By Paige Atwell
From butter and biscuits, to manners and the religious use of y’all in everyday vocabulary, it’s undeniable that there is an unparalleled hospitality to southern culture. And truth be told, it’s difficult to explain its charm unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. Lucky for you, southern sisters Laura Beth Peters and Lainie Stubblefield invite you to pull up a chair, pour a glass of sweet tea and take it all in firsthand.
As Williamson County natives, Laura Beth and Lainie have always shared a passion for all things southern. In fact, some might even call them experts.
“We love the south, and that is one of our favorite things to talk about,” explained Lainie. “So, with an increase of people moving to middle Tennessee from all over the nation and world, we wondered if maybe it was time to share our love for the region with all the new comers.”
On Thanksgiving weekend of 2018, the dynamic duo launched their first episode of their Steel Magnolias Podcast, where they landed in the top six of the iTunes Podcast charts. Since then, they have continued to expand their audience and topics to meet the increasing demand of their listeners that are yearning to get a taste of life in the south.
Each Tuesday, listeners from all across the country can tune in to new episodes that cover a variety of topics. From outdoor entertaining and guest bedrooms, to cast iron cooking and pimento cheese, you’ll feel as if you’re sitting at the table with these two during each episode.
“We appeal to those that love southern culture whether they live here or not,” explains Laura Beth. “Many of the best characteristics of southerners such as kindness, hospitality, faith and a general slower pace of life, are appealing no matter where you live. So we have listeners all over the country. We definitely love talking about southern cooking and southern homes so our audience skews highly female, or maybe we should say, our audience is comprised of fellow ‘steel magnolias.’”
While the name certainly associates itself with the movie, the concept of a steel magnolia is more of the inspiration behind the podcast and its title. According to Laura Beth and Lainie, a steel magnolia is the epitome of a southern woman. It exemplifies both “traditional femininity, as well as an uncommon fortitude.” It is that unique combination of strong-willed fervor, mixed with grace and charm that make them one of a kind.
“Southern women are hospitable. We take it seriously to make someone feel welcome,” says Lainie. “A southern woman opens her door in hospitality and tends what she has been entrusted with to the best of her ability.”
“I think that’s the main reason people want to live here; beyond great schools and a wonderful climate. People feel welcome here,” adds Laura Beth. “Between good cooking, our welcoming homes and our words, these are the primary ways we offer up kindness and show love to our family and friends.”
To learn more about Laura Beth and Lainie and to hear their latest podcasts, visit steelmagnoliaspodcast.com.