Work Matters: Emma Paton

Emma Paton is a London based blogger at Finlay Fox, a kids and mums fashion and lifestyle blog. She also works alongside Ashlyn Gibson as Website Partner for creative family lifestyle store Olive Loves Alfie.

Why does work matter to you?

I had worked in fashion since leaving university (many moons ago) and have always loved the challenge of ‘working it all out’ in buying roles where often the training wasn’t very good and it was all about learning on the job. Plus I have always liked to be kept busy and I’ve always been a committed hard worker. Since having my second child I left my 9-5 buying role to seek more flexible working through my blog and as an online web partner with Olive Loves Alfie. Work still matters as I enjoy the creativity and stimulation it brings and I think its important that my children see a strong work ethic from both parents.

Describe in three words what professional success means to you…

It used to be money, happiness and career development but I would now say (post kids) it is flexibility, working with decent people who have a similar work ethic and creativity (sorry more than three words!).

What would be your dream job/project/company you’d like to work for?

I’ve always wanted to do my own kidswear range of Finlay Fox unisex clothing (…watch this space!). I’d also love to work with someone like Anna from Mother Pukka. There are so many fab brands I would love to collaborate with too – too many to list!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

Probably working in a bar in Corfu, Greece in the summer holiday during university.

What did that experience teach you?

Aside from how to drink Long Island Ice Teas every night (!) – to try and have fun at work and some basic marketing skills but also that I’m not cut out to work in a bar!

What’s your proudest professional achievement to date?

Probably being promoted to Senior Buyer quite quickly after coming back from maternity leave after having Finn. But also starting my blog whilst still holding a full-time job.

If you could go back in time who would you seek career advice from and why?

I would loved to have had some career advice for my blog when I started a couple of years ago as I really went in completely blind. I got some fab advice from blogger Susie Verill more recently and only wish I had had advice from other bloggers before I started. I’m now trying to host monthly blogger meet ups so we can all support and advise each other.

Who is your present day career heroine and why?

I love what The Step Up Club are doing at the moment – instilling confidence and self belief. I am really keen to attend some of their networking events soon. I also admire Johanna from Raising Women who shares stories of like-minded women and I also really respect blogger Alison Perry who has just bought out a fab range of Podcasts with some interesting and inspiring mums – always good to listen to when you’re after some inspiration and motivation!

What words of professional wisdom would you impart to the next generation of women

Work hard, get as much work experience and make as many contacts as you can. You never know what it may lead to. Also lean in to those promotions! I hope flexible working will be more standard practice for the next generation.

Have you ever considered trying something completely different career wise, if so what?

I would love to be a photographer or a stylist. At least my blog allows me to dabble in some of this at a very basic level! I’ve also loved the idea of doing some more interiors based work.


finlayfox.com
instagram.com/finlay_fox

Niki Groom: Work Matters

Niki Groom, AKA Miss Magpie Fashion Spy, is an award winning fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle illustrator based in Bristol. Her passion for colour, print, trends and a background in fashion design informs her artwork and blog. I love the way Niki showcases a diverse range of female body imagery within her illustrations. She positively celebrates ‘real’ body shapes, sizes, disabilities and skin colours in a truly inclusive way.

Why does work matter to you?

There are times in the past when I’ve been in jobs I didn’t like and I craved a different direction, and if I’m honest on those occasions work was just about money and about climbing the ladder without really thinking why. But I’ve now managed to make my passion my job, and as a result it’s become part of my life. The things I like to do in my private life (such as travel, museums, cinema) all feed in to my work – it’s all intertwined. I can’t imagine not working, I certainly don’t think I’ll ever retire.

Describe in three words what professional success means to you…

Freedom, creativity, money.

What would be your dream job/project/company you’d like to work for?

I’d love to do range of clothing for a brand with my illustrations printed on to fabric. I was a fashion designer for years so it would combine all of my skills. I used to have a list of dream clients and I got to work with all of them and that taught me a lot. For me now it’s not about the brand, it’s about the people who work for the brand and how they are to work with. I don’t hold any brands high on a pedestal anymore (apart from Dries Van Noten!).

More than anything I would like to continue my work with Clinique, they are such a brilliant team to collaborate with and I hope that my opportunities with them will continue to develop.

I’m also always up for a challenge, so something totally new and a risk would appeal. I hosted Instagram Live on the Boden feed once whilst illustrating at the same time, it was great fun and I enjoyed pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

niki_groom_photo
Photo: Remco Merbis: merbis.com

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

My first job after graduating with a Fashion Design Degree was as a receptionist for a company called RMC (Ready Made Concrete). It might sound like an edgy street brand, but sadly they just sold concrete.

What did that experience teach you?

I don’t have a passion for concrete, but sometimes you have to leave your ego at home and focus on paying the bills.

What’s your proudest professional achievement to date?

My window display for Accessorize went worldwide, it’s still the biggest project of my career and it was so exciting to see photos coming in from all over the world.

If you could go back in time who would you seek career advice from and why?

I wouldn’t change anything to be honest, I’m not one for looking back.

Who is your present day career heroine and why?

Oh I have many! Gill Button, who is @buttonfruit on Instagram is one. She was a commercial illustrator for years she is now an artist, and her work is incredible. Then Helen Downie @unskilledworker who started painting aged 50 and has just done a range with Gucci. The thing that marks these two out for me is that they are also nice people. Both will chat with me on Instagram even though we have never met. I find them both very inspiring women and I feel excited by their success. I don’t quite know what path I’m on at the moment, but they inspire me to just be myself and do what feels right.

What words of professional wisdom would you impart to the next generation of women?

Always be professional and diplomatic in the way that you communicate, even if it takes a whole day to write a response to an email. On, and don’t work for free.

Have you ever considered trying something completely different career wise, if so what?

I’m currently considering doing voice overs! I get so many comments about my voice on Instagram Stories and so I’m thinking it might be something to investigate to earn some cash.


missmagpiefashionspy.com
instagram.com/miss_magpie_spy

Style tips that don’t go out of fashion

The beginning of a new year is a great time to think about how you want to look. Give your wardrobe a refresh and ensure you’ve got clothes that work for your lifestyle and make you feel good. Here are a few of my simple styling tips to help you smash 2017.

Wear colour

Styled by Lucy personal fashion stylist

As a Personal Stylist I am always telling my clients about the importance of colour. Wearing the right colours for your skin tone, hair and eye colouring can instantly make you look younger, more radiant and healthier by diminishing lines, blemishes and dark circles, bringing definition to your features and defining your bone structure.

So many men and women opt for black as it is the safe option, goes with everything, think it makes them look slimmer and doesn’t show the dirt. However not everyone can wear black. It can be draining, cast shadows and have a negative and ageing impact. I think black can be boring and dull – if I am wearing black on my top half I will usually glam up with a slick of red lipstick, add statement jewellery or a bright accessory. Most Personal Stylists offer colour analysis as part of their services if you want to find out your most flattering colour palette. Wear colour and shine!

Dress for your body shape

I love fashion and follow the latest trends but I know that not every look will work for me. The high fashion trends we see on the catwalks always diffuse down to the high street in a more wearable look but they still aren’t for everyone. I strongly believe in style over fashion and dressing for your body shape.

Styled by Lucy personal fashion stylist
Body shapes (left to right): round; rectangle; inverted triangle; triangle; hourglass

Look at your figure, identify your body shape and recognise your best bits to draw attention to and the areas you want to distract from. Don’t be governed by fashion, only wear the trends that are flattering for your figure.

If you love it, buy it!

When personal shopping I always have a plan of action, a list of what my client needs and a targeted approach but actually I’m all for impulse buying too. Sometimes you just spot an item and know it is right for you, in which case if you love it and can afford it, definitely buy it. Most of my favourite things have been bought on impulse, snapped up instantly with no regrets as I know it’s ‘so me’.

If you love it, wear it!

Don’t keep clothes for best. Think of how you can work the items you love and been complimented on into your every day wardrobe. You deserve to feel fantastic all the time so style them up for any occasion. Dress down your favourite dress with a denim shirt over the top. Team those killer heels you bought for your Christmas night out with jeans and a jumper. Wear that summer dress you love also in the colder months layered with tights, boots and a leather jacket. Think about making your wardrobe work harder and wearing your favourite clothes in different ways.

Show your personality

Styled by Lucy personal fashion stylist

Does your style reflect who you are? If you are stuck in a style rut and need inspiration think of a celeb or someone you know whose style you admire and look at what they wear and how they put together an outfit. Pinterest and Instagram are a great source for style inspiration. Also consider making an appointment with a Personal Stylist. They are no longer just for the rich and famous and will save you time and money in the long run by teaching you how to dress for your colour and shape and avoid making fashion mistakes in the future. They will pass on tips and styling hacks to freshen up what you already have in your wardrobe too.

Add interest to your outfits

Look at how you can implement updates to the clothes you already have in your wardrobe and show your personal style. Experiment with different ways to wear your clothes.

Play with cuffs: roll up sleeves to show off your wrists, a flattering part of a woman’s body and show off bracelets. It’s also fun to layer different sleeve lengths in colder months.

Play with collars: colour on coats and jackets can frame your face or undo an extra button on your shirt to open up the neckline and reveal your décolletage or a layer underneath.

Styled by Lucy personal fashion stylist

Half tuck your tops: tucking a t-shirt in on one side is a way of adding a little definition to your shape and creates a relaxed look.

Turn up your jeans: experiment with cuff thickness depending on the style of jeans and the shoes you are wearing.

Wear your accessories

Styled by Lucy personal fashion stylist

In my opinion jewellery doesn’t get worn enough. So many of my clients have beautiful items stored away never to be seen. When I ask why, they say it’s either too special or stored in a way that it is forgotten about and not considered when putting an outfit together. Belts are a great way to tie a look together and highlight your waist. Scarves add a pop of colour or a different texture and can be worn in so many different ways. Quality accessories can make a budget outfit look expensive and unique. If you pay attention to the details you’ll achieve a high-end look for a fraction of the price.


Lucy Eastment is a Personal Stylist who lives in Bristol with her husband and two children (aged 4 and 2). She runs her own business Styled By Lucy and works with men and women of all sizes, shapes, ages and lifestyles using colour analysis, wardrobe consultation and personal shopping. Lucy offers simple solutions for everyday style problems and inspires her clients to look good and feel good, even when juggling family, work and social life.

Lucy’s career story…

“I was a PA for many years but when I returned to the office after maternity leave I decided it wasn’t for me and if I was going to be away from my gorgeous babies I wanted to be doing a job I loved. I was always a wannabe fashionista keeping an eye on trends and I was often asked by friends, colleagues and even strangers in the street about my style and where I bought my clothes so I looked into a career change as a Personal Stylist. I trained with Style Me Training Academy in London, following that I became the Bristol based Personal Stylist for Style Me and have since launched Styled By Lucy. I absolutely love my job and feel so lucky that I have found a vocation that I am passionate about.”

Lucy on social media…

“I have found that potential clients look at websites to find out about services and prices but they want to know more about you and see your personal style before they book. I have a website and Facebook page but it is Instagram that has really helped me grow my business. I use Instagram to show my own personal style and Instagram Stories when I’m out and about to show great buys I come across when I’m out and about in the shops or looking online. I find selfie taking all a bit cringe but I’ve had great feedback from my Instagram page and I’ve been told by clients that my visuals are why they have chosen to book with me rather than other Personal Stylists in Bristol.

Lots of my clients use Whatsapp to keep in touch with me. If they are out shopping or trying on outfits at home and aren’t sure about something then they’ll ping me a photo for advice. Likewise if see a killer outfit I know would suit a certain person I will snap it and send via Whatsapp instantly. It is a great way to connect again with previous clients and easily show them new looks and how to update their wardrobe whilst I’m on the go.”


Lucy is following…

Chloe Loves to Shop

@chloelovestoshop: “My Instagram fashion crush is west London fashion blogger Chloe, a classy mum of three who shares her daily outfits. I love how she mixes high street with designer. Her Instagram Stories are full of good buys and a glimpse into her world which is the reason I look at her Instagram account every day.”

Selfish Mother Molly Gunn Fmly Store

@selfishmother: “Molly Gunn mother of two with another on the way is the founder and editor of selfishmother.com blogzine, sells #goodtees through thefmlystore.com to raise funds for charity and is a freelance journalist. The super mum has also recently opened The FMLY Store a funky shop in Bruton, Somerset selling her iconic slogan clothes and other lifestyle and homeware brands and hosting events. I have paid the shop a visit and loved the vibe and the welcoming family feel.”

Elena Perminova model russian

@lenaperminova: “I follow Russian model, socialite and mother of three Elena Perminova for style inspiration but mainly for extraordinary luxe life ogling. She flaunts her lifestyle and wealth with a feed of dreamy couture dresses and exotic family holidays. Elena is the founder of the first global Instagram charity auction for her childrens charity @SOS_by_lenaperminova with donations from fashion houses and her high profile friends.”


Lucy’s work

styledbylucy.com
instagram.com/styled_by_lucy
facebook.com/styledbylucy1

Essentials for your wardrobe

After a successful career in retail, Lucy Knights decided to take the plunge and start her own business after the birth of her second child. We asked Lucy to share her story, divulge her social media tips and select her favourite wardrobe essentials.

How did your career in fashion begin?

Ever since I was 16 and got my first part-time job in a fashion boutique, I’ve always been drawn back to retail. I love the buzz and how every day is different. Following my Business Degree in Sheffield, I moved to London to complete a Retail Management graduate scheme. I then became a manager for GAP’s flagship on Oxford Street before moving over to Harrods and spending eight years working with them on driving their womenswear sales and strategy. After always dreaming about having my own business, I finally took the big step of launching BORN AT DAWN after having my second child.

BORN AT DAWN brings focused, effortless style with a personal touch. Mostly Scandinavian and French inspired brands, it offers an alternative from the mainstream as our pieces aren’t widely available and are more exclusive. Our collection is made up of beautiful, easy-to-wear wardrobe heroes that are versatile and can be worn multiple times and in different ways, taking you from day-to-night. We also offer a “Night In” experience in selected areas of London where you can book an evening for us to bring the collection to you, meaning you can shop with your friends in the luxury of your own home. 

You’re really embracing social media to promote your business online. Have you got any tips for aspiring businesswomen?

I love social media especially Instagram. I have met and keep in touch with so many women through it that inspire me every day. When I first started planning for BORN AT DAWN I started attending (and still do attend) networking groups such as Mothers Meeting and Southwood Social Hub. They both have a big focus on social media so once you meet someone at one, it’s easy to keep in contact with them through Instagram. This is something that helps me enormously – whether I’m pinging a DM to someone for advice on something, collaborating with people on projects, it’s incredible to have met so many lovely supportive women in similar situations – I never feel alone despite working solo a lot.

I love interacting with followers and they were hugely influential in how I set up the business. I often asked questions on my Instagram account to get feedback on certain decisions in the planning stages. For instance: “What are you wearing today?”, “What’s the most worn piece in your wardrobe?”, “What’s your top style tip?”, “Where do you buy most of your clothes and why?”. I wanted to create a collection that really suited busy women’s real lives and offer a service that really suited them.

In terms of creating content for my account. I really planned who my target customer was and what her life looked like/what she was interested in. I then centred it around that. I always asked myself – would she enjoy reading this? Is it of value to her?

I’ve only recently launched and I have a lot more to learn about the business side of online marketing but in terms of raising awareness, making sales and interacting with my target customer, Instagram in particular has been great. I think something I need to work on now I’ve launched, is how to balance social media with the realities of running a business. When I’m dealing with customers, stock, orders, buying appointments, accounts and a million other things, it’s been hard at times to give my social media the attention it is so important it receives. It’s early days but I am sure I will get there and create some balance.

LUCY’S TOP WARDROBE PICKS

STATEMENT LEATHER JACKET

Perfect for giving a plain outfit an effortlessly cool, luxury feel. We have a great black leather and suede one on the site (both by MINIMUM), but if you’re looking for one that makes a statement but is still timeless – this Mads Norgaard leopard print biker jacket is fantastic.

CLASSIC TRENCH COAT

It’s worth investing in a good quality trench coat as it’s something you can bring out year after year and makes any outfit look chic. I saw so many on my buying appointments, but this one by Samsoe & Samsoe was my favourite by a mile – the material is so soft so it hangs nicely and is really comfortable to wear.

LAYERING T-SHIRT 

A great fitting plain t-shirt is so useful for layering with everything. Our Perfect tee is made from Pima cotton, it fits really well, comes in three colours (black/white/grey) and only costs £15.

THE PERFECT BRETON

You can’t go wrong with Breton for a pared back feel that never goes out of style. Look at pictures of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot in the sixties – the look still feels so fresh and relevant today. I looked long and hard to find the perfect Breton stripe tops and Mads Norgaard do it best for basic styles to invest in – they’ve been perfecting theirs for over 30 years and this particular style is 100% organic sustainable cotton.

BOYFRIEND JEANS

We love boyfriend jeans with a plain t-shirt and trainers or sandals/sliders for a relaxed daytime look or with heels and a blazer for a smarter feel – they are really versatile. This pair by 2nd DAY are to the ankle and we like the mid wash denim as not too dark or too light/distressed.

LUXE JEGGINGS

For the days when you just want to be wearing leggings – these give you the comfort of leggings but look a lot better. This pair by SELECTED FEMME are super soft and high-rise so no unsightly lines and they suck you in a little too. Everyone who’s tried them, loves them.

JUMPSUIT

Jumpsuits are perfect for if you are busy as they are a ready-made outfit. You can still give them different looks depending on what shoes and accessories you wear and how you layer them. This jumpsuit by Numph is wide legged and cropped and has a loose top section so it’s easy to wear, lies nicely and doesn’t cling.

STYLISH SHIRT

A good shirt is a fantastic wardrobe staple to wear with jeans or tailored trousers/chinos. This army green one by Maison Scotch is a classic and the material feels super luxe so it’s worth investing in.

INVESTMENT TOP

Stacey Duguid recently wrote in The Pool about how a “posh top” with jeans was a perfect go-to outfit for an evening out when you want to look nice but still be comfortable and not too overdressed. This one by French brand Suncoo would look great during the day or on holiday too.


Lucy is following…

Hayley Southwood @hjsouthwood: she’s supportive, positive and is always championing other women. I’m part of Southwood Social Hub, her network to inspire and empower women in business and it really is great.

Kelly from @cultofyouth: her posts are always beautiful and often make me cry. She always speaks from the heart and has a beautiful way with words.

Clemmie @mother_of_daughters: she amazes me with how she juggles four children, a job as a midwife and still finds time to share it all on Instagram, talk regularly at events and not to mention write a book! She is just ridiculously lovely in real life too.


Lucy’s work

bornatdawn.com
instagram.com/bornatdawn

Fashion meets function

Meet Katie Barker, business woman, London resident and mum. After struggling to find teething jewellery that not only soothed her daughter but also looked fashionable – Katie decided to launch East London Baby Co. Born out of a genuine desire to create wearable, functional necklaces and bracelets she also discovered the benefits of working for herself in the process. The digital scene has helped launch her business and she is a great example of what we love at Social Butterflies – an entrepreneurial woman (who happens to be a mother).

East London Baby Co. founder Katie Barker, teething jewellery

Before Katie started her business she worked in digital media/advertising “working closely with clients and agencies to make sure their advertising campaigns reached their target audiences, helped to grow their brand presence and ultimately choose their brand over anyone else’s”. Although she loved her job the hours weren’t compatible with having a baby: “lots of client entertainment in the evenings!”. Working for herself has enabled Katie to achieve flexibility, creativity and autonomy “whilst being able to do something I really believe in. Win win!”.

The light bulb moment happened when her daughter Beatrix “gave me an especially mean pinch whilst breastfeeding”. Katie spent time researching breastfeeding/teething necklaces and couldn’t finding one that fulfilled the dual purpose of “distracting her/being great for teething and was something I really wanted to wear as a piece of jewellery”. Adding a bit of colour to an outfit is something we all desire when we are mostly wearing comfortable clothes. So after “much research, testing and designing” Katie launched the company.

East London Baby Co. teething jewellery
Geometric style bracelets come in a rainbow of colours

The business is going from strength to strength and social media is helping to propel the brand. “Having seen the power of digital and social media in my previous work life, there was no doubt one of the first things I’d be doing would be working on getting a strong social presence – it’s how I find most of the things I buy. I’m a huge advocate for buying from independent businesses and the thriving Instagram business community is testament to the fact that lots of other people do too.”

Katie runs a monthly Instagram hashtag competition to find her favourite photos (#eastlondonbabyco). It a great way to create an online community and get people talking about the brand. “I am a huge believer that word of mouth or influencer marketing are the most powerful ways to grow your brand – when you see someone you admire or trust wearing something it can really influence you”. Seeing the products being used by real people is the best endorsement there is from a retailer’s perspective as it not only provides great publicity but it does so authentically. “I love seeing our wonderful customer pictures and they are one of the most important parts of our Instagram feed – seeing real mothers using our necklaces can help other mothers see how they might wear and use theirs.”

East London Baby Co. teething jewellery
Wearing it with style – happy customers post their photos using the hashtag #eastlondonbabyco

Style that works from ‘playground to pub’

“The necklaces and bracelets are designed to go with just about anything – our mantra from the beginning was ‘Playgroup to Pub’ – so they look as great with a sweatshirt as they do with something dressier. Several of our customers have told me they bought them despite not having teething babies – testament to them being just nice pieces of jewellery too.

I tend to wear mine with a jumper, Topshop jeans and Boob Design breastfeeding vest that’s my mum uniform!”

East London Baby Co. teething jewellery
Style with sweatshirts for a casual look

Katie’s following…

Cult of Youth logo

 

CULT of YOUTH

 

 

“I first encountered Cult of Youth whilst perusing stalls at the Word To The Mother market (a incredible market in East London that runs around holidays – Christmas/Mothers Day etc. launched by two mums to support local businesses) and spotted her incredible jewellery from a mile off. I was with baby and said baby had the mother of all meltdowns so I had to shoot off and have put her jewellery on my birthday list! Strong, inspiring, interesting and did I mention drop-dead gorgeous she’s a must-follow for mumpreneur inspiration.”

Little Flea Kids logo

 

Little Flea Kids

 

 

“Launched by super-mama Anna, Little Flea Kids fills my feed with beautiful photos of the best independent kids’ brands. She has an amazing eye and produces a GORGEOUS magazine several times a year that is always full of inspiration. She does a free online copy too – perfect for when the inbox gets a little much and you need a cup of tea and a break.”

Mother of Daughters Clemmie Hooper

 

Mother of Daughters

 

 

“With a huge following and a penchant for small, independent brands, this mama does it all and is a massive inspiration for me. A midwife, author and mother-of-four – I don’t know how she does it! Her Instagram is super interesting, funny and very very real. I get loads of inspiration for clothes for me and things for baby and lots of laughs from her live feed.”

Katie’s work…

East London Baby Co logo

East London Baby Co. designs and creates beautiful teething/feeding jewellery in on-trend colour combinations. The necklaces are safe for babies to chew, fiddle with and they help mamas accessorise and look great too. Designed specifically to draw the eye, the double-strand and different-sized/shaped beads give lots of interest for baby – and all colour-ways are tried, tested and baby-approved! Created to look like gorgeous double-stranded jewellery, they’ll easily take you from playgroup to pub! They come in a beautiful range of colours to suit everybody – the perfect present for yourself or a friend.”

eastlondonbabyco.co.uk

instagram.com/eastlondonbabyco

facebook.com/eastlondonbabyco


Interview with Amy White

Let’s talk about flex…with Polly March

Polly March is a 36-year-old journalist, originally from London but now living in north Bristol with her husband and two children, Florence (4) and Leo (2).

polly march bbc news journalist stella and dot stylist

When I asked Polly to tell her story I don’t think I quite appreciated how much she does: broadcast journalist for the BBC news website; volunteer for the Baby Bank Network overseeing its social media, freelance PR consultant and recently she’s joined the ranks of Stella & Dot as an independent stylist. So it’s safe to say that Polly is someone who truly embodies the values we’re aiming to champion on Social Butterflies – a working mum who is embracing the digital world.

But with all this going on in her life you can appreciate childcare is a finely tuned operation and so she’s quick to thank her “amazing in-laws who look after the kids out of pure love”. Juggling family life with work is an ongoing battle in most households and one we all strive to win. That’s why it’s refreshing to hear from real women about the harsh realities of trying to do it all: “It is quite tiring with all the pick-ups and drop-offs and does means the kids get a bit fed up at times but I think being totally there for them half the week is a real treat and makes up for it. The hard bit is when I have to go out and do jewellery shows in the evenings or on weekends or step away from them to do some admin as that feels like it impacts on family time but then it is extra cash for us all”.

If ever there was a recurring theme in this series of interviews it is that all mums have experienced a ‘crisis of confidence’. In fact, the reason it’s taken me so long to start writing again and launch this website is testament to that negative thinking. What’s so inspiring and comforting to know is that everyone else feels like that too! Polly’s experience is no exception, but that’s changed since she starting working for Stella & Dot: “it has massively helped with all aspects of my career and really reinvigorated me. It’s all about communicating but because I am meeting like-minded people and making them feel good about themselves, it makes me feel positive and has changed my professional outlook”.

polly march stella and dot stylist

What I love about Polly’s story is how fierce she has become in her professional attitude. Despite wondering if she would ever get her mojo back after having children she now has a renewed sense of vigour in her work ethic: “I am in a highly competitive industry on a short term contract and I’m only there [BBC] three days I week, I don’t have time to rest on my laurels and have to make my presence felt. At work now I am always ‘on it’, suggesting ideas or ways to take stories forward or to engage with our digital audiences. Before, where I might have been shy in coming forward, I know now that there’s no time for that and I can’t afford not to be noticed”. But this energy didn’t come overnight and Polly believes, as I’m sure we all do, that “as women, we should all be supporting each other in the workplace as when we have that conviction we can achieve anything”. Working in a deadline driven job has its drawbacks – being unable to avoid communications being one of them. I can relate to that and I’m conscious my children are watching me while I scroll through my phone or work on my laptop. But like Polly I think in order to find a fulfilling job that fits in around family life “it’s worth a bit of trial and error to get there”.

When she’s not enjoying outdoor pursuits and time with her family, Polly aspires to use her media skills to work with charities and “do more humanitarian work, help out at my daughter’s school and write that elusive book I’ve always been threatening to write!”. Well, I for one look forward to reading it!


Polly on social media…

“I largely use social media for my Stella & Dot business and it works fantastically well. It means I can connect with customers in a really personal way, offer them previews and discounts and a much friendlier, informal service. Also when I’m tweeting for the Baby Bank Network, I can do it anywhere and anyhow. Social media also massively helps with my main job at the BBC because it enables me to engage with users and find content really easily.

Polly’s daily digital routine…

“I am a total social media junkie so I will always check Facebook, Instagram and my BBC news app over breakfast. Twitter I generally only use at work but I will log on a few times a day on behalf of the Baby Bank Network just to check if I need to respond/engage.”

Polly is following…

“I really love the blogs that dispel the myths about motherhood”

unmumsy mum blog bookSarah Turner: The Unmumsy Mum writer of successful blog and subsequent Sunday Times no. 1 bestseller author.

Instagram: theunmumsymum

Twitter: @theunmumsymum

Facebook: www.facebook.com/theunmumsymum

 

 

hurrah for gin book blogKatie Kirby: blogger and published author of Hurrah for Gin.

Instagram: hurrah4gin

Twitter: @hurrahforgin

 

 

 

Totes Inappropestotes inappropes alison stankard: “The ramblings of a 43-year-old mother of three unfortunate children who likes to booze, run and shop for bargains. Lots of swearing and copious amounts of gin.”

Twitter: @StankardAlison

 

“I also follow lots of Stella & Dot gurus because they offer awesome advice about how to grow the business. I like people who keep it real but also have humour. There is far too much self-congratulatory stuff out there so I like people who are a bit humbler and self-deprecating who offer a more realistic view of life rather than smug mums of Instagram!”

Polly’s work…

BBC News

Stella & Dot

Baby Bank Network


Interview with Amy White