At Feminartsy, we appreciate a do-it-yourself ethos. This entire website was founded on the principle of getting shit done without working with a major publisher, or with the backing of an established institution.
So when my sub-editor Chiara suggested that I chat to Julie Sabatier about the podcast series, Destination DIY, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Destination DIY is an independently produced podcast series and public radio show out of Portland, USA, that focuses on sharing stories of creativity and DIY. You might be thinking along the lines of cooking and crafts – and there is some of that. But there are also unique stories of innovation in all kinds of areas, including sports, relationships, music – you name it, they’ve probably covered it. Check out my chat with Julie, and some of our favourite podcasts below.
I created Destination DIY in 2006. The format has morphed and changed since then and the audience has grown as the quality of the show has gotten better, but the idea behind it remains the same: to tell stories about people doing interesting things with limited resources. It’s not a how-to show. You won’t learn how to do something by listening, but the hope is that you will be inspired by what you hear and the ethos behind it. I’ve always wanted to have a broad definition of what do-it-yourself means. Basically, I define it as anything people are doing without the help of a large institution of some kind and if we’re going to talk about it on the show, there has to be an interesting reason why they are doing it that way.
Why DIY? What excited you about the idea of creating?
I just felt like it was a theme that created an umbrella under which I could fit a lot of different things I’m curious about, from science to art and all kinds of things in between.
How do you find your interview subjects? You’ve covered so many unique and different topics, you must be great at tracking down a lead!
Thanks! I work with a team — a producer, an engineer, and an editor — and everyone brings ideas to the table. I often get ideas from people I read about or hear about in other media and we also take ideas from freelancers who produce work for the show.
You also used to produce the Bitch podcasts, right? What do you love about radio?
I did. I also work for my local public radio station as a producer on their daily talk show. I love radio because it’s personal — someone is talking directly to you — and I think it feels that way because people often listen by themselves. I also love that you can accomplish other things while you listen, like chores or walking the dog, or cooking or even a DIY project!
What are your DIY pursuits?
The show is my main DIY project, but I also enjoy gardening.
What’s your dream/ambition for Destination DIY for the next few years?
We just joined a podcast network called Maximum Fun, which has already helped to widen our audience. My dream is to keep building on that and continue to make the show more sustainable so that I can stay focused on the creative part of it. I’ve also got some fun collaborations in the works with other podcasts. One that was just released was with a show called Life of the Law.
Stay tuned for more!