GJ mom reaches the masses with Brave Ski Mom blog
Want to take your up-and-comers skiing but not sure which resorts are kid-friendly?
Ask the Brave Ski Mom.
How about finding some of the better ski schools for youngsters or getting them into the right classes?
Ask the Brave Ski Mom.
And there’s the not-so-small matters of eating at ski resorts, or figuring out how to carry all that gear, or simply finding some insights in being a mom (or dad) for a year-round active family?
That’s right. Ask the Brave Ski Mom.
Whew. It’s enough to keep a woman busy eight days a week.
I’m not sure even Kristen Lummis of Grand Junction can squeeze eight days out of a week, but she has managed to make it seem possible as, you guessed it, the Brave Ski Mom.
As in braveskimom.com, the name of her popular blog whose audience is growing faster than a teenager during growth spurts.
Kristen’s blog offers a friendly, authentic voice cutting through the avalanche of press releases, voice-overs and eye-stabbing billboards cascading from ski resorts everywhere.
Her frequent posts have become familiar go-tos for her readers judging by the emails coming from across the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Austria.
While her main focus is on family style adventures, “I try to make it as broadly appealing as possible,” said Kristen during a recent conversation.
But she confessed the blog, which is expected soon to reach more than 9,000 unique views a month, almost didn’t happen.
“In the spring of 2009 we were skiing with the kids at Snowbird when Ian, who was then 10 or 11, said, ‘This is such a great place for kids,’ ” recalled Lummis. “And then he started talking about all the great things for kids and I sort of blurted out, ‘I should start a blog.’
“He looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘No way.’ “
After writing 30 test posts, Kristen hit a roadblock: trying to select a blog platform (websites that host and publish blogs) proved overwhelming and her nascent blog withered.
Fast forward to June of 2010, when Ian, then 13, reminded his mom about her short-lived blog.
“He said, ‘I knew you’d never do it,’ ” said Kristen, “and my first reaction was, “Gosh, he was right.’ “
But she enjoyed the writing and soon she was back at the computer. It’s been all positive since.
“I felt I could write about a wide variety of topics sharing my opinions and experiences,” Kristen said. “I just decided to put it out there and not care if anyone read it or not.”
After initially writing for an audience that she suspected consisted mostly of friends and family, a post she did on her family’s experience at Snowbird went up on the resort website.
That post led to working with other resorts and soon Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade association for 24 Colorado ski resorts, started carrying her posts.
“We love working with Kristen,” said Jen Rudolph, communications manager for Colorado Ski Country. “She works hard at her blog and we’re really thankful to be working with her.”
The exposure increased her audience to where “this fall it’s gone wild,” said Lummis, who now is self-posted.
Best of all, the family — including husband, Jamie, a partner in the Moody Insurance Agency Inc., and sons Ian, 15, and Asher, 13 — think it’s OK, too.
“At first, they were like, ‘Really? Why are you doing this?’ ” Kristsen said with a laugh. “But now that we’ve been to some great places and done some neat stuff, they are sort of tolerant.”
They also appreciate her keeping the “this is my family going skiing” aspect to a minimum, something that broadens the appeal of her posts.
Kristen, a 1984 graduate of Grand Junction High School and of Colorado College in 1988, says the bug to write was ingrained much earlier.
“I had a great writing teacher during grade school in Fruita named Sheila Zipse,” Kristen said. “She was a fabulous teacher and she really taught me how to write.”
Her writing experience includes some magazine and grant writing and a couple of years writing policy papers for the Western Governors’ Association.
All that means she can write, a talent not all blog authors (sadly) can boast.
Plus, she’s found a pretty good niche reaching out to families searching for a trustworthy voice offering advice, answers and sometimes consolation.
And that’s something PR departments are attracted to like moths to a flame.
Columbia Sportswear Co., Winterwomen.com and Eucerin are among the companies eager to have Kristen test and write about their products.
“And if the New York Times wanted me to do a story about Powderhorn, I wouldn’t say, ‘No,’ ” she said with a laugh.
She works to make her blog even-handed, which to her means not “snarky.”
“I keep my reviews positive and upbeat, or I don’t write about it,” Kristen said. “My rule of thumb is treating people the way I want to be treated.”
And for that, she has the thanks and blessings of ski families everywhere.