I once visited my sister, a mother of three sons under the age of ten, and found her with Ozzy Osborne-like orbs around her eyes and zigzagged streaks of mascara across her cheeks.

She welcomed me into her home cheerily, smiling widely. When I pointed out the tribal-like markings on her face, she laughed, said she knew her makeup would eventually smudge, then admitted that for a short period of time she felt she had triumphed: she had just wanted to feel “hip.”

That’s the word she likes to use to describe a mother’s effort to hang on to a piece of herself that once felt pretty, polished, powerful. Before poopy diapers, pinching sons, and parenting took over her life.

My sister had taken a moment for herself, applying lipgloss, dabbing her lashes with mascara that morning – digressing from a life of nonstop mothering for a brief juncture – and she found it quite rewarding.  

Recently I sat down with Julie McBroom of River Forest to discuss an ambitious endeavor: HipMum.com, a website designed to nurture the spirit of the woman behind the mother, pepper their lives with laughter and put a little shine on their souls. This site intends to help mothers “hang on to their hip.”

Ladies, if this sounds like just the site you’ve been waiting for, trust me, it is.

Shine On

Julie McBroom is the blithe luminary who felt compelled to create a hub for mothers to share their experiences, contribute to worthy causes, and shop for smart and stylish goods without ever leaving their homes (no bundling the kids or strapping them into their car seats – just to find out they have to use the potty!).

The Australian born entrepreneur exudes a breezy air and magnanimous mien; an engaging conversationalist, she laughs easily and is just as interested in you, your children, and your day as she is in sharing the mission of HipMum.com

Julie shares, “As a mother of 4 young children, I understand how easy it is to lose yourself as a woman when you are giving so much to others.”

With a smile she expounds, “I was passionate about creating a place where a mother can think about what makes her shine from within and perhaps urge her to shuffle the needs of her spirit to the top of her list of priorities.”

Something Told, Something New

While there are many websites that target the ‘mom’ demographic, most focus on pregnancy, raising kids, kids’ activities, kids behavior, teething, and potty training. This site is different.

HipMum.com is a website where mothers share their own personal journeys and tell their tales of joy, woe, laughter, and everything in between. Contributors from around the world offer humorous and touching accounts of motherhood and tips on tapping into your hip.

The site acknowledges the trials and triumphs of women as mothers but focuses on and celebrates each woman for the amazing, independent entity she is.

The Power of Giving

Julie has incorporated a distinctive piece in which visitors to the site can donate to a remarkable grassroots organization (founded by philanthropist Marc Gold) and see exactly whom their dollars are helping and how, via photos and video footage.

Julie explains, “There are so many great websites that give back and support different charities. I wanted a platform that gives us an opportunity as a group to directly impact individual women and children in need around the world in a way that feels achievable.”

HipMum.com provides an opportunity to effect positive change in the lives of others through the unique ‘giving back’ component. Julie states, “My favorite quote from Marc Gold is ‘Maybe we can’t change the whole world, but there isn’t one of us who can’t help change one person’s whole world.’”

The Good Stuff

There are many capable women who multitask impeccably, but who just can’t find the time to set foot in a store.

The HipMum Store will give busy women access to amazing products for themselves, their kids and their homes. Julie relates, “We acknowledge how busy mothers are so we will do the running around and we will do the shopping for them so they can spend their valuable time in other ways.”

HipMum will bring beautiful apparel, accessories and home ware to a mother’s fingertips so they can spend their precious time in meaningful ways.

Julie wants women to know: “The HipMum store will be less about the latest fashions and trends and more about presenting active women with a collection of unique products from around the world. Most mothers don’t have time to shop but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to feel hip!”

The Art of Living

Launching a website can be both exciting and daunting, but Julie looks past the formidable challenges straight to the exhilarating aspects of building this brand and her own business.

“HipMum gives me a creative outlet, connects me to inspirational people and makes me feel alive. The brand is simply an extension of who I am which makes it feel like my business is an extension of my life.

From my own experience, I discovered how important it was for me to remember what made my spirit shine, what made me feel creative and bring that back into my life.

I quickly identified that when I am being true to myself and my own needs, my energy rubs off on the people around me making me a better mother and a much happier person.

This is a platform for women to connect, feel inspired and remember the importance of being true to their own needs. I hope to build a global community of women who understand the importance of nurturing their own spirit. My wish is for all Mums to feel hip from the inside out.”

 Visit www.hipmum.com to learn more and laugh more with other inspiring women like you! Join HipMum on facebook and find details on the launch party to be held May 20th at Sugarcup Trading in Oak Park, 110 N. Marion St.

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