We believe everyone is craving deeper connections in their lives, and we want to use our show as a way to satiate that desire.
When we’re kids, we think our best friends will always be around. Through grade school, middle school and high school, we get comfortable in the relationships. Then comes graduation day, and, all of a sudden, we can’t just meet up at Starbucks or Sonic. There’s a void, and we crave to fill it with the laughter and tears we once shared every day.
Kelsey Aldinger (aka KA) and Kelsey Baty (KB) know that feeling very well. Their childhood days in Texas were spent playing at each other’s house, and as they got older, the play dates segued into phone dates. They’ve always shared a love of words and long conversations, whether on the phone or in the Sonic parking lot, as self proclaimed devotees of Sonic happy hour.
Keep in Touch Intentionally
Kelsey Aldinger (KA) has experience in nursing homes, home health, pediatric private practice, teaching and rehabilitating cognitive communication skills. She still works her day job as a speech language pathologist. Kelsey Baty (KB) taught fifth grade before opting to stay home full time with her baby boy. But they never let go of their frequent talks, and they knew they weren’t the only ones craving connection with friends.
Like typical best friends, those conversations ranged from what they bought on sale at Anthropologie (and what they hoped to one day buy at full price) to struggles in their personal lives or at work, to the adjustments of being newlyweds. They talked about anything and everything, and the miles between KB’s home outside of Dallas and KA’s place in Houston didn’t matter much. One December morning during a three hour brunch, they got the inspiration to turn their conversations into a podcast, The Kitschy Kountdown (now rebranded to Craving Connection).
Find their free weekly podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. The show is targeted towards women, since it’s a conversation between two girlfriends, but anyone can listen. Topics include nearly everything: seasonal favorites, what’s in the makeup/grocery/weekend bag, dealing with grief, beauty/cleaning/cooking hacks, pet peeves, confessions, and how to navigate friendships as adults.
Be Willingly Vulnerable
Our longstanding friendship and passion for bringing others together is what sets us apart and what we are most proud of. We’ll tell you how long it’s been since we last cleaned the shower while also sharing our current favorite skincare product and then confess how much we’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression if it makes you feel less alone.
We believe true friendship is formed by sharing the highs and the lows, the silly and the profound, and we pride ourselves on our ability to make you think, “I thought I was the only one,” while sighing with relief that you’re not. There’s a certain level of vulnerability and intimacy that comes with talking with your best friend and our friendship allows others to experience that richness of familiarity.
After recording 113 episodes the friends rebranded their podcast to become Craving Connection. Like and follow them on Facebook! The hope is for women in all seasons to experience the connection and friendship that KA and KB have had for more than two decades. To communicate that intent, the brand needed a reboot.
Rebranding for Sharper Focus
We’d had the rebranding conversation for awhile before actually pulling the trigger. We knew we probably needed a new name that more accurately conveyed what our show was about and was easier for a listener to find, but we were attached to our original idea and hated to see it go. Once we made the decision to change our name, we were full steam ahead.
Partnering with Autumn Lane Paperie was super helpful because they sent us a pretty comprehensive questionnaire and we were able to get laser focused on what we wanted our brand to convey and how we wanted to represent those things. We had to answer questions we might not have thought about until later down the road, and that helped us make the right decisions.
We’re a good team because one of us is more big picture and could visualize how the brand would look and feel overall, while the other one of us is more detail oriented and could identify exactly which shade of which color we should be going for. It was also a good exercise in asking for what we wanted. We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings if a proof came back and wasn’t exactly what we were picturing, but we knew we didn’t want to settle for less than what we wanted. Lily was so great to always take our edits and come back with something we loved.
We’re so happy with our final product and have benefitted immensely from the rebrand. We now have a name that’s easily searchable and conveys who we are. We have a logo that stands out against other podcast logos, and posting to social media is so much easier now that we have a custom color palette and patterns. It gives our page a more unified look which elevates us to the next level.
Learn to Overcome the Oops Moments
Every time you record, there’s the possibility of technical error. Also, you’re challenged by coordinating schedules, thoughts and life events with another person hundreds of miles away. Combined with the naïve hope of ‘hitting it big’ after one episode, KA and KB have learned things the hard way.
Don’t get us wrong, we have loved this process. But it can be disheartening to realize the night before an episode is set to release that your audio didn’t record and you need to recreate your conversation with the same gusto as before. It can also be difficult to find times to record when you get home from your day job but the baby needs to sleep and your husband is out of town. And it’s especially hard when you’ve poured your heart and soul into something and feel like no one is listening.
Having someone who understands your highs and lows makes you feel less alone. It makes the challenges surmountable, and the successes so much sweeter. It’s extremely helpful to have a partner cheering you on when you’re having a hard week or to be able to encourage her when she’s not feeling as motivated. Hopefully you’re not both down at the same time, but if that happens, working together can make you more connected than ever. And it teaches you valuable lessons about working relationships.
Hm, That Didn’t Work as Expected
Take things one step at a time and keep going. When you see people who are ten or twenty steps ahead of you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and inferior. When things don’t seem like they’re going your way or when it seems that someone else is “getting ahead” and you’re not, just keep doing the next right thing. No one becomes successful overnight, and there are so many lessons to be learned in the showing up.
We have realized it’s a gift to be able to make mistakes before you have a large audience, so use this time that you’re just starting out to learn what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly, have FUN with it.
Craving Connection began as a hobby, but KA and KB would love to make it a full-time gig! Their ultimate goal is to write a book (or two or ten) and have the chance to form closer connections with their audience through speaking engagements and live events. We can certainly see that happening, can’t you? Just drop in on their Instagram page and you can see the joy in these two lifelong friends.
As cliche as it might sound, our greatest successes are when a listener reaches out and quotes our mission statement back to us or resonates with it in some way. When they say, “I thought I was the only one who (did/thought/liked) that, but I’m so glad to know I’m not alone!” Or when someone tells us that they think about or approach things in a new way after listening to our conversations. It validates why we do what we do.