When searching for a Brooklyn blogger to follow along on a typical day on the go with her babe, we couldn’t think of a better person than Hailey Andresen of the blog, Household Mag. Hailey – writer, podcaster, and stylist – chronicles her life with her family of three in a refreshingly honest and genuine way that has earned her a loyal, and passionate following. After leaving their Brooklyn nest, and traveling around the world with their toddler son, Owen; Hailey and her husband decided Brooklyn still had their hearts. Now, they’re settling into their new neighborhood, and making daily discoveries during long walks, with Owen in tow. As a big believer in bringing Owen with her on adventures big and small, Hailey has learned some tricks along the way to make navigating urban settings seamless. One of her secret weapons? The Joolz Hub Stroller – the ultimate compact, go-anywhere stroller that’s designed for city life.
We followed Hailey and Owen around their Brooklyn neighborhood to talk about why she relies on her Joolz Hub stroller to take them from the playground, to the local flower nursery — and anywhere in-between — without sacrificing comfort or premium features. Follow along to see how this blogger mama rolls when she’s out and about, and getting to know her still newish ‘hood.
Thanks so much for taking the time to hang with us, Hailey. Between your insanely popular blog, keeping up with your toddler, and your podcasts, we know life can get pretty busy. Is there a particular area of your business right now that’s keeping you the most on your toes or that you’re looking to expand?
Thank you so much for having me, happy to be here! As we’re coming up on 3 years of Household Mag, I’m really working hard at creating a consistent flow of content between blog posts, podcast episodes and brainstorming about my next steps as a business owner. As much as I love the digital space, I’m really hoping to find a way to expand into events and find ways to have more of an in-person connection with my audience!
You started your blog, Household Mag while you were pregnant. Did becoming a mother influence your brand, or change the direction of your business, in ways that you hadn’t anticipated?
When I started Household Mag I knew very little about blogging and social media and had no clue you could actually turn something like this into a business. To be completely honest, in the early days, it was all just a pure creative outlet for me to share my recipes, home, pregnancy and journey in NYC. Naturally, more motherhood content crept its way into the blog as my pregnancy progressed and as my son, Owen, was born. I quickly found that the personal storyline was what resonated the most with my readers and followers and it has absolutely shaped Household into what it is today.
What was the turning point for Household Mag, from being a fun family journal to becoming an actual business? Would you say that it happened organically, or that you actively set goals to make it something that would result in financial success?
It truly happened organically. It wasn’t until I had 10,000 followers that a good friend was like, “You know you can charge people for this right?,” that I even knew it was a possibility. I had a part-time job for the first year and a half and I would say once I took Household Mag full time I became more strategic about setting goals and achieving financial success (AKA paying our bills!).
Were there other women or mamas that were pivotal in the making or success of Household Mag?
I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot on the women in my life.
I would not be where I am without my good friend and amazing photographer, Amy Hanen. She has been my sounding board and creative partner through it all. She helped me come up with the name for the blog, photographed as many projects as she could, lent me a camera when we traveled the world, and even started a podcast with me when we came back so we could share more about our working relationship and individual businesses. She’s someone I admire thoroughly who strongly supports me.
Aside from Amy, I have been super fortunate to cultivate a close relationship with my audience that has shaped my experience as a mother in ways I can’t even put into words. As the first of my close friends to have a baby, it has been so wonderful to have other mamas to chat with about the joys and challenges of motherhood. That being said, I am incredibly fortunate that my friends and family without young kids have been right by my side through it all as well. Very lucky.
As a blogger who turned her site into a business, we know that collaborating with brands is part of the game. What do you look for in the brands that you bring onto the site, and how do they tend to align with brands that you use in your real life?
We’ve all spotted a sponsored post that doesn’t feel authentic to a particular influencer or blogger and it can honestly push your audience away and cause more long term damage than benefits. I think it’s really important to take on projects that make sense for our family that we would already write about organically. It can be tempting when a brand is offering you money, but when you take a look at the bigger picture you will thank yourself. Luckily Household Mag covers a variety of topics that allow us to take on projects in the food, home, travel, motherhood and family — and even sometimes fashion spaces.
What were some of the reasons you chose Joolz as your go-to stroller brand?
Since we landed back in Brooklyn in January, we’ve been looking for the perfect neighborhood stroller – one that’s ideal for grocery shopping, long walks, errands, park trips, and the occasional nap for Owen. On top of meeting all of those checklist items, I love that Joolz has designed their strollers without harmful chemicals in either the fabrics or the frame, and that they operate on the Birth Forest concept (i.e. for every stroller sold, Joolz plants trees in an endangered rainforest).
Because it’s so compact (yet still full-size!), the Joolz Hub stroller is the ultimate stroller for a city mama. Any hairy moments in your city adventures with Owen, where the Joolz Hub came to your rescue?
We’re always trying to navigate through tiny Brooklyn cafes, nurseries, and funky streets and despite this stroller having all the space we need, it always comes to the rescue in small spaces. I wish we had had something like this when Owen was a baby so he could use the cocoon seat, but we are loving the normal seat and he seems to be loving it too!
In our opinion, one of the best features of the Joolz Hub for city mamas is the fact that it’s practically a Sherpa for all your stuff (it’s got built-in diaper bag hooks on the handlebar!). Are you a stay-out-all-day and return home at the end of it with a million things kinda gal, or do you do lots of mini trips back to the apartment?
Gosh, we do a little of both. I love taking Owen on all day adventures into Manhattan, but most days we are in and out of the apartment all day and roaming around Brooklyn. We’re always running errands, making trips to grab coffee and play at the park. I love that I can just throw everything into the bottom basket or onto the diaper bag hooks!
As a foodie and former restaurateur, what are some of your favorite Brooklyn restaurants to take Owen and your husband? Do you look for stroller-friendly places, or does the food trump all else?
While it’s gotten a little trickier to keep Owen happy at restaurants, we still haven’t given up on the pursuit of dining out as a family. We always check to see if restaurants are able to accommodate kiddos (highchairs or space to bring our stroller in instead) and bring Owen along. Some of our local favorites are Frankies 457 Spuntino, Der Pioneer, Wheated and Emily.
You traveled the world with your family for a year. That must have been amazing and intense! Did you bring a stroller? Would you have brought one if it had been easier to carry? If you’d had your Joolz Hub for that trip, is there one city in particular where you think it would have been the most helpful in getting around?
We did bring a very compact travel stroller with us, which was super handy when moving through the airport and making connecting flights, but I wish we had had our Joolz Hub in Paris. The streets are very narrow and filled with cobblestones, which can be tough on lighter weight travel strollers. The Joolz Hub would have been a much smoother ride for Owen, plus the storage with this one would have freed up our backs and shoulders making days out and about that much more enjoyable!
Your Joolz Hub can be pushed along and steered with just one hand. How do you roll: Coffee or iPhone in your free hand?
Haha! I keep my iPhone in my pocket and my coffee in my hand. 😉
On a typical morning, where would we find you and your Joolz Hub parked?
With this amazing summer we’ve had here in NYC so far, I’ve been loving picking up coffee and pastries at one of our favorite cafes and parking the stroller out front. I love that I can pull the canopy down (which has built-in SPF 50+) so that we can still enjoy the warm weather without getting sunburned!
Is Owen the kind of kid who chills out in his stroller and relaxes, or does he need to be held back with a good stroller strap or safety bar (luckily, the Joolz Hub has both).
Owen LOVES his stroller. After he’s had breakfast each morning the first thing he typically asks is to go on a walk. He loves to explore and be outside while staying comfy in the stroller. That being said, I love that there’s the additional safety bar to keep him safe and the foot rest so that he’s not encouraged to hang his arms and legs outside the stroller.
What are some of your go-to hangouts in your area on an average day out with Owen? (Is there a coffee shop or cafe where everyone knows Owen’s name? A particular playground where you like to meet up with pals?)
Since we’re still getting to know our new neighborhood we haven’t met a ton of other kiddos, but I’ve been obsessed with picking up plants for our new space at the local nursery, we’ve got a perfect little playground right around the corner from our apartment, and we love stopping by Cafe Madeline for a quick coffee and pastry.
You started a podcast with your husband, called “Mom and Dad Made a Podcast.” That’s amazing that you find ways to work with your partner and build your business together. Do you have a few key pieces of advice for anyone thinking of going into business with their spouse?
It has been so amazing! I’ve found that the businesses I enjoy the most both with and without my husband, Zack, have been successful because they have started out as purely a fun, creative project with very little pressure. The podcast definitely isn’t our biggest money maker (yet), but it’s such a treat for us to sit down for an hour each week, make something, and talk about parenthood together. I think if you’re considering creating with your spouse that it’s important that you are both equally excited about it, that you communicate through the process, and that you each know your place within the project so that no one is stepping on anyone else’s toes.