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Go Ask Mom

Made by Mom Gift Guide: 'Clueless Chick' series helps busy moms uncomplicate their lives

Posted November 17, 2013

Editor's Note: Jennifer Durbin is the first of our moms (and one dad) to be featured in the 2013 Go Ask Mom Gift Guide! Stay tuned for more!

Jennifer Durbin is the friend you need when one of life's milestones is headed your way.

Engaged? She's got a wedding planning spreadsheet. Pregnant? She can sort your baby name options down to what the monogram would look like. New mom? She knows exactly what you need in that diaper bag for your first trip with baby.

"It starts with the fact that I obsess about over-researching everything," said Durbin, a mom of two young boys in Raleigh and author of the Clueless Chick book series where she offers advice for woman who are pregnant, who are new moms and who want to plan a party.

It all started a few years ago when a newly pregnant friend sought her advice. Durbin emailed her back with, as you may guess, a well-researched response on everything from handling morning sickness to finding day care. That email was forwarded on to friends and friends of friends. Pretty soon, it went viral, Durbin said. Jennifer Durbin Made by Mom Gift Guide: 'Clueless Chick' helps busy moms uncomplicate their lives

That experience prompted a discussion with her husband one night in 2009 about how Durbin, then the mom of an infant, could best help women. Durbin came up with this idea: Creating a CliffNotes, of sorts, for busy, working women called Clueless Chick to help uncomplicate their lives. Not one to waste time, Durbin started laying the groundwork for the brand that very night, starting the process to register the name "Clueless Chick" online with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

She eventually wrote three books, which were published in August 2012. There's "Pregnancy Tips for the Clueless Chicks," "Baby Traveling Tips for the Clueless Chick," and "Party Planning Tips for the Clueless Chick." The slim books, each under 100 pages, are quick reads for busy moms, offering the highlights on the big decisions moms need to make on each of the topics.

"Pregnancy Tips," an expanded version of that original email, tackles questions for the pediatrician and what to pack for the hospital, among other topics. "Traveling Tips" prepares readers for what should be in the diaper bag for the first trip to the grocery store with your newborn to what you need to know if you're planning a trip overseas.

And "Party Planning," a long-time love of Durbin, covers topics such as choosing a party style to working with co-hostesses to how to plan a green party. In addition to the books, Durbin also offers custom party plans. 

The series has taken Durbin on some unexpected paths, including opportunities to appear on local TV here in the Triangle and Charlotte and on more than 40 YouTube videos produced through HowCast on traveling with baby. She has developed relationships with brands that she loves. And she's also started working on her next two books.

Let me take a break here for a second to mention that she does all of this while holding down a full-time job as a director of IT security and compliance at RTI International. (No, she doesn't sleep. Yes, she has an awesome, supportive husband).

"I'm up all night working on things," Durbin said. "But it's so much fun." 

Durbin's hope is that the brand continues to grow as she adds books and, eventually, products such as apps to help busy moms slow down and enjoy life. Her dream is that, one day, the girlfriend of one of her sons learns who Durbin is and gets excited because her mom read all of the books.

Despite the busy schedule, Durbin said it all comes back to her boys. She hopes the series builds a legacy for them. Through all of this, one of her proudest moments came during a trip to Barnes & Noble to see her books. She and her husband took their boys, who didn't know the books were on display. Then, her two-year-old saw them.

"He said, 'Mama, that's your book!'" Durbin remembers. "That makes all of those sleepless nights worth it." 

For more about Durbin, watch my video interview with her and check out her website. Her books make a perfect gift for new and expecting moms!

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.


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