Fehrenbacher says she started the site when a student, as a way to engage in public conversation about specific topics of interest to her. That sounds like the kind of founding story that many of the first wave of commercially viable blogs of the era can tell. The site speaks to a lucrative young readership with disposable income and now gets 15 million unique visitors each month, up from 11 million at the beginning of this year. Fehrenbacher told the story of Inhabitat's birth in depth in a long post this Spring. No acquisition price was named but given the site's growth, audience and angel fundraising, it was presumably a life-changing event for Fehrenbacher. She'll stay on as the site's manager and Editor in Chief.
Internet Brands is a network of more than 100 vertical websites. Inhabitat becomes the company's 4th acquisition since May. The others include WeddingBee, JustMomies and legal advice service Nolo. Congratulations are due to Fehrenbacher for building a new media publishing concern into a desirable business for acquisition.
"There was never really one specific 'big break' that helped me get my business off the ground," Fehrenbacher writes, "but really more a series of 'small breaks' over a long period of perseverance that added up, brick by brick, to help me build the foundations of my business."
Fehrenbacher offered some interesting advice to other students of design on the sustainability of the design school lifestyle in a notable guest post on design blog Core77 when she was a grad student at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Inhabitat included a number of related sites as well, including kid-focused Inhabitots, which launched three years ago last month, just weeks before Fehrenbacher had a child. That's some remarkable ambition.