Exclusive: Samantha Moeller on Closing Missbehave, Launching The Hipster Mom


Sadly, as with many of our favorite media properties, 2009 will be the last year for she-hipster style and humor rag Missbehave and it’s corresponding blog. Not completely shocking since the economy is a great big clusterfuck right now and despite nonsense propaganda about an up-turn any minute, we’re not holding our breath. (Two letters: G & M).

Samantha Moeller, Publisher/Editrix of Missbehave closed the book because ad sales were down and operation costs were going up. That wasn’t the surprising part; instead, it was the geyser of venom that erupted in the blogosphere regarding one of her reasons to shutter — the impending arrival of her second baby. Moeller was accused of everything from selling out to being anti-feminist due to her decision. In fact one particularly toxic little flame war ended up with a quasi-famous (and most definitely restraining order-worthy) artist’s husband threatening physical violence on Moeller AND her unborn child.

Moeller, never one to sit idle, has been hard at work on her other project, her hysterical, informative, and refreshingly frank parenting blog, The Hipster Mom. She was kind enough to give Flavorpill her insights on parenthood, media, and life in general.

Flavorpill: What is the point behind The Hipster Mom?

Samantha Moeller: Well, The Hipster Mom was created because at the time, nearly a year ago, I felt like there was no outlet for me to talk about my other life — the life where I am a parent, not a party girl. Talking about kids at work and in my social life was, honestly, not the place. When your out at an event no one wants to hear about how your kid is totally into Dora now or “did the cutest thing last night.”

FP: How did you juggle running a pop culture magazine and being the mother to a toddler?

SM: These things just work themselves out. You hire a nanny and get back to work. With one kid it was easy. When the actuality of having the second came into play, that’s when I started to re-think things. But there were a lot of other factors that played into my decision to take some time off from publishing and running my own business.

FP: How do you feel about blog comments suggesting you sold out by folding Missbehave to focus on motherhood?

SM: I was pretty shocked. I didn’t think anyone would care. But I can understand that most of them don’t get it. Listen, when you have one kid with another on the way and you feel like your business isn’t what it was before the economy took a shit, you start to reassess things. All of a sudden It occurred to me that I could take a step back, be with my 2-year-old for a little while, have this baby, and do something different with my life in a year from now. If I had doubts about what I was doing, then the comments may hurt me, but I don’t. I’m happy about my decision and I’m having fun.

FP: How do you feel about the blog comments suggesting your goals are “anti”-feminist?

SM: It’s a bunch of crap! Sorry if I’m not more articulate, about it but that’s how I feel.

FP: Why exactly are you being threatened with physical violence, to yourself and your unborn child by a certain artist and her husband?

SM: No comment.

FP: What are the biggest challenges as a mother when trying to figure out what parts of the pop culture world to expose your child to?

SM: Well I figure his dad and I both have really good taste, so whatever we’re into we’ll expose him to. We go to art and photo exhibits, museums, stuff like that. But we also love things like monster trucks, motorcycles, and old-school boardwalks like Seaside Heights and Coney Island. I love showing him retro stuff from when I was a kid. Shows like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and The Smurfs.

FP: Your son Fritz is a very fashionable toddler. Are you his sole stylist or does he get a say in what kicks he’s sporting to the playground?

SM: He is actually starting to add his own flavor to the mix. Recently he dug up these little toy plastic goggles that he insists on wearing whenever we leave the house. I don’t agree with them fashion-wise, but I can appreciate his ability to accessorize. And he doesn’t wear them on his eyes. He wears them so they kinda hold his hair back, cockeyed to the side. Remember when it was a trend to wear ski goggles to the club? Like that. Ugh. He looks like a mid-90s white rapper; let’s put it that way.

FP: What do you recommend to parents looking to outfit their kids in something cooler than Osh Kosh?

SM: There are so many choices out there. One of my favorite inexpensive places to shop is H&M Kids. Their stuff is the best. Everything looks like mini adult clothes. I even got Fritz a pair of skinny jeans with a little tiny wallet and wallet chain. I also love an online shop called Tutti Bella. They carry a bunch of super cute lines.

FP: What was the first time you might have noticed Fritz having an understanding of your world?

SM: Honestly I don’t think he has yet. He’s just starting to talk and discover so he hasn’t noticed anything that would make our world any different than anyone else’s. He begins school in September so I think he’ll start to open up to different children’s lifestyles then, and start asking questions. He’ll probably start to think it’s strange when other parents aren’t covered in tattoos.

FP: Out of everything you do with your son, what is your personal favorite thing to do?

SM: Oh man, that’s a hard one. I just love seeing him happy. It’s the most incredible feeling. I really love going on a family outing when it’s me, my husband and him, maybe to the park or something. Just watch him play and enjoy life. Oh, we also take baths together. He’s at the age where it’s natural for us to jump in the tub together. I relax while he plays. It’s really sweet… and no major accidents… yet.

FP: Where do you see The Hipster Mom going in the future?

SM: I just want to grow it organically. For now it’s a great creative outlet, but I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m always thinking about marketing and selling ads. I’m also really interested in writing a series of Hipster Mom Guides.

FP: What, as a creative young person, is the biggest challenge behind full-time parenthood?

SM: The challenge is not losing your “edge” and maintaining a sense of self. It was easy when I was doing my other business, Missbehave, but now I have to work a little harder not to completely slip into mommy land, never to be heard from again. With a second kid on the way it’s kind of scary, but I work to keep myself in the know, hangout with friends, and do my creative thing.

FP: Does Fritz show any signs of following in your footsteps?

SM: Of course! He’s sweet and a bit of a ham. Let’s just say he’s got personality… like his mom!

FP: What advice do you have for young people who are looking to both be their own bosses and also start a family?

SM: Good nannies are hard to find. “Don’t Give Up, Never Give Up” (a line from a Yo Gabba Gabba! song). Make sure there is money coming from somewhere, because having your own business can be a tumultuous affair.

FP: Final question: What’s the best way to get baby stains out of a designer dress?

SM: Wear jean shorts instead.