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“Keeping it real.” Get to know Alicia Hazen, the blogger and “mom-fluencer” behind Madtown Momma

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Alicia Hazen, aka Madtown Momma. Photo supplied.

By now, many folks in Madison are familiar with Madtown Momma, the lifestyle blog about parenting, wellness, and fashion, and the woman behind it: Alicia Hazen. Hazen has been running the blog since 2019, amassing a little under 5,000 followers on Instagram, and locking in partnerships with Universal Standard, Schwinn Bikes, and Goldfish-Fitchburg.

While Hazen is pretty established within the local influencer community now, she actually got her start in 2017 when she noticed a gap within Madison’s “mom-fluencer” scene. 

“I initially reached out to the founder and the owner of Madison Moms Blog [now known as Madison Family] to explore the potential of getting involved because I saw a picture that they shared on their page of their events team [was] all white women,” Hazen said in an interview last week.

Upon reaching out, Hazen learned that getting moms of color was something the organization was struggling with, and the leaders of the blog were eager to bring Hazen on board.

Before long, Hazen and her friends noticed that she had a particular knack for lifestyle blogging, and they began to ask her if she had any plans to fly solo. Going this route would also allow her to be paid for her work. 

A friend with experience in marketing and working freelance encouraged her to explore this option. “I didn’t realize [I could do that],” she explained. “And so I started to explore what that would look like. What would that all entail? Little nudges here and there started pointing me in that direction.”

Of course, it wasn’t just the prospect of compensation that convinced Hazen to branch out on her own, but a larger desire for representation, especially as a Madisonian of color. 

“When I heard of the Madison Moms Blog, or when I think about motherhood, [I ask], ‘Where am I represented in this space? Where are people like me? Where would I find someone who looks like me and their experience?’ And I wasn’t necessarily seeing that,” she said.

Since launching Madtown Momma, Hazen has strived to write directly to her own experiences, driven by a core value of “keeping it real.” When she was still writing for Madison Moms Blog, Hazen talked candidly about having multiple miscarriages, feeling excluded in certain spaces, and even yelling at her kid in the middle of the night. 

“While I was going through [those experiences], I was looking for other people’s stories and what other people’s experiences were with what I was going through,” she explained. “So I just felt like that was another way that I could offer something totally open and honest.”

Venturing on her own as Madtown Momma, Hazen has maintained this ethos of being candid, touching on weight struggles, changes within her marriage, and what it’s like to be a person of color in predominantly white spaces. 

One of her goals in unabashedly sharing about the “unglamorous” parts of life is helping others feel less alone in their own struggles. 

“Especially when people are going through tough times themselves, sometimes you take to Google and look for validation that you’re not alone in this and somebody else has been through this before,” she shared. “It’s not just me.”

Since pivoting to developing her social media presence and away from the online blogosphere, Hazen, like many other influencers, has run into challenges when it comes to navigating algorithms and other roadblocks to audience engagement.

“That is really hard to push through for an extended period of time,” Hazen confided. But it’s never been the numbers that have kept her going: “I think what’s keeping me motivated is the small key audience that engages regardless. They have been with me, they have stuck with me.”

In terms of the future of Madtown Momma, Hazen is trying to release herself from the pressure of having to keep the blog around forever. 

“I’ve always said I’ll just do this until it’s not fun anymore,” she said. “I’ve always trusted my gut to know when it’s time to [part] with something … I’m gonna have to think more about what I want the future of Madtown Momma to be. It might not always be me, you know?”