It takes a certain energy for a podcast to work. If there isn’t chemistry between co-hosts, the entire experience can leave a listener feeling flat and dissatisfied.
Luckily for Canberra’s latest podcasting duo, chemistry isn’t something they’ve ever struggled with.
In fact, when Michelle Mitchell and Franki Droulias met, they each felt as though they had found their podcasting ‘person’—the missing link between their desire to produce a podcast and actually getting to the point of releasing one.
“Finding that person, it was literally instinctive. We met each other, and it was like, bam. It was a connection,” Michelle says.
“We’ve got each other’s backs,” Franki adds. “Even though Michelle and I haven’t known each other for very long, we’ve kind of just become one person really quickly.”
Trusting each other is fundamental to the podcast’s success, because the discussion on the eponymous Franki and Michelle show are frank, fearless and require a lot of vulnerability.
In season one, over the course of six episodes, the duo discuss everything from their businesses (Michelle is an online brand strategist and Franki is a personal stylist), to raising empathetic children, managing the time juggle of parenting and work, and even experiencing bankruptcy and other personal challenges.
While there is a real mix of topics explored each episode, the consistent factor is the openness and honesty Franki and Michelle each bring to the show. And if it feels like the conversation you’re listening to is unfolding in real-time, that’s because it is—the show is entirely unscripted.
“There have been times when Franki is about to tell me a story, and I’ve been like ‘Don’t tell me! Save it for the podcast!’” Michelle admits.
“It’s because we want to keep the magic alive,” Franki says. “We don’t have deep and meaningful conversations when we hang out usually, so we talk about things on the podcast that we actually haven’t talked about before.”
One of the topics that come up for both women is the idea of sisterhood and empowerment.
As two strong women in business who know how to speak their minds, it’s not surprising that Franki and Michelle occasionally come up against views or attitudes that don’t align with their own.
In fact, a recent incident occurred within a community for Canberra women, where both women were called out for being honest about their experiences at a public event.
“We’re going to explore that issue in the next season of Franki and Michelle,” Michelle says. “We believe that women should stand up for women, but that doesn’t mean that anyone with a vagina automatically gets supported, even if we don’t agree with what they’re saying.”
The topic is raw because supporting other women is something both Franki and Michelle are passionate about, as long as its authentic and genuine. As Franki points out, being a mum and a working woman can be lonely, making female friendships and support so much more important.
“As you get older, you learn to let people into your life. Because otherwise, your life gets stagnant, especially for mums. And I’ve been on both sides of the tracks. I’ve been a stay-at-home mum, and I’ve been a working mum. Both sides of the fence are as hard as each other.
“Because when you’re at home, you feel isolated. You feel like you can’t meet friends. Then you’re a working mum, and you feel like you’re kind of failing the friends that you do have, because you’re so fucking busy. So, it’s really difficult. But I think you need to allow that time for friendships. Because you grow from other people, right?”
This is the value at the core of Franki and Michelle—that sharing experiences can help open people up to growth and change, and can build communities in a time when people feel increasingly isolated.
Through their podcast, Franki and Michelle are connecting with people all over the world, and spreading the message that life is messy and complicated, but it can also be amazing, with the right people by your side.
It sounds mushy, but when the message is delivered by two strong women who swear like sailors and don’t hold anything back, it’s highly motivating.