I first came across Rachael Kellett and her lovely MAMA gear on Instagram @RachaelKellett. I also noticed it popping up on lots of other Instafeeds. I love what it stands for. There can also be lots of negative connotations with the word mummy or mama as women may feel they have suddenly replaced their original identity with a new role full of high expectations. Rachael’s MAMA gear celebrates all things MAMA; who you are now and who you still are. Her Mama Knows Best treats have a cheeky but confident vibe. Rachael was also hanging out at the Mama Squad Assemble in August. So as part of the Inspire series, here’s what Rachael had to say to Lucky Things blog….
What you love about your home?
I live with my awesome supportive husband and my 1-year-old son (plus a bump on the way, due in December) just outside the Portsmouth area. I love the area we live in mainly because I love being so close to the sea. I have so many early memories of being down the beach with my Grandparents as a child, even when it was freezing cold we would still go down for an ice cream and to throw stones into the water. I can’t wait to give my children the same memories.
What encouraged you to set up MAMA? Was it easy to get going?
It all came about from a messy play session with my son one morning. After creating his latest “masterpiece” with poster paint, I snapped a few pictures on my iPhone and started playing about with the images, overlaying text etc. and eventually came up with the original MAMA design. I loved it so much I looked into getting it printed onto a bag, and after much encouragement from friends, family and the wonderful mums of Instagram, I eventually launched it to sell, and it has grown since then. I had so much anxiety about launching, and I don’t think I could’ve gone ahead with it if it wasn’t for all the incredible support I had around me. I thank everyone so much for how much just a little few words of encouragement helped me in those early days, and still do! Every MAMA product has been created from that same painting.
Whilst managing MAMA and being a mum, do you have another day job?
Yes I work part-time as an accountant for a small local facilities services firm.
So what has been the inspiration for MAMA?
Well… I am all about celebrating motherhood in general. Being a mum is the most important, stressful, fulfilling and exhausting job in the world. I think there is too much stigma in society that seems to think when you become a mum you somehow lose your own identities. I believe we don’t loose them, we enhance them!! I don’t think we should be ashamed to blazon our titles around with pride. After all we have bloody well-earned them!!
What’s the best thing about setting up MAMA?
I love creating something that I am so passionate about! Something I can pour my heart and soul into and be proud of!! It’s a lot of hard work though, and it can be frustrating at times when you feel like you have received 101 never-ending bad samples, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel… But I’ve always has a great support network around me to pick me up when I’m feeling down, and get me back on track again.
Have you any advice for new or second-time parents?
My only advice to parents is to trust your instincts and try not to stress about the small stuff. You may have a pile of washing to do, or a kitchen to clean, and all your child wants are cuddles and attention, but how much will that messy kitchen bother you in 5 years time? But you may regret not making the most of those cuddles and tickle fights while you still had the chance.
Everyday life can be full of ups and downs. What’s your motto when things get a bit tough for you?
Mama Knows Best!! It’s a motto I feel so passionately about that I’ve created a line in my MAMA business with the slogan. It means trusting your gut instincts. No two babies are the same and one knows their baby like a Mama does. There is no right way or wrong way of doing things, you do what you this is best and that is the best you can do… And if you think it’s best, then you’re probably right!! Never underestimate the power of self belief!
What’s your favourite childhood memory about the clothes you liked to wear?
I had an older sister so I was always stealing her clothes. Whatever was in her wardrobe always seamed more appealing than anything in mine.
What has your little boy taught you about life?
Oh gosh, what hasn’t having children taught me about life!?! I think the most important thing that I have learnt is that almost every situation I face can always be solved by love and kindness. It’s something I always turn to both in parenting, and life in general.
What are 3 of your favourite items in your wardrobe?
Well I’m in the third trimester of pregnancy, so at the moment it is anything with the word “maternity” in front of it! (Maternity pyjama bottoms really are what dreams are made of!) But my wardrobe go-to items will always have to be skinny jeans, a denim jacket, and any of my MAMA t-shirts. You can pretty much guarantee that I will always be wearing at least one of these items.
As you’re juggling lots of things, what are your 3 tips for staying organised as a working parent?
1) When you’re not working, switch off from it. It’s hard sometimes, but you want to be able to appreciate the time you have with your children when you can get it.
2) Plan ahead, whether for work or planning family time on your days off. You will be able to make more of your time in both situations if you plan in advance (and they’ll be a lot less stressful too).
And 3) Don’t expect too much of yourself. You are not a machine. You can only do so much!
Me-time is also pretty important. What would your dream weekend be if you’re on your own?
My dream weekend on my own would be really boring. I would love to just have a weekend at home to myself. If I wake up when I wanted, I’d spring clean the house top to toe and basically just do all the jobs I never have time to do. I’d do them at my own pace without rushing around between naps etc… I told you it was boring!
And if you’re with your family?
It would be a little holiday away somewhere. Somewhere outdoorsy where we could go on walks and bike rides, and where we could just relax, sit around a fire in the evenings and just talk and play games… I’m a very simple girl at heart!
If you were given time and a deal to write a book, what would it be about?
Well I’m no writer, but if I could write a book about anything it would be about parenting. I’d love to be able to write about not every aspect of parenting being perfect. Not every baby is going to sleep through from 6 weeks or feed every 4 hours (mine certainly didn’t). All the parenting books I read were very one-dimensional, and I spent a lot of the first few months thinking I was doing something wrong or I had broken by baby. I love to spread the message that babies aren’t machines, they are all different. They won’t all do the same things at the same times, but that’s ok! The key is to relax and do whatever you feel is best for your baby and for you, and keep moving on.
What music and tunes are you listening to at the moment?
My son is obsessed with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, so we pretty much have them on repeat in our house while he runs around with his guitar or drum kit. It’s very cute how much he loves his music, I hope it’s something he doesn’t grow out of.
What grown-up tunes do you enjoy playing to your child/children?
We sing “Tommy Can you Hear Me” by The Who to our son all the time. It always calms him down when he is stressed or crying.
And how about you, what tunes do you remember listening to growing up?
I was such a typical 90’s kid! Lots of Spice Girls and S Club 7.
Before we say bye for now, what’s one of your lucky things?
Well the only thing I consider lucky is the rain… It has always rained when me and my parter have done something significant in our lives, our wedding day, when we moved into our home…etc… I always think if it’s raining then it must be a good sign now!
As well as on Instagram, you can check out Rachael’s MAMA range at RachaelKellett.bigcartel.com
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the Rachael’s MAMA gear or the new Inspire series on Lucky Things blog, I’d love to hear from you…
All photos for this blog post have kindly been provided and published with permission from Rachael Kellett