Talking identity and brand with Millennial Mother blogger, Kelly Yasmin Bayley
Who is Millennial Mother?
Kelly is a blogger based in Cardiff, sharing her experiences of bringing up a little one as a twenty something mum who is trying her best to navigate the many challenges that can bring. We've recently worked with Kelly on rebranding her blog Millennial Mother, we've helped her build a brand that represents what the blog is all about – Kelly, Nancy and sharing experiences about modern life in a loving and honest way.
Photography was key in this project in representing Kelly, the city she works from and the relationship with her daughter that inspired this passion project in the first place. For the word mark we've chosen a no nonsense, clean sans serif typeface. This is complemented by a hand drawn heart which is a nod to the M in Millennial Mother and her mission to make others feel less alone. The colours are fresh and youthful, reflecting Kelly's personality and approach which is a breath of fresh air. She's an inspiring, intelligent woman and we love what she stands for so we thought we'd share a chat we had with Kelly about her ambitions and plans for her new brand.
What was your motivation when you started Millennial Mother?
When I became a mum I was living in Surrey with no friends or family around. I felt so alone and unsure of what to do. I started to follow a bunch of Mum bloggers and it really helped me to feel connected to other mums. But, as time went on I found it difficult to relate to them. They obviously had more money than me, they had these beautiful homes and their wardrobes were to die for. I respected them but I found it increasingly difficult to relate to them. I looked for a mum blogger like me – but I couldn’t find one that I really related to. I thought if I felt like this, then I couldn’t be the only one. That’s when I decided to launch my blog. I have always been quite self-conscious and unsure of myself so I set myself the challenge to become a more confident and outgoing person, the type of women I want my daughter to look up to. I launched MM for her and for myself. It was a way for me to talk about my experiences, meet new friends along the way and to not feel so alone. It was also something that is helping me grow in confidence after experiencing some knock backs in my career since having a child.
I hope it illustrates that we don’t all have our shit together.
In terms of legacy, what is the one thing you hope Millennial Mother does for it’s followers or for you and Nancy?
I hope it illustrates that we don’t all have our shit together. I hope my followers see my blog posts about topics such as postnatal depression and they don’t feel so alone. I hope they see me moaning about money or my life struggles and hopefully find something they can relate to. In terms of Nancy, I really hope she sees how much I love her. How everything I do in life I do for her. I hope by being myself and not necessarily fitting into the ‘mum category’ she will grow up to be her own person.
Childhood flies by, do you see this project partially as a way to chronicle this part of Nancy’s life so you always have a record?
I love to capture Nancy in my Instagram feed and I often feature snippets of her on my stories. I would love to have my blog and Instagram as a chronicle of her life. She really loves the camera at the minute and is more than happy to feature in my posts so for now I’ll carry on. If she does ever reach a stage where she doesn’t want to be featured then I’ll stop immediately as it’s her choice.
We love that you’re an advocate of good independent and Welsh businesses. Are you planning on collaborating with any of them?
I would love to collaborate with more Welsh brands. If any Welsh brand got in touch and asked me to share their products or review their business I would be there in a shot. I really want to spend a few months working on a few new blog posts that focus on local businesses – I hope this will promote the incredible jobs they’re doing. This is a passion project for me, I do it because I love it, so this project might take a while as I’m having to fit it around my full time job. A few of my favourites are Cole and Co and Authentic House. They’re well worth checking out.
You’ve also worked in fashion and as a history teacher, how do you think that influences what you share with Millennial Mother?
I haven’t really covered fashion in my blog as yet but I do feature my outfits on my social media. I don’t think I’m a fashion guru but I do like to show my love of wearing clothes that I love. I like to think that as I grow in confidence I will venture into more fashion blogs and focus on some great brands. In terms of history I hope to explore this further as Nancy gets a bit older. One of my favourite blogs is hisdoryan and I would love to explore avenues and collaborations with the best historical sites in Wales for under fives.
Who is your favourite blogger and why?
For me it has to be Mother Pukka. I’ve followed her journey from the very beginning and watched her campaign for flexible working with great interest. She uses her social media as a platform for change and is even working with the Senedd and Sarah Rees to bring Flex Appeal to Wales. I had the opportunity to meet her at the Flex Appeal flashmob and she is just as lovely in person. She took the time to speak to women who were having difficulties with their working life. I really admire her efforts to make a difference. Having faced discrimination in the work place myself this is something really close to my heart and something at the time I chose not to fight.
How important do you think branding is for bloggers?
I think there are a lot of bloggers out there and to get noticed you need to establish a brand identity. I started off by building a blog on Wordpress but it was a bit chaotic and messy. I don’t think it looked very professional and it certainly didn’t represent me. Now that I have established a brand and logo for Millennial Mother I feel like I have an identity. I also market my logo by having a phone case and this is a quick and visible way for people to notice my name and a few people have found my blog that way. Even on business cards having the distinctive typography and hand drawn heart really makes my brand stand out. I’m so grateful to have worked with John&Jane because you were really able to capture the essence of my personality – and Nancy’s. I really think bloggers should work with an established agency that mirrors their style.
Since the rebrand I feel like businesses are taking me more seriously. I've been approached by several companies looking to collaborate and I think this is partly down to the design of my blog as it looks distinctive and professional.
Have you noticed any difference in your approach to your work or how people have interacted with Millennial Mother since your recent rebrand?
Since the rebrand I feel like businesses are taking me more seriously. I've been approached by several companies looking to collaborate and I think this is partly down to the design of my blog as it looks distinctive and professional. My approach to work hasn’t necessarily changed in the sense I only work on what I love and only write about what is true to me. However, I’m currently in the process of figuring out where I want to go with MM next.
You recently spoke at CreativeMornings Cardiff, how much do you think the creative community feeds into what you do with Millennial Mother?
I think the creative community is so important. Some people may not see blogging as creative, but for me it definitely is. I am doing my best to write creatively and combine that with my photography. CreativeMornings is a great opportunity for me to network and meet people who share the same passion for particular causes and campaigns as me, for example sustainability. It is also a great way to meet independent business owners and grow my own network. Also we shouldn’t forget many creatives are mothers and my struggles as a mother might be something they can relate to.
If you had unlimited resources what would Millennial Mother do next?
First and foremost I would open up a Millennial Mother coffee shop. It would have a little corner with really comfy sofas for breastfeeding mums, loads of wonderful wooden toys for the little ones, really decent children’s food and excellent coffee for the parents. I would run classes that focus on well-being, such as the importance of diet and nutrition for parents. I'd also run yoga classes and have an on site crèche so toddlers can be left for half an hour. I'd hold community events and talks to bring in mums from around Cardiff to talk about their experiences and struggles to help new mothers or anybody like myself who might be struggling with it all. I would also love to have a counsellor on hand to offer advice and guidance in an informal atmosphere for when mums need it. No waiting lists and no fear of being judged. Secondly, I would blog full-time. I would support Welsh businesses through my blog, social media and also my expertise. Thirdly, I would learn to become a children’s yoga teacher. I think well-being is so important and yoga is a great way to bring calm and inner peace to anyone.