When people ask Amy Bailey and Mimi Schmitz how long they’ve been doing their podcast, Schmitz answers with a sly smile. “We’ve been doing the podcast for years, but we’ve only been recording it since last June.”
Truth—these two moms, friends, philanthropists, entrepreneurs—bonded over their boys (Bailey has two and Schmitz has three), travel, and a natural curiosity about anything and everything. One day while taking a cycle class, they decided to launch a podcast—The SmartMouths.
“Our idea is pretty simple,” explains Bailey. “If something is interesting to us, we’re pretty sure it will be interesting to other people, too. We’re just taking the time to research topics and give a little more background on some things you hear about and just take for granted.”
Their tagline, “everything you never knew,” is easily applied to the areas of interest they have covered to date, including the origins of idioms, what distinguishes a fear from a phobia, the crisis in Aleppo, must-haves of fall fashion, and when the 4th of July became a national celebration.
“We try to keep the duration of our podcasts to 25-30 minutes because we want our listeners to be able to finish what they start,” adds Bailey. “Since most of our listeners are moms, we don’t want to leave them with that uncomfortable feeling that they have yet to finish one more thing.”
Bailey and Schmitz release new podcasts at least every Monday, sometimes more frequently if the news of the week requires it. While they adhere to a strict production schedule, sometimes their weekly planning meetings happen at Standard Market.
“We’re realistic about how we have to make this podcast fit into our lives,” says Schmitz. “We’ve added it into the mix—not put it in place of anything else. Sometimes we have to talk about our script as we throw groceries into our carts before school pickup.”
As naturally as they converse, Bailey and Schmitz have easily divided the workload required of the podcast between the two of them. Schmitz spearheads the editing, production, and releasing of the podcast into the stratosphere while Bailey focuses on the duo’s brand and website. Currently, most listeners tend to be women between the ages of 28 and 50. Yet the podcast is being heard in 14 countries on five continents.
“We don’t spend loads of time editing ourselves,” says Schmitz. “We want it to feel like us—really natural, which keeps us from going back and re-recording segments. We let it go. The most we’ll do is make sure you can hear us both equally, and maybe add some background music.”
“We have friends who tell us they’re listening and feel like they’re right there in the room with us,” adds Bailey. “That’s exactly how we want it to feel. We love to laugh and we can laugh at ourselves.”
While the aptly named SmartMouths have admitted the learning curve has been high, they can see how much they’ve grown and improved since their first broadcast.
“I think I was more self-conscious about how I sounded when we first began,” Schmitz says. “I’m much more myself now. While it’s not about us offering our opinions on things, I feel good—and confident—about the perspectives we’re sharing. Our listeners can relate.”
The SmartMouths have entered the market at a time when podcasting is hot. Today, podcast listeners equal the numbers of those on Twitter. Some 57 million Americans listen to podcasts now, 75 percent more than those listening in 2013. And the numbers grow every day. “It’s kind of like when Facebook started and all of the kids were on there,” Schmitz explains. “Now, it’s all of their moms. The trend is trickling up.”