Imagine sitting around your house with your best girlfriend, sipping wine and chatting about what’s happening in your lives and in your community. Now imagine recording that conversation and broadcasting it for the world to hear. That’s the basic setup for “Dela Darling,” the year-old podcast developed by 27-year-old best buds Emily Guillen and Dara McBride.
The duo went to middle school and high school together but became close while working at the Charter School of Wilmington’s school newspaper. They went their separate ways for college (Guillen to Bucknell and McBride to Syracuse) but remained in touch. They both moved back to Delaware after graduation, got jobs and were excited about starting their adult lives.
“It was an opportunity to discover Delaware as an adult,” says McBride. “There were things we hadn’t done and traditions we never got around to doing,” such as attending her first Blue Rocks game last summer.
Through their grown-up eyes, they created “Dela Darling,” which they record twice a month at Guillen’s home in Wilmington.
Photo by Joe del Tufo
“There is a thirst to get our message out. We were looking to find new ways to keep the conversation going and a podcast is such a different medium; it is pretty much 45 minutes unfiltered,” says Guillen.
Recording sessions are extremely casual. They sit around Guillen’s dining room table and typically sip wine or beer while they are recording and interviewing a guest with just one microphone and a laptop. You can often hear Nutmeg, Guillen’s 3-year-old dog (who they refer to as their “unpaid intern”), rustling around in the background.
McBride says Guillen was the driving force behind the podcast, but the two have a built-in system of playing off each other.
“When we have guests, Dara is the inquisitive one,” says Guillen. “I do the reacting, which gives Dara time to come up with the next question.”
“We push for awareness, people you need to know and what is going on. These are the things that make life rich, exciting and interesting,” says McBride.
It’s this mindset that guides their choice in guests, who have included Susan Sauter, who wrote a letter to Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki asking him to convince her to move to Wilmington, and Amy Watson Bish, known as “That Pie Girl” for winning five first places, a judge’s award, a third place and a pink ribbon at last year’s Delaware State Fair pie contest. They recently had gallery owner and artist Roderick Hidalgo as a guest.
Guillen says they get a lot of their ideas for future guests by scrolling Instagram.
“We love discovering the Delebrity in your backyard,” says Guillen.
And while both women are busy with their full-time careers, they have goals of expanding their podcast’s reach and creativity.
“In the short term we want to maintain our two-a-month schedule, but would like to be able to do one a week. We have envisioned a YouTube series, and would love to do more live events and collaborations with local businesses, like a trivia night,” says Guillen. They would also like to record more “Delawarean in the Wild” episodes, which feature someone who is from Delaware but who no longer lives here.
And while they are enjoying the social aspect of the podcast, they say the reward from it was unexpected.
“The podcast encourages me to be a participant and to have a sense of adventure,” says McBride.
“People forget certain things exist in Delaware, so we like to share the things we are excited about,” says Guillen.
Listen to the “Dela Darling” podcast for free on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify or at deladarling.com.