Relatable, practical and informative style inspiration for women that are time conscious, money conscious and fashion conscious…Mum a Porter
So, Mum a Porter is a whole year old! Not that old at all really, but since renaming, re-branding and realising, ‘hang on, maybe I am onto something here’, in October last year, I have not gone a single day without growing, learning, investing, creating and building. It’s really funny what an impact a name change can have, but changing my name on my blog and on my Instagram from Ayesha Amato Dot Com to Ayesha Amato and then finally Mum a Porter was so much more than a name change – it was a shift in mind set, a new outlook, a greater understanding of who I want to be, what I want to offer and most importantly why I am doing ‘it’. The ‘It’ in question I like to think of as a service, bringing women daily style solutions, inspirations and information.
The ‘why’? Well the why hasn’t changed since I put digital pen to paper a year ago and wrote out my my mission statement; I want to help other women, especially mothers, rediscover their style, particularly after having children. I felt my world as I know it become completely unrecognisable in a mere matter of months once I became a mama. The fear that would rise inside me and the sadness I would feel when I would admit to myself I was lost was so strong, that once I found myself on an upward trajectory I wanted to do something that could help other women, other mothers to find themselves, to build their confidence and to embrace and love who they are.
That all sounds a little bit deep, I know! I am fully aware of the fact that all I do is share style and outfit solutions on the internet. However, when I was in those early days of searching for myself, re-establishing myself and putting ‘ME’ back out there to the big wide world, the only thing I felt I could tangibly control, that would instantly pick me up and help momentarily boost my confidence was fashion. So I invested heavily into re-discovering my style and documenting my style journey on Instagram. While I was discovering and documenting, I was growing as a person and slowly but surely finding my feet. I hadn’t really ever set out to be an Instagrammer, in fact, I had joined Instagram in September 2017 with a YouTube channel and blog, but as I realised how much hard work Instagram was, I neglected those other channels and was relying heavily on Instagram as the platform to fulfil my creativity.
When I launched Mum a Porter in October 2018, I made it my business to stop downplaying the fact that I had a Masters in Fashion and had worked in the industry, could develop some pretty slick websites and had once created content for a living. I had been hiding, self doubting and holding myself back because I wanted to blend in and didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. I didn’t want to be watched, judged or have anyone question, ‘Well who does she think she is?’ Or ‘How dare she advise me?!’ But I soon realised I felt far more comfortable giving advice and sharing my knowledge than I did posting ‘look at me’ content on Instagram.
I wanted to help women embarking on their self discovery journey figure out their style in one way or another in a way that is relatable, practical, informative, without pretence or intimidation. I truly believe (and it may be because I am so style conscious) that our style is entirely intrinsic with who we believe ourselves to be, our identities, and when we are confident in our clothes and our style, we can become confident in our skin. Being confident and comfortable in our skin I believe to be a signal that we have identified with ourselves again. Style may seem superficial and it may be a very menial element of a person’s life to wish to help with, but it’s a small incremental change that can be massively positive. Discovering my style has been completely imperative to discovering or re-establishing myself and finding my confidence again and that’s exactly why Mum a Porter exists.
Why Mum a Porter exists in the online space is for a number of reasons, firstly it’s very indicative of the time we live in, but it’s also indicative of my career and my love for all things digital. Moreover the digital space is so unbelievably powerful for anyone who wants to start a business, wants to make connections, find new friends or find themselves that it is the perfect place for mothers that have found themselves wanting to fulfil either or all of the aforementioned. After I resigned from my job I did some long and hard thinking, weighed up the pros and cons of finding another 9-5 or trying to go it alone and although at this point my confidence was pretty much depleted, I knew deep down I had all the skill and the know how to create something online. Online was the only place to go to set something up without investing financially – which meant the only thing I’d be risking is my time. Online gave me the flexibility I needed as a mother and it offered me the opportunity to explore not just one or two of the things that I am good at, but MOST of the things I am good at. Admittedly the financial rewards did not come immediately, but after being on maternity leave for a year, I had learned to become very resourceful. Also, with a baby on my hip, life got a whole lot less expensive.
Phase Two: M.A.P Digital
And this leads me on to phase two of Mum a Porter. When I sat down and wrote my business plan at the beginning of the year I contemplated many of the avenues Mum a Porter might go down, of course the only avenues I’ll be taking this brand down are the ones that are most important to me, that I am passionate about and that I have lived and it only made sense that digital come next. I am a digital brand and my digital know-how has helped me exponentially. While people are on Instagram growing followers, I am building a brand and for anyone on Instagram who has 50 followers, 5,000 followers or 15,000 followers and wants to create a digital business, wants to market their business online or just wants help managing the back end of their WordPress site or has no idea what a plugin is or how much they can achieve by adding in a Custom HTML widget into their sidebar I want to help them too. I so wholeheartedly believe that technology is liberation and so many mamas feel trapped in the very own lives they have created for various reasons and I believe in some way or another tech can help with that too! I have started by introducing a new series that I am for now calling MAP Digital, sharing my digital experience in micro content form. I am doing it in small chunks, so it’s digestible and doesn’t overwhelm and my first video went up on Instagram a few weeks ago.
The Journey Unplanned…
There are some things that have happened over this past year that I couldn’t have predicted and never made part of my business goals, like the significance of video to my brand. I have always loved consuming video content, but never imagined it would become such a huge part of my own content. However, as much as I love looking at other people’s photos, I love creating video – I find it so much more fun that taking photos and the pride that I feel when I have created a video from concept, to creation, editing to publishing is unreal and subsequently I get asked so many questions about the production of my videos and even a few people copying me (a compliment of course). Secondly, I never knew I would become so well versed in ‘the fit’ of clothing, but having a slight diastasis recti and my overall body just changing in shape since having a baby, I have really had to re-learn my body shape and how I want my clothes to fit. I am no longer a typical dress size 12 or 14, so I am learning about tailoring and altering and sharing this knowledge with you as I learn. Also, the result of this, is that I have developed a voice for body positivity – I hadn’t done this intentionally, but I have women messaging me saying they are now embracing their curves, or would never have thought they could have worn xyz and that makes me happy, because a year ago I forbode myself to wear high-waisted jeans and wrote a post on ‘A Festive Fashion Style Guide for those with Body Insecurities’. I think it’s a good post, but I was writing as a person with fashion rules and limits and lots of insecurities that I don’t have anymore – I feel way more liberated now!
Always (positive) Vibes…
And lastly, of course, it’s all about the vibes – the good vibes, the positive ones. I would like to think that there is absolutely no ‘you can’t sit with us’ mentality over here, no judgement, no snobbery, no exclusivity whatsoever! Even if anyone feels like they can’t relate to my content, I hope I never leave anyone feeling intimidated. Mum a Porter began off the back of my experience as a new mum, someone who was lost, overwhelmed, lonely, scared and in need of some self care, a drink and some positive vibes! So within my content and at the heart of my brand is always the compassion I have for new mums scared AF like I was. I know Instagram can be a little bit daunting and that fashion can be a little bit exclusive and there is a ‘you can’t sit with us’ mentality amongst some mums and a pretentiousness within fashion, in real life and on Instagram. So, in all honesty, I don’t talk about motherhood much, that’s not really my bag, but I always want to create content that is relatable, practical and informative, without pretence or intimidation for a mum like me, that is time conscious, money conscious, style conscious and all about the positive vibes and the energy.
The Meaning of Mum a Porter the Name
Although the name Mum a Porter, when thought of in the light of Net a Porter, can have the association of being a little bit luxury or snooty, Mum a Porter really has nothing to do with that. The Mum is obviously because I am a mum, most of my audience are mums and one thing mums realise they need to master once becoming mums, is getting savvy with their time and with their money. I don’t remember being so conscious if either before I became a mum, so the Mum in Mum a Porter keeps that in mind.
The Porter, well that’s just such a great word and sums up so much of what I am trying to do here – in french Porter means to wear and in English it means to carry, or to bring. So I kind of like to think of the service side of the brand as a ‘porter’, bringing my audience fashion, shopping and style inspiration made easy. Net a Porter was a trailblazer for luxury shopping online, the site feels luxury, it’s sleek and it’s a nice digital space to hangout – that is exactly what I want for Mum a Porter, to be nice space to hangout and I hope you guys will hangout here for on more year. Thank you so much for your support and thank you for reading, I am grateful every day x