If there’s something happening in NYC, Anna Fader definitely knows about it. As the creator of the super popular website Mommy Poppins, Anna and her team scour the city for the coolest kids’ events that you can take your wee ones to. We spoke with the NYC knowledge maven about fun kids’ activities, filling a media void, and why her kids are so over going to events!
How Mommy Poppins come to be?
You launched the site about four years ago. How do you explain the success of the site?
I came from a marketing and advertising background. I’ve always been interested in the idea of how to make a site popular. It was a puzzle for me. I looked into it, and part of the fun of the whole process was that part; learning about blogging as a more professional thing, how to do it and be successful at it. “Content is king” was my motto, and I create the best content that I can. I haven’t done real marketing for the site; it has just spread from word of mouth. People love the content and they tell people about it. It’s all about creating something valuable that people want.
How would you describe Mommy Poppins?
It’s a NYC activity site for families. New York is so huge, and there’s so much to do. We write 10 articles a week about it, and we still don’t cover it all. There’s that much. We filter the info for our users by picking and choosing the cool stuff. We write about what we think is good, as opposed to what publicists are pushing. I saw a need for a different type of media; I didn’t see real depth and the coolness factor, so I wanted to write about that.
The site offers very specific info, as opposed to generic NYC touristy event stuff.
That’s what we try to do. I’ve been doing this for years, and I’ve been to many, many events! I have half a dozen writers, and they go to the events, too. I grew up in NY, so you know the playing field. You just know what’s cool.
How did you make the transition from working full-time to Mommy Poppins becoming your full-time job?
I did Mommy Poppins for a year without any thought of it being bigger. Once I left my job, I did social media consulting, and that was my transition. I was home, doing consulting and Mommy Poppins at the same time. It was during that second year that I did the site full-time.
Your kids must love going to all the events with you![laughs] They’ve become cynical in the last couple of years. I would say to them, “Hey, let’s go see this amazing show!” and they would say, “Mom, you’re just doing that for Mommy Poppins.” They went through this whole phase of refusing to go do anything. I could get backstage passes and cool access, and they would say that to me. I would tell them, “Don’t you get it? Mommy Poppins is for you. I don’t want to see Yo Gabba Gabba!” [laughs]
[laughs] I think they think it’s cool now, but they went through that phase. It’s nice to do something in your work that relates to your kids. My life is all about my kids, even more so now. Before I had a job that had nothing to do with my kids and now everything I do is with kid-related.
Aww, I loved the Yo Gabba! There’s A Party In My City! event. [laughs]
Where do you see the site going in the future?
People email me all the time to ask me if we’re going to do a Mommy Poppins in their area. It’s not my big ambition to go national, but it might happen. I really want to do what we’re doing well. Now that I have a platform, I would like to do more things that are good for the community. I’m currently working on a project that will raise money for NYC public schools. That’s more of my ambition. I want to be great at what we do and continue doing greater things.
Photo: © Imogen Brown