FORT GREENE — Nicole Horne and Kim Janulewicz first crossed paths at a meetup for new moms in Park Slope. During a time that can feel isolating for many first-time parents, the two bonded with a group of nearly 20 women who shared the experience of raising young children in Brooklyn.
Now, nearly four years and four children later, the two full-time working moms have taken over the popular parenting blog, A Child Grows in Brooklyn.
The blog, founded in 2006 by Brooklyn mom Karen Connell, covers everything from local schools to children’s health, activism, and kid-friendly businesses. It also hosts an annual Brooklyn Baby Expo where participants can learn about topics such as cloth diapering, CPR, and baby yoga while meeting other parents.
But possibly the most useful blog component is the event and meetup listings for parents. A Child Grows is a one-stop-shop for all the latest information on workshops, playspaces and sing-alongs in the nabe.
And for many Brooklyn parents, A Child Grows provides a sense of community.
“That site saved my life,” Horne said. “As soon as I heard Karen was selling the blog I knew I was in, but I needed a partner.”
Horne immediately thought of her good friend and fellow mom-in-crime Janulewicz, and asked, over a lunch, if she’d be willing to join forces.
“As a Brooklyn mom I depended on that website,” Janulewicz said. And after a few moments' thought, Horne had a new business partner.
Connell, who has been managing the blog from her new home in Chicago for nearly a year, was thrilled with the idea.
“They get it,” she wrote on the blog. “They want to keep this blog thriving and make it bigger and better.”
After four days of prep where the three “cumulatively drank 28 bottles of water, 11 teas, 3 hot chocolates and downed un-nameable amounts of shortbread cookies,” ownership was transferred and the deal was done.
A Child Grows in Brooklyn had new parents.
Horne, who works in commercial real estate, and Janulewicz, who does business development for an international business school, plan to carve out space in their busy lives to enhance the site.
“Our goal is to grow the brand,” Janulewicz said. “Through event listings, small business partnerships, expo trade shows and more on-the-ground events we hope to connect the moms and dad of Brooklyn.”
Both moms agree that Brooklyn is a unique and fascinating place to raise children given its “small town feel with big city attractions.” They also think parents are more inclined to stay and raise kids in Brooklyn if they find a community and feel a part of their neighborhoods.
“The first years of parenting can make you feel crazy,” Horne said. “It helps exponentially to know there is a community behind you who feels exactly the same.”