You know when you meet somebody and you instantly feel inspired by their warmth, generosity of spirit, tenacity and ingenuity. That's how I feel about Vicki, and I've actually never even met her in person. Yep, even through the power of the internet, this fabulous lady radiates positive vibes and always leaves me feeling uplifted, like i want to be my best self.
Over the past 7 years her blog has become her brand and she has worked to not only better her career but to promote and help other women to do so to. She is kick ass. She is a rock star. She is about to be an author of her first book.
Meet the Inspirational Vicki of Honest Mum.com
Why did you start Honestmum?
I started my blog in November 2010 when my first son, Oliver was 10 months old, at a time I felt pretty broken and identity-less to be honest. I was suffering from a traumatic birth, and along with therapy, a move closer to family in Yorkshire and starting my blog, I slowly began to rediscover my voice and with it came my confidence. With every small milestone met I felt stronger and by milestone that could mean a simple like on FB when I shared a post or an email that made me feel people were listening to what I had to say and appreciated my blog. Becoming a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the Fresh Voice Category, 4 weeks after starting was a huge turning point for me. That nomination got me back on set and eventually blogging full time.
I could never have foreseen my own journey with blogging and vlogging when I started, as the industry in the UK was very much in its infancy then. I returned to directing when Oliver turned one but by the time my second son, Xander was born in 2012, I'd found myself an accidental career I loved: a liberating, enriching way to work around my family which put me firmly in control of my work, and life. I'm writing my first book at the moment (published by Piatkus/Little Brown in March 2018) which reflects on my experiences and is jam-packed with advice for women wanting to become the mum-bosses of their own lives. My goal has always been to help empower other women to realise and utilise this democratic digital space so they can become whomever they want to be.
What advice would you give to bloggers on attaining success?
Tenacity. Talent is important of course, a dedication to honing your voice, exercising those creative muscles and refining skills but it's the commitment to achieving and picking yourself up on the down days, when things don't go to plan and in the face of adversity, always learning from mistakes and relentlessly improving which creates success. Not quitting.
Success is relative and means different things to different people. I wanted to work in a way that suited my family on my own time and terms. My dream was to be able to work remotely and to see my kids as much as possible. 12 hour days on set as a director was not conducive to my changed goals once kids came alone. Thank goodness the rise of blogging and vlogging meant I could take what I knew (and build on that skillset) to make my blog, my job. You don't need a media background to thrive though, you just need a laptop, a few deep breaths and a commitment to becoming a storyteller and you're set.
My advice to those wanting to kick ass in whatever career they choose:
Work hard, have fun, surround yourself with champions: people you trust who have your best interests at heart and who will be honest with you, and know that hard work will equal positive results in time. Don't expect overnight success. No one achieves that.
Which is your favourite social media platform and why?
This is a hard one as I love each one for different reasons, even snapchat which I always forget to use! Someone even tweeted me to tell me how pointless my snaps were. I was like, 'Yeah, I know, soz'!
So, Twitter because it was my first love and helped me connect to a community of like-minded mamas and some of my closest friends were made there. Twitter has always been there for me: as I breastfed in the middle of the night or needed answers to questions as a new mum. It is still the first place I head to online to keep up with news events. It will always have a special place in my heart.
Pinterest is a happy place online for me. The social platform I have the most followers on (nearly 41k, I love how personal it feels there. I have lost of public boards but also private ones too I just share with my husband and friends featuring present wish lists, party ideas, photography, recipes and more. I was honoured to have made the finals for the recent Pinterest Food Awards and if anyone knows how to throw a party, it's Pinterest.
Instagram, I was a bit late to the insta party, setting up an account a few years ago but not properly using it regularly until 12 months ago. I adore the fashion accounts I follow there like yours and the home interiors and US sites that are simply bursting with colour and scene scapes mostly of LA. There are some fab beauty and food accounts I love there too.
Facebook: I love FB for funny parenting memes, pics and FB Lives where I love connecting with my friends and followers both on my personal and public pages.
Snapchat. The filters are everything. I just wish I could apply them IRL. My kids adore the filters too and we always have such a laugh turning ourselves in to animals or face swapping.
Linkedin is great to stay in touch with business colleagues from the film, tv and media worlds and I share relevant posts over there.
I also auto share my Insta posts to Tumblr too.
Google + offers a little SEO benefit so I also share posts there too.
What has been your favourite 'pinch me' moment in blogging so far?
Oh gosh, good question, there have luckily been several pinch me moments. Working in the film and TV industry pre-blogging meant having some amazing opportunities like having my film work shown at international film festivals I was flown out to and seeing my work on TV in the UK, America, France, Greece and beyond which was pretty crazy as I started directing at 21 as part of my MA... My life pre-kids and Honest Mum was quite a whirlwind when I reflect back on it. I also worked for one of the biggest film companies in the world too.. Blogging was a 360 for me in the sense I was mostly behind the camera beforehand, apart from the odd shoot where I was profiled as a filmmaker, and I also presented a one off film programme for BBC2. I had originally wanted to be a broadcast journalist and presenter but loved the creative control screenwriting and directing gave me.
My job now is the perfect combination of all those creative elements.
Having the opportunity to work with people and brands I admire has been amazing, be it interviewing superstar Anastasia or working with Jamie Oliver.. being signed as the digital ambassador for the airline Jet2.com and Jet2holidays (a first for a blogger in the UK), being represented by Neil Ransome at Insanity and having Robyn Drury as my literary agent at Diane Banks Associates, and of course my book deal were all stand-out moments.
The beauty of blogging is you just don't know where it will take you or what will come next. By far, the greatest joy has been the experiences my kids have had such as incredible holidays in Jamaica, the South of France, Spain and other destinations, and meeting their own little heroes like Andy from Andy's Adventures (Xander cried when we had to leave).
The friendships I've made thanks to blogging and life online have seriously touched my life. I didn't think it was possible to find sisters online but I have.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
The plan is to move to LA but who knows. I keep open-minded but felt a real affinity to LA when I was over there with a short film I directed years ago. I can definitely imagine my family and I settling there down the line.
The dream is still to direct a feature film one day whilst continuing to grow Honest Mum. I have a small team now and I hope that will continue growing and building.
I see all creative pursuits feeding one another and crossing over. One thing I've learnt thanks to blogging and vlogging is that, as a creative, you don't have to compartmentalise yourself or your craft, you can go (and do) wherever your desires take you.
I would like another baby too, ideally once this current third baby (my book) is complete. I need to convince my husband though so it's not really a 'watch this space kind of thing' more let's see what happens over the next couple of years, but I'm so incredibly in love with my boys that I'd love to add another baby to the fam.
Thank you Vicki you are a complete inspiration. Best if luck with all your future plans, i just know you'll achieve them!
Seeing what Vicki has accomplished with her blog really does show how hard work and determination can pay off in abundance, and how we can all make our dream jobs happen.
Oooo i feel all tingly with inspiration, don't you?