Conversation by: Kylie Cooper Photos by: Lillian Reitz
First, tell me a little about what Leading Ladies of Corpus Christi is.
Leading Ladies of Corpus Christi is a podcast I started in January 2018 to highlight local women in the Coastal Bend who are living life on their own terms and benefiting the community. The main purpose of the podcast is to showcase the amazing female leaders, designers, artists, business owners, public figures, and entrepreneurs within the area. These women have very valuable insight to be shared with others who want to pursue their own goals, and I feel this podcast provides a platform to share their insights and experiences. I also value differing perspectives, and want to talk to as many diverse women as possible, so there’s something for everyone to listen and relate to.
Why did you feel like our community needed a podcast like this?
As a native of Corpus Christi, I have always innately loved this city, but would have a hard time explaining why. Now, with all the locallyowned local businesses, it’s much easier to see and explain why Corpus is an amazing place to live. The podcast is female-focused because there’s an overwhelming female presence in local businesses and organizations here in the Coastal Bend. I want the community to know about all of these women and what they bring to the local economy, not to mention the incredible support they offer each other. A vast majority of the local events now held in the Coastal Bend were organized and put on by female leaders in the community. That definitely warrants a podcast!
What do you hope people take away from an episode of the podcast after listening?
I really want people to have a better understanding of the individual and her story. It’s amazing what most of these guests have in common despite being completely different in terms of politics, day jobs, and religious beliefs. Naturally, people form opinions based on a guest’s social media presence or business. My favorite, and often private, conversations with listeners involve their surprise at how they relate to someone so incredibly different from themselves. Also, there can be a misconception that some of these women didn’t encounter any struggles – and this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important for those wanting to pursue their goals to realize success isn’t linear through these women’s personal accounts of their experiences.
So, the DNA of the show really is rooted in women empowerment. When do you feel most empowered?
I feel most empowered when I’m confident in myself, my decisions, and my actions. Especially when I was younger, I valued other people’s opinions over my own, which is never beneficial for anyone. After some trial and error, I’m learning to trust myself when it comes to living my life. We all have an internal guidance system at our disposal, and it’s a powerful feeling when you learn to lean into it. What’s really amazing is most of my guests finally took the chance on their dreams when they learned to trust in themselves, as well. It’s a vital step for anyone wanting to make their own way.
You ask each of your guests to join you in taking a tequila shot before you start recording. What is your purpose behind this?
I feel the tequila shot is a nice icebreaker and helps my guest relax. The conversation is casual and judgement-free, and I feel tequila has a way of making people put their guard down. And I have to say, some of my guests have taken this part of the podcast to the next level. I’ve had guests make custom cocktails for the interview, bring wine and seltzers, and even bring the tequila and garnishes themselves. Some of my past and future guests don’t drink, and that’s OK too! I want this experience to be best representative of them and what makes them comfortable.
I know you’re a mama to an awesome little guy. How do you think motherhood has changed you as both a woman and a human?
Oh wow, in so many ways. I never dreamt of being a mom, and when it happened, my entire world shifted. I recognized how powerful women really are. If we choose, we can literally create a brand-new human being. The entire process is wild. I was reflecting on this very notion when the idea to start a podcast occurred to me. I’ve also learned not to sweat the small stuff anymore. I used to be really hard on myself about certain things I felt I “should” be doing. Who benefits from that? I want my son to grow up with a mom who knows when to let things go and minimize stress wherever possible.