We are so excited to introduce you to the ladies behind our new favorite podcast, Villa Margarita. Meet Anja, Jeannine & Priska, two pharmacists and a gynecologist, who share their expert knowledge on all things medicine, health and beauty. They do it in such a fun and playful way that makes you wish they actually were your Sex ed teachers back in high school. We had the pleasure of meeting this phenomenal trio at a Yoga retreat hosted by fellow Doyenne Yoga Nina and we had such a blast with them. Make sure to subscribe to their podcast on Spotify and let them meditain you!
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, in let’s say, 7 sentences.
Jeannine: After a down-to-earth upbringing on the Reckenhof, I left Lucerne to earn a Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the ETH Zurich in 2005. I was immediately and unexpectedly drawn to the pharmacy landscape in Bern; even insights into the world of psychology and law could not diminish my passion for applied pharmaceutical knowledge. Bern has remained my heart's home to this day, even though I have had a pharmacy specializing in manufacturing in the “Septal” for almost 10 years now, along with my family, where female needs are a daily topic. My motto: Dream your life beautiful.
Anja: I never really left downtown Bern, except for travelling to faraway countries, and therefore also completed my medical studies at the medical faculty of the University of Bern. After graduating in 2003, I was magically drawn to gynecology: women's issues have always interested me down to the anatomical details. Alongside my job and family, I obtained the medical specialist title "Gynecology & Obstetrics" a few years ago. Working in the hospital at the pulse of gynecology is still a lot of fun for me today - I have definitely found my dream job! My motto: long live multitasking with a big portion of joie de vivre!
Priska: I've always had a flair for women's issues - and as a true Bümpliz-girl, I found myself in a multicultural women's class early on. The completion of my pharmacy studies in 2002 (again women-heavy) at ETH Zurich opened many doors for me: I was and still am able to constantly expand my knowledge base at the front of various pharmacies as well as through my many years of working in the international (cosmetics) industry. Today I live with my family in the old town of Bern and have a passion for inspiring training courses, classical music and, above all, micronutrients - I think there is always something to get out of it.
Last year you gifted us with a very special podcast “Villa Margarita” - tell us a little bit about this podcast, how did you get started? Why the name? And when did you first start putting the wheels into motion?
We developed the construction plan for Villa Margarita in our heads a long time ago at high school and have been realizing it since the Corona Lockdown, knowing that a great idea always starts with a first step. A common idea served as the scaffolding: to build a house for women. Not just any house, no, it should at least be a villa. In it we share pharmaceutical and medical expert knowledge on women's issues. We are two pharmacists and a gynecologist from Bern and Lucerne - each with different pharmaceutical, medical and management professional experience: where we meet again and again is on the subject of femininity.
Since we also like to chat for hours and friendship needs new meeting places in times of change, we have realized the construction plan for Villa Margarita in 2021 - as a podcast for now, because this way our villa can be located anywhere where Swiss German is understood and Spotify or Apple Podcasts are accessible. Women between the ages of 12 and 99 are welcome in the various rooms and floors of the villa. Some rooms could be from a pharmacy of the future, others could be in a gynecologist’s office and in the villa's upper room there is plenty of space for herbal medicine, beauty, nutrition or creative learning sessions. We discuss real women's cases that we have encountered in the virtual villa and ask ourselves: what would we have guessed or even done ourselves.
We have used the name since our school days as a name for a place of longing - both for ourselves but also because we think that knowledge exchange between women at eye level is elementary. In short: Villa Margarita Podcast offers spaces for knowledge about female medicine, health and beauty
You start every podcast with a story of a woman with a certain issue. And usually the first sentence is something like “Lola came into the Villa Margarita for a consultation” - are these cases real or fictional or half / half?
The women's cases are inspired by life and our experiences - but in the final podcast script they are ultimately fictional.
The titles of your podcasts are hilarious - how do you come up with those?
The titles fly to us in the most diverse ways - we then decide together which title has the best vibration and fits the theme. Even if we don't always agree right away - we always have a great time and get in the mood for the episode with the episode name. Sleepless nights and lots of champagne often inspire us even more.
Did you know anything about podcasting before? What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
We jumped into the podcast adventure as complete greenhorns– there have been several challenges, one was how to find the right microphone and using it correctly. For example, we were surprised to discover that a microphone for birdsong is not suitable for our voices. For reasons of sound color, we then set up our own small podcast studio in Bern's old town - we got the support of a professional musician. We also took our time to consciously choose the format, we immediately agreed that a rough didactically oriented script was needed to prepare the concentrated content (from 3 speakers each!) in a way that was understandable to listeners and also conveyed pleasure in the process. We knew that we didn't just want to chat, but to convey something to the women in each episode that would hopefully benefit their health. Another big challenge was (and sometimes still is) to learn to love one's own voice.
Is a “real” Villa Margarita going to happen any time soon? We love the idea of a place like that in real life…
Let us surprise you and in the meantime meditain you.
What’s a mistake you see get made all the time, even by very smart people? What have you learned from that to handle it the right way?
Jeannine: Too little self-care and too much altruism
Anja: Self-criticism that stops the flow
Priska: Not caring enough for the connection to one's own body
What’s one thing health wise you recommend every woman should do?
(This can be anything from getting check-ups, using sunscreen daily, supplements, beauty routines…?)
Jeannine: Take regular time out
Anja: Do not trust Dr. Google
Priska: High-dose supplements every day, keep the doctor away
Zodiac sign: Priska: Gemini, Anja & Jeannine: Aries
Favorite VM Episode:
Priska: “Lilly’s Lullaby” (the superpower of sleep)
Anja: “Lola Dolora” (endometriosis)
Jeannine: “Bushy Uschi “(regaining strong hair after a covid infection)
If you could get on a plane right now, where would you go?:
Who would you bring along: Mr. Bombastic
Mornings or evenings? Evenings!
Breakfast of choice: Brunch Buffet after 11 am
3 words you'd like people to use when describing you: humorous, trustful, inspiring
Can't live without: Rock’n Roll & Villa Margarita
Most used emojis: ✌🏼🥳🐎