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Boss Mom of the Week: Sarah Hartley

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sarah-hartley-headshotSarah Hartley is the creator and editor in chief of Holl & Lane Magazine, a magazine dedicated to showcasing real life from real women.  She is a wife to Brandon, a mom to Henry, and lives near Pittsburgh, PA where she works as a marketing coordinator.  She has loved writing since she first wrote about being the Future Mrs. Justin Timberlake as a young girl, and has since moved on to writing about her life with her real husband and son on her personal blog.  Searching for a magazine that featured real life in a beautiful way, that would give women a voice and a platform, Sarah set out to create that magazine and has been ecstatic about the response to her mission.  In her (minimal) spare time, she loves to read, have dance parties with her son, and enjoy a beer with her husband at the end of a long week.

Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.

I am a wife to Brandon and a mom to Henry, 2.5. We live near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania though Brandon and I are originally from the Toledo, OH area, and I work full-time for an architecture firm. I had been a blogger since 2011 and my blog gained more traction when I started opening up about my real life experiences through pregnancy and having a newborn – people appreciated my honesty. In 2015, I decided to take the next step to fulfill one of my life’s dreams and start my own magazine. I had no idea what I was doing (and still often don’t), but I knew I needed to stop talking and just go for it. So in June 2015, the very first issue of Holl & Lane Magazine was created. My goal with the magazine has always been to start a conversation around the topics that are often kept quiet (miscarriage, infertility, addiction, divorce, adoption). I wanted to share real life from real women in a real way, instead of adding to the idea that life is always rosy and beautiful.


What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?

I’ll be honest, I don’t cook much – my husband is far better cook than I am. And because we both work full-time (in addition to the magazine), we usually go for quick and easy during the week. A couple of my favorites are nachos (Henry loves to help me make them), spaghetti, and Italian chicken with veggies.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I read a lot, or browse through magazines. Pinterest of course is a good one and I love looking through Instagram.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?

My favorite blogs to read are those that give us a glimpse into their real lives (Design for Mankind is my absolute favorite). I usually have a few books going at once but they’re usually just fun books to get me out of my own head for awhile. Right now I’m reading “Waiting for Birdy” and “Welcome to the Goddman Ice Cube”.

What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?

Admit when you need help. I worked on the first issue of the magazine by myself and as I started to feel more overwhelmed, I knew I needed help. Luckily I had some great women volunteer to work with me on this dream (for no pay!). Also admit to your spouse when you need help. There have been times that I’ve just needed some space to be able to work through issues with the magazine or catch up on things and admitting to Brandon that I needed that time has been hugely important.

What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?

“You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” My husband got that for me on a necklace for my birthday and it’s something I try to remind myself of every day. Especially when the days feel extra tough.

In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom. Challenging.

What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?

Honesty, compassion, and trust. Those are the three cornerstones of Holl & Lane. We always want to focus on being honest and telling stories as they are – I even do so when I write editor’s notes or send out emails to our subscribers – admitting when the road is tough.

Compassion is also a big thing for us because I want people to know that I understand what they’re going through and want to help them through it.

And trust is important because our contributors are trusting me with their stories of some of the toughest times in their life. I want them to know that I will tell their story in a beautiful way and that I will share as much or as little as they want – including if they want to remain anonymous.

All three of these values are important in motherhood because I think it creates a closer family unit. Though I sometimes wish I could allow Henry to live in a bubble, I also want to be honest with him in knowing that there are dangers out in the world but that in general people are good. I show him compassion when I try to get to the root of what he is feeling rather than losing my temper with him. And I want him to know that he will always be able to trust me – especially when it comes to obstacles in his life. I’ll always be there for him to listen and to help and I hope that he’ll let me.

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Dana Malstaff

Dana Malstaff

Dana Malstaff is the Founder of Boss Mom and creator Nurture to Convert.
She is a mother, author, speaker, messaging strategist, podcaster, blind spot reducer, and movement maker. She believes that too many brilliant moms are struggling to figure out how to grow their business while balancing all that is required to be a good mom, partner, and woman. So many moms are trying to grow their business using trends that feel inauthentic and aren't realistic for their inconsistent schedules. She has helped thousands of women become known for their brain and not their dance moves

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