In the advertising world, Liz Gumbinner is a creative director behind campaigns for brands like Mitsubishi, Old Navy, and Universal Studios. But online, she's better known for tracking down the cool stuff you haven't heard of yet, as the co-founder and editor of the cheeky shopping review website, CoolMomPicks.com.
In less than two years, the site has gone from grassroots blog to legitimate business with mentions in Time, Advertising Age, and newspapers nationwide along with segments appearing on Alpha Mom TV. It also struck a cord with parents and the press in late 2007 with the Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide.
In her myriad free time, Liz has also co-authored a humorous cookbook, is an in-demand parenting columnist, and occasionally updates her popular personal blog, Mom-101.
Liz Gumbinner lives and works in Brooklyn (with frequent jaunts to LA) along with her partner Nate and their daughters Thalia and Sage.
So what in the world made you start a website on top of a very demanding job at an advertising agency?
I love advertising; it's a wonderfully fun way to make a living. But it's hard knowing that the client is always the one reaping the benefits of your hard work. And so I've always had projects on the side that gave me personal satisfaction.
When my first daughter was about six months, I started a mom blog called Mom-101. Soon after, I met ("met") a fellow blogger, Kristen Chase. We liked each other's writing and she asked me if I wanted to join her in creating a website to promote all the cool, under-the-radar stuff we were seeing around the web made by moms. I didn't hesitate for a moment, especially once we agreed to keep the tone really cheeky and fun. Thus, Cool Mom Picks was born. And I haven't slept since.
What is your best tip for maintaining balance or at least some semblance of sanity?
Anyone who says moms can do it all is on crack.You cannot. But you can prioritize - less Flavor of Love Girls, more replying to emails. I also have learned that when you're dealing with an online job like editing Cool Mom Picks, it's essential to set aside computer-free hours. Otherwise, I could easily walk around with my laptop strapped to my body like a snare drum on a majorette.
What's the best part of your job? What's the worst part of your job?
The best part is getting grateful emails from small business owners or designers who say thanks to your review, we sold out of product today and two national magazines called us about doing a feature. The worst part: Hands down, sending rejection letters. It kills me every time.