In an inundated podcast market, it’s a rare show that resonates into full-on fandom among its listeners. But when it comes to the Pour Minds podcast, the listener enthusiasm is reaching a fever pitch.
Now in its fifth year, the show just reached 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and is in the midst of a multi-state live show tour, selling out at multiple stops. Its hosts just made an appearance on The Breakfast Club, were recently featured in the video for R&B group DVSN’s latest single, and frequently selll out t-shirts featuring their scantily clad images. With a cult following akin to that of film or television shows, Pour Minds is primed for the next level.
Featuring both a weekly visual and audio-only element, the podcast is the brainchild of hosts Lex P and Drea Nicole (who each tend to keep their full names out of the media), best friends who met while bartending in Houston’s gentleman’s club scene. The duo each had bigger dreams than their Texas hometowns could handle so, armed with street smarts and communications degrees, they relocated to Atlanta one by one to find the opportunity that would stick.
“At first, we started just a YouTube channel, and we were just doing everything on there,” Lex told ESSENCE ahead of their first-ever live “For Rich or for Pour” show in NYC. “We were cooking, doing games, challenges and then we did something called Wine Down Wednesday. We were talking about hot topics and just drinking, and that just ended up being the thing that everybody kind of just attached to.”
Wine Down Wednesday soon became a separate segment of its own, eventually turned into a podcast and re-dubbed Pour Minds, a nod to the constant flow of wine and honest conversation it inspires, where the ladies discussed evergreen topics dealing with navigating life as a single working woman in the modern world, with a healthy dose of humor. Incorporating an advice segment, a weekly singalong, and the occasional guest, the women quickly found a hit on their hands.
No topic is off the table with Pour Minds, from finances to fetishes, but one thing remains at the core of their conversation: finding and maintaining your power as a woman. Their live show, part real-time podcast part interactive variety show, is a safe space where fans can let loose, have a drink, twerk a bit, and commiserate about their desires, issues, dating highs, and relationship woes away from society’s judgmental eye.
Though the weekly show is quite obviously rooted in comedy for any regular listener, casual observers have a tendency to form fast opinions about both the show’s hosts and subject matter.
Drea and Lex, each well-groomed with makeup, lashes, slick baby hair and clad in body-hugging attire, already come with a certain “IG-appeal” that prompts some people to judge a book by its cover. Couple that with some of their more viral chatter about catching what they’ve dubbed BDBs (well-endowed, wealthy men), jet-setting etiquette, juggling men when dating, and running up the restaurant bill, a picture easily gets painted that may not necessarily tell the full story. But with their personal vision clear, the hosts take these misconceptions in stride.
“I think a lot of people take Pour Minds as if we’re just gold diggers trying to come after men with money but, it’s not that,” Lex said of their show’s subject matter. “It’s always been about empowering yourself as a woman and doing what you want to do, unapologetically. So, if I want to date the man with money, I’m going to do that. If I want to be the man with money, I’m going to do that as well.”
“We’re not saying that your only goal should be to date a man with money,” Drea added. “Of course, still get your own bag, still make sure that you are straight on your own. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to date somebody who is able to provide for you, who is going to do nice things for you,” she continued, noting that it’s typical for other races of women to be taught to seek security when dating. “As Black women, we deserve that too.”
But make no mistake, the Pour girls provide for themselves just fine as well. The show is doing so well, in fact, that each host has been able to leave their “day jobs” and transition into podcasting full-time.
Running a lucrative business with your best friend is not for the faint of heart – as the fate of several other wildly popular podcasts have shown us in recent years – but Lex and Drea believe they have found the formula that keeps both their friendship and their business intact.
“We can’t have a successful business if our personal relationship is not good. We communicate with each other,” Drea said. “Automatically, when you have a business with your friend and you’re in the public eye in the way that we are, people are going to pit you against your friend. So y’all have to be okay with having those uncomfortable conversations with each other and making sure that you feel no type of way towards each other.”
“If we’re in a business meeting and we’re disagreeing on something, that doesn’t carry over to our friendship, Lex said. “When the meeting is done, things are worked out and then, ‘Okay girl, it’s time to go to happy hour, let’s turn up.’ So I think we’ve also done a good job at separating the business and the friendship.”
Beyond doing the interpersonal work, the hosts say that maintaining consistency has been paramount for the growth of their brand. In four years’ time, the show has only missed one weekly upload – nearly unheard of in the climate of podcast hiatuses and vacation breaks. And that consistency has garnered them the cash and notoriety that gimmicks and tricks likely couldn’t have.
“This is what we’re passionate about. We found what we really liked, so it wasn’t really work. The money’s going to come. A lot of people get in podcasting because they think ‘Oh they’re making money.’ We were never driven by money,” Lex said. “The first two years nobody was listening, but we still dropped every week. Some episodes would drop, and only a hundred people would watch. It would get only 50 listens on the podcast app.”
Now, with fans in the hundreds of thousands and interest constantly spiking, the women of Pour Minds are ready for the big screen. Though they couldn’t disclose much, they have both scripted and unscripted television opportunities on the way, including a show loosely based on their podcast journey. On the other hand, Drea just launched a beauty line of her own, Muse Beauty Collection, featuring lip glosses and liners in flattering nude shades.
“We never thought that it was going to be this in a million years,” Lex said of their show’s success.
“I did,” Drea countered, laughing. “I knew eventually it was going to be this, I just didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly.”
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