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Lightening the load

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Elke Govertsen jokes that the market for her new magazine, Mamalode, is “crazy, wicked, powerful.” And her audience is everywhere. Soaking up the sun outside Bernice’s Bakery, she smiles and waves to one stroller-pushing mother after another.

She says there’s just one problem with being a mom in Missoula: The community lacks a one-stop guide to the resources that can make their lives easier.

“The moms need something that they’re not getting,” Govertsen says. “And the businesses in town need to reach the moms in a way that they’re not finding directly.”

Govertsen—herself a mother of two—turned to her own devices and created Mamalode, a free magazine mostly by moms for moms. Content ranges from health and fashion to mom-centric travel. Govertsen even threw in a column from the dad’s perspective. The maiden issue debuts Saturday at the fifth annual Mother’s Day Eve Bash. A second issue is set to follow in November, and the magazine goes quarterly in 2010.

“It’s basically what everybody’s been wanting, but no one has been creative enough or had enough energy or brilliance to put it all together,” says Erin Falagan, a Mamalode contributor.

Govertsen is just the young, energetic mom you’d imagine able to run a magazine while raising two small boys. She talks about taking a business course through the Montana Community Development Corporation, and says she found staffers for Mamalode by relying on the most potent gift in a mother’s arsenal: networking.  

“I have lots of practice keeping lots of plates spinning,” Govertsen says.

Mamalode spring-boarded from the Mother’s Day Eve Bash, which Govertsen started as a night for moms to gab and get pampered free of husbands and children. The idea is to embrace the fact that moms, however busy, are still individuals.

“When you have so much on your plate, what gets pushed off is you,” Govertsen says. “With Mamalode, we’re just trying to make a bigger plate.”

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