October 9, 2013
I’m the girl in the middle. And just because I’m forty doesn’t mean I can’t still call myself a girl.
After all that’s what I was, am, and will be long after I lose the “mommy blogger” label.
When I created Richmondmom.com armed with idealistic (clueless) enthusiasm and a part-time web designer (who later flew the coop on me) I didn’t know I was about to step foot into the world of the most loved (by brands) and despised (by, well many) categories of bloggers.
Dammit, I used to be kind of cute and non-mom-like. Now I’m a ma’am and a Mrs. Hall (ever looking over my shoulder for my mother-in-law) and the parent at school who wrote those children’s books and had that. . .mom blog.
But I transitioned the blog to new owners in May and I can write about topics other than selling hot hunky bachelors, crazy people stealing my stroller at theme parks and driving across the country in a Chevy with a few of my best girls.. More exciting topics. Less mom-like and run-of-the-mill. Thank God.
October 7, 2013
When she approached me at a party December 2008, there was something I just liked about her.
Her energy, infectious party-going style and sincerity were icing on the cake. Mary Fisk-Taylor, along with Jamie Hayes and the Hayes and Fisk Real Life Studios team became one of my first advertisers and true partners on Richmondmom.com.
I decided to enter into an exclusive advertising relationship with Mary’s team. Not only because I felt it was the right thing to do for my readership & Mary (too many similar advertisers water down the vibrant flavor of just one) but because she believed in Richmondmom.com when few others even knew about it. Plus, their talent could reach our city limits and beyond.
Mary and Jamie went on to photograph my headshots, my family, promotions we had on the blog and eventually our Richmond Chevy Road Trip Challenge Team in 2012. They also were the creative photo geniuses on my children’s books, Richmond Rocks and The Spooky Sequel. what fun to create and share part of Richmond’s history with children all over the city.
Beyond their energy, talent and unique skills was a platform of true community spirit. We had a blast giving back to Richmond’s non-profits through our collaborative efforts throughout the years like the Richmond Real Cute Kids Contest, Supermom and other fun ventures.
One of the treasures I take with me after transitioning ownership of my blog is having built relationships with amazing, talented people like Mary, Jamie and team, who not only showed me what professionalism was, but sparked creativity all along.
September 26, 2013
In an early conversation with a friend in 2007, when I described my vision for Richmondmom.com, she somewhat-protectively said, “I think that’s already being done.”
But it really wasn’t, not the way I wanted to do it.
You see, I had to create what I felt passionate about–a blog that didn’t yet exist but that was something I thought readers would want.
Selling my blog to one of my clients (who are carrying the torch well!) five years later with over 200,000 annual readers & dozens of advertisers was bittersweet but necessary for me personally. I’d fulfilled my mission & wanted to focus on my other creative bent, my Richmond Rocks children’s books and other pursuits.*
After all, I’d likely never had pursued publishing Richmond Rocks & The Spooky Sequel had I not built a platform that created the perfect birthplace for my books.
That desire to create is what fuels my flame, because most of us don’t even really know what it is that we want until someone brings it to us.
*Oh yes, I have a full-time job, three kids, two houses (we’re hoping to whittle that to one when the market swings back!) & one husband.
June 13, 2013
Several of my friends (including my boss) have been watching me this last six weeks or so since selling Richmondmom.com. I’ve written a bit about life after entrepreneurship but haven’t divulged much.
I think they’re waiting for me to break down, crack-up or dive maniacally head-first into another project. Full disclosure: The third is likely true-I’m in the midst of moving my family of five during the last week of school. Please send wine.
The truth is: it was time. When I was able to sit at the closing table, sign the idea that became the home to dozens of writers and two hundred thousand annual readers away without tears, it was time. I needed my life back as for a couple of years there it wasn’t quite my own.
The blog, out of necessity when I lost my job became a business of which I was primary sales rep, bill-payer, recruiter, marketer & PR-rep. Even with a great team it came down to me being in two places at the same time & with a demanding family and full-time job it began to take its toll.
Plus, what about those Richmond Rocks books I wrote & barely had time to read in schools as I love to do?
Thousands were donated to charity. Scores of connections were made, ideas shared, lives touched through good deeds on the blog.
Missing the team & our fun advertisers is the toughest part, yet we still email & comment on each other’s posts.
I feel peaceful & hopeful about transitioning my blog to new owners and starting a new chapter (in our new-to-us home!) and excited about new adventures ahead.
June 4, 2013
Watching my son at a Richmond Squirrels game last Friday was a treat. This is a kid who is Minecraft-obsessed and hard-pressed to leave the creature-comforts of home, so to see him at a local minor-league baseball game touting logos & cheering was a fan to my fire.
What gets us excited about anything? It’s so easy to fall into the everyday/comfort/routine of home that it’s often hard to break out into a world of the unknown (potentially in-fun). But it can surprise us, too.
Breaking out of my role of CEO of the blog I created, Richmondmom.com has been tough yet I’m excited about the possibilities. Even when great friends/cheerleaders continue to share accolades I’m not sure I deserve I know it’s right for me.
After five plus years at the helm it’s time for something new & I’m thrilled that the new owners have some fire behind their excitement for “my baby.”
Sometimes we all need to break out I our comfort zone for the unknown, which may often be more thrilling than we expect. . .
June 4, 2013
My six-year old daughter is a Girl Scout and last Friday we walked the Richmond Diamond to honor them.
These little, boisterous, exhausting, fascinating wonders joined hands–many of them barely “knowing” each other well after meeting bi-weekly this school year, yet considering themselves friends just the same.
I love the way they held hands. It’s sort of like the way I virtually held hands with my Richmondmom.com team, writing with and for me and having never or rarely met in person.
A friendship that shares a common bond yet not a daily interaction for a common goal, in friendship. How beautiful.
May 27, 2013
It cannot be forced. It must be felt. Inner drive, light, words to inspire must be written, not forced.
When asked “How did you do it?” As I often am I respond “it’s passion, filling a niche, responding to a need with purpose.”
That is how a show-stopping (200k+ visitors to a hyper-local, unique and award-winning) blog is made, not born.
May 22, 2013
I found this under my pillow the other night, a sweet hand-scrawled sentiment from my sweet six year-old.
Step back to a couple of weeks ago, after just closing the sale of my blog I had kissed her head before walking out the door to an event while transitioning the sale.
“Mama,” she asked while looking at me with her ridiculously-sweet baby blues, “why are you leaving again?”
I knew the draw to get back to my writing roots–closer to my babies who are no longer babies–away from being the owner of a busy online magazine/blog, mom of three and full-time corporate girl was right for me.
Creativity has many forms and mine is morphing. Adventures to follow.
February 25, 2013
Watching the Oscars last night my husband said, “Congratulations to all the winners who are receiving awards for doing their jobs!” Meaning that Hollywood loves to pat each other on the back.
Not unlike every other day, I disagree with him. Any creator, crafter, maker puts him or herself out on the line daily and when success is reached, there’s cause for (excessive) celebration.
When our blog experienced an increase of 85% readership last year we celebrated with congratulations & a team event in January. No celebrity gift bags were doled out but a great feeling of satisfaction prevailed.
So even if you’re not walking across the red carpet in Armani or Herrera with a gold statue in your hands, find just cause to celebrate what you—and creators around you—make.