Christine Park

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baby Bumps are Big Business

 When you have a mommy in Hollywood... you get "Mommywood."

Good Morning America's JuJu Chang did this story on celebrity moms cashing in on their pregnancies and product lines. One of her opening lines is: "It's not just their bellies that balloon, but so does their popularity and profitability."

She points out Jessica Simpson hasn't had a successful album in years... but every time she tweets about a specific baby product for her newborn, she makes a couple thousand dollars. I can see her popular clothing and shoe lines, which includes a girls collection, expanding as well, to include infant wear. Say what you will about her intelligence, but she's one savvy businesswoman.

Obviously, she's not the first and only celebrity mom to turn her baby bump into a business.


One of the first to do so--Tori Spelling. After 90210, she could have faded into obscurity (what ever happened to Shannon Doherty?), but thanks to her own reality TV series... she's making money off books, her blog, "Little Maven" clothing line, production studio, to name a few. I mean, even Forbes takes her seriously, with this feature on her being a serious businesswoman and entrepeneur.

Gotta give the girl credit... she's one hardworking "stay at home mom." I say that in quotes b/c she obviously can afford help and isn't tied down by the typical SAHM's concerns over what to make for dinner every night.

Jessica Alba launched The Honest Company, named after her daughter Honor, which features diapers made of "100% non-toxic, chlorine-free, sustainable, and plant-based materials"... She's on to something. The diaper industry alone is worth $75 million.

Which got me thinking... how can I get a piece of Mommywood? After all, as a news anchor, I'm told I'm a "celebrity" too in my small corner of the world called Fresno, CA. I'm a mommy of two munchkins under the age of 5.

Obviously I have this blog. But with all of two dozen readers, I'm not going to be monetizing anytime soon. Unless they make a "Real Housewives of Fresno County," I think reality TV is out. And I doubt Elle will pay me to pose nude pregnant (not that THAT will be happening again EVER.) And as for business savvy, I think a 12-year-old with a lemonade stand probably has more than me.

So here's what I came up with. A children's book. It sounds cliche, but hear me out. As a working mom, bedtime stories are the only quiet one-on-one time I have with my kids during the weekdays. So no matter how tired I am, I try my best to never miss one of these cuddle and read sessions.

There are a few favorite books that are sacred in our house. But the other day, my 5-year-old daughter surprised me with a "book" she made, out of cupcake-shaped paper stapled together, filled with carefully printed prose about a princess named Sophia and her prince. Because she wrote it, she took so much pride and pleasure in reading it to me at bedtime. And honestly, that inspired me.  

So I dug out some old notes on possible book ideas and felt a renewed sense of purpose. I can't wait to embark on this new project... even if I don't get rich off it, and the only readers end up being my own children. : )

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