Mile High Mamas Turns 10 Years Old: Our Story!
posted by: Amber Johnson
I was recently invited via one of my contacts on LinkedIn to tell the story of how I started Mile High Mamas and I realized September marks the 10-year anniversary of when we launched Mile High Mamas in 2007!
I moved to Denver in December 2003 and married my husband, Jamie, in February. Six months later, we decided to start our family and I was thrown into the whirlwind that is motherhood with a healthy dose of humility. I had moved to Colorado at the peak of my media career and my navigation skills for this new life were dismal, particularly when I gave birth to a beautiful but colicky daughter in 2004 who frequently voiced her displeasure about my parenting skills. I felt isolated and alone.
Writing had always been therapy for me so when my friend Kristy started this new thing called “a blog” on (now defunct) MSN Spaces, I was intrigued. A community of writers a.k.a. “bloggers” baring their souls and making friends while they did it? I was all-in and started my first blog, Crazy Bloggin’ Canuck, as a nod to my Canadian roots. I’ll never forget the first time I clicked that magical “publish” button and I never looked back. I quickly connected to the other bloggers on MSN Spaces and whole-heartedly threw myself into building a community all my own.
After about a year, many bloggers started changing over to a new platform, Blogger, and others made the leap to WordPress. By now, I was writing about motherhood almost daily and building online relationships with women all around the world. Businesses were starting to take notice of this new breed of “mommy bloggers” and soon conferences like BlogHer were formed to teach women how to capitalize on their new voices. I attended for a few years and greatly valued my dear friends from all over the country but realized I knew of no other Denver-based mom bloggers. And that is when the wheels started turning about creating a Denver-based online community for moms.
My husband was the Director of New Media for The Denver Post and he suggested I write up a business proposal and pitch the idea. The rest is history and we were valued partners with the newspaper for many years. Gretchen White, Lori Dowd and Gretchen Yoder have been loyal bloggers almost from the start and were instrumental in building Mile High Mamas. What started as a site geared to bloggers has evolved into one of Denver’s largest information sources and communities for moms.
We’ve worked with amazing brands like Disney, Walmart, Vail Resorts and Microsoft, along with equally awesome smaller Colorado-based businesses and organizations. A lot has changed over the years: some good, some bad.
Microblogging services like Twitter and Facebook gave bloggers new means to connect and promote but interactions sometimes changed from a unifying, supportive community to jealous trolls who created divisiveness. By design, Instagram’s photo-sharing platform promotes beauty but a new breed of “Influencers” motivated by money and followers results in inauthenticity and a photoshopped life. But at the heart of it all, it is my hope that our desire to connect with each other in meaningful ways never goes away.
What does the future hold for Mile High Mamas? We have lots of exciting changes coming your way, including new enhancements to the website. I will continue to oversee Mile High Mamas while shifting my focus to other projects and am in need of new investors and writers.
Also, we want to hear from you! Please let us know what content and features you would like to see as we continue to build our awesome community.
Happy 10 years, Mile High Mamas!