Kailyn Lowry Wants to Be 'Recognized for Something Other Than Teen Mom ' as She Builds Podcast Empire
Kailyn Lowry knows she's much more than just the reality star viewers have come to know in MTV's popular Teen Mom franchise — and she's ready to prove that to the doubters.
Aside from continuing to be a devoted mom to her children, Lowry, 30, has been working on becoming a trailblazer in the podcast space. But she is aware that not everyone sees or understands the value of podcasting.
"So, I actually sent a scene to Alexa [my PR rep] from the movie You People, where Jonah Hill is telling this girl, 'Oh, me and my homie have a podcast.' She laughs, because I don't think that anyone takes podcasting seriously," Lowry exclusively tells PEOPLE. "They don't look at it as a job. It's a hobby for a lot of people, and you either make it or you don't in the podcast industry. There's no in-between. It's either a job or a hobby."
However, Lowry is in the process of building a podcast empire — successfully, so. She currently has three shows under PodcastOne: Coffee Convos with Lindsie Chrisley, Baby Mamas No Drama with Vee Rivera and Barely Famous.
"Podcasting goes against everything that I was taught, especially from my previous agent. He basically told me that there was no money in podcasting and don't waste my time," she explains. "But Lindsie Chrisley had reached out to me via Twitter, and we kind of formed this friendship before we even met in person. She was like, 'Do you want to do a podcast?' I was like, 'I'm going to take a leap of faith here and say yes, even though it goes against everything that I know.' Then, I just fell in love with it. So, I kept going and I started more podcasts."
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Fans that have tuned into Lowry's podcast may have initially done so after following her journey closely across the Teen Mom franchise. She originally joined 16 and Pregnant during its second season in 2010 and later appeared on Teen Mom 2, though she announced her departure from the franchise in May 2022.
"I also think that people didn't really expect me to do anything with my degree and just float around after MTV," she says.
"I really wanted to focus on making a name for myself outside of TV, and I wanted to be recognized for something other than Teen Mom," she continues. "So, people really did have a hard time
accepting me for anything other than being a teen mom. I think that was one of the bigger challenges for me."
But that was far from the only hurdle Lowry encountered at the start of her journey. "I had to go against some MTV contracts to start the podcast," she reveals. "Sacrifices."
Fortunately, it paid off. And now, after finding her own success through the space, Lowry is working to help other rising podcasters. She launched the KILLR Podcast Network in September 2021 as a vertical within PodcastOne, which allows her "mentor up-and-coming podcasters" and "help them develop their niche in the podcast industry."
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As for what's next, Lowry has some big dreams ahead that she's hoping to accomplish.
"I have always wanted to host. Even before podcasting, I would beg MTV to let me host," she says. "So, I would absolutely love to do that. I don't really know where to start with that, but I'm going to claim it for 2023, for sure."
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And despite her hope to be known for more than her time on Teen Mom, Lowry isn't entirely opposed to returning to reality TV someday.
"I'm sure at one point I was like, 'No, I would never do reality TV again.' But I think reality TV is similar to podcasting in the aspect that you either have it or you don't," she says.
"I do think that I have proved that I have the capability to be on a reality show and be interesting enough for people to watch. I think people would be very interested to see the dynamic behind the scenes of podcasting, especially when it is really saturated and people don't like each other," she adds. "There's a lot of cattiness that people don't realize, and so I think that would be a really interesting show."