Happy Wednesday! I always say that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life for a really long time but thats not strictly true. Growing up especially in my teens I dreamt of working for Vogue. I did an internship there when I was 15 and I literally thought I had died and gone to heaven. I worked in the editorial department for a week and I was in constant awe of the way the women dressed and spoke. Life rarely turns out the way you plan and now I am doing something I love probably even more than I would have done working for a glossy magazine because I am working for myself and I get to be flexible, but when I think about dream jobs Amanda Woodward Brown instantly jumps to my mind. I haven’t met her but we have followed each other for a while on Instagram and when I recently had to pull out of an event I was supposed to go to that she attended I thought you know what I really want to get to know her so I decided to interview her for my Get To Know series! She is the editor for the chicest ultimate fashion destination for expectant mothers: Nine In The Mirror and her job sounds AMAZING! She has two young girls and seems to have perfected the balancing act of having a busy job as well as being a super hands on mother. I absolutely loved reading all of her answers and definitely want to actually meet her in person after this. Read on to get to know her better…
Tell us a little bit about your background and job role?
I started my career in fashion magazines in Australia (which is where I was born and grew up). I worked with marie claire as a fashion stylist and I loved my role – I got to travel, go to shows and attend incredible events. However after six years I decided I wanted to live overseas and pursue writing. My husband is English so London seemed the obvious place to move. We arrived in July in 2011 and I was lucky enough to find a position at NET-A-PORTER only a few weeks later. I worked in editorial marketing then switched roles to social media editor. It was whilst I was on maternity leave, after the birth of my first daughter, that I was approached by the co-founders of NINE IN THE MIRROR about working on the launch of the site. I loved the concept behind it – I never wore maternity wear and thought that an edit of ready-to-wear designer looks to suit a bump was really clever. My role as editor entails overseeing all onsite, marketing and social content. I also edit the bi-weekly online magazine. I especially love interviewing our cover stars. We feature so many inspirational women and being able to see pregnancy and motherhood through myriad points of view never ceases to fascinate me.
As the editor of such a fashionable website, aren’t you tempted to buy everything??
Well, when new-season Valentino comes onto site…! Seriously though, working in fashion you quickly hone your sense of style and becoming a mother has narrowed what I wear even more. I now tend to invest in pieces that I know I can easily team with other items in my wardrobe or dresses or jumpsuits that I can just throw on, then head straight out the door.
How do you juggle being a parent with having such a busy job?
I think it is just that, a juggle. There is never a perfect balance. I have found that giving my undivided attention to one or the other works best for me. When I am working, I try to concentrate fully on the task at hand and when I am with my daughters, I try to switch off and focus on them. Of course it is not always possible and it also often means working late in the evening after the girls have gone to bed. But I find that easier than trying to write with a toddler and a baby in the background creating havoc!
Any plans to have more children?
Ha! Not anytime soon! I always wanted three children but I also never thought I would be living so far from my family. I am very close to my mother and sister and it can sometimes be quite difficult not having them near for support – even just to call on days when the girls are driving me crazy! The time difference between London and Sydney is really frustrating. I think my husband is also worried about having another girl and therefore another female in the house bossing him around! But then again, never say never…
Favourite place to go for a date night?
We hardly ever get to escape for a night out together so dinner with just the two of us always feels like such a treat. If I had to choose a place I love Polpo in Soho. One of my favourite ever holidays was in Venice with my husband just before we were married. Polpo always makes me feel like I am back there, drinking prosecco and eating cicheti.
Favourite way to unwind?
A glass of wine! I also love pilates – attending a class is an instant mood booster and always clears my mind.
Who is your role model?
My grandmother. She was one of the first female lifesavers during the Second World War, learnt to drive when hardly any women held a license, went back to work after having six children and then went travelling around Europe with my grandfather and five of her children. She also was incredibly stylish and the kindest, wisest woman. There really was no one like her. I always go back to her advice when I am going through a challenging time.
Travel with kids – yes or no?
Definitely yes! With family on the other side of the world it is essential. I recently flew by myself with Isla and Violet to and from Australia. Before I went I was told by so many people that I was crazy to be doing a 24-hour flight alone with a newborn and a toddler that I started to become absolutely terrified. However it was fine. It certainly wasn’t relaxing (far from it!) but it wasn’t a nightmare either. Even if I didn’t live away from home I would still always travel with my children. My father worked in the aviation industry and my mother loved travelling, and they took my brother and sister and I all over the world with them. They always took us beyond the walls of hotels and resorts we stayed in too, so that we were exposed to different cultures and could see what life was really like in other countries. It’s an experience I want to instil in my own children.
Favourite holiday destination?
The Amalfi Coast. I love the dramatic clifftop coastline, the coloured buildings, the food and the perfect sunsets.
What are your top tips for throwing a kids birthday party?
Papier for the loveliest personalised invitations. Meri Meri for the chicest party decorations – I am using their Liberty print collection for Isla’s first birthday celebration. Entertainment for the children if they are toddler age or older – my sister-in-law is brilliant at parties and organised a children’s entertainer dressed as The Little Mermaid for my niece’s birthday. Violet still talks about Ariel months later. I also love when the girls are given party bags that aren’t stuffed full of sweets but rather fun mementoes like a fairy wand or a book.
What career advice would you give to your daughters?
To find what you love and pursue it with passion, also that positivity, hard work and determination will always take you places.
You are stranded on a desert island with your children – what one thing would you want to have with you?
My iPhone to send an SOS to get me (and the children obviously) out of there!
Best piece of parenting advice you ever received?
Everything is just a phase. It is something that has resonated even more the second time around. You realise that whatever challenge you are encountering be it teething, tantrums or waking in the night, it won’t last forever. The phrase ‘the days are long but the years are short’ perfectly sums up raising children.
What Instagram accounts do you love to follow?
@casadeperrin – the chicest table settings.
@mimithor – the cookbook author’s pictures simultaneously make me want to move to rural France/insanely hungry. She is also utterly beautiful and a mother of six.
@achdigest – I am obsessed with interiors and this is a source of endless inspiration.
@ameliafullarton – an Australian photographer who captures the most beautiful pictures of motherhood
@edit.58 – Lisa runs the most beautiful online store with vintage rugs, embroidered baskets and candles. I also love her witty captions.
Favourite child friendly spot in London?
Kew Gardens. I am always happiest outdoors and so are the girls. I love seeing the change of seasons and Violet especially loves having endless space to run without me constantly calling after her. There is also a brilliant playground and soft play for little ones. Oh and they have a café with good coffee next to the kids area – very important!
Best thing about having kids?
You discover how great your capacity is to love. Having children is also a chance to see the world afresh. When I walk with Violet she is always stopping to show me a flower, or a ladybird or ask me a thousand ‘why’ questions. I love her endless curiosity about life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Oh, I honestly don’t have an answer! I love not knowing what life holds or where we’ll be…
Shop Nine In The Mirror clothing here xx