The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to share some of the amazing people we get to meet with our readers. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we will share with you another story of starting. So community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
For the first in our series, Mamalode kicks it off with a behind the scenes interview with Elke Govertsen, Founder/Publisher.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
Well, my business is Mamalode–maybe you’ve heard of it?
Mamalode exists and grows because everyone desires connection, understanding and validation. And community. And a voice. And storytelling. And emotion. Motherhood rocked me– and I wasn’t alone in that giant swirl of emotion. So the stories come together and bridge differences, distances and demographics.
And suddenly motherhood isn’t isolating, or lonely. And that is very important to me.
Mamalode started as a free, local print magazine in response to a party I had thrown for years, Mother’s Day Eve®. The party showed me that moms wanted each other (not just playdates for the kids) and that businesses wanted to reach that demographic.
I had no business training or money–but pulled $400 together to print a rate card and started selling ads. I was terrified.
The first print issue was born in 2009. Now we have 17 back issues, a rockin’ website with new content every weekday, an iPad addition, and a staff. And a business partner. And subscribers in all 50 states and 10 other countries. The entire ride has been amazing.
What do your kids think about your job?
I have two sons (9 and 11) and they have gotten some great perks from Mamalode. They've gotten to review some Legos pre-release and skip the lines at Harry Potter World. They are proud. They used to love having pictures of them in the magazine, but now they're a little more tween-ish and “awww mom” about it. But they still jump in, so I think for now they kinda like the attention, but don’t want anyone to know. So now I am telling you—shhhh.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail.
Oh, man, tough to pick, but we are just so darn hard on ourselves. I remember showing up for my kids events or performances so exhausted I could hardly stay awake for them. Or the dreaded sick kid call from school when traveling. Mamalode is very family centered so I haven’t had to miss much, but showing up out of juice is a totally shitty feeling.
Share with us a total win.
Why is this the hardest question? Sheesh…
Here’s my work life balance in one sentence: My ambition is my own, my motivation is my kids.
I have had some major milestones along the way—I am crazy proud of the network we have built and even more proud of the friendships that have formed. Lisa Stone and Brad Feld’s articles still make me swoon. Being in Best American Essays 2013 was awesome.
Seeing all of the back issues together is so beautiful and meaningful and impressive that I am gobsmacked with pride.
Gobsmacked is my favorite emotion.
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
It is my third baby. Oh look how big it is getting! It is growing up so fast!
If you know somebody who you think would be a great match for our Starter Series, let us know!