When describing Liz
Gumbinner, co-founder of the sassy shopping review website, Cool Mom Picks, the
term “supermom” seems almost inevitable, but she’d be the first to graciously
demure. As Gumbinner recently said on her popular personal blog, Mom-101, “Frankly, I don’t do it all nor do I
want to. I’m sure I do more than some and less than others; there’s great
comfort in that middle section of the bell curve. I also find solace in the
fact that I won’t be busy forever. There are times for productivity and times
for rest. Times for input and times for output. There were times in my
life when I sat around and played Spades on Yahoo for hours on end. I just
don’t have that luxury right now.”
Right now Liz,
who lives in Brooklyn, is a devoted mom to five-year-old
Thalia and three-year-old Sage, and creative director of an ad agency. But the
main reason she’s regularly named to distinguished lists of online influencers
like Parents Magazine’s Top 10 Power Moms and The Nielsen Power Mom 50, is her
work as co-publisher, and editor-in-chief of Cool Mom
Picks, which many moms across the country enjoy as
source of reliable and savvy (and often quite entertaining) recommendations on
products for families. Covering a vast array of stuff with a proudly-declared “soft spot
for non-mainstream products and services,” the site is a stroll through
shopping serendipity, whether you come upon super-hero costumes with style,
enchanting alphabet posters for a nursery, or “metal lunch boxes like the olden
days, only way cooler.”
Cool Mom Picks got its start in 2006 as a simple
grassroots shopping blog. At the time, Gumbinner had recently started her
personal blog, Mom-101, a virtual space she describes as “a room of my own,
as Virginia Wolf put it. It’s the place I can connect with the parenting community on a deep
level about the topics and issues we care about…everything from parenting
culture to reality TV to politics.”
Through Mom-101, Gumbinner met fellow blogger Kristen Chase,
of the popular Motherhood Uncensored. Frequent commentors on each other’s
posts, the two quickly became friends and decided to start Cool Mom Picks after
only one month. The decision was a no-brainer for Gumbinner, who shared Chase’s
passion for blogging about mommy stuff and loved the idea of helping small
businesses get the word out.
Both Gumbinner and Chase already had a following from the
mommy-blogger community due to their personal blogs, and moms were eager and
willing to check out this new site that promised to “track down cool stuff so
you can stay busy being fabulous.” The site readership continued to grow
through word of mouth, and it wasn’t long before Cool Mom Picks was getting
reviews and being featured on other sites.
Now in its fifth year, the site has gained nationwide
acclaim. “Real Simple” magazine named it one of the three best websites for
parents, and Gumbinner has been featured on “The Today Show” and has even sat
down with Katie Couric. For Gumbinner and Chase, the success was both exciting
and unexpected. “It’s truly an amazing feeling anytime you’re able to get
recognition for doing something you love to do,” Gumbinner says.
Of course, being a working mom with many responsibilities
has its challenges. Gumbinner stresses that it’s important to make time that’s just about family, even if it means simply going to the park
or spending time together at home. And her advice for other moms
juggling work and family? Let go of the guilt. “Just know your worth and
realize that you’re doing the best you can,” she says.
And while “Parents” magazine once called Cool Mom Picks “the
online arbiter of cool for the swingset crowd,” this mom doesn’t consider
herself cool at all. “We are not cool moms, we just pick out cool mom stuff,”
she says. “My kids only think I’m cool when I tell them they can have ice
cream for lunch!”
Photo: Liz Gumbinner with daughters Thalia, 5, and Sage, 3.
Liz Gumbinner’s Cool Mom Picks For Spring And Summer
Keep the MD Moms Sunscreen Singles in your diaper bag and always be ready for
Cienta shoes are so perfect for kids in the warmer months–the sneaker in a
Mary Jane style goes from playdate to playground.
If you have a newborn, the Aden Anais muslin swaddlers are a must in warm
The stainless steel water bottles from Earthlust are the most beautiful we’ve seen!
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