The pool area at the Airport Hilton took on a festive, cocktail party atmosphere Friday, March 25, as more than 130 guests gathered to celebrate the launch of Blount Moms Today.
The quarterly magazine is a new Blount Today publication that highlights topics of interest to local mothers. The team of Blount Moms Today, along with several members of the Blount Today team, greeted the guests.
“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” Blount Moms Today editor Sarah Herron said. “We had a great turnout of both moms who are excited about the magazine and website as well as the advertisers who believe in us.”
Blount Today publisher Sherri Gardner Howell said the crowd was a good mix of moms, dads, dignitaries and business leaders.
“We are so appreciative of all the people who came out to support the birth of our new baby - Blount Moms Today,” said Gardner Howell. “Blount Moms Today fills a void in Blount County by being a publication that focuses on active, interesting moms who do many things -- work at home, work outside the home, stay at home as fulltime moms, volunteer, and all share common interests, loves and desires.”
The idea was brought to Blount Today in its current form by Sarah Herron. “We are absolutely delighted to be a part of bringing this new exciting magazine to Blount County. With the distribution of Blount Today Thursday, plus the additional distribution just for Blount Moms Today, it is the largest circulated local magazine in Blount County,” said Gardner Howell. “We do the increased circulation because we believe the interest level is that high.”
Gardner Howell said the decision to start a new publication didn’t come without risk. “Doing anything new in today’s economy is a risk. Blount Today was willing to take that risk because we believe in the market niche of moms and because of the absolute and complete passion of Sarah Herron and the Blount Moms web editor, Rebecca Tatum,” she said. “The first issue did very well, and we are grateful to our advertisers who stepped out on a limb to support something brand new they had never seen before. We didn’t have a prototype to show them and a lot of them signed on because of the passion behind the concept of the magazine.”
Gardner Howell said the community response has been positive. “Although it is very early, it looks like the magazine and the website are going to pay off very well for those people willing to take a chance,” she said.
Gardner Howell said there will be three more Blount Moms Today editions published between now and the end of January, 2012. “Believe me, Sarah and her team have enough good information and ideas to fill a monthly product, but we’re going to take baby steps, and let it grow at its own pace,” she said. “We are very excited and encouraged by the initial success.”
Herron thanked Gardner Howell for her work in making the new magazine and website happen. “I think having Sherri as a mentor has been my biggest incentive. I respect her and am very grateful,” she said.
The Blount Moms Today editor recognized advertising director Marty Millsaps and account executive Susan Stout for their work. “To get that website and magazine launched and put stories on pages, it takes advertising. They’ve been working very hard and have been patient with us as we have partnered with them,” she said.
In the end, however, Herron said it is all about Blount County moms, and Herron and her team are offering more than just the magazine. The website -- www.blountmomstoday.com -- is updated daily and there is a weekly page dedicated to Blount Moms in every Blount Today Thursday.
“Rebecca does useful tips on the website. It is not noise,” said Herron. “She finds and lists all the places where kids eat free and puts it in a by-the-day directory. We have addresses for consignments stores. We have updated calendars. If you have young children, Rebecca lets you know all the places to go.”
Herron said she and the staff try to make the website and magazine fun to read. “It is very intentional,” she said. “We’re not just putting stuff up there to have content.”
Blount Moms Today magazine is available at Blount Today and 25 other sites around town. Go to www.blountmomstoday.com and click on Magazine for a “where to find them” map.
Also, follow Blount Moms Today on Facebook to see when to Save the Date for the next launch party in July.