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Blogs We Love: CoolMomPicks

Oct 30, 2009

by Vanessa Bertozzi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

We got CoolMomPicks in the twin-maker at Etsy Labs! A visit from these bloggers was a special treat, considering that they come from near and far. Liz Gumbinner is in our neighborhood here in Brooklyn, while Kristen Chase lives in Atlanta, GA. The two met online while posting to their individual parenting blogs. After a certain synergy (and a name change from the former CoolMomSh*t blog), CoolMomPicks was born — one of our favorite blogs featuring reviews of gear for children and moms. Liz and Kristen are staying true to their roots: passion for supporting indie businesses and bringing excellent design to a wider audience.

Liz and Kristen’s moms were both crafty and that has informed these bloggers’ roots in craftsmanship, unique designs and independent entrepreneurship. When the CPSIA controversy hit, CoolMomPicks put up a special page of resources, which was key in informing many of their readers about the issue. Liz and Kristen both spoke to us about the importance for crafters and artists to take pride in their work — from the safety of children’s items to clear, beautiful item photography.

We here at Etsy admire their strong opinions and their dedication to high quality. This must be why their readers trust them — in addition to their good taste. For me personally, it’s always fun to meet internet friends face-to-face for the first time — especially when they have interesting jewelry! Liz and Kristen really do put the “cool” in CoolMomPicks.

After simultaneously barraging these two bloggers with questions while giving them a tour of our office, we talked over lunch about the handmade movement and blogging. Here’s a bit more from our chat and a follow-up interview we did with Kristen and Liz:

Can you give bloggers a tip as to how you built your audience?
It really started virally — we were already in the parent blogging community, so we reached out to friends and colleagues to tell them about this blog we started, and it just sort of took off from there. We don’t do any advertising. But we do have relationships with like-minded websites and publications (like The Storque!) and love linking to those we think are doing great things. It’s good karma, it often comes back to us, and there’s more than enough bandwidth to go around for all of us.
 
And while we realize what we do won’t appeal to every single person out there, we do really work hard to find items for a broad range of people, from the frugalistas to the celeb-obsessed designer diaper bag whores (heh). We also try and pay attention to the needs of more diverse families, single moms, or adoptive parents. But in the end, we just feature the things we love ourselves, and we think that being picky has created the kind of trust that keeps our readers coming back. It’s something we value greatly and take very seriously.

What other blogs do you enjoy?
Kristen: For as much as I complain about not being a crafter, I’m obsessed with crafty design blogs like Makeandtakes.com and Designmom.com. They inspire me to do more than the noodle necklaces with my kids.

Liz: For some reason I’m a sucker for guys’ gear blogs like Uncrate, and especially DaddyTypes.com which is the first blog I ever read. He drops all these fabulously arcane references to mid-century modern paint colors or whatever and makes me feel stupid. I love it.

What first showed you that you had a growing audience? A surprising spike in traffic from one of your posts, a link or praise from a better-known blog?
Fairly early on, a wonderful artist we featured named Michelle Caplan, a.k.a. mcaplan.etsy.com, told us that right after her review went up, Real Simple called. Then another shop told us that a producer from The View called after seeing the feature on her. We were like, “Wow — so now we know it’s not just bloggers reading us.” Soon after, Real Simple featured us as one of their favorite three parenting blogs, which definitely gave us a lot of legitimacy. (Thanks, Real Simple!)
 
Any new initiatives on the horizon? TV deals?
We have a ton of exciting initiatives on the horizon — you’ll just have to wait and see. [Cue evil laugh.]
 
How many people are working for you now?
The site really wouldn’t be possible without the help of our invaluable staff. We’ve got an amazing associate editor, Christina Refford, our head of ad sales and all around CMP VIP Julie Marsh, plus seven phenomenal contributors, a great designer, and some tech folks who all make us look good every day. But our dream is to have a person solely dedicated to giving us all foot massages all day. That’s when we’ll know we’ve really made it.

What have you learned about your readers? Do you notice any traffic patterns? Times of day or days of the week or seasons for moms online?
We definitely see big spikes around gift-giving holidays like Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas. Also back-to-school shopping time is huge. Flag Day, not so much. At the beginning of this year we launched our first Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide (which included a lot of Etsians), and it was hugely successful so I’m sure we’ll be doing it again. People have babies all year long, it seems. Go figure.

We spoke a bit about good product photography and well-made items. Kristen remarked how beautiful, well-designed packaging is part of the experience of buying handmade or vintage. It adds to the allure and specialness of unique items.

Any other tips for sellers who want to submit their items?
We love when Etsians submit items for editorial consideration on our site, because our heart is always with handmade and small businesses. Here’s a few things that help (besides the great photographs, which can literally make or break your pitch):
 
1. Make sure you read our blog and get a sense of what we do and don’t feature. We try to make it pretty clear.
2. Tell us your story in a few brief sentences. We love to know how you came to make and sell your items.
3. Send us a few links to your items  — skip the 300 jpg attachments.
4. We can’t help it but we love emails with personality. No need to be formal and write “Dear Ms. Chase and Ms. Gumbinner…” We’re not captains of industry. Just bloggers.

Thanks, Liz and Kristen!

necklush - red with black print
necklush - red with black print
Sold
Christmas- Santa Girl Ornament
Christmas- Santa Girl Ornament
Sold
Black Soft Leather Frilly Bag
Black Soft Leather Frilly Bag
Sold
Custom Portrait Print
Custom Portrait Print
Sold

146 comments

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 8 years ago

    How ridiculously cute are they :) So happy to be introduced to this blog!

  • branda

    branda said 8 years ago

    How cute girls!! Compliments!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 8 years ago

    Their blog is wonderful! Cute picks!

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns said 8 years ago

    Nice picks and blog!!!

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 8 years ago

    very sweet!

  • concentric

    concentric said 8 years ago

    Wonderful blog! I love the periodic table alphabet cards you picked!

  • 4TheSparrowsNest

    4TheSparrowsNest said 8 years ago

    Fabulous! I'm not a Mom yet but I've been purusing CoolMomPicks for a while now. Congrats Liz and Kristen for a successful blog; thanks for sharing your finds and tips! {and thanks Etsy for the captcha...the spammers were getting annoying...}

  • ovgilliesdesigns

    ovgilliesdesigns said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! Great picks.

  • evihan

    evihan said 8 years ago

    wowww..excellent choiceee

  • sewlola

    sewlola said 8 years ago

    I didn't know about that blog. Thanks for sharing the story! :) Very cute picks!

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 8 years ago

    AWWWW I LOVE THE OWL MOBILE

  • 23rdstreetvintage

    23rdstreetvintage said 8 years ago

    Love it all As a mom of triplets I always appreciate quality and durability.

  • monkeyandsquirrel

    monkeyandsquirrel said 8 years ago

    how lovely! i'm going to go and check out your blog right now. thanks for sharing!

  • rikrak

    rikrak said 8 years ago

    yay! i love your fabulous blog! and it's the go-to for great mommying finds and ideas! wonderful to read your interview, too! yay coolmompicks!

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  • poppyswickedgarden

    poppyswickedgarden said 8 years ago

    Very nice blog! Great info! I need to go work on my blog now;)

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 8 years ago

    Great interview. You've come a long way, CoolMomPicks!

  • Mimiandlola

    Mimiandlola said 8 years ago

    Love your blog and the cool picks! Nice to meet you!

  • kathryncole

    kathryncole said 8 years ago

    Awesome Blog!

  • earringsnation

    earringsnation said 8 years ago

    Very nice blog that you have!

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 8 years ago

    Excellent picks!!

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields said 8 years ago

    Very nice blog...

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 8 years ago

    great blog and beautiful items!

  • ornamentsbydeb

    ornamentsbydeb said 8 years ago

    Love them! And cute items!

  • lizcoolmompicks

    lizcoolmompicks said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the great article Vanessa, and for highlighting some of our favorite etsians (among the VERY man). And thank you for all the kind comments here - one more reason we love etsy and want to marry it. Liz from Cool Mom Picks

  • paisleybaby

    paisleybaby said 8 years ago

    I love CoolMomPicks. They were one of the first blogs to promote our shop when we first opened. Really nice women!

  • Benandi

    Benandi said 8 years ago

    Great choices, Love them all!!!

  • MyMoms

    MyMoms said 8 years ago

    Super duper cute choices!!!

  • vivikas

    vivikas said 8 years ago

    So sweet!

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 8 years ago

    Love that Wabbit. And I'm glad to be introduced to a new and wonderful blog!

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • cozyblue

    cozyblue said 8 years ago

    hooray! LOVE cool mom picks!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 8 years ago

    great article...once again moms brainstorm and anything is possible.

  • outofline

    outofline said 8 years ago

    Great style! Love to hear of successful, individual moms. Our kids need these examples :) (I'm a single mom of a 14 yr. old and she's being raised with a front seat view to my business.)

  • kidgiddy

    kidgiddy said 8 years ago

    I have a twin sister - We'd love to come visit Etsy and have our picture taken on that cool Twinmaker!!! That's AWESOME!!! and love the article - can't wait to check out their blog! http://kidgiddy.blogspot.com/

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 8 years ago

    adding to my favs!! great picks!

  • TheSingingBird

    TheSingingBird said 8 years ago

    Liz and Kristen thank you for sharing your tips here! :)

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 8 years ago

    Yay! CoolMomPicks is one of our morning reads - every day. The fresh, original and honest style of the blog is fantastic. Very happy to see Liz and Kristen's work featured here. Being featured on CoolMomPicks with our organic nap mats was a huge plus for us, and it's brought us many new customers. So thank you gals!!

  • thebestvintage

    thebestvintage said 8 years ago

    Nice article!!

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 8 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous, wonderful!!

  • wristielove

    wristielove said 8 years ago

    my two fav places...brooklyn & atlanta. what a gret story! thx vanessa

  • thetrendytot

    thetrendytot said 8 years ago

    I love coolmompicks--they are my bible for kid coolness!

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 8 years ago

    Congratulations to you on your success! Great story!

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 8 years ago

    WOHOOO! :)

  • FrillyButts

    FrillyButts said 8 years ago

    I love coolmompicks! Thanks for sharing ladies!

  • cardinalhouse

    cardinalhouse said 8 years ago

    It really is a great (& very fun!) blog. Lots of personality...which is so very refreshing! -Kat. (haha--the 2 words to type in to prove I'm not spamming is "disembowelment" & "palates"--hmm, interesting choices)

  • littlealouette

    littlealouette said 8 years ago

    love you guys! xoxoxo awesome picks and lovely photo of you two! xoxo

  • Morado

    Morado said 8 years ago

    These are hellava cool moms!!

  • TrilliumTrue

    TrilliumTrue said 8 years ago

    I love their blog! What awesome ladies!

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy said 8 years ago

    Really interesting. Nice picks. I'm off to take a closer look at the bolg!

  • LeChapeau

    LeChapeau said 8 years ago

    Hi, I'm fairly new to etsy and learning every day. This was a fascinating article, as I had no idea that a blog could do so much for your business. I just assumed nobody would read it if I started one. Thanks for the great encouragement. Kind regards, Joanne www.lechapeau.ca

  • sweetsmilesbaby

    sweetsmilesbaby said 8 years ago

    Yay! New blog for me to check out, sounds great!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 8 years ago

    great article and good advice for bloggers.

  • beachhouseblues

    beachhouseblues said 8 years ago

    such a great place to network... Etsy is!!

  • one9designs

    one9designs said 8 years ago

    "frugalista" is definitely my new favorite word!

  • TanyaMac

    TanyaMac said 8 years ago

    sweet blog! ;)*

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    New blog to explore thanks~!

  • babook

    babook said 8 years ago

    Good news ,It's good for me to up my network .... Thanks share ; )

  • accessoryalamode

    accessoryalamode said 8 years ago

    I've always been a fan of coolmompicks :)

  • makeandtakes

    makeandtakes said 8 years ago

    What a fun interview! These ladies are super "cool moms". I snorted with laughter that you want to have a "foot masseuse" on staff! Me too ;) And thanks, Kristen, for giving me a mention. I'm sure you've got lots of crafty bones in that blogging body!

  • unatuna

    unatuna said 8 years ago

    Cool article!

  • brightshop

    brightshop said 8 years ago

    Great article on some fabulous ladies.

  • adam Admin

    adam said 8 years ago

    They are truly Cool Moms. And HI-larious to boot!

  • retrofied

    retrofied said 8 years ago

    Very cool blog!! Just added it to my favs.

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 8 years ago

    great blog ~ nice to meet the faces behind CoolMomPics

  • UNAshop

    UNAshop said 8 years ago

    cool mums!

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 8 years ago

    cool stuff!

  • SaraBJewelry

    SaraBJewelry said 8 years ago

    if loving that owl mobile is wrong, i don't wanna be right! complete cuteness!

  • chunkychooky

    chunkychooky said 8 years ago

    thanks for featuring me! I was on coolmompicks early September and I made a sale that day and got lots of positive feedback!

  • kotoridesign

    kotoridesign said 8 years ago

    Cheers ladies Many picks my small sparrow would giggle to call her own...

  • PinkPerch

    PinkPerch said 8 years ago

    Great interview! Thanks so much for featuring my owl mobile! SaraBJewelry, nothing wrong with loving an owl mobile! hehe :)

  • ColinFrancisDesign

    ColinFrancisDesign said 8 years ago

    T'is a great blog indeed. Thanks again for featuring me back in June! http://www.coolmompicks.com/2009/06/rustic_meets_digital_meets_lea.php

  • ColinFrancisDesign

    ColinFrancisDesign said 8 years ago

    T'is indeed a great blog. Thanks again for the plug back on June 8th!

  • yuhubaa

    yuhubaa said 8 years ago

    it is amazingly pictures i have similar blog Visit My blog

  • yuhubaa

    yuhubaa said 8 years ago

    sorry this is my blog ;) www.serdardemir.net

  • thirtyonedesigns

    thirtyonedesigns said 8 years ago

    Great!

  • LittleRedCottage

    LittleRedCottage said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • SundraSandrusi

    SundraSandrusi said 8 years ago

    excellent choiceee!

  • lilsproutsclothingco

    lilsproutsclothingco said 8 years ago

    Great interview!! I have been a long time follower of cmp!! You girls rock!

  • EmmaAlisonDesigns

    EmmaAlisonDesigns said 8 years ago

    I'm so happy to see them featured here! They are the reason I found Etsy and I'm forever grateful to CoolMomPicks for that... It is allowing me to earn some extra income while I stay home with my two little girls. Thank you Liz and Kristen!!

  • EmmaAlisonDesigns

    EmmaAlisonDesigns said 8 years ago

    I'm so happy to see them featured here! They are the reason I found Etsy and I'm forever grateful to CoolMomPicks for that... It is allowing me to earn some extra income while I stay home with my two little girls. Thank you Liz and Kristen!!

  • lifeincircuit

    lifeincircuit said 8 years ago

    Awww I love cool mom picks! One of the most positive, least pretentious, kid oriented blogs I've seen. <3

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • blackscrapcat

    blackscrapcat said 8 years ago

    Love love love it!

  • RomeoandMae

    RomeoandMae said 8 years ago

    LOVE Coolmompicks!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 8 years ago

    great picks COOL MOMS!!!!!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 8 years ago

    Great picks COOL MOMS!!!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 8 years ago

    Great picks COOL MOMS!!!

  • mcaplan

    mcaplan said 8 years ago

    BY FAR the best kids blog going! Love these ladies!!! They rock!! Fabulous interview!

  • bytheway

    bytheway said 8 years ago

    Great blog, great article, and great new word - frugalista!

  • KateEmersonDesigns

    KateEmersonDesigns said 8 years ago

    I LOOOOVE CoolMOMpicks...

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Wow nice!

  • thebrickkiln

    thebrickkiln said 8 years ago

    We love Cool Mom Picks! That practically lauched our business in April of this year when they placed one of our personalized dishes in their Mother's Day Gift Guide. We had over 150 sales in 36 hours. What a roller coaster that was. That gift guide set the tone for our shop. We were just featured this past Monday with our Kid Ornament (show above) and we received over 150 orders in about three days and have sold over 225 dishes!!! It is amazing how successful their blog is and, let me tell you, you will never meet a nicer group of women! Always supportive and encouraging! Thanks Liz and Kristen for all you have done for The Brick Kiln. We certainly would not have over 1250 sales since March of this year had it not been for your support!!!! We love you guys!!!

  • SimpleTraditions

    SimpleTraditions said 8 years ago

    Awesome! I'm off to check out the blog now.

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 8 years ago

    ******We LOVE COOL MOM PICKS!******** theme fragrance

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 8 years ago

    CMP is a really terrific resource. Thanks for all the great links.

  • rachelod

    rachelod said 8 years ago

    I love coolmompicks.com! I was lucky to be featured in September -http://www.coolmompicks.com/2009/09/season_of_the_rabbit.php

  • rachelod

    rachelod said 8 years ago

    I love cool mom picks! I was lucky to be featured in September- http://www.coolmompicks.com/2009/09/season_of_the_rabbit.php

  • necklush

    necklush said 8 years ago

    thank you so very much for including Necklush amongst so many talented artists! We really do appreciate you noticing us! Thank you!

  • MustLuvVintage

    MustLuvVintage said 8 years ago

    Super neato blog!!! I know I'll be checking in daily now!!

  • mediumcontrol

    mediumcontrol said 8 years ago

    great blog - thanks for sharing

  • humblebea

    humblebea said 8 years ago

    Great choices, cool moms, and a fun blog! (-:

  • theenchantedcupboard

    theenchantedcupboard said 8 years ago

    very nice, great blog!!

  • olliegraphic

    olliegraphic said 8 years ago

    I love cool mom picks!

  • artwithallie

    artwithallie said 8 years ago

    I've always loved the Coolmom blog. Even though my kids are now teenagers I still find items that clearly rock!

  • slipshodsally

    slipshodsally said 8 years ago

    etsy is so addictive, not only do I stay up at night shopping, I don't get much done because I can't stop reading great stuff like this!

  • ellabellamay

    ellabellamay said 8 years ago

    Love the unique picks and shops! Thanks for such a great article!

  • SquidKid

    SquidKid said 8 years ago

    Awesome!

  • lovedriven

    lovedriven said 8 years ago

    I really found the information useful! Good stuff!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 8 years ago

    useful info thanks so much!

  • misaphia

    misaphia said 8 years ago

    Lots of great items!!

  • HouserWallis

    HouserWallis said 8 years ago

    i love Cool Mom Picks! thanks again for putting my headband up, Liz. i really appreciate it.

  • BGSStudio13

    BGSStudio13 said 7 years ago

    I have got to find the time to start 'blogging', I tell you it's very impressive; however being a newbie I'm not sure how built an audience once I get a site started.

  • starslikejoe

    starslikejoe said 7 years ago

    I'm a cool mom... definitely need to add this to my feeds!

  • byemma

    byemma said 7 years ago

    TOO CUTE...(*^__^*)!

  • TimmerysBebeBling

    TimmerysBebeBling said 7 years ago

    So glad to have found CoolMomPicks!!

  • candimhall

    candimhall said 7 years ago

    I'd like to ad my blog :)http://bestetsyshops.blogspot.com/

  • JJandMe

    JJandMe said 7 years ago

    I need to read these blogs!!!! Thanks for the info.

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms said 7 years ago

    Great article and great links to other sites and blogs. Planning to set up my own blog in the next few months and its great to get so many tips, there is lots to explore. Thank you!

  • MidwestieLady

    MidwestieLady said 7 years ago

    Great article and blog info! Thank you! I'm off to visit some of the blogs. Come visit mine too!

  • SoStinkingSweet

    SoStinkingSweet said 7 years ago

    What absolute fun! Cool Moms Rock!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 7 years ago

    Liz and Kristen, what a great story. I am just starting a blog " the knife wife". Inspirational. Looking so forward to reading more.

  • LizzyClara

    LizzyClara said 7 years ago

    nice idea thanks

  • artyecological

    artyecological said 7 years ago

    Great story! thanks for sharing!!!

  • orchardfarmsoap

    orchardfarmsoap said 7 years ago

    great to hear *cool* and *mom* together. great picks!

  • Arctida

    Arctida said 7 years ago

    Very cute! :) It was a pleasure to read their blog!

  • juliettecrane

    juliettecrane said 7 years ago

    Nice to meet you! I am delighted to be introduced to your blog.

  • WarmCountryMeadows

    WarmCountryMeadows said 7 years ago

    Too cute!!!!

  • wyllowscreations

    wyllowscreations said 7 years ago

    I am so new here it is a little over whelming. I have only one Tea Cup Elf up right now with many more to come. I'm in the process of down loading all my crafts and there are quite few to view. I'm dial up because I live in the country, but I'll try to find my way around and visit as many as I can

  • SkylarRose

    SkylarRose said 7 years ago

    Wow! What a great article!

  • FamaraDesigns

    FamaraDesigns said 7 years ago

    Nice Pics and Blog ♥

  • LANCERIKA

    LANCERIKA said 7 years ago

    simply adorable♥

  • HeatherMitchellDraws

    HeatherMitchellDraws said 7 years ago

    What a great success story. Well deserved!

  • boyzz

    boyzz said 7 years ago

    love this:)

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 7 years ago

    great blog- love the monster mouth purse!~

  • VelveteenHabbit

    VelveteenHabbit said 7 years ago

    POMLOVE EVERYONE-YOU JUST HAVE TO SEE THESE! AMAZING PRETTY AND TISSUE PaPeR???!!!!

  • amstudioartanddesign

    amstudioartanddesign said 7 years ago

    Fun Blog!! Love all the fun stuff you picked!

  • Forty41

    Forty41 said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I didn't even know about that site until now..off to check it out!

  • Pootinkies

    Pootinkies said 7 years ago

    Awesome blog!! Thanks!

  • LiquidTimeandCompany

    LiquidTimeandCompany said 7 years ago

    Great blog. You picked some neat items. Thanks from LT&CO.

  • orhunkubat

    orhunkubat said 7 years ago

    simply adorable♥ car pictures

  • sedatyilmaz

    sedatyilmaz said 6 years ago

    beautiful blog.I wait for my site.www.diziligtv.com good days.

  • Plinkjewelry

    Plinkjewelry said 6 years ago

    great post

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing with us !

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    Tiffany Wallace from OKDTW said 2 years ago

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