Twila Dang’s Whyography is one of more than 30 stories featured in the “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose” book. 100 percent of proceeds from book sales benefit the Fueled by Purpose micro grant fund for womxn-owned businesses. To purchase the book, visit the Marketplace page.
Twila Dang made a joke during a lunch with a group of new friends about how great it would be if someone paid her to talk for a living. One of the friends happened to work in radio and connected Twila to her boss, who—after learning about her blog on pop culture and parenting—offered Twila a job. Up to that point, she’d been working in what she considered the best job she’d ever had as a stay-at-home mom. But her kids were getting older and needed her less. She was ready to start a new career as a talk show host. And Twila was on top of the world.
As a professional woman re-entering the workforce, Twila saw the world through a whole new lens. She started to notice something that didn’t sit well with her. There was a recurring message in mainstream media aimed at her demographic, saying that women in their 40s were losing or had lost their appeal and relevance. They needed to change who they were to fit in. Twila didn’t see it that way. She was the best she’d ever been. Not only did she want to continue sharing her voice with the world, she wanted other women like her to have the same opportunity.
So Twila focused on honing her broadcasting skills. She mastered using production equipment. She became adept at doing research, organizing information, interviewing guests, managing the clock and telling stories. And she considered ways to create media for women like her. Then, as she was co-hosting a Sunday radio program with Dr. Eric Heegaard, an obstetrician-gynecologist, she shared the seed of an idea for a podcast network to amplify the voices of all women. Not only did he encourage her to do it, he said he’d invest.
In 2017, with an initial investment from Dr. Heegaard, Matriarch Digital Media was born. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based podcast network honors women at whatever stage of life they’re in. Through a variety of programming and “Women in Podcasting” events, Twila aims to make women feel understood, encouraged and uplifted. Programs address topics like body positivity, motherhood and entrepreneurship. In addition to creative directing and executive producing, Twila co-hosts “Twila and Natalie,” which addresses life for women over 40, and a podcast with Dr. Heegaard called “Gynocast.”
Twila is energized by the continued momentum of the podcasting industry and believes it’s a powerful medium for connecting. She hopes women who listen to her programs feel like they’re hanging out with their best friends. But her overall vision is much bigger. Twila wants to influence the way the world communicates to and about women and girls. She wants every woman to know: You are amazing and wonderful just as you are.
Twila still believes motherhood is the best job she’s ever had, but her business takes a close second. For the first time in her life, she feels like she is doing the professional work she was meant to do.
To learn more about Twila’s business, visit MatriarchDM.com.
Photo: Matriarch Digital Media
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.