Having a baby need not mean winding down your career. In fact, many of the most innovative online businesses are founded after the birth of a child.
We came up with the idea when… We met during antenatal classes three year ago now. As journalists and brand consultants we instantly bonded over our shared love of writing, and the sense that we wanted to continue our careers in a way that worked for us and for our children. Over the years, we have both spoken to so many amazing women, from business leaders to those trying to improve the lives of others. We wanted to create a platform to share their stories, and so Storytellhers was born.
The biggest challenge is… balancing life as working mothers while also staying ahead enough in order to share interesting stories and events with our readers.
The average day is spent… We both have 'day jobs': Steph is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist for the likes of House & Garden, the FT, Condé Nast Traveller and Porter, while Rowan is an agency director and brand consultant. So, though Storytellhers work has to be fitted in around our other commitments, we find that our 'day jobs' give us fantastic inspiration and contacts for the blog. We combine playdates with editorial meetings and we speak or WhatsApp every day about our content and ideas. It is a juggle, but we fit everything in and feel super satisfied at the end of our full days!
The team consists of... just the two of us for now. Our husbands are a great support; they act as amazing business advisers for us, keeping our creativity in check! And of course, all the wonderful women we speak to day in, day out.
Our favourite quote… Calm is a Super Power. It is such an important thing to remember in the face of a really busy schedule.
I am where I am today because of… family and friends are obviously wonderful cheerleaders, but the older you get the more you realise you have to rely on your own intuition. Reading intelligent content and talking to bright people is something that never fails to spur us on.
I am who I am because of... an enduring optimism. Life has thrilling highs and lows, but being calm (it's a superpower!) and positive is key. And celebrate the little wins when they come. No matter how small those milestones seem, they are each an achievement.
The best advice I've been given... Seize the opportunity of a lifetime within the lifetime of the opportunity! In other words, seize the moment and push forward; you've got to make the most of what life gives you.
In five years I’d like to be… Sharing more amazing female narratives that inspire and encourage, and helping other women find a fulfilling and flexible career.
The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... You never switch off; there is always something you could be doing! And, the buck stops with us; there is no manager or editor taking overall responsibility, so again you HAVE to trust your own instinct.
The websites I most frequently use are... Amazon. Sorry to be so obvious, but its hard to find the time to shop the high street these days. Ocado..., see previous response. Even our fashion choices tend to be online focused, we love shopping at stores like Sezanne, Maje and Madewell. Having great style delivered to your door has never been so easy. Creatively, every day is unique and calls for research in entirely different areas but impressed with the growing number of convenience services making our lives as mothers so much easier. At the moment we are loving The 6 Essentials and Bloom & Wild for gifts and Mindful Chef for super health recipe boxes. Basically if you can order it online and avoid any stress, we are all for it.
Our biggest mistake and what it taught us… Thinking we could stay entirely behind the scenes. Though we mostly talk about other women, we quickly realised that we needed to share our own stories and a little of our own personalities. Professional photos have been a good investment, and luckily we found a lovely female photographer who is also juggling work and motherhood! We bonded immediately and she "got" us.
What apps do you use to be more productive... WordSwag is great for getting creative with quotes. WhatsApp is our hottest channel of communication. CityMapper is indispensible for making sure we're not late for meetings when using public transport in London. And of course Instagram - we get so much inspiration from those little squares!!
The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date… Any piece of positive feedback feels like a pat on the back and a big congratulatory hug! We had an Instagram message from someone with six-figure followers who said our post that day made her feel better as she was a frazzled wreck trying to work and be a mum. Having an emotional impact on such a busy platform like Instagram felt very rewarding.