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Daily Inspiration: Meet Maricarmen Chavez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maricarmen Chavez. 

Hi Maricarmen, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Polk County Moms started as a way for me to get to know the county. We had moved to Polk County, and a week before closing on our home, I started the Instagram page with 0 followers. We closed on our house the day everything shut down – March 13, 2020. Facebook and Instagram became my way of learning about restaurants, businesses, and what was happening within the county during those initial months. As crazy as it seems, I was able to really chat with other small businesses, get to know them, and start sharing to our growing followers. Now we have over 10k Instagram followers alone and continue to grow 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I had a clear plan for what I wanted for Polk County Moms. I wanted to share community events, things to do for families, showcase small businesses, and be a one-stop shop for all things to do. Exactly 15 days after my first Instagram post everything shut down. Everything I had planned for the year had to be scrapped. There were no events to share or things to do – I had to be more creative. Instead, I focused on what I could do. Sharing crafts and ideas for kids, sharing what restaurants offered takeout, which were struggling, where to get food boxes, and anything that could be helpful. I think that by focusing on the county as a whole instead of one city really helped us grow. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I have a master’s degree in Psychology with a minor in forensics. That basically means I enjoy people and research. I can happily spend hours looking through websites and pages to find the information I think my audience will enjoy. I will drive all over the county and beyond once something catches my eye. Sometimes I am not sure anyone else will care, but I share anyway. I get a kick out of messages from our audience telling me they went to an event or a farm, or a local shop that they saw on the page. I love having that one-on-one relationship with our followers. 

What really sets us apart and am most proud of the relationships I’ve established with our audience. I’m picky about what I share because I want my audience to know I genuinely care about them. 

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice for anyone starting out in blogging is to be flexible in your plans but know who you are and who you want as an audience. Be yourself – not a curated version of yourself, and your audience will show up. 

I love farms, unique crafts, all things locally made, I love exploring my area, and I adore food, so a lot of my content is about that. I love cooking and making things; I’m a mom and a wife – all of that plays a big role in what I share with my audience. 

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