When Pilar Guzman, editor of year-old Cookie, first tested the magazine’s cover prototypes—high-end photo shoots with model moms and model kids in model situations—she realized the magazine had “totally underestimated the reader.”

“The focus groups could tell who the fake-y models and kids,” Guzman says. “A mom knows, a mom knows that moment—a 22-year-old model who doesn’t have a kid doesn’t really know how to hold a child.” Despite burning a bridge with the shoot’s equally high-end photographer (Guzman never used the cover) Guzman says the test forever changed the magazine launch’s cover strategy. “We now use real moms and their kids.”