A Brooklyn parenting blog has come under new ownership and the two local mothers who have taken control of the reins have already begun to look to improve upon the already massively popular site.
Clinton Hill resident Kim Janulewicz and Park Sloper Nicole Horne have taken over A Child Grows in Brooklyn, the site that considers itself a "virtual 'home' for Brooklyn parents," discusses everything from school to childcare, activities to children’s health.
The site also hosts an annual Brooklyn Baby Expo, a networking event where discussions are held on topics the blog usual covers while giving parents the chance to meet each other.
This isn't the first milestone the two full-time working mothers have taken on together; Janulewicz and Horne first met almost four years ago when they both were pregnant with their first children.
"Our first and second kids' are the same age," Janulewicz said. "We spent a good chunk of maternity leave together, learning about motherhood and all that comes along with it."
The pair connected immediately as they dealt with the same issues such as the ends of their maternity leaves, childcare issues and balancing work and home.
"We have been friends, our kids are friends. We talk often," Janulewicz said.
When the women learned that the site that served as an indispensable resource was up for sale, the decision to take it over came easy.
"One day Nicole and I were going out to lunch, and she pulled out the sales deck from [former owner and founder] Karen [Connell] and said, 'I was giving it a lot of thought and I really want to buy the site but I don't feel I can do it alone. It's a lot to take on when I'm already working full-time,'" Janulewicz said. "I think we're like minded, and that's how the idea started. We went full force from there, and didn't even think twice."
"Kim called me the same day [with her answer]," Horne said.
Since taking over the site, Horne and Janulewicz have been busy, but both said they've enjoyed the process.
"Whenever you take on a new job or responsibility, there's a lot on the backend to get done," Horne said. "Karen is staying on to help plan the Brooklyn Baby Expo and she's been helping to maintain the site while we're getting the hang of it."
The site hasn't suffered as a result of the turnover, Horne said, noting that though she and Janulewicz are primarily focused on the upcoming Brooklyn Baby Expo, they have already begun to develop other areas of coverage.
"We've done some new things," she said, mentioning the development of lists of affordable and free events for mothers and fathers to take their children to during the week.
"The focus right now is the Brooklyn Baby Expo," Horne said."We're close to announcing the date. The last one was the biggest baby expo Brooklyn has ever had, and it will be 20 percent bigger this time around. But we've got a couple of new writers, [including] a local dad whose going to write about all things dad-- [being a] stay at home dad, what do to with kids -- a lot of what our readers are going through."
"We're going to stay with the same eco-parenting vibe," Janulewicz said. "[But we're also] going to feature new guest writers and give more exposure to different things that haven't ever been ran. We just ran an article on divorce, and that's something that's very real."
And response to the site's development has been extremely positive, Horne said.
"[There's] been such a huge response," she said. "The community has been so welcoming and so excited for us, we've been barely able to respond."
Janulewicz agreed, noting the site does so well because it accurately represents all that Brooklyn can offer.
"It's such a huge, diverse community. It's such a developing community and everyone is so different," Janulewicz said.
"I think most of our content is applicable to all of Brooklyn," Horne said. "I kind of got the feeling, when I was a subscriber, that it didn't matter that I lived in Park Slope, that felt like something I would do. There's just so much going on in every neighborhood."
Janulewicz shared her partner's enthusiasm for the site and its ability to cover the borough she affectionately calls home.
"We're just barely getting our feet wet and taking it day by day," she said. "We want to be the go-to resource for Brooklyn parents."