Happy Birthday to Us!
Back in October of 2011, a group on Facebook for moms in the Tanglewood area of Fort Worth was born. It quickly grew into a community of women – some moms, some not; some in the Tanglewood area, some not – who came to rely on the group as a place to ask questions, vent frustrations, and celebrate triumphs. We ask about the best roofers, pediatric dentists, restaurants for date nights, and when Texas Ice Cream is coming next. We growl about the continued road construction on Colonial Parkway and increased property taxes. We celebrate ULL and Paschal and TCU victories, as well as our sisters’ new businesses and new families. In a little less than five years, the Tanglewood Moms group on Facebook has grown to almost 5000 members.
When asked how Tanglewood Moms has helped them, here is what some members said:
“As a new mom, I have loved being able to crowd source question about my kid… especially when I’m experiencing a minor freak out… I’ve also gotten some great ideas for baby gear, ideas on places to go, and scoop on all sorts of random local things.”
“This group really feels like a community in a way – just being able to ask for advice… it’s better than Googling parenting advice anyday!”
“I’ve found that, if you have a question, ANY question, you will get an array of insightful answers, suggestions and advice. And… this group makes one feel part of a community of women who are supportive, kind and compassionate.”
Over the years, Victoria, one of the founders of the Facebook group, saw that a lot of the same questions were being asked over and over, and she thought how nice it would be if there were a blog that would recap all the top answers. In addition, maybe it would be nice for local women with small businesses to have a business directory listing so that the whole community would have access to finding them. And finally, Victoria thought that “it would be a great way for those who don’t live in Fort Worth to get a glimpse into how amazing our little corner of the world is.”
For those of you who don’t know Victoria personally, I can tell you that she is the most positive, can-do, entrepreneurial, and genuinely caring woman you will ever meet. She is constantly seeing opportunities and encouraging others to follow their dreams. So she started that blog to recap the top answers to questions in the Facebook group, to give local women with small business a business directory listing, and to show the world how amazing our little corner of the world is. TanglewoodMoms.com went live on June 25, 2015.
At first, Victoria was the writer, advertising coordinator, web designer and administrator, editor, graphic designer, and head bottlewasher of TanglewoodMoms.com, but as the site grew in popularity, she realized that she needed some help. So in November of 2015, she advertised for women interested in writing and sales (in the Tanglewood Moms group, naturally!), and a number of women met at Inzo one fall afternoon. From that initial group has grown the core of writers and salespeople and photographers who give so freely of their considerable talents to TanglewoodMoms.com.
The topics covered on TanglewoodMoms.com are as diverse as the authors. The top three most popular articles from the past year are “A Mother’s Worst Nightmare” (Sarah Angle’s heartbreaking interview with Keri Volmert on her daughter Sammie’s death from a malfunctioning heater), “Eating Disorders: What I Wish My Family Had Known” (Hillary Shepheard’s brave account of her sister’s eating disorder, helping to dispel the stigma of eating disorders), and “You Voted, We Listened: Fort Worth’s BEST Happy Hours” (Christy Ortiz’s wonderful polling and compiling of all your votes for the best places to enjoy an adult beverage after work). We are reaching people all over North Texas and beyond. We are a place where all local businesses can add in their business directory listings. And while women make up the majority of our readers, we do have a surprising number of male followers. Obviously, they are gentlemen of taste and discernment!
Here, in their own words, are some thoughts from the writers on why they enjoy writing for TanglewoodMoms.com:
“I love sharing ideas and experiences – hopefully helping other moms. I am always looking for new great restaurants in the area. I feel like my family gets in a rut, and we tend to eat at the same places over and over. This helps us to branch out and see what else is out there.
My favorite articles to write include some kind of deal or giveaway for our readers. It’s so fun, and I feel like the hard working moms of Fort Worth deserve it! I am always looking for a deal or prize for them.
The way these ladies help each other out is truly mindboggling, and I especially love that our articles are archived so that they can be referenced for years to come. I feel like Tanglewood Moms is the local newspaper of the future and I’m proud to be a part of that!” Tricia Schniederjan
“I became a writer for Tanglewood Moms purely by chance; I saw an advertisement and reluctantly answered. Writing for TWM has brought me a lot of joy, some experience, and many new friends. It’s also reinforced by the belief that woman have wisdom and strength way beyond our imaginations. I’m glad to find myself in a tribe of smart, kind, and supportive ladies such as yourselves, whose focus is to educate and unite our wonderful community. Thanks for reading!” Christy Ortiz
“Creating community makes my heart happy. And forming meaningful relationships with other amazing women across the city is what living a good (joyful) life is all about.” Sarah Angle
As for me, in writing for TanglewoodMoms.com, I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone. I’m certainly not what most people would consider a “Tanglewood Mom.” But I’ve learned that, like most stereotypes, the “Tanglewood Mom” is a myth; there is no such thing as a “Tanglewood Mom.” We are all women – strong, smart, silly, supportive, and infinitely human. TWM has given me the opportunity to write, which was always a secret dream of mine, but more importantly, it has given me the opportunity to enjoy the strength and kindness of this community.
So happy birthday, TanglewoodMoms.com! And thank you, Victoria, for creating a community of amazing women to support and inform and celebrate each other!
Lee DuBose is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. She has been a bank teller, a chef and caterer (both in restaurants and in private service), a bookkeeper, a trainer, a legal assistant, and a writer. She is a proud graduate of the University of the South with a degree in Early European History. She planned to be a professor but realized in the nick of time that professors have homework, which she never did when she was a student, so what made her think that she would do it as a professor? While she has not used her degree in her, er, varied employment history, she is FABulous at cocktail parties. Most importantly, Lee is the proud single mother of two absolutely amazing girls, to whom she refers in social media as the Girlchildren.