Each month I hope to bring you an interview with a fellow working Mama. These inspirational women quiet frankly run-the-world. Well, their part of the world at least, juggling motherhood, homes, relationships, businesses and exciting social media accounts with thousands of followers. I ask them what makes them tick, what gave them their ‘eureka’ moment and how they get s**t done.
The first interview comes from Liz Cadman; just one of a whole host of ‘Instamamas*’ I follow and the founder of Essex Mama, an apparel brand for adults and kids. My love of a super cool sweatshirt and comfy jeans combo precedes becoming a mother – but this outfit choice is now my go-to uniform for most days. I recently bought an Essex Mama Varsity sweatshirt in grey with a ‘M’ in pink flock (sadly I didn’t think I could get away with the ‘Girl Gang’ moto in this house full of boys) and I have to say I am delighted with the fit, quality and after washing it a zillion times (yep, already) it still looks like new.
Who is the Essex Mama – and tell us a bit about your tribe?
Essex Mama was my Instagram name that overnight became a t-shirt business. The business creates apparel that empowers the wearer or embodies the spirit of modern life in its slogans. The designs are aimed at raising the wearer up, evoking fun or provoking a thought deeper than the immediate slogan. It is FOR EVERY ONE. I often get asked if it’s just for mums, absolutely not! And as so many of my garments are unisex, it truly is for everyone! Ain’t nobody excluded from this Gang!
Tell us about your company – how it started and where you are now.
This was not a planned venture by any means! Last March, I made a tee for myself saying ‘GIRL GANG’ on the front as I couldn’t find one to buy in the shops. One selfie later and I was getting messages from friends asking me to make them one. The orders began to grow and so I made my Instagram account public and it, quite simply, went from there. I learn as I go, I make mistakes and celebrate the tiny victories. By far, my most favourite aspect of this entire journey is wearer photos. Be it a well known social media face, an entire family or a customers newborn baby in one of my vests, I never ever tire of seeing them. They literally make my day every time.
I am trying to launch a new range and move the business on, trying to do it properly now I have spent a few months getting it wrong or a little bit right.
How do you juggle running your own business and looking after tiny ones?
This is the hard bit. The whole idea of having a business was that I could fit it around my 3.5yr old son and spend time with my wonderfully supportive partner. But, in truth, it is early days and I spend many nights working into the early hours. Printing the tees myself means I cannot do it around my son for safety reasons whilst he is of an inquisitive age. I am looking to have some of them printed for me to allow more of a balance so fingers crossed.
What does being a ‘working mum’ mean to you?
Putting 100% into everything I do. Parenting, Essex Mama, being a partner and my part time job. It’s exhausting but I hope that my son will grow up surrounded by positive role models in his parents.
What has surprised you the most about motherhood.
The emotional rollercoaster! Smothering my child with love, being amazed at his achievements and imagination, and then in the same breathe exasperated by the little high octane pocket rocket he is! It is wonderful, exhausting and never dull!
What would be your three top parenting tips? (serious, or plain silly we don’t mind)
Pick your battles.
Celebrate the tiny victories.
Don’t feel guilty – take time for you, you were you before you were a mum.
I hate the question ‘what inspires you’ so let’s go with: what really gets you super super excited, motivates you or simply makes you jump out of bed in the morning shouting ‘Hell YEAAAAH’?
Chocolate. Seriously, it’s the future.
The unknown. Seeing what the day brings. It could be the next steps following a productive chat with a fellow insta mum – planning a collab or learning something new. It could be a well earned day out with my boys. I try to be a positive person despite what life throws at me, so I take each day as it comes.
Who would you like to give a shout out too and why?
@gottshot – Emily is an absolute babe of a model, mama, photographer and, despite having never met, I know I have found a wonderful friend. Seriously check out her feed – dreamy!
@cultofyouth – Kelly, a fellow Essex girl, is again another Badass woman who embodies the meaning of the word. Her handmade jewellery is just incredible, her spirit even more so. Follow her!
@mummas_health_hub – Jemma is one fit mama. She has just quit her day job to follow her love of personal training and grow her business – Jemma invented the ‘Pack of Hacks’ which you need to check out for daily quick body blitzs that allow you to fit a spot of exercise into the most jam packed of days! (Her hubby Billy is the talent behind @gooutsidethelines too!)
Favourite song or piece of music for a working day.
I am a garage girl through and through so it would have to be a good Kisstory session with a bit of DJ Luck & MC Neat!
And finally, if you could only pick one would it be alcohol, caffeine or chocolate!
Chocolate. My hangovers are monstrous! Pure evil! and I am yet to become a grown up & even try coffee or tea! eek!
Thank you so much to Liz aka Essex Mama for my first ‘mama interview’.
Photography: Kika Mitchell Photography
Source: Essex Mama