While we love all the stories we publish here—and certainly those that made the 10 most popular list—there are some that just stick with our team more than others. What better time to share some memories than on the occasion of our first Maven-iversary!
LESLIE BAILEY, CO-FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
There is absolutely zero way I could ever choose just one or even a few of my favorite stories so I decided to look back at the very first story that was published on the site which was Indy Podcast Mavens You Need to Know, written by yours truly. We recently brought that story back with a few updates—it was fun to see where some of those women are now and where Indy Maven is today. Since I’m busy running the business I don’t have a lot of time to write but sometimes I just have to get stories out of my head, like this round up of popular pandemic buys for the fall/winter seasons. I do love the Maven in the Making profiles…the future is female, you know. See?! I can’t just pick one.
ABBY GARDNER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Much like Leslie, it is very hard for me to single out one particular story. (You’ll notice this is a pattern with our crew!) But, really, I love each thing we publish differently, but equally—you know, how people describe their children. I love that we are a platform that publishes stories about women over 60 thriving in their lives, how Zionsville is like Stars Hollow from my beloved Gilmore Girls, or Amanda’s story about lessons she learned after being laid off which I related to so much and I know many others do as well.
Though I think the story that made me the weepiest—and if you know me, you know I’m not afraid to well up at just about anything that touches my heart—was Sarah Bahr’s story about Janet Easley and the 10,000 meals she serves each Thanksgiving at the Watkins Family Center. It inspired me then and inspires me still as I think about how many more families may be struggling this upcoming holiday season.
AMANDA KINGSBURY, CO-FOUNDER & CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
There are three stories, in particular, that came to mind when I was thinking about the year in review.
Maven to Know: Elyssa Campodonico-Barr, CEO of Girls Inc. Indianapolis
As Girls Inc. was about to launch its #GirlsToo campaign, Elyssa Campodonico-Barr gave some powerful insights into the need for sex education and consent education for both girls and boys. And she reminded us of how young women are boldly leading some of the most important social justice movements.
Rachel Hickey talked openly and honestly with five local adult content creators on OnlyFans and Patreon to try to answer an important question: How do we normalize the conversation about sex and body positivity?
And finally one I wrote myself: Love, Factually. Since my divorce in 2014, I’ve been on one online dating site, Bumble. It was for a total of six hours, and I was asleep for three of those. One of the first guys who tried to connect with me lied about his job, claiming he was a basketball coach at a well-known university. C’mon, man. That led me to talk to superstar researcher Cathy Knapp, who taught Indy Maven a lot about how to use free public records in Indiana to fact-check potential dates.
RACHEL HICKEY, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
I am a wellness junkie and will try *almost* anything simply for the experience, so two of my favorite stories from this year were alternative wellness treatments in Indy that go beyond your standard massage and I got a colonic and lived to tell about it. I look forward to finding new health and wellness adventures to dive into during the upcoming year! I also loved the feature on the Traveling Black Widow. Charlotte is so inspiring and I love following along with her travels on Instagram.
AMY BARTNER, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
No shocker here, BUT I ALSO CAN’T CHOOSE JUST ONE FAVORITE.
I felt like I was getting super secret information I shouldn’t be reading when 11 of Indy’s most respected chef shared their favorite recipes. Spoke & Steele’s executive chef gave us her Bolognese recipe—are you kidding me?
Then there was the deeply personal and eye-opening account from Lori Welge Fulk about the shame she felt—and shouldn’t have—when revealing her family had COVID. And the fascinating story about Elfrieda Mais, the largely unknown race car driver with just the most bizarre life story (and life ending).
Mostly, I need to direct more people toward the Spellsisters’ monthly horoscopes. I don’t know if I believe in astrology, but I know that I don’t NOT believe in it. And it doesn’t matter: Their horoscopes are the most interesting, well-written, curse-laden, and approachable ones I’ve ever read and I look forward to them every month.
MEGHAN STRATTON, INTERN
Abby Gardner’s recent article discussing how it’s safe to live in Downtown Indy really struck a chord with me. It was amazing to see this article come from an editorial meeting side conversation to an expertly articulated article. Abby brings attention to the larger issues in our city while also promoting what makes Indianapolis home. And she included a Sex and The City reference, so how could I not choose it as one of my favorite Indy Maven articles?
KYLIE STINE, INTERN
When I was applying for Indy Maven, I LOVED reading this article about traveling with whatever is in your pockets!! It’s something I want to try once traveling freely is safe again … and when I have the budget for it LOL.