This Local Podcast Highlights the Stories of Women Navigating Middle Life

Finally, middle-aged women get the spotlight in this locally made podcast.  

Tuning in to an “Interwovxn” podcast is like being a fly on the wall at girls night. Two women share their lives with you for a cozy 45 minutes, telling stories about their friendship through the years and how they’re navigating middle life.  

Theresa Kopac and Rebecca Jankowski launched “Interwovxn” in June in hopes of creating a community for women who are in those transition years of perimenopause and menopause. Often this stage of life comes with not just physiological changes but a switch up in roles, too. A daughter now cares for her elderly parents, maybe while also raising her children. A business-woman now works toward creative pursuits, or is running a company of her own for the first time.  

“One of our goals is making the stories and experiences of women of middle life more visible,” Kopac says. “For so long, middle-aged women were sort of placed off-stage somewhere – to talk about the middle-age experience for women was taboo or embarrassing or depressing. We look at it as a really fascinating time with expansive territory full of evolutions and so many possibilities.”


 

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The show’s first season was all about friendship. On brand, it was a friend who made the podcast possible – Jen Gilmour volunteered to edit and produce the show, even loaning the duo her studio and equipment.

 Jankowski, a women’s health acupuncturist and herbalist, and Kopac, a Reiki specialist and birth/postpartum doula, star in the first episode, introducing the project and sharing stories of their friendship. But that’s all you’ll hear from them, because the following episodes each feature a new pair of pals who reflect on prompts about friendship and middle life. 

“We have 10 amazing advisory board members,” Jankowski says. “It was really important to have validity for people to be able to trust the information that we were putting out there.”

Jankowski and Kopac focused their first season of the podcast on friendship – including their own; Photo by Jarvis Lawson

Now, “Interwovxn” is midway through its second season, which is all about sisterhood – be it by blood, marriage or choice. The guests answer questions like: How has your relationship evolved since childhood? As you age, how would you like to dig deeper in your sisterhood? If your counterpart is a chosen sister, why do you describe this relationship as sisterly? 

Their goal is three eight-episode seasons per year, and growing a social media community. “At the end of the day, it’s that people are given resources that help them feel empowered in their own health and well-being, and encouraging them to be more supported, involved and able to enjoy the beautiful pieces of this chapter,” Jankowski says. 

Find all episodes of Interwovxn’s podcast at interwovxn.com. 


X MARKS THE SPOT: Wondering where the x in “Interwovxn” comes from? It’s a symbol for the cross-sections of womanhood and the places women can come together to celebrate their commonalities and differences. (The hosts pronounce it “Interwoven.”)


3 More Local Podcasts to Tune in to:  

1. “Geekset Podcast”

Consider this a love letter to the “Blerd” (Black nerd) lifestyle. It’s coined itself as the only podcast to blend hip-hop and geek culture together, and the minds behind it are working on a documentary, too.

2. “Cripescast”

This one’s for Charlie Berens fans. The Wisconsin comedian talks to everyone from dairy farmers to Hollywood screenwriters. Topics vary, but it always circles back to love for the Midwest. 

3. “Speaking Of…”

Hear from neighbors who want to talk about the MKE experience and life in southeastern Wisconsin. The podcast just won a pretty prestigious honor: the 2022 Public Media Award for best podcast. 


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s November issue.

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Allison Garcia is the Digital Editor for Milwaukee Magazine.