Monday, July 28, 2014

Celebrating Six Years of Hip Mountain Mama

In early 2008, Suzy Hawbaker was a stay at home mom busy with two daughters ages 4 and 1. Suzy had found herself living on Colorado's Front Range attending play dates and living a suburban lifestyle. It was a far cry from the days of going on Widespread Panic tour, hitting all of the summer music festivals and living in small ski towns.

Suzy had always been the type of person who makes things happen. She loved her daughters but couldn't be satisfied simply staying home with them. With a desire to do something meaningful that would keep her busy, allow her to work from home and allow her to show her true style, Suzy started to dream up ideas for an online retail store.

In July 2008, Suzy nailed down an idea and began ordering products for the shop. She focused on her own natural lifestyle and desire to raise her family with natural products. At the time, the store primarily focused on natural toys for kids and fun products for mothers.

After sending an email to everyone she knew, Hip Mountain Mama was born. The company was launched with a few boxes of inventory stashed in an unfinished basement, a simple website and marketing efforts relying on an ad in Mothering Magazine and the establishment of an authentic mommy blog.

3 year old Sienna modeling for the family business
The company grew with the help of many bloggers who couldn't help but share the story of this cool hippie mom who had a mission to sell quality products to young families. As the power of social media grew, Hip Mountain Mama leveraged the power of Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to grow.

In November 2009, Suzy was overwhelmed with the amount of work she had created for herself and her husband, Andy, was extremely frustrated working as a Vice President of a bank (something that he never really enjoyed). With the busy season coming up, Andy quit his job to make Hip Mountain Mama a true family business.

Working as a family to ship packages

Together, Andy and Suzy took on the mission of making the world a better place by selling green and reusable products. The store slowly transitioned from selling natural toys to a larger emphasis on reusable products and funky fashions for women. As the Hawbaker kids began to grow up, the business naturally focused more on fun products for women instead of the wood toys and cloth diapers they had once sold.

As time went on, the girls started going to school full days and some improved efficiencies allowed Andy to transition what he'd learned from using social media into a social marketing job in the outdoor industry.
Suzy amazingly handled continued growth with a little help from her friends. She regularly holds photo shoots with her good friends working as models for the clothing.

Six years into this journey Suzy is amazed at what Hip Mountain Mama has become. It's still a ton of fun but now it's an essential part of the families income. There's no CEO collecting a huge paycheck but there are two little girls who get to take dance classes, a family who survives on the income and other small businesses that are supported with purchases through Hip Mountain Mama.

It's with great appreciation for our customers, suppliers, friends who've pitched in and anyone who's ever told anyone else about Hip Mountain Mama that we celebrate 6 awesome years!!!! We are so grateful for everyone who's ever purchased products, shared Hip Mountain Mama with a friend or smiled at one of our Facebook posts. All of our hard work is worth it. Thank you!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

NedFest 2014: Don't Miss it!

As Summer vacation is nearing the end, I love having something to look forward to even after the kids go back to school.  NedFest is an intimate 3 day music festival in the beautiful town of Nederland CO, held Aug 22-24.

We stumbled across it in 2007 and instantly made it a tradition attending 5 years in a row.  We took 2 years off for various reasons, but we are ready to hop back on the NedFest train for some serious fun and good music.  This years line up includes favorites like Kyle Hollingsworth, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Jeff Austin Band, and Drew Emmit Band.

Ned Fest is special...and if you have ever gone, you know what I mean.  It's small, intimate, beautiful, relaxing, fun, & high energy all at the same time.  You walk into the place an instantly feel a connection to everything going on around you.  The people are kind, the music is groovy, the scenery is breathtaking, and the weather is always amazing (lots of sunshine, cool mountain air, and usually a little rain shower to add some excitement).

NedFest is super family friendly offering a kids craft area and fun activities for the kids to do for a small fee.  My kids are never bored...which is a very big deal when Mom and Dad are enjoying the live music.

 My kids even hopped on stage in 2009 and danced with the Emmit-Nershi Band....check the video above to watch them boogie on stage.

If you are looking for a laid back atmosphere with great music, positive vibes and beautiful people then NedFest is for you.  Whether you head up for the day or spend all weekend, NedFest is something everyone should experience.  Buy your tickets now!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Groove Fest 2014

One of my favorite things to do in life is to see live music!  It's always an energizing, fun, feel good time.  I am also a big fan of camping and just generally being outdoors with friends and family.  Put all of these things together and what do you have?  A music festival!  When I saw Groove Fest announced on facebook I immediately checked out the line up.  With some of my faves like Karl Denson, Keller & the Keels, and Hot Buttered Rum playing, it was basically a hook, line, and sinker.  Then I researched the venue, listened to some of the other bands, checked out the dates, the cost, etc...and it all seemed perfect.  So I called up some friends and we all bought tickets!

The festival proved to be everything I had hoped it would be.  We brought our kids and camped in the family camping area...which was small, but worked great for us.  We found ourselves among many trees which was great for lounging around in hammocks.  The stage was very close to the camping so we could chill at camp and still groove to the great tunes (this was especially great at night when the kids were sleeping).  And with the short walk we could move back and forth with ease when we needed something.  The crowd was filled with a lot of 20 year olds with a few older folks mixed in (like my crew all in our 30's or older).  We found several other families to hang with and made some great friends.  Our weekend consisted of hula hooping, dancing, eating from the delicious food vendors, making new friends, lounging at camp, laughing, & listening to the funky, bluegrassy, groovy music!

Amazing music, groovy crowd, beautiful venue, positive vibes, and fun fun fun times all wrapped up into a music festival you are not going to want to miss!  This was Groove Fests first year and we hope they continue the good times! Hope to see you next year at Groove Fest!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Euforquestra: Music Monday

It's time to get funky. The Hip Mountain Mama crew spent the weekend at Groove Fest in Georgetown, CO. We boogied to many previously featured Music Monday bands including Karl Denson, Kyle Hollingsworth, Dumpstaphunk and Keller Williams. One of the many bands that got us out on the dance floor was Euforquestra.

Euforquestra is a Fort Collins, Colorado based band that knows how to bring the funk. They lay down some funky grooves and put on one heck of a show. Watch these videos to check these guys out.

Their latest album, titled 'Fire' was produced by Kyle Hollingsworth (of The String Cheese Incident) and was released in March. The album does a great job of bringing the bands super fun high energy shows to the recording.

The boys have quite a few shows coming up. Check their tour dates section to see if they're coming to your neck of the woods.

As always, let us know in the comments below what you think of this Music Monday choice. Then check back next week for another great artist.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

John Prine: Hip Mountain Mama's Music Monday

We feature a lot of jam bands and funk music on the Hip Mountain Mama Music Monday. We love a good jam but sometimes you just want to chill out while you are working or need to ease into a morning. When those times come, I often turn to the folk music of John Prine.

John Prine was working as a mailman singing and playing guitar on the side until he was discovered by Kris Kristofferson, resulting in the production of Prine's self-titled debut album through Atlantic Records in 1971. John's hilarious stories and great song writing made him a favorite to see at folk festivals and at venues across the country through the 1970s, 80s, 90s and today.

You can catch John on the road this summer. Check his website for tour dates.

Have you listened to John Prine's music before? What is your favorite song.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Summer Goodies

Find these items and more in my new arrivals section here: Hip Mountain Mama. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MeadowGrass 2014

The Hip Mountain Mama crew started out Festie season in the Black Forest at MeadowGrass Music Festival.  3 days of music, sun, friends, and tons of fun over Memorial Day weekend is a great way to kick off Summer.  As far as music festivals go, this one is on the mellow side...which is great for us since we bring our 2 kids along.  The crowd is on the older side....majority of folks 30 and up, but also several 20 yr olds running around to balance it out.  There was also a ton of kids with a lot of fun things for the kids to do.  This was our second year attending and each year the kids have made friends with fellow kid campers.  They enjoyed the bubble station, getting some henna peace sign tattoos, hula hooping, running around the forest, and playing with friends.  As for the music...MeadowGrass is great about filling their line up with bands on the smaller side including several I had yet to discover.  Some of my faves this year were The Mother Hips, Barrel House String Band, Ark Life, & Elephant Revival.

If you are looking for a mellow, fun, relaxing weekend filled with great music and friendly folks, I highly recommend checking out MeadowGrass Music Festival!  We plan to make this a yearly tradition so we hope to see you there!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Music Monday: Widespread Panic

Ok, this one's a no brainer for the Hip Mountain Mama crew. We've been seeing Widespread Panic since the late 1990's. We've driven thousands of miles, enjoyed some local show and nearly worn out CDs, MP3s and we stream many of their live shows through Mixlr. But the highlight of our summer happened this weekend when Widspread Panic made their annual run at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

If you haven't heard of Widespread Panic, they're a jam band from Athens, Georgia. They don't just jam. They rock. The band has a unique southern rock sound that is all over the board from funky upbeat grooves to bluesy, dirty southern music with the occasional country sounding jam. With Dave Schools rocking the six string bass, Sunny on all percussion except the kitchen sink and Todd Nance laying down the drum beats; the backbone of this band is solid. Add in the funky keyboards of JoJo, mind blowing lead guitar by Jimi Herring and the heart wrenching vocals of J.B. and you've got a band that you've just got to see live.

The band has long been known as a constant touring act. The summer tour heads to Las Vegas for 3 nights after Red Rocks then the High Sierra Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes and Lockn' Music Festival. Visit their website for the full tour dates. You'll notice they are back in Colorado for Halloween (See you there).

Check out this song then search for more Widespread Panic on Spotify, Pandora or your local music store.

Give us some feedback. What do you think about the Hip Mountain Mama Music Monday feature? What would you like to see more of?