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Inside Influence | Ellen Robbins, the Stylist Mama

Inside Influence Interview Series

Name: Ellen Robbins
Social Handles: Thestylistmama, The Stylist Mama Blog, The Stylist Mama Blog Pinterest BoardThe Stylist Mama Facebook Page
Favorite platforms: Instagram OBVSSS
What type of influencer are you: Mummy blogger, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle influencer
Follower rage: Micro

Today, I had an afternoon date at Miss Bliss (a new favourite) with the fabulous Ellen Robbins aka The Stylist Mama and her lovely daughter, Sophie. We share the same name so instant click! There was continuous laughter while we talked (and gossiped) about hairdressing, Gucci, fashion, mummy duties, life, and of course what it takes to be a successful influencer. To get the inside scoop on the life of this amazing curator, check out our interview.

Firstly, I love your Gucci sunglasses. I’ve been eyeing these ones.

Do you know what?! I needed a new pair. I saw the black frames online and figured they would be fine, but I didn’t want to commit to buying them in case they were too small.

I always prefer big frames.

I need big. Otherwise, I look like I have the biggest head in the world. I went to David Jones, but they only had the green, black, and red frames. At the start, I didn't even try them on. I was like oh god they are pretty bright, I didn’t think I’d be able to pull them off, haha.

No, they are perfect! They are the signature colours.

I put them on, and I was like I can’t give them back. I bought them around Christmas time, and people thought they were holiday sunglasses.

Do they know?? Only someone who has no idea would think they are Christmas colours.

***non-stop laughter***

What is key to being a fashion-conscious mama?

It is kind of a few different things. I feel like mum fashion is so stereotypical. People think of shorts and t-shirts and sneakers. When I was a full-time hairdresser (no kids), I wore fast fashion, straight out of Zara clothing, all the time. When I became a mum, I had to pull back a little bit. I couldn’t walk to the park with Sophie in flat forms or carry “just” my wallet. You can still have your style, but it needs to be versatile enough so you can wear it every day.

100%. There is room for fashion. I tell myself if I have kids I want to be a stylish mum.

When I was pregnant I couldn’t imagine myself being a daggy mum. Then I became a mum and holy shit it was hard. Now I understand. I am all about daggy haha!
As far as being fashion conscious, I rather purchase a nice pair of sunglasses instead of a cheaper pair because it is an investment, but for clothes I tend to wear lots of high street brands that you can easily get your hands on.

Quality.

Sometimes people think my entire wardrobe is designer, and it totally is not. Maybe 10% is, but I wear them so much. I always do that price per wear thing-it makes me feel so much better about spending on things I love. As a mum, I think it is important if you can re-wear clothes.

This a beauty question. Tell us what current favourite beauty product that you can’t live without?

Can I have two?

Of course!

Sk-ii! It is a Japanese product. I actually worked with Teagan on this campaign at Scrunch. It is a facial treatment/leave on serum, and it is heavenly. It is my number one skincare product because I have crazy oily skin. You can literally see my breakouts. I have to be so careful with moisturizer, but this is a life changer. Thank you, Teagan!

I do have a new lipstick by MAC Cosmetics. I haven’t worn it out yet, but when I saw it I knew I needed it. The shade is MAC Film Noir. It is the darkest brown MAC makes, and it is a cream. It is the perfect lipstick. You need to get on this.

I will. It is going to happen.

You talk about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, home, and motherhood on your blog How do you manage to be a full-time mum, working, and being an influencer?!

My diet pretty much consists of chocolate, wine, and coffee to get me through a 24-hour work period. That sounds terrible. It isn’t true, but it is.

It’s real.

Yes! Time management too. My partner is a hairdresser and owns a salon, Papas and Pace. So, he works huge hours every day. Monday through Friday I am always on the go with Sophie, and we have a routine. Wednesday is my work day when I do all the blog stuff and I email through the week while she's at daycare. I do freelance hairdressing as much as I can. Sometimes I have clients every other day, and sometimes I only have one client booked for the week. It can be quite full on to balance it all, but I wanted this, I hate doing nothing.

Did Sophie inspire the blog?

Yes! To be honest, my blog has changed so many times. At the start, it was parenting and little-styled shoots of outfits she wore. Just by accident, I posted a few photos of myself and received a good response. When I got back into hairdressing, I would have so many events to attend, and incredible people to work with so I started to take pictures of that side of my life, which at the time was so normal for me, but exciting for people that weren't in the industry. My partner also won hairdresser of the year which led to other opportunities. I went to fashion week. Eventually, people started telling me to post about my life. As soon as I did, my blog and social media skyrocketed.

Was your growth pretty fast?

Well, I don’t know. It will be my second blog birthday in March. I am all or nothing. If I put my heart into something, I smash it until I get to where I want to go. Engagement is key for me, and I make it a priority to acknowledge my communities’ comments.

Engagement is so important, and brands evaluate this.

Totally. It is not hard to support people that are supporting me, I love that aspect of this online world. Everyone is so nice. Many of them are interested in collaborating and working together which is so refreshing and FUN!

Do you have a favourite brand that you have enjoyed working with the most?

I hosted a brunch here at Miss Bliss in September basically to build community. I had all of my hairdresser friends who wanted to know how to get bloggers to come into their salons, and I had all of my bloggers who wanted to collaborate with hairdressers. I also had girlfriends who were mums who had no idea what blogs were, friends who wanted me to come over and rip out their wardrobes, and Instagram mummy friends who wanted to join a proper network. Finally, I was like *lightbulb moment* I will hold one little event and see how it goes. I was fucking petrified.

If nobody came…

Literally. I did a bit of buildup on social media, and I approached David Jones on James Street to help me out. I asked if they would be interested in providing some fashion for us, and they were totally keen. They have to be my favourite brand that I have collaborated with so far, the team is so incredible and Tiffany has a heart of gold and is so willing to engage with the community too.

David Jones also dressed me for the Melbourne Cup which was so amazing! Very lucky indeed.

It is THE department store. How do you generally make the decisions about what brands to work with?

Most brands I work with are fashion based. I find it really hard to turn people down. If I do turn someone down, I always try to give them suggestions of other influencers they could potentially go to.

That is so kind of you. Okay, mama mentor series--I think it is insanely cool and original.

Really? Good. I didn’t know if people would find it boring. My first one was in January last year, and I told myself I would interview mamas who I just adore. Whether they are from the fashion world, fitness, or a corporate background. I interviewed Rebecca Judd who has like 600,000 followers on Instagram, that was a big achievement for me being so small at the time?! The next one was Libby Trickett who is swimming royalty and lives in Brisbane with her young family. Most of them were super willing to do it, and happy to share so much of their story with women, which is super fun, but also really genuine.

You could do a mama mentor workshop event!

Yes. This is a great idea!

What do you think about your content is so attractive and intriguing to your audience?

I don’t know if it is a good thing, but I don’t share everything. I dislike the negative stuff. It is so depressing. I have shit days all the time, but I want to share the good stuff, social media is an escape for so many people and I just love visual things. So it has to be uplifting for me- or I may as well be logged off.

I also like to make sure my content is readable.

It is really cool that you have a blog in addition to social media. Did you write before?

No, I actually didn’t. And, I didn’t read any either prior to having my own- how bad is that?!

I write every day.

Really?

Well, you know. Writing isn’t a 9-5 job; it's continuous. And being an influencer really isn’t either.

Yeah, exactly. Sometimes it takes me three days because I get interrupted, or I think it is rubbish. Or, wonder who would care about this—like what am I doing. Then, other days I can punch out like four blogs.

I read one of your blog posts—How motherhood made me more successful—and you mentioned how you used to say ‘yes’ to everyone, and I believe this is true for a lot of women. Even though I am not a mother, I still feel this way at times, and I can understand how motherhood would change this. I appreciate you saying mentioning this. Was motherhood a hard transition for you?

Yes, because it was a surprise! My partner and I had only been together for a year, and then I fell pregnant. I also had just moved to Brisbane to have focus on my career. Everything was like “wow”. I felt like we weren’t ready to have kids. It is awesome, but at the same time, everything was so intense. Like “what do you mean newborns don’t sleep?”! I was 22, and none of my friends had kids. I didn’t even take any photos while pregnant. I started the blog when she was six months old, so I could find a new network of women who would be in a similar situation!

Now you are the mum expert!

Okay, it is Scrunch time! A round of quick-fire questions.

Prada or Gucci?

Gucci all the way.

Favorite thing to do in Brisbane with your family?

Southbank parklands. We go there like twice week.

Favorite Perfume?

***gasps*** I have a few. My number one at the moment is Jo Malone’s Red Roses. Have you smelt it? Omg.

Favorite season for fashion?

Spring because I find Summer is just too hot to really experiment with style.

Hawaii or Fiji?

Hawaii! If you wanted to go shopping you could!

Shopping on vacation is the only thing better than shopping at home. You are truly living your best life being a full-time mummy, a hairdresser, and a killer influencer!

Shout out to Ellen Robbins! If you need fashion inspiration or mum advice, be sure to follow Ellen at Thestylistmama! Also, for any more information about what it means to be an influencer, check out our blog—Best Practices for Influencers.

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