Thursday, March 24, 2016

chasing a dream series: running a magazine

There are so many things that inspire me but one of my biggest inspirations comes from hearing other people's stories. Stories of chasing after dreams, trying something new and pursuing a passion project are the things that really get my heart racing!

Today I am excited to share another post in my series called "Chasing a Dream". Today I am interviewing Mary Boyden. She created and runs Momma Bear Magazine, a print publication dedicated to providing hope for motherhood.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey with creativity and the decision to launch Momma Bear Magazine.

I was raised by two very creative and entrepreneurial parents in Texas. My dad is a photographer and always gave me his old equipment. My mom is a carpenter (like much of her family), and taught me how to make just about anything I dreamed. When I was twelve, we moved into my grampas old house and while he got a new house, he never quite moved out. So throughout my teenage years, whenever I wanted to make something, I rarely went to the store to by anything, I just snooped around closets full of antique goods he left behind, or his woodshed in the back full of rusty paint tins and messy brushes. We lived in a really small town and the only art supply store was Dollar Tree, so I grew up just making it work with what I had, never longing for more. I graduated high school when I was sixteen because I was bored and excited to be an adult. I went to art school in New York a few years later, but got bored there too, so I left after only a year. I have always loved making my own way and not excepting the status quo. So when I became a mom and people kept telling me how stressful and hard it was going to be, I was determined to find my own way. When I was pregnant and nesting like crazy, I started emotionally nesting too, preparing my mindset like I prepared my home- to be beautifully happy and ready for a baby. I sought after women who were defying the stereotypes of stressful motherhood and I asked them about what they did to be so happy. I started putting together all their answers in a pretty little book for myself to reference on the harder days, and thus, Momma Bear was born.

Can you share a little bit about the process of what creating a magazine looks like, and how do you go about finding content for the magazine?

Throughout my days as a stay at home mom, I take note of the things that irk me. Whether that be the seemingly small things like grocery shopping on a budget or the big things like trying to be graceful with myself as I try to manage my time chasing my professional dreams (Momma Bear) while still trying to be present as a mom, I take note of it all. I take my problems captive and resolve to find a solution. I then listen to what's happening on instagram and facebook- and if I see that some of the things I struggle with are what others are struggling with too, they go on the list of content for the next issue. I find almost all of my content through social media- meaning I either find an existing article that's perfectly written and photographed and I simply ask for permission to print it, or I find a woman who speaks about the topic I'm interested in and I contact her to do an exclusive story. The other content I find through my community-family and friends, and I photograph it myself. I usually write one or two stories myself as well, but I try to keep that at a minimum since I don't want it to be all about me and my perspective on motherhood. I try to be really diverse and include many different backgrounds and viewpoints, all with the theme of being positive and pro-actively searching out hope in motherhood.

What inspires you? 

Women who pursue a life full of grace, not perfection, and a community of friends rather than competing to be "right" or the best. My friends who love me even when my house is a wreck, my family who loves me even though my hair is blue. I'm a big fan of judgement-free living. Who needs that crap? Netflix and snacks on the couch with my husband and naps with my little sleeping girls are also my favorite. And the impending dream of having a big, bright, open art/work studio one day. All of these things drive me to be better and better.

What is a typical day like for you?

My girls wake up around 7:30 and we immediately head to the shower. I put them in their little high chairs and bouncers and give them snacks while I take a long shower. I'm so thankful they are so quiet in the mornings (IF I do this routine- otherwise they're both super hyper), I wake up sloooow and need that quiet time. My husband is usually already at work (he owns a coffee business). We go to the gym, which has two hours of free childcare (YAY), and then come home for lunch and a nap. Right now before naptime we watch an episode of My Little Pony which is awesome because it's the only time my oldest will snuggle! They usually nap for about three hours, and I either nap, work, or clean. Then around 4 I start making dinner and my husband comes home around 5 or 6. We have some good family time, and when the girls go to bed, we either work on our businesses from home or we watch netflix. That time with him is my favorite of the entire day. He's such a hunk. On Mondays my husband watches the girls all day and I work from the moment my eyes open until the moment they shut. I have to run an entire company in one day (insert laugh crying emoji here!). It's quite the experience!

I love seeing how other creatives set up their work space. Can you tell us a little bit your your space?

I have a little studio in my home. We've got a couch for guests to sit on, big cube shelves for all our photo shoot and shipping supplies, and so much artwork we've collected over the years. P.S. I got that couch for free off craigslist and my best friend and I spray painted it neon pink (it's a bit crunchy but still surprisingly comfortable). 

I know that you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur, can you share a few challenges and blessings that you face throughout your days as you juggle both roles?

The biggest challenge I'm facing in this moment is that, because I'm choosing to stay home with my girls 6 days a week, I just literally cannot do everything I want to do with my business. Things move at a snails pace and it can make me feel like I LOOK like I don't care, or I'm not organized, or something, because we don't have new products/things coming out more regularly. It's really hard to put what you love on the back burner. Because it's not reeeaaaallly on the back burner. I think about MB constantly. I'm always writing notes in my phone, sketching product ideas, screenshoting future content. It's hard knowing your potential and knowing right now it just can't happen- and it's fully out of your control. But here's the blessing in it all- right now, I'm positioning myself for the best of both worlds. I know one day I will get to go fully back into work mode. And I'll have the honor of having three years (or more!) of memories of my girls doing all of their firsts. First crawling, walking, rolling, eating solids, etc. Even though if I'm being honest sometimes I wish I was missing some of those firsts and making art instead (can you say... potty training?! cleaning up pee off the floor aint fun). But really- so many women are just dreaming of getting to be stay at home moms, so I know better than to take this for granted. I know there's so much good in this season. I feel like I'm like, pregnant with MB right now. You know when you are pregnant and you're seven months in and your back hurts and your belly is just so gigantic and you just want that baby to come NOW. Or if you're adopting and that paperwork is just taking so dang LONG. But if you wait, just wait, your baby will be here soon enough and so healthy and happy! I know that this season of moving slow and steady will pay off. There are really very little downsides, if I choose to see it that way. I just want to serve people NOW and change lives NOW, but right now, my main energy is spent on serving my family NOW, and doing what I can to love and serve our customers along the way. I know my fellow Momma Bears totally get me and I'm thankful for their support!

What are your goals for Momma Bear Magazine?

I want MB to be the go-to resource and celebration for every new mom. This year I would like to release new printed products, release issue two, and come out with our first e-course. Long term, I want MBM to be in Target, Anthropologie, and many more retail stores, in addition to building out our e-commerce site to be full of e-courses that help moms live better lives. 

Use code ALISAISTHEBEST to get 30% off Issue One and Two!


studioGypsy said...

how fantastic!! soo wonderful to discover and be inspired by her!! thanks Alisa for sharing her journey!! xoxo off to look at her sites now! xoxo

Terri Paulson-Sasaki said...

I love your "chasing a dream" series, they are always so inspirational.

ladylyn said...

Lovelovelove your perspective on parenthood/kindness/honesty, Mary. Thank you for sharing!

Jenni Bost said...

Such a fun interview and great magazine!

Gaia Maria Jørgensen said...

Wonderful interview! And I am in love with her dress! Please tell me where I can get one :)

Claudia Estrada said...

For women under 30.


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