25 Years of MetroFamily: President & Publisher Sarah Taylor shares lessons learned - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

25 Years of MetroFamily: President & Publisher Sarah Taylor shares lessons learned

by Sarah Taylor

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

In honor of MetroFamily’s 25th birthday this year, I’ve been invited to share some memories and thoughts about what it’s been like as the leader of this organization for almost its entire history. Owning MetroFamily and now serving as the president/publisher has been and continues to be one of the tremendous honors of my life. I feel like I’ve grown as a person right along with the growth of the business.

Here are my top 5 memorable moments:

  1. The feelings of excitement – and trepidation! – when I first bought MetroFamily in 2000. 

    Although I’d been involved with MetroFamily from its beginnings in 1998 as a writer of the “Exploring Oklahoma” travel column and a consultant to the new owners, it wasn’t until my youngest child was in full-time school that I felt I could take on a big project like the magazine. I literally had wanted to own my own business since I was in second grade and was already an entrepreneur but I knew owning MetroFamily would be a full-time, all hands on deck kind of change for me.Could I handle the various aspects of the publishing business (ad sales, distribution, editorial, etc.) with a skeleton crew and very little capital? How could I positively impact family life in the area? What big decisions would need to be made to make sure moms got their information “where they were” in terms of the relatively-new digital space?

    There were lots of big questions and obviously some apprehension. The saving grace is that I felt confident in knowing we could launch a vision for what the magazine could grow to be and in my support system at home. My husband, my three children, my parents and in-laws, friends, neighbors and others had my back and that was reassuring. (And a big “thank you” to all of you who helped me through the years!)

  2. The constant struggle to balance my home life (which was my first priority for sure!) and the new, fledgling business. 

    I’ll never forget the never-ending-battle in the early years of trying to balance work and family. Luckily, I had some flexibility which helped. One example of this was finding time to edit the final articles for the next issue while in the car at soccer practice. My laptop came in very handy! And I fit in work around my kids’ schedules as much as possible.

  3. Taking the plunge and finally making the first big hire! 

    Fortunately, when I bought MetroFamily, I was able to keep on the excellent ad salesperson on our team (thank you, Anna Amis!), but the first big hire I made as the owner was our first editor, Denise Hanlin Shaw. What a blessing Denise was to work with! She brought wonderful talent, vision and friendship to our small but mighty team.All business owners can relate to the idea that hiring the right people for the right spots on the team is critical to success and I’ve been blessed through the last two decades to have worked alongside some amazing people. (Thank you, all!)

  4. Our first Kids Fest. 

    We’d dipped our toe in to the event space fairly early on in the history of our company. But in 2012, we re-branded our signature event to be called Kids Fest and held the event at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the second Saturday of Spring Break. We expected around 2,000 people but were overwhelmed and thrilled to welcome over 4,500 to our family expo. It was amazing to see how the families were engaged with each and every vendor! Since then, we’ve taken the opportunity to refine, improve and continue the tradition of providing a fun connection point between local families and the businesses who serve them, as witnessed this past June 3 at our Kids Fest 2023, held at Rose State College.

  5. The feeling that we’ve matured and “grown up” as a business and team. 

    As mentioned above, getting the right people in the right positions on your team is critical and I’m so grateful for the team we have at MetroFamily. Each person brings their considerable talent and passion for local families and businesses to their position. It’s a joy to serve our readers with such a dedicated, amazing group of people.Although we always strive to do better each day, it’s satisfying to know that we’re doing our best and that the people around us have our backs. Thank you to each of you! You are the best!

more stories

Verified by MonsterInsights