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Meet Jessica Yañez of The Wine & Chisme Podcast

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Yañez.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The Wine & Chisme Podcast is the third iteration of an idea I had to share stories that need to be heard. It initially started as a YouTube channel with another friend, under another name to share stories of dating after 35 because it seems as soon as you hit that age people no longer talk about what that looks like. I found quickly that when you do something like this with someone else, it can be challenging. Time commitments and varying ideas can get in the way so I pivoted…from a YouTube channel to a podcast format.

Initially, I was going to transfer the YouTube idea to a podcast and just have different guests, but as I talked about what I really wanted to do, I realized there was a greater opportunity. Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed meeting people and hearing their stories: where they come from, what they like to do, what they wanna be. And I already knew so many people who had really interesting stories I thought needed to be shared on a larger platform so the podcast transformed from a dating podcast to a podcast that amplified voices that need to be heard.

But again, as a Latina, I realized I had an opportunity to share this space. Not only with others from the Latinx community but those from all communities of color. So often we live in our own space and our own culture, that we may not see beyond that. I wanted to create a space that we all had the opportunity to share, listen and learn from one another because our collective voices are strong and impactful.

The name comes from two things I love. Wine and cheese. For years I have hosted wine and nights and my home and there is a lot of chisme (Spanish for gossip) that is spilled, so I decided to go with a play on words. The name came before the podcast, to be honest. I had a completely different name for it initially but I couldn’t let go of “wine and chisme” and here we are now.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think the biggest struggle was just starting. I was nervous. What if no one wanted to come on as a guest? What if no one listened? I probably created the biggest struggle for myself, but if it hadn’t been for such supportive friends and family, I don’t think I would’ve even launched. Or at the very least I would still be contemplating what I should do. It’s never easy putting yourself out in public in this way, but it’s been a fascinating journey so far.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Wine & Chisme Podcast was created to share the stories of everyday people from marginalized and communities of color, doing extraordinary things to serve their community. I found that often the same stories were being circulated in various media platforms, and although they are powerful stories, I wanted to hear from others as well.

The podcast doesn’t just focus on entrepreneurs or celebrities. The stories shared come from various parts of life. Some are entrepreneurs, some work 9-5 jobs and have a story of personal growth that others can relate to. The point is that we all have a story. As the host, my job is to help the people I interview feel comfortable to share their story in their own words and on their own terms.

Beyond the interviews, I highlight a different wine on the podcast each week. I research, read the tasting notes and give my honest opinion of what I think. Guests are welcome to sip along with me or not, but it wouldn’t be “wine and chisme” without the wine. So instead of “spilling the tea” we “spill the wine and the chisme”.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The benefit of doing a podcast is that I can do it from anywhere. I grew up in Escondido and moved away from the San Diego area for over 20 years. No matter where I moved, my heart always was always here. So I am extremely happy to be in San Diego, especially now. Something truly special is happening right now. Communities of color are coming together, supporting one another and using our voices for issues that affect us all.

Ultimately, I would suggest people starting out here reach out to organizations that align with their values (whether business or personal.) Are you creative? There are creative groups that host virtual (and in-person when we can get back to that) trainings with opportunities to network. LIke to run? There are running groups. These things may seem obvious or silly but you would be surprised on how many people don’t take advantage of the things and cut themselves off of potential networks to grow their business.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
J&R Photo and Video (2 professional photos with watermark)

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