One thing I quickly learnt about Rachel is that she loves coffee. So I thought I would invite Rachel to my house and try and impress her with my barista skills. The coffee was terrible, however, the conversation was certainly not and I discovered that Rachel is a real champion for Berkshire and just loves the county and all it has to offer. She is an fascinating person to speak to and I loved hearing about her glittering career in the City as a journalist and Editor for some of the biggest newspapers and magazines including including the Sunday Express, The Mirror, Daily Mail, more! and Bliss amongst others. She gave up the London commute to become a mum and Editor for Muddy Stilettos Berkshire – a hugely influential lifestyle blog. Not a bad swap I say, and her attitude towards flexible working is incredibly positive. Can I have a job please?!
Question 1. Can you tell me a little more about yourself? I am Rachel and I am a mum of two. We moved to Berkshire in 2006 from London and in January 2017 I started working as the Editor for Muddy Stilettos Berkshire and have grown it to become the most influential lifestyle blog in Berkshire.
Question 2. Why did you move to Berkshire? We moved for probably the same reasons most people do – good schools, to give the children a country upbringing and to live in a bigger house. My husband works in Reading so we thought we’d turn commuting on its head and I would be the one making the trip to London instead. That was until I gave it up to focus on being a mum and found my role at Muddy Stilettos.
Question 3. What attracted you to Muddy Stilettos and how did you get the role? I had been freelancing for a while and was aware that Muddy were advertising for Editors. I got in touch but unfortunately there wasn’t a positing available in Berkshire. Luckily for me, not long afterwards Hero (who runs Muddy Stilettos) got in touch and it was a case of the perfect opportunity at the perfect time and I jumped for it.
Question 4. What do you love most about your job? I get to meet lots of wonderful people and I am overwhelmed by number of awesome kickass mum’s who are making a living working for themselves. I love the flexibility my role offers me and I am really enjoying getting to know Berkshire better, there is so much going on here and it is nice to live and explore the county rather than just pass through it, which I was when I commuted to London every day. I just love my position and find it incredibly rewarding.
Question 5. How do you manage being the Editor for Muddy Berkshire and being a mum of two boys? Badly and by the seat of my pants! My eldest is 11 years old and my youngest is 3 and goes to pre-school so I work during this time. With Muddy I try and plan things so I can combine work with play and involve the family as much as possible.
Question 6. Are there any essential tips you can offer other mums working for themselves? I think it is definitely important to set boundaries. If the reason you are doing this is to spend more time with your children then don’t feel bad closing the laptop and switching work off. It might take that bit longer to reach your goals but stick to it and be patient. I often get up early and finish later so I can then pick up the boys and spend quality time with them. That way we are all benefiting (even though I am very tired!). It is impossible to do it all, sometimes enough is ok.
Question 7. Do you think there are enough flexible roles out there? Definitely not unless you are working for yourself. I think employers are really missing a trick here and need to embrace flexible working to attract more women back into the workplace after having a baby but also to offer those without children the opportunity to pursue their hobby and have some work/life balance too. This is not just about having children, it’s about a person’s wellbeing and job satisfaction and employers will hopefully start to be more open to a more modern way of working. In my personal experience people are more productive when they are allowed to be more flexible with work.
Question 8. What’s the future for you and Muddy Stilettos? Obviously world domination, but I’ll settle for Berkshire! I want to grow the company and help support more local businesses and champion this great county. I want to continue having fun as I think that way everyone else will enjoy it too when they are reading the posts on the site!
Thank you Rachel! xx
If you would like to see Rachel in action then visit Muddy Stilettos Berkshire and sign up for their newsletter to receive weekly updates from Berkshire.