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.
What are the last three dinners you made for your children?
I am so incredibly lucky to have a partner who's a gourmet cook. I mean, Nate will toast the damn pignoli nuts for the homemade pesto. If it were up to me, I'd be making the girls cereal every night.
What do you do when you feel totally overwhelmed?
There's a lot to be said for a good glass of Pinot Noir and a call to my mom.
Describe your worst working mom moment
I was in LA on business when Thalia said her first word. It was soul-crushing. Fortunately it wasn't her last word.
Do you actually buy the things you promote on Cool Mom Picks ? What is the last thing you bought for yourself?
Oh, all the time! We give away most of the samples we get to readers in our daily giveaways, but I definitely make a few purchases here and there. Last week I tried to buy this amazing bag that we found from designer Crystalyn Kae, but it turns out Kristen had already bought me one for the holidays. Not that I wouldn't like two of them.
Do you hope that Cool Mom Picks  will be successful enough that you can quit your day job?
I can't say for sure that I'd quit entirely. But is there anyone in the world who doesn't dream of having those kind of options?
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
The power to process carbs like water.
If you liked this interview with Cool Mom Picks  co-founder Liz Gumbinner, don't miss our Working Mom interviews with other new media mavens, including BlogHer  co-founder Lisa Stone  and Celebrity Baby Blog founder Danielle Friedland .
Liz Gumbinner  now writes for Mommy Tracked! Check out her feature, Picks from the Personal Shopper !