The great thing about the Mom-o-sphere is the introductions and support of other Moms it brings. My first Mom interview was with Erica Ehm of Yummy Mummy. From there, she introduced me to Audrey McClelland who in turn introduced me to Vera Sweeney.
Vera Sweeney is the I’m Not Obsessed Mom. Vera, mother of two, gave birth to I’m Not So Obsessed, shortly after becoming a stay-at-home Mom. She also gave birth to another property a few years later: “The Lady and The Blog.”
I asked Vera to give me some interesting facts about herself. I gave her my pregnancy-induced hiccups as an example–I gave birth 18 years and still have them. But when I heard Vera’s, I had to laugh. She outdid herself.
“I drink tea, water and anything else that is non carbonated out of Tupperware. I use mixing cups and measuring tools every morning. If it’s seltzer or soda, then it has to be in a glass. I can’t have it in something plastic and refuse to drink anything without ice.
I count everything (not out loud). When I buy tic tacs I have to get two flavors – cinnamon and winter green. I take 2 of each and eat them together. There used to be 40 in each box, but for the last few years they now have an odd count. I throw the last one away and it makes me upset each time I have to do it. I’ve even written them a letter asking them to put the boxes back to an even count. (They sent me coupons and basically called me crazy)
I don’t like chocolate, flowers or jewelry. I much rather get a tech gift or a hot stone massage. My husband buys me a spa certificate for every holiday/birthday and I have about 5 of them stacked up waiting to be used because he doesn’t know what else to buy me.”
How did I’m Not Obsessed get started? What inspired you?
Vera became a stay at home mom in 2005 and was looking for an outlet.Like many Moms, she felt so alone when she had her first child because none of her friends were even married. She had no one in her circle to lean on as she was way ahead of the curve.
“I’ve always loved celebrity gossip and it was something I could do while my child was sleeping. I knew that content would always be fresh and that the demand for news would be consistent. It seemed like the perfect industry!”
I see you have other sites. How did those evolve?
“It was actually pretty organic. I get a million emails a day about what brands the celebs are wearing. I didn’t want to water down the gossip with fashion posts, so I created a new URL for that news. I also wanted to write more about family focused info since being a Mom is such an important part of my life.
Getting Gorgeous Events is a joint initiative I run with Audrey McClelland. We both knew that fashion targeting moms is LACKING in the industry and felt we could fill that gap.
I work on I’m Not Obsessed from 7AM to 11:30AM. Then I spend an hour on LATB writing enough content for the entire day. As soon as my daughter gets home from school I am offline and have several writers pick up the gossip from there. If I am being honest, my phone is always with me though. I field my emails until the minute I go to sleep. It doesn’t matter where I am – the park, the gym, food shopping or an event. I am filtering through requests for the majority of the day.
Twitter and Facebook happens naturally throughout the day. Sometimes I tweet up a storm and other times I don’t post at all. I don’t force anything. If I want my friends to know about what I’m doing – I post it. Otherwise, my feeds stay blank.
I do worry about putting too much information about my kids online. I combat this by always posting AFTER we leave where we are. I started to do FourSquare for a half second and then thought it was just too dangerous to tell people where I am at every given moment. All you need is one crazy person…”
When it comes to marketing to Moms, do have any tenets/beliefs you believe strongly about?
“I talk to these women like they were my real life friends. Most of my blog is really about what I do, purchase, cook, wear etc. If I do a sponsored post, I let them know that the products were sent to me to review. It’s important to stay authentic.
This was my philosophy for I’m Not Obsessed too. I write as if I’m talking to my best friend. It’s not a magazine or a newspaper. It’s one girlfriend talking gossip with another.”
I asked Vera about her perspective regarding all the focus on Moms and was surprised at the answer given the focus and quantity of Mom-focused brands and companies.
What do you think about this whole “Mom-phenom” and how it’s changing the world.
“I would say that companies STILL don’t understand the power of Moms and the influence we have over one another. Life is so hectic when you have children and a job and a house to maintain and a social life… I can barely do what it expected of me on a daily basis.
If a trusted friend tells me that she likes product X and I am in the market for product X, my research is done. I am sold. Bloggers have become extended friends to their online community and it works the same exact way on the Internet as it does in real life.”
What do you think we can expect from Moms in the future?
“Hopefully, more Moms will jump on board and start expressing their love and hate for brand products and customer service. The more we talk, the more brands will listen.”