After Karen Connell, founder of A Child Grows in Brooklyn, moved to Chicago this summer, it was uncertain as to if she would find a local mom willing to take up the reins of her successful parenting site. Thankfully, she found two.
We recently sat down with new owner, and Park Slope resident, Nicole Horne, to learn a bit more about her, her cohort Kim Janulewicz, and their plans for A Child Grows in Brooklyn.
Did you follow A Child Grows in Brooklyn before deciding to purchase it?
Oh yeah. We both have two children, who are actually just a month apart from each other, three-year-olds and one-year-olds, and we’ve been on A Child Grows in Brooklyn since we were on maternity leave with our first.
What made you decide to purchase the site?
When I had my first baby, most of my friends were not parents in New York. I didn’t have a friend network of parents, so the site connected me to other parents, and that’s how I met a lot of my new friends, who are now some of my closest friends. It changed my life. It brought me from the married world, into the parent world. It was really a no-brainers when we heard that she was moving on. The site has been our resource since we became parents in Brooklyn.
Tell me a little bit about your backgrounds.
Kim has been a resident of Brooklyn for over ten years, and I’ve been here for six years. We are both professional, working moms, we both took maternity leave when we had our kids, and then went back to work, but doing something that involved our kids was the ultimate goal for us, because it’s very hard to leave that mommy world and go back to the professional world. That’s why I think we pursued this, it combined both of our passions.
Did you have a writing background before A Child Grows in Brooklyn?
Not really. I mean, we both do writing for our jobs, but neither of us had ever been the author of a blog, or anything like that before.
What are some of the changes, if any, you guys are thinking about making for the site?
We want the marketplace, which is basically a listing of all local Brooklyn businesses, to be that guide that people go to, to look up daycares, to look up classes, to look up all of that, so we are going to rework that, and we’re really going to push for reviews. I find that, if somebody recommends something, and I know them, and trust them, I’m way more likely to call, or participate in that. If we can get local moms and dads to leave reviews for things they’ve used, products, services, whatever, people are going to call on the small businesses more often, and they’re going to trust us to know that this is the community that we’re building. It’s as if you were being referred by your next door neighbor.
As for the calendar, we’re going to continue the weekend events listing, which from what I used it for, and what I’ve heard from readers, is the reason that most people go to our website. What am I going to do this weekend with my kids? What’s close by? What’s affordable? What’s free? The other thing we’re adding, though, is we’re hiring a community outreach person, and she is going to start doing a roundup of weekday events. On Sunday or Monday, you’ll get, just like the weekend events, a listing of weekday events, and maybe not something that is ongoing, but something exciting. I’ve found that, whether you just have the day off, or are a stay-at-home parent, the weekday events are just as key as the weekend events.
What about the Baby Expo?
We are doing it! The Expo was another big reason why we took this on. I thought it was so cool. We got so many free giveaways, connections with local businesses, it was such fun.
We are securing a location, and I think we’re going to announce a date really soon. I don’t want to give dates out to people yet, but everyone who participated last year wants to participate again, so as soon as we secure the location, we’ll make the announcement. From the response I’ve gotten already, I think it’s going to be even bigger than last year, and definitely looks like it’s going to take place this spring.
Thank you so much for talking with us. Congratulations, and best wishes for a successful transition.
Photo via A Child Grows in Brooklyn