2020’s quarantine projects came in all shapes in sizes. You might’ve decluttered your closet, learned to bake, or even started a kitchen garden. But for local CPA Melissa Terito, a much larger project was necessary to reconnect with the community during a time of social distancing and uncertainty.
Terito, a former high school math teacher turned accountant, took on the daunting task of starting her own podcast. And while she had no prior experience in broadcasting of any kind, she found an experienced partner in Maggie Robinson, a member of Terito’s team at Faulk & Winkler. From there, “Louisiana Ladies” was born.
Prime examples of true Louisiana ladies themselves, Terito and Robinson, born and raised in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs respectively, bring their Southern charm and friendly spirits to each weekly episode featuring guests from all around the Capital Area.
“It started with us coming up with a guest list of just people that I know,” Terito explains. “After just a couple of episodes with guests, we were starting to get either people themselves reaching out that they would want to be a guest, or we would get guest suggestions from other listeners.”
Fast forward 10 months and nearly 60 episodes later, and the Louisiana Ladies are booked for guests through September. Moving forward, monthly themes will dictate how and when guests come on the show.
“After September, my thought was to do a different theme each month,” says Terito. “For October, I wanted to do something for women’s health and breast cancer awareness, and then get into holiday themes for November.”
“Louisiana Ladies” is a podcast with no agenda, according to the pair. So whether they are business owners, friends or one of the the popular “Louisiana Lads” brought on the show, the guests drive the content for each episode. And after an impromptu opening session and the occasional product recommendation or Amazon find, the cohosts dive into a chat with each featured guest.
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Terito and Robinson often meet guests for the first time when they walk through the doors of their office studio located within Faulk & Winkler’s offices. In hopes of keeping each episode candid, Terito explains that she limits the background research she does on each guest.
“Each guest that we have on says, ‘Oh, I’m not that interesting’ or something,” says Lainey Eddlemon, the podcast’s self-taught producer. “Those are often the best episodes, because we get to dig deep and uncover this really interesting story that they had to share.”
With each episode, “Louisiana Ladies” showcases the best of Baton Rouge and why so many people choose to stay here: the people. It’s no secret that our city houses some unique individuals who work really hard for their businesses and passions.
“The best part has been getting to know people and what they do,” Terito says. “I think Baton Rouge is such a small yet big town, that connections are what ultimately drives local businesses. So it’s just been really fun.”
You can listen to “Louisiana Ladies” every week on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. For more information, check out the show’s Instagram page.