SHE Media Partner Spotlight: Jennifer Moss of BabyNames.com
By Lindsay Valdez
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If you’ve ever googled the meaning of a name, chances are you’ve run across the website of Jennifer Moss. Creator of one of the first digital baby name databases, she is the subject of our next SHE Media Partner Spotlight!
Hi Jennifer! Tell us a little about yourself, your website, your life!
I am the founder of BabyNames.com, and also own a boutique web development firm. I’m also a published author in fiction and non-fiction.
What books have you written?
My first book published was a companion to BabyNames.com, with over 10,000 names as well as naming advice. I then caught the writing bug and sold a series of mysteries to Black Opal Books. There are four out now, starting with Town Red, which feature a Chicago-based detective and a psychic empath who work together to solve murders. I went back to non-fiction when I co-authored a book about life in the mountains - Lucky to Live Here: Your Guide to Life in the Yosemite Mountain Area. We then put out a second baby names book with The Baby Names Workbook: A do-it-yourself guide to finding the perfect name.
I’ve also had articles published in Working Woman, Ms. Magazine, and Red Herring.
Baby names is an interesting topic to build a website about, how did the site get started?
I’ve always loved names - ever since I was a child. So as an adult who made technology her career, I put together a database of names and meanings while I was pregnant with my own daughter. When the internet opened for public use, I wanted to learn the platform. So I turned that database into a website, registered the domain BabyNames.com and the rest is history!
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Oh my gosh! I love so many places and each has its own amazing features. I loved visiting Provence in France, especially the little city of Arles where Van Gogh spent a lot of time. I also loved visiting the countryside of Ireland with my daughter. We make an effort to schedule mama-daughter trips, allowing us to explore fabulous places and have quality time together as adults.
What is your favorite book?
I tend to like stories that feature kick-ass women and inspiring storylines. So starting with Gone With the Wind, which I first read in middle school, then there was The Eight by Katherine Neville in the 80s, a mystery featuring a female computer programmer which was really rare at the time! Kindred by Olivia Butler is heart-wrenching and an amazing time-travel story. And most recently Educated, by Tara Westover. In between: anything by Jodi Picoult or Jeffery Deaver and I’m continuously making my way through the Letters of Vincent Van Gogh.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~ Maya Angelou
Back to the website, are there any exciting projects for BabyNames.com happening in 2019 you want to tell us about?
Although we started The Baby Names podcast in 2018, it has taken off this year. My sister and I used to “make shows” on the tape recorder when we were kids, and now we get to do that as grownups, and we’re having a blast with it! It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and you can even ask Alexa to play it. :)
What tools do you use to make your day-to-day more efficient?
I have a written agenda in which I plan my day, first thing. If something doesn’t get done, it goes to the next day. I also use e-mail as a to-do list and check in constantly with my co-workers (sisters and daughter) via messaging.
If you could tell bloggers who are just getting started one thing, what would it be?
Start with your own expertise, and figure out a way to present it in a way that no one else has done yet. Work hard, because it will take a while!
We can’t end the interview without finding out your favorite baby name!
Well my daughter’s, of course! Miranda Margaret. Miranda was her paternal grandmother’s maiden name, and Margaret was my mother’s name.
Thanks, Jennifer! Can’t wait to see all that’s in store for BabyNames.com!
If you’re a SHE Media Partner and would like to be featured on the blog, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.