From Closet, Tampa Mom Records Meditation Podcasts With 44 Million Downloads

TAMPA — Katie Krimitsos’ life is loud.

Her two parakeets bang their cage, even when the door is open.

Her 3- and 6-year-old daughters are, well, they’re 3 and 6.

As for her husband, “He’s a loud personality, like a bull in a China shop,” Krimitsos laughed.

Krimitsos turns to meditation for peace.

“Meditation has always just been a mind-blowing way for me to get quiet and sift through whatever I have going on,” she said.

It works so well for Krimitsos that she decided to share her technique via a podcast that helps women meditate.

That podcast became two and then three and now six, each with a new daily episode, all under the umbrella of her Women’s Meditation Network, available through Apple, Spotify and most podcast services.

Since she began this venture in 2018, her podcasts have been downloaded more than 44 million times and now average 4 million downloads a month.

“We have to keep pinching ourselves,” husband Chris Krimitsos said. “That’s a lot of downloads. It’s unbelievable but she deserves this success.”

Katie Krimitsos works on her meditation podcast for mothers at her home bedroom closet studio in Tampa. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

She records in her bedroom closet — it’s not even a walk-in.

There, under a shelf with folded towels and between hanging clothes, she sits at a desk that holds her podcasting equipment: laptop, mixer and a microphone.

“I wish I could pretend to be fancy,” Krimitsos said. “But this is how I do it.”

But her microphone is sort of fancy, she admits. “It’s the same one that Joe Rogan uses.”

Her podcasts, which typically range from 10 to 20 minutes, couldn’t be more different than Rogan’s.

Three provide relaxing background sounds for meditation. Those are Sleep Sounds Meditation for Women, Water & Nature Sounds Meditation for Women and Ambient Sounds & ASMR Meditation for Women.

The other three also feature relaxing sounds but serve as the backdrop for poetic affirmations for women that Krimitsos writes and then reads in a soothing voice. Those podcasts are Sleep Meditation for Women, Morning Meditation for Women and Meditation for Women.

On May 1, she added a seventh, Morning Affirmations.

“I see you. You are not alone,” Krimitsos said in a recent Meditation for Women. “You may feel ignored or invisible at times, Or you may even hide yourself, hoping no one sees the dark parts inside. But I see you, my love. You are not alone.”

Pictures of meditation podcaster Katie Krimitsos, left, with her husband, Chris Krimitsos, 43, and daughters Savannah, 3, and Sedona, 6, are displayed on the windowsill of her bedroom. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

In early April, the Tampa Bay Times watched as she recorded a Mother’s Day episode.

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“Through exhaustion and pain, through laughter and tears, you show up,” she read. “Through confusion and stress, happiness and fears, you show up … When you’ve yelled too loud and pushed too hard. Oh, those moments that choke you up. When you do it all wrong, but come back again, for hugs that always fill your cup … This one’s for you, mama. The imperfect soul you are, who keeps showing up every day.”

Business of meditation

Krimitsos and her husband are Tampa Bay podcasting pioneers.

Together, they run the Florida Podcasters Association — a group of podcasters from Tampa Bay to Orlando who meet monthly to help improve and promote one another’s work.

Chris Krimitsos is also the founder of Podfest, an annual podcasting convention that in 2021 set the Guinness World Record for the largest attendance of a virtual podcasting conference. And he produced The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary, a film that follows podcasters in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guatemala who started out on their own without the backing of some major media company.

It was all born out of Krimitsos’ interest in starting a podcast.

She was formerly a business coach and strategist with a focus on female entrepreneurs. Podcasting supported that venture.

In 2014, Krimitsos started the Biz Women Rock podcast, during which she interviewed women business owners.

“She is a pioneer,” Chris Krimitsos said. “That was one of the first women’s business podcasts.”

But Krimitsos said her husband deserves equal credit for her success: “He is a genius when it comes to marketing. He knows how to reach an audience.”

Biz Women Rock guests included a former member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, and regular listeners included Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, who would tell her Twitter followers to listen, too.

“It was what your typical podcast was in those days.,” Krimitsos said. “I was a strategic business coach, and I had this podcast as part of my marketing arm. It did well, around 5,000 downloads a month.”

But, after the birth of her second daughter, Krimitsos said, she lost interest in her business and correlating podcast. “I just didn’t want to do it. It was a very time-sensitive business, and I had a toddler and an infant who I wanted to be with instead. I’m the CEO of my family and I am raising these constantly evolving and blossoming humans. It forces you to turn yourself inside out and upside down and come to grips with who you are and what’s important.”

Katie Krimitsos visits with her 13-year-old sun conure after finishing a meditation podcast for mothers. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

During long walks with her husband, they discussed career options and he recalled that she’d recently mentioned the need for a meditation podcast geared toward women.

“He and I started brainstorming,” Krimitsos said. “And very quickly it started making sense to me. And in June of 2018 I recorded my first show. By October, it was hitting the same number of downloads per month as my other show.”

That convinced her to cancel Biz Women Rock and fold her company to focus primarily on the meditation podcast.

“It just filled a niche,” Krimitsos said. “I’m not a meditation teacher. I’m a writer, so I consider each of these written scripts to be little love poems that I want to write to women and say, like, ‘Hey, you’re going to get through it, ‘Hey, you are enough,’ ‘Hey, mommy can take a timeout too.’”

She earns money through advertisements that she incorporates into her podcasts, using the same relaxing voice so as not to disturb the meditation. There are also traditional pre-recorded commercials that are produced by a product’s company, but listeners can bypass those by paying for an ad-free podcast.

“The podcasts are my product,” Krimitsos said.

Still, being a mother takes priority over being a businesswoman these days, Krimitsos said, so she typically records episodes in the evenings, after her daughters are asleep.

Bird treats keep her parakeets quiet.

But what about her husband?

“He’s great,” she laughed. “When I say I am ready to record, he goes for a long drive.”

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