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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Smarty Mom: Robin Bralley

By Katie M, with excerpts from Forsyth Family magazine's "It's A Family Affair" article (Nov/Dec 2007 issue)

Smarties, I am honored to introduce you to today’s Smarty Mom: Robin Bralley. Robin is publisher of Forsyth Family magazine – a publication I’m sure many of you are familiar with – and one that we’ve shared a special partnership with for several months. I first met Robin when I was working as a freelance writer, and I’m so grateful for the support and coverage she and her magazine has given Triad Smarty Pants since day one (including the time she took from her crazy, busy life to do this interview with us!)

Robin has lived in the Triad her entire life. She and her husband Tim have two beautiful daughters, Briana (18) and Morgan (17). For over 23 years, Robin climbed the corporate ladder at Sara Lee along with her long-time friend Keela Johnson, founder and publisher of Forsyth Woman magazine. With husbands and two children each, their positions were challenging and time-consuming, to say the least. When the company downsized, Robin and Keela decided to pursue a new career in a field that was completely new to them. The result of their publishing venture has resulted in the combined passion, creativity, hard work and courage of two women who wanted to make a difference for women and families in Forsyth County.

Let’s get to know this trailblazing smarty a little better…

For Robin, the finality of her days at Hanes hit right before a family vacation to Florida. “Keela had mentioned that she was thinking about starting a parenting magazine and that she felt I’d be a good addition to the team,” she recalled. Meanwhile, Hanes had another position on the table for Robin, and was waiting to hear back from her. Her head telling her to go for the “safe thing,” but her heart was steering her toward a new path. She eventually gave the decision over to prayer. The answer she received while on vacation was crystal clear, and when she told her family out on the beach that she had decided to publish Forsyth Family magazine, they all cheered at her announcement, giving hugs all around.

Tell us more about the Forsyth Family (FF) team.
FF shares a sales team and a pool of amazing writers with Forsyth Woman Magazine. A retired WFU professor edits for me and I have a wonderfully talented and creative graphic designer that makes everything look awesome each month. We all work closely and efficiently together to bring the best magazine to the community as possible each month.

What are some of your greatest challenges in your position, and what are some of your greatest rewards?
The greatest challenge has been the large amount of time it consumes to make the magazine a reality each month. Originally thought I would spend less time working for myself than in the corporate world but that was far from reality. I guess it comes with the territory any time you are starting a new business.

How do you balance your job with FF with your jobs as mom and wife?
Have to be honest...some days not very well, some days not at all and then occasionally...things just click and it’s all great! My girls are both older now, one is off to college in the fall and the other will be a senior this year. They are at a great age to help me out whether around the house or with the magazine. I couldn’t balance it at all if it weren’t for the love, support, patience and understanding of my family

Has working on FF changed the way you view motherhood and/or parenting?
It’s definitely heightened my awareness and appreciation of just how quickly the time passes and that you need to make time right now for whatever is going on because in the blink of an eye...they are all grown up. Starting the magazine has been great to share with my two daughters. They’ve been able to see what it takes to pursue a dream and they’ve loved having input into some of the day to day activities. Overall, I think it has been a great life lesson for them to see the whole thing blossom and grow from the start.

Ok, now on to some lighter questions…

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
This question brings back fond memories when I had full reign on my children’s wardrobes. Having two girls fifteen months apart always made this task fun! Dressing them alike or in coordinating outfits was the best! Consignment sales, The Children’s Place and Target were a staple back then. Then we moved into the middle school years where brands were king. We stalked Abercrombie and Hollister for clearance items. How else can you afford those clothes for two tweens? Now, we have moved beyond having to have that certain popular brand. Suddenly mom isn’t so crazy after all for shopping at TJ Maxx!

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
Currently TJ Maxx

What is your favorite family activity?
Going to the movies! This was true for my family even at an early age. We couldn’t wait for the next Disney movie to arrive in theaters. Family vacation is another of my all time favorites. We have taken many trips to big cities over the years and they create such wonderful memories for us.

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
Dinner with a friend

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
Chick-fil-A has remained a constant favorite lunch for us from the younger years till now. Kanpai and having them cook dinner at your table was always another favorite and even held their attention when they were younger!

Favorite date place?
Pretty boring but a steak dinner and a movie rank up at the tops for me

Favorite park in the Triad?
Tanglewood Park

Mini-van or SUV?

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
The people!

Best kept secret in the Triad?
WBFJ radio station 89.3fm and all the wonderful parks...did you know there are like 40 something?

Best mom secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
A little dirt never hurt anyone

Best birthday party you have attended?
YMCA swim party with an Ariel theme

Best book you’ve ever read?

Smartiest way you stay organized?
Outlook calendar!

Who is your hero?
My husband!

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
The ladies who run it and all the great information they share with the community! (Aw, thanks Robin!)

I could not live without my... Cellphone and laptop

So, the next time you pick up a copy of a Forsyth Family (or Forsyth Woman) magazine, you’ll know that there are real people and real families behind every issue. Robin’s family is an integral part of the magazine’s success (from brainstorming story ideas to delivering publications), and she is a strong believer that family support is a necessary ingredient for success, no matter what the endeavor – business or personal.

The August issue of Forsyth Family magazine hits the stands soon, and when it does, we’ll be sure to alert you to it.

Thanks, Robin for this fantastic interview! The work you and your team do is appreciated by moms (and families) more than you know! You truly are a smarty mom!


Rachel H said...

Robin, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and am so impressed with all you do! Had fun reading your answers today and I will be thinking of you when your oldest heads off to college next month!

Catherine said...

I pick up Forsyth Family every month at Chick-fil-A. Fun to get to know one of the ladies behind it! You do a fabulous job!!!!!!!!

Lindsay said...

You have a beautiful family, Robin!

Keela said...

What an AWESOME interview, I may be a tad partial, but know better than anyone (well, besides her family) what an amazing women Robin really is! She makes all the hard work we do day and day out fun.. She is the GREATEST mom ever! She is creative, organized, a great role model, supporter, friend, aunt, sister, daughter, a strong christian, creative & organized (did I say that already!) and I think a fantastic choice for a "Smarty Mom" She loves Triad Smarty Pants and everything they stand for! Here's to the BEST Smarty Mom in Forsyth County! Love ya girl!

stephanie m said...

fun to know the lady behind the magazine! great interview!

Amy said...

Robin, we love your magazine! It was one of the first things I found when we moved here 3 1/2 years ago. Thanks for doing what you do! It rocks!

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