Philadelphia Family: Our Story of Building Community
Philadelphia Family Founder and CEO of Family Focus Media, Sarah Bond shares how her passion for building a village resulted in running a company of creative women who publish two local family lifestyle magazines.
As a new mom, I was lonely. I was searching for my village at mommy-and-me yoga, at the playground, and in my neighborhood, but I didn’t find real connections until I started building community with Main Line Parent. Starting with my trusted Facebook Group (which exploded from the four people I knew to hundreds overnight) and a desire to create events to help others like me find new friends and reconnect with old ones, I saw an opportunity to create a niche family lifestyle multimedia publication and dedicated every spare moment to it as my passion project.
I had not seriously considered being “an entrepreneur” a part of my career path, but there I was, juggling a toddler and a business, because I believed we could make a difference by connecting parents with focused news, events, resources, and each other on a local level. I met Pamela Badolato about a month before Main Line Parent magazine’s Launch Party and benefit for The Birth Center. Pamela had the same passion for community building and has brought a positive, can do-attitude and has been a consistent contributor to this vision. Pamela helped make everything happen, from advertising sales to magazine distribution to our email newsletter production and events.
It wasn’t long after I had my son in 2012 and successfully published the fifth issue of Main Line Parent magazine that we started to consider creating something special for families raising kids in Philadelphia.
My circle of friends who lived in Center City made it clear that they were NOT interested in leaving the city any time soon with their kids and I kept learning about more family-friendly resources and dedicated parent groups popping up around town. So we planned our first issue, created some amazing content for it, like this feature on interior design by neighborhood (see this behind-the-scenes video below) and it was SUCH a slam dunk! I even remember one of our Business Members who help distribute the magazine calling me to ask for more copies the day they had been delivered because they had gone so quickly!
Philadelphia Family was a natural sister brand to Main Line Parent when Melinda Engel joined our team. As a Graduate Hospital mom of two boys, she helped us connect with parents in the Philly Family Community group on Facebook and generated buzz on the playground-level for our events.
Our events, magazines, website, guides, and email newsletters have evolved with time, and our team has evolved too, as my friends and colleagues “went back” to work or found new ventures to pursue. For now we still all work from our homes, using online tools like slack, asana, and Google Hangouts to keep us connected, and meeting in person every other week. In 2017 Laura Swartz joined as our Assistant Editor, which has strengthened our connections and content to encourage families raising kids in the city as well. Our team has expanded to include TEN creative women from across the Delaware Valley, who pool their talents to do amazing things!
My favorite part of my job is working with the talented women on my team to create informative art that connects moms and dads to their community. I love helping my clients grow and each success story fuels my drive to raise the bar on our products and services. I love the roots that my business has given my family to our area. I love celebrating the BEST local businesses dedicated to making raising kids in Philly easier and more fun with our LOVE Awards. For the last four years our Philly Family Community has nominated and voted on the “Best for Families” and this year we’re excited to kick off this awards program with a very special Community Builders Luncheon!
I would like to invite YOU to join our Philly Family Community!
No matter what stage of parenting you’re in, from expecting through toddler years and preschool, onto the tween and teen stage and beyond, our Philly Family Community is here to cheer you on. Sign up today for our free weekly email newsletter, subscribe to our magazine, or JOIN US as a Supporting Member! Our team has brought together a variety of perks from our Business Members to help you save over $500 per year while raising your kids in Philadelphia.
Feature photo by Carolyn Clement Photography.