosystem Builder Interview with Entrepreneur Natalie K. Hodge, Founder of Rudy’s Girl Media and

When you think of television and film, your brain automatically connects to the big stories coming out of LA, but it’s the small town stories that are the ones that hold so much value in their telling. This week, episode 1 of Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast is about the representation of small town stories!

CO.STARTERS Generator is a modular self-paced program that helps middle school, high school, and college students explore their passions through generating, testing, and launching ideas for businesses and social ventures. With the ability to participate individually or with a classroom or community group, CO.STARTERS Generator is a great way to inspire youth with the vision, enthusiasm, and tenacity needed to move from idea to action. 

In this episode of Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast, Jacob and Lauren, joined by their guest Natalie Hodge are sharing the importance of shedding light on the underrepresented stories in our communities and the power behind one person’s dream to create a snowball effect of impact.


Natalie K. Hodge

Founder of Rudy’s Girl Media | Producer of Hometown Hustle | Martinsville, Virginia


About the Guest

In this episode, we sat down with Natalie K. Hodge, founder and CEO of Rudy’s Girl Media, based in Martinsville, Virginia.

Rudy’s Girl Media is a multimedia production company that started quietly in 2016, around the time that Natalie identified her love for screen writing and the need to have a full-time job. Finding a role in workforce development positioned her to hear stories from community members whose stories needed to be told. She has produced two short films, “Sell” and “Stolen Crowns” and she is currently launching season two of her documentary-style reality show, Hometown Hustle.

We first were introduced to Natalie through our mutual connection, Michael Scales of the Longwood Small Business Development Center, who also is a guest on the RISE Collaborative podcast.

In this episode, Natalie share stories of her childhood, a variety of side hustles, and courageously trying new things that has led her to where she is today and her vision for the future. 

Key Takeaways

  • Natalie’s life growing up as the daughter of an entrepreneur and how the lessons she learned as a child translated into her career as an adult.
  • Uncovering your passions through experimentation and being open to new opportunities. 
  • Pivoting and having the tenacity to succeed no matter the obstacle. 
  • The importance of representation and telling the stories of underrepresented communities on the big screen. 
  • How every experience and pivot in Natalie’s life led to her owning her own media company helping others share their stories.

About Hometown Hustle

Get ready for the return of the viral hit web series, Hometown Hustle! Last season, we followed the journey of six fearless entrepreneurs dedicated to doing it big in a small town. 

This season, we’re taking it all up a notch, giving more courageous business owners the chance to shine! Interested in being a part of Season 2? Learn more and apply at