Member Feature: Sarah Hartley, illuminate co-founder

Editor's note: Each month we'll be featuring a member of the illuminate community so that we can all get to know our writers better. We're excited to "meet" all of you and cheer you on with your writing goals. Give a warm welcome to Sarah, our featured member this month, and also the co-founder of illuminate.


Who I Am:

I'm a wife, mom, and business owner just trying to survive the day to day. When I'm not chasing my two boys around, I'm the creator and editor in chief of Holl & Lane Magazine and the co-founder of illuminate. I am also a photographer and freelance graphic designer. In short: if it's creative, I likely do it.

The best way to describe myself is as a storyteller. Through my work at Holl & Lane and through my photographs in particular, I love to document real life with real people because I think our life journeys are beautiful.

What I Write About:

Motherhood has been my favorite topic to write on. I started documenting my honest feelings about pregnancy and motherhood when I was pregnant with my first son 5 years ago. I spoke about my difficulties and my actual feelings throughout and because of that, I discovered a need from others to read more honest stories from real women. And that is what lit the fire for Holl & Lane.

My Favorite Piece of Writing By Me:

Here is an excerpt from "The Reluctant Playmate” (click here to read the whole post):

“Mommy, can you play with me?”

It’s the fourth time he’s asked in the three hours he’s been awake. We’ve played Uno, we’ve played Candyland, we’ve played kitchen, we’ve colored and painted and blown bubbles. And now I just want to sit. But the hope in his voice gets me every time. I’m supposed to want to play, right? I’m supposed to be eager to spend every single moment with my children because pretty soon they won’t be children at all and they’ll never want to play with me and then my house will be empty and I’ll feel so alone.

But the fact is: I don’t always want to play.

Sometimes I want to just sit and watch TV or scroll mindlessly through my phone. Sometimes I want to read a book or spend some time writing all of the thoughts in my head. Sometimes I just want a moment to breathe from the overwhelming task of raising two humans.

“Mommy, can you play with me?”

Where You Can Find Me Online:

-On Instagram: @sarahmhartley
-My website, Sarah Hartley Media:

Mia Sutton