Written by Robert Leitch.
Brooke Griffin developed the idea for her company after the birth of her first child in 2012. She quickly faced the balancing act of taking care of her child and keeping herself healthy and fit. Realizing this was a problem all moms face, Griffin created Skinny Mom, an online media destination that offers workouts, healthy recipes and discussion forums specifically geared towards mothers. Moms can access the site via mobile or desktop, and can also sign up for an email newsletter or download the Skinny Mom app on their phones.
“I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness, and wanted to create a space online where moms could connect,” said Griffin. “Skinny Mom is a support group of women who are helping each other live healthy as they go through the journey of motherhood.”
What started as a one-woman blog has turned into a full-service content-creation team. Griffin’s 15-person staff creates every workout, cooks every recipe and writes every article featured on the site. In January 2015, the company hit a huge milestone with 5 million people visiting Skinny Mom for healthy living tips.
“I think it’s so important for moms to encourage each other,” said Griffin. “We need to live healthy and eat well, not only for ourselves but also for our families.”
When Griffin first decided to transition Skinny Mom from a personal blog to a media company, she used her savings to hire her first employee. As the site began to gain popularity, she entered Cincinnati Innovates, an entrepreneurial competition sponsored in part by CincyTech, a southwest Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier. Griffin took first place, winning a $25,000 grant, and continued working with CincyTech to raise a seed round of funding in 2013.
“CincyTech was the first organization that helped me figure out the groundwork you need to have in place to create a successful business,” said Griffin. “I was able to surround myself with highly educated and talented advisors who laid the accounting, legal and human resources groundwork for my company.”
In the future, Griffin hopes to introduce a commerce component to Skinny Mom and continue to grow the number of unique viewers who visit the site each month. Griffin says Cincinnati was the ideal place to start her business because the city perfectly represents her demographic.
“When people ask me why I chose Cincinnati, I always ask them why I wouldn’t have chosen Cincinnati,” said Griffin. “Our content is focused on the everyday suburban mom. It makes the most sense to have our company located near that audience.”
“The startup scene in Cincinnati has done tremendous things as far as bringing opportunities to entrepreneurs. The network of available mentors is willing to help direct you to the potential capital that will be most beneficial for your company,” said Griffin. “It’s a great place for my employees to live and is very family-friendly, making it easy to attract talent.”