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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 dedicated every spare moment to it as my passion project: building a local family lifestyle brand and magazine.

I had not seriously considered being “an entrepreneur” a part of my career path, but there I was, juggling mom-life with a toddler and nursing a newborn while taking client calls and building my business. I believed we could make a difference by connecting parents with focused resources, events, and each other on a local level.

 

I met Pamela Badolato (our Content Director) about a month before Main Line Parent magazine’s launch party and benefit for The Birth Center, Mom’s Night Out for Mother’s Day. 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 business development to magazine distribution (sometimes while also pushing a stroller, she snapped this photo of my girl with a stack of magazines underneath the time I had a client meeting and needed a hand) to our email newsletter production and events galore.

 

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 Philly 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 Members who helped 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. We attracted a few city mamas to join our team who helped us connect with more local parents in the Philly Family Community group on Facebook and generated buzz on the playground-level for our events.

Our events, websites, 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. Today we have an amazing team of creative local women who pool their talents to make amazing things happen! After ten years of publishing magazines in print, the Coronavirus Pandemic forced us to pivot back to a lean digital-only model for a while, but our Facebook groups and Instagram communities are stronder than ever, connecting thousands of local families every day. My kids are now 9 and 11 years old — in third and fifth grades.

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 raises 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. Our Philly Family Community has nominated and voted on the “Best for Families” annually since 2014 and once again this year we’re excited to unveil our Best for Families Guide (coming soon)!

I would like to invite YOU to join our Philly Family Community!

Philadelphia Family was created to connect families raising their kids around the Main Line and Philly’s Western Subsurbs with resources, events, and each other. It all started with our vibrant Philly Family Community Facebook Group dedicated to Building Community (join the conversation with our 30,000+ local members!) and our weekly Email Newsletters, which continue to grow with and support new and expectant parents, families of all ages and stages who are new to the area!

Founder & CEO, Family Focus Media | Creator for Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family | Connect with me on Instagram @sarahbondfocus or email sarah@familyfocus.org.

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