Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard.

Girl Talk

Columbus women tell their stories on new podcast.

Lorrin Higgins proudly uses the F-word. That’s feminist, thank you. After finding a dearth of female voices in the Columbus podcast scene, Higgins started reaching out to bloggers and business owners, deciding that if she could find five interested guests, she would start a podcast for women, by women. The five responses came quickly—then 10, then 20—and Higgins purchased some recording equipment. Women of Wonder launched in February.

Each weekly episode is an interview with a local a woman about her opinions and experience. While Higgins is used to being the person who asks the questions, she agreed to answer some for me about Women of Wonder and what she’s learned from producing it.

What’s the Women of Wonder story? How did this podcast start?

It’s really a podcast that’s dedicated to sharing the stories of local women who are doing cool shit…. Honestly it’s very selfish of me to start this because I wanted to meet more cool women… I really was aching for a feminist group or section of Columbus that I could go to and talk about these things… These episodes are literally me getting to know our guests.

What are the criteria to be a Woman of Wonder?

I have just two qualifiers… If you are a woman, if you identify as a woman, and if you are [in] or from Columbus.

Tell me some of the highlights of who you’ve interviewed and what you’ve talked about.

With (photographer Autumn Theodore), we talked about… periods, making the big leap into starting your own business and working for yourself… feminism and how it affects her work… This Friday we will have my friend Anna [O’Reilly] who talks about her gratitude journaling and how that’s basically changed her life… Ciera Shanks and I talked about our worst date… She talked about the documentary she’s making about threee young African-American kids going through the school system who have ADHD…  The minisodes (released every other week) are… usually me and my friends picking something lighthearted.

You call this a feminist podcast. What does that mean to you?

I say it’s feminist-leaning… I believe that men and women should be treated equally. That’s what feminism means to me… One of [the show’s taglines] is ‘sharing women’s stories because we deserve to be heard;’ I feel like that is a generically feminist thought process.

Who’s your audience? Why is this a Columbus-focused podcast?

I hope the audience is people in Columbus. I want people to become familiar with their own community… I think it would be so cool for someone who is wanting to get connected into this community to start listening to these episodes and learn about what people are doing in this community. Columbus is the first place that I ever felt like I was at home… I remember coming here to visit Capital [University] when I was still in high school to do a tour, and I knew it, I could see myself there. I love this area because it’s like a small town… but the good parts about it. I’ve lived in a small town where everybody knows your name, and sometimes it’s not good.

[The city] serves anything that you want. If you feel like you want to be a little more artsy and focused, you could go to the Short North during Gallery Hop … I am really into Japan and Japanese culture—we have a section to that! Go out to Old Henderson! You can go to Tenske and go to the grocery store and live your best life! And that is just so cool.

Have you had any personal takeaways or “ah-ha!” moments from your conversations with your guests?

There’s been small things.. Shari [Hicks-Graham]’s episode with the skincare; she told me this mind-blowing tip about putting your treatments on top of your moisturizer, which just blew my mind because from when I was a child I was told to put everything underneath… One of the episodes I recently recorded, we were talking about body positivity and how we viewed our bodies since a young age because media’s so hard on little girls… I just walked away from that like, I can’t believe I’m not the only one.

Every time I walk away from one of these interviews… I say to myself, all of the parts [of producing a podcast] that are hard are totally worth it, and I wish I could do this forever…  I want to keep meeting women who want to share their story, because I think that everybody’s got a story.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. You can listen to Women of Wonder at womenofwonderpodcast.com.

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