Nicole Feliciano, BA’92, Putting Moms First

Nicole Feliciano, wearing orange blouse and white pants on a colorful street
Nicole Feliciano’s Momtrends blog helps “busy, style-starved women keep in touch with what’s hip and cool.” The website attracts almost 100,000 unique visitors each month.

As a working mother of two daughters, Nicole Feliciano, like countless other moms, would love to have an extra hour in the day.

“You become more purposeful about how you spend your day after kids come along because you have less time, energy and money,” she says. “You need to be intentional about the things that you say yes to and how you spend that time.”

These challenges spurred a solution. Feliciano is the founder of Momtrends, a blog “packed with fashion tips and trend reports aimed to help busy, style-starved women keep in touch with what’s hip and cool,” as described on the website. Launched in 2007, when the term “blog” was little known in online parlance, the Brooklyn, New York-based Momtrends website has grown to 100,000 unique visitors every month.

When she started the blog, Feliciano was the lone employee: “It was just me writing, and pretty much my mom and sister-in-law reading it.” It’s since grown to six employees, with duties split between editorial and marketing teams.

The site’s popularity can be explained in part by the increase in single mothers in the populace. A quarter of all families are now headed by single moms, according to National Vital Statistics Reports.

“I hope they take away a little tidbit of information to make them feel or look good or enjoy their life more,” says Feliciano, who quit her corporate fashion job in 2009 to devote herself full time to the effort. She likens the blog to a digital magazine. Articles—80 percent of which are staff-generated, with the balance made up of promotional content—include travel advice (“Five Vermont Inns for Leaf Peeping Season”) and first-person cosmetic reviews (“Not Your Grandmother’s Night Cream”). Feliciano herself has done a series of “Mom Road Tests” on cars with three rows of seats.

“I try to think like a consumer, because I am one,” Feliciano says.

An English major at Vanderbilt, Feliciano credits the university with fostering curiosity, which has been essential for developing compelling editorial fare for the blog.

“Vanderbilt is one of those environments where there is music and lectures, sports and arts,” Feliciano says. “Being a liberal arts student—knowing how to write something and how to critically analyze the pros and cons of the things I interact with—that certainly goes back to my Vanderbilt days.”

As Feliciano’s own two daughters, ages 10 and 13, have grown, Momtrends has evolved.

“We’ve been able to cover topics that concern everyone from expecting moms to moms of teens,” she says. “I hope we’ll continue growing, up until my kids are in college and beyond, so we’ll remain a terrific resource for moms of all ages.

“Our guiding principles are to be positive, pretty, social and inspiring,” Feliciano says. “And to let a mom know that we’re not there to judge; we’re there to help her.”

—Andrew Faught