For today’s modern mums, staying at home with the children doesn’t have to mean staying bored. Whether through blogging, social media or building a culinary empire, many stay-at-home mums have found ways to not only stay busy, but to build successful brands and businesses. Many mums even manage to build their brands and businesses from the comfort of their own homes, while still managing to take care of their families. The following six mums did just that – going from full-time stay-at-home mums to making it big!
Alison Perry got the idea of her blog, the cheekily named “Not Another Mummy Blog”, while staying at home on maternity leave with her daughter. Leveraging her fourteen years of experience as a writer and editor at women’s magazines and websites, she created a vibrant and approachable blog. Alison’s chatty and down-to-earth writing style make each post read like a conversation with a close girlfriend.
Since its creation in 2011, Alison has grown her London-based lifestyle blog into a multi-platform destination for parenting, travel and style advice. Posts chronicle Alison’s adventures with her now six-year-old daughter and her husband, coyly referred to as “Mr. P.”
In addition to browsing her website, readers can shop Alison’s looks on her Instagram page, tune in to her Not Another Mummy Podcast or peruse her Pinterest board. Content is divided neatly into categories including ‘Life’, ‘Travel’ and ‘Style’ and ranges from the light-hearted to the hard-hitting. Recent articles include “10 Free Things To Do In London With Kids”, “7 Things That Happen When You Go Through IVF” and “Revamp Your Make Up Bag for Under £10”. Posts are accompanied by bright photographs featuring Alison and her family, both in their day-to-day London life or on one of their many holidays.
Readers can also connect directly to Alison via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In her “About Me” section, she notes that she “[loves] hearing what readers think, even when (actually especially when) you don’t agree”. That willingness to engage with readers has fostered a space in which readers can come together to discuss the intricacies of life as a parent, as well as just life in general.
Since its creation in 2011, Not Another Mummy Blog has been featured in The Telegraph, Grazia and Daily Mail. In 2011, Alison received the title of Best Blog Writer at the Gurgle Awards. In 2017, Alison created her podcast, which soon after rose to the top of the iTunes Kids & Family chart. She has also spoken at the 2013 Mumsnet Blogfest and chaired a 2014 panel at Mumsnet Workfest.
Another stay-at-home mum who made it big through blogging is Clemmie Hooper, a South London-based midwife and author. Through her blog, “Gas & Air”, Clemmie communicates her passion for helping women through pregnancy, birth and motherhood. She also shares photos of and stories about her four adorable daughters and her husband.
Despite having previously worked in advertising, Clemmie feels she was born to be a midwife. Joking in her ‘Hello’ section, she describes how, “According to my mother when I was 4, I declared that I wanted to be a midwife. So I put on my nurse’s dressing-up outfit, wrenched one of my beloved dolls out from under my dress, and made the obligatory new born baby crying sound (if only it was so easy)”. Clemmie’s lifetime of knowledge and insight shines through her blog posts, each of which offers frank advice on the various stages of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Whether discussing maternity clothing, nursing bras or what to pack in your labour bag, she writes with honesty and humour.
Readers can engage directly with Clemmie by asking her questions via the “Ask the Midwife” section on her blog. She also shares (with the mother’s consent) a “Birth Story of the Week”. These posts offer weekly insights into real women’s joys and struggles during pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Readers can send their own birth stories, comments or questions to Clemmie via Twitter. They can also follow her photogenic life via her Instagram, mother_of_daughters, which has over 380,000 followers.
Clemmie has since expanded her blog into a book, How To Grow a Baby And Push It Out. The book was published by Penguin Random House in February 2017 and is available for purchase as a paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon UK. Readers rave about how informative yet funny the book is, as well as the helpful, practical advice it offers mums and mums-to-be. Gas & Air has been featured on the Mumsnet Blogger’s Network and at Brit Mums Live! 2015, as well as recognised as one of the Tots 100 Love Blogs. Clemmie has also been featured in the Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, Closer Magazine and a range of other blogs and websites dedicated to pregnancy and parenting.
Another mum known for her enviable social media presence is Jools Oliver, wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and mother of five children – Daisy, Poppy, Petal, Buddy and River. Jools shares candid snapshots of her family, country home and, of course, mouth-watering food with her over 500,000 Instagram followers. Jools previously worked as a model and TV researcher before leaving to stay at home with her brood, splitting time between homes in London and Essex.
Jools has parlayed her social media success into a variety of business ventures. She serves as co-designer of Little Bird by Jools, a line of clothing for children aged newborn to eight. Little Bird by Jools offers decidedly practical, yet beautiful, children’s clothes, intended to be shared and passed down to the next generation. Jools designed this clothing line to encourage children to dress themselves and to express their own unique sense of style. Pieces are inspired by her own childhood memories from growing up during the seventies and feature a range of quirky prints, nostalgic motifs and vintage touches. Little Bird by Jools is available for purchase at Mothercare.
In addition to her clothing line, Jools has also written several books. The first, Minus Nine to One, The Diary of an Honest Mum, candidly and humorously chronicles Jools’ journey as she discovers she is pregnant with her first child, Poppy. Jools describes how the book is “simply my story and I hope that you can relate to it in some way (and maybe even relax with it in the bath!)”. Jools also wrote a children’s book in 2008 called The Adventures of Dotty and Bluebell: Four Delightful Stories of an Ever-so-naughty Little Girl and Her Big Sister. This whimsical book tells the tales of two sisters and their adventures throughout the seasons.
Not only does Jools write books, but she has also written a celebrity guest blog featured exclusively on Gurgle. Posts discuss family parties, holiday preparation and baking tips, as well as insight into her and her family’s day-to-day life. Many readers love the glimpses she offers into daily life with her celebrity-chef husband and brood of adorable children. Whether it’s through her Instagram, her books, her clothing line or her blog posts, Jools has made it big without sacrificing her duties as a mum.
While Jools Oliver is married to a chef, other stay-at-home mums have found success themselves in the kitchen. Ree Drummond is an American blogger, New York Times bestselling author, food writer, photographer and television personality. She lives on a working ranch outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma with her husband, rancher Ladd Drummond (who she endearingly refers to as ‘The Marlboro Man’) and her four children.
Ree created her blog, “The Pioneer Woman”, in May of 2006. Her posts discussed her family’s life on the ranch, home-schooling her children and food recipes. Ree posted her first food recipe and a tutorial on “How to Cook a Steak”, which included step-by-step instructions with over twenty photos illustrating the steps. Readers loved how detailed and easy to follow Ree’s recipes were, and soon, Ree made photographic, step-by-step food tutorials a feature of her blog. Just three years after its creation, The Pioneer Woman was receiving more than 13 million page views per month. The blog has received numerous awards for its writing and design.
By 2009, Ree realised that she could expand both her blog and her brand by focusing more specifically on food. She started TastyKitchen.com, a website allowing readers to share their favourite home recipes with one another. She also redesigned The Pioneer Woman to better allow readers to search, print and share Ree’s recipes.
Based on the success of her food blogging, Ree was invited to appear on a 2010 episode of the Food Network’s Throwdown! In April of 2011, Ree began hosting her own Food Network show called The Pioneer Woman, which features Ree cooking her own recipes at home on her family’s ranch.
In addition to her blogging and television success, Ree has also penned numerous books, some of which have even gone on to become best sellers. In 2007, she released Black Heels to Tractor Reels, which tells the story of how Ree met and married her husband. The film rights to the book were later purchased by Columbia Pictures, with rumours of Reese Witherspoon in talks to play Ree herself. Ree has also written three cookbooks: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl; The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations. Her second cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier, became a Number 1 New York Times Bestseller.
Ree has also written several children’s books which tell stories of ranch life from the perspective of her family’s Basset Hound, Charlie. Her series of children’s books include: Charlie the Ranch Dog, Charlie and the Christmas Kitty, and Charlie and the New Baby. The books have received praise for their humour, as well as their ability to appeal to both adult and child readers.
The Pioneer Woman has been named one of the “25 Best Blogs” in the world by TIME Magazine, and Ree is estimated to earn more than a million dollars annually in advertisement revenue from her blog. Her blog, television show and books continue to attract and enchant readers and viewers. It’s undeniable that in the past decade, Ree has truly built an empire from the comfort of her home (and her kitchen!)
Stacey Brown is another stay-at-home mum who has built a successful business from her kitchen. In 2007, Brown was busy raising her four children in Alabama, then between the ages of two and seven. To help supplement her family’s income, she began making homemade chicken salad and selling it door to door. Soon, neighbours developed a taste for Stacey’s cooking and Stacey was getting regular business from her door-to-door sales. However, she was soon contacted by the Health Department, who informed her that her fledgling business was illegal as she was not cooking the chicken salad in a commercial kitchen. She was forced to halt sales of her chicken salad immediately.
However, Stacey didn’t let that setback stop her. In 2008, she and her husband, Kevin Brown, opened their first restaurant, Chicken Salad Chick, selling Stacey’s homemade chicken salad. The restaurant was an instant success and soon they were approached with franchise offers. As of May 2017, Stacey had successfully opened sixty-two locations, with plans to open between thirty to forty new restaurants annually over the next several years. Chicken Salad Chick has a recorded growth rate of more than 6,000% and earns more than $9.8 million in revenue annually. However, throughout the process of growing her business, Stacey remained committed to her role as a mum. She told Forbes Magazine in 2017 that, “Sure, it would have been easy to stay at work longer or open on Sundays to bring in more money, but our commitment was to our family. As difficult as it was at times, our family became stronger because we remained faithful to that decision”. Stacey manages to effortlessly balance her roles as both a mum and entrepreneur.
Natalie Lee is another busy mum who has managed to build her brand and her business while juggling motherhood. Natalie lives in East London with her husband, Matt, and two daughters, who she affectionately refers to as the ‘the ratbags’. After falling pregnant with her second daughter in 2012, she left her career as a midwife and lactation consultant to become a full-time mum. However, she realised that she still needed a space in which she could express herself, voice her opinions and let her creativity loose. To create that space, she started her blog, ‘Style Me Sunday’, and her Instagram account, ‘stylemesunday’.
Her blog and Instagram account were met with immediate success. Readers loved Natalie’s quirky-yet-chic sense of style, as well as her affinity for bold lipsticks. She also celebrates the unique beauty of all mums, as well as the inevitable messiness of motherhood. Writing on her blog, Natalie describes her brand as “We love curves, wrinkles, realness, anything that doesn’t pretend to fit into a cookie cutter mould. You’ll never see any photo shopping here”. Many mums find Natalie inspiring in her ability to keep it real about the realities of motherhood, presenting a welcome contrast to the often high-gloss, photo shopped, idealised depictions of motherhood.
Readers are also able to easily purchase items they see Natalie wearing. By going to the ‘Shop My Look’ tab, they can browse online items that Natalie has worn on her blog or Instagram account, as well as items she personally endorses. For busy mums, this is an easy way to freshen up their wardrobe.
In addition to inspiring with her sense of style, Natalie is also an advocate and role model for mums raising a seriously ill child. Natalie’s oldest daughter has a rare genetic condition called Brittle Cornea Syndrome, which causes her to slowly lose her sense of sight. Natalie confronts the realities of this disease on her blog. She shares the struggles she feels as a parent, her desire to work through a bucket list with her daughter before she fully loses her sense of sight, and her commitment to raising a daughter who is not held back by any illness or disability. Readers will find strength in Natalie’s determination and positivity.
Through her blog and Instagram, Natalie also leads her Warrior Woman Project. The Warrior Woman Project involves sporadic challenges, which motivates her readers to feel confident and be the best woman (and mum) they can be. Readers can interact directly with Natalie through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Many stay-at-home mums have managed to not only nurture their families, but also nurture a brand and business. Such mums include “Not Another Mummy Blogger” Alison Perry; midwife, author and blogger Clemmie Hooper; entrepreneur, blogger and author Jools Oliver; blogger, television personality and author Ree Drummond; restaurant-owner Stacey Brown; and blogger Natalie Lee. Despite the challenges and demands of being a stay-at-home mum, these women have found the time to create and cultivate successful businesses, often from the comfort of their own homes. These six stay-at-home mums have truly managed to make it big.
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