| Posted by Super Mumas
Allie is someone many of us aspire to... a woman who had the guts to leave a flying job to start her family AND her blog, the One Handed Cooks.
She has wonderful tips and also some advice for those of us who think "yeah, I could do a blog!".
We hope you enjoy!
You're a Super Muma to?
I have a three and a half year old – Harry, and a 7 month old – Amelia. They’re scrumptious, and I can’t get enough.
What has Harry taught you in the last few months?
Harry has taught me to see and enjoy the small things. Children see a completely different world to adults. I love that he brings out the child in me to rediscover things like the joy of blowing bubbles in milk, how fun it is to roll down grassy hills, and ask where ants go at night!?
What is your biggest fear?
That this precious time with my babies will go too fast.
How do you keep a balance between your work life, and life with your family?
When I first started the blog I promised it wouldn’t take away from time with the kids. So, whenever it gets too much I remember this promise and rearrange my time accordingly. It is hard though; this type of work can be 24/7 if you let it, so the balance has been something I’ve continually worked on to get right. Learning how to say no helps, too.
Two years ago you left the world of advertising and started your blog. Tell us how this all unfolded?
I was working my dream job as an advertising copywriter in a large agency. There wasn’t much of a work/life balance. While the lifestyle was fun, it was never going to be forever - I had envisaged the type of Mum I wanted to be, and it was the stay at home type. I wanted to be the one to raise my children - I had been looking forward to this chapter of my life for so long and wasn’t going to give it up. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would be using all those skills (advertising, copywriting, account management, concepting, etc.) to create something so rewarding and so perfect for me.
What was the inspiration behind your blog?
Before advertising and while studying, I was a nanny. I worked with various families and saw the difference between those who ate predominantly home cooked/low additive food and those who didn’t. The difference in behavior, development and sleep was very noticeable and I knew that when I had my own children that good nutrition, health and positive food associations were going to be a top priority. When Harry started solids I began to document my journey, from the food I was cooking to the mealtime experiences I was creating. After some time, the blog began to grow and I was getting a lot of positive feedback. There wasn’t much out there and I found a real gap in the market that needed to be filled. It was at this time I partnered with my long time friend Jessica Beaton (Accredited Practising Dietitan), and Sarah Buckle (amazing food stylist and photographer) to turn this little hobby into a full time job. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you truly, genuinely LOVE what you are doing. It is so motivating.
Do you miss the daily routine and working in a big office?
I miss the general chatter between colleagues and having someone sitting next to me that I can bounce ideas off. But, I don’t miss commuting to an office, or being expected to work long hours and weekends. The role I have created for myself at One Handed Cooks is the perfect balance for me.
In the beginning, did you find it hard? What motivated you to continue on this path?
To be honest, things have moved so fast that the only hard part is saying no to new opportunities because we just don’t have the capacity. In the past two years since making the decision with Jess and Sarah to ‘give it a go’ we have launched a national magazine, created a successful eBook on starting solids, grown the brand on social media from 2,000 fans to over 80,000, and we have some really exciting projects in the works due to come out later this year.
The small team of Sarah, Jess and I is pretty unique – we bring very different skills to the table which help make the brand what it is today. We motivate each other.
What are the key pieces of advice you have for mothers out there looking to start their own business or even blog?
1) Find something new to say. There are millions of blogs out there, ask yourself how yours will stand out. Research what everyone else is doing and then do the opposite.
2) Understand that blogs are hard work. You need to spend a lot of time building your readership and that takes hours and hours of content writing.
3) Only write a blog about something you love. You need to find a topic that you have endless ideas about. What will you be writing about in three years time? True passion makes for a successful blog.
4) Get yourself a mentor. This industry relies on having a support network of other bloggers or small business owners.
Who inspires you?
What is your best proven beauty tip?
Wear good quality sun-cream on your face, every day. I wish I had done when I was in my teens.
Never again will i....
Drink cask wine!
What's in store for 2015?
I could tell you, but then I would have to kidnap you and feed you One Handed Cooks biscuits to keep you quiet. We have some seriously exciting things happening in 2015 so you will have to just watch this space!
How can we find you?
We have lots of different social media accounts. Please stop by and say ‘Hello’ – we are pretty friendly people.