EmCoWo – an abbreviation for Emerald Coast Women – is a website and podcast that was created with a goal of sharing stories of women throughout the Emerald Coast to create and foster connection over comparison.
When I moved to the Emerald Coast four years ago I eagerly set out on a mission to find my tribe. Freeport is the place I chose to settle down after years of constant moving around, and with a sister in this beautiful area, I couldn’t think of a better spot to call home.
What began as a hunt for my “place” in the community soon left me feeling overwhelmed and a bit isolated. I believe in God but do not go to church religiously, so despite many generous invitations to join friends at church, I felt that was not my place. My child is a bit older and making a way of his own, therefore does not require the facilitation of play-dates and mommy & me activities, so the mom groups did not feel right.
I love to run and live an active life however the groups I sought out were flush with elite athletes with much more focus and talent in that area than myself. My job allows me to work from home with no local colleagues, so I was definitely seeking connection with other women outside of my telephone and internet lines. This feeling of isolation initially led me to evaluate the reasons I did NOT feel qualified to connect with any specific group of women until I had a realization.
Though some of us do fit nicely into a category we choose, what if some of us fit into multiple categories? What if some of us choose a category for
fear of loneliness and allow it to keep us from connecting with others?
In speaking with a few friends I realized I was not the only woman around feeling this way, so I set out to talk to strangers – anyone willing to share her story. I wanted to create a space where the voice and experience of every woman in our area could be shared, encouraging us to find things we have in common instead of things we don’t.
We face a loneliness epidemic where so often people feel the need to separate themselves when they can’t easily find the place they feel they belong. While I knew I could not single-handedly reach out to every single woman and cure her loneliness, I could talk to one woman at a time, and in turn, her story could help many women feel they have someone they can relate to: not someone in New York, or in a magazine, or Hollywood. These women are from right here in our own back yard.
Additionally, EmCoWo shares the stories of ALL women of ALL ages from ALL walks of life. There is no one “category” for an EmCoWo.
Something that sets EmCoWo apart from other websites and podcasts is that you won’t find curated top ten lists of what beach to bring your kids to, or your typical tips on fitness or nutrition, or where to eat brunch with the girls… But you WILL hear stories of mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, grandmothers, women trying to inspire others through fitness, or struggling with their own, women being underestimated or overloaded, women with a goal and women trying to find a goal, and the list goes on.
In every single story, I would challenge listeners and readers to not hear SOMETHING that strikes a chord in their own heart. That is what EmCoWo is about – finding reasons to connect with each other, either by actually reaching out or just by having open ears and an open heart. My hope is that by opening our hearts we will start to open our arms a little more often.
You can read and hear more by visiting www.EmCoWo.com, following EmCoWo on Facebook,
or @EmeraldCoastWomen on Instagram. The podcast can be found on the website or by searching EmCoWo on Spotify or iTunes.
For more information, or if you’re interested in sharing your story please contact me, Sharon Vaughn, at [email protected] or at 210-219-1555.