It dawned on me again this morning how many inspiring people I have in my life and how lucky I am to have crossed paths with all of these people. Jenny Raymond is one of these inspiring women that I have had the pleasure to "bump into" online. Motherhood is not easy, and can often be a little isolating; sometimes you can be surrounded by people and still feel like no one understands you. Instead of just grinning and bearing it, or complaining about it to her journal (me), she decided to actually DO something about it, and has since created a fantastic social hub online for both parents and parents to be, Mamazou.
I became aware of Mamazou earlier this year when I finally started appreciating Instagram more than I had in the past. Jenny's posts always seemed so inspiring and friendly, and when she started her #mamazoufeatures series, featuring articles from different people on all kinds of subjects every week, I decided to join in. Since then, and via Mamazou, I have been introduced to a wonderful, and continuously growing, group of women and men, who are all in the same boat as me. It was hard for me to leave my cocoon and safety net of NYC, and thanks to all of these people, and mainly Jenny, I feel connected, understood, and listened to again. There really is nothing like having a supportive community you can count on to hold you up, make you laugh, and tell you off if needed.
Jenny is one of the kindest and friendliest people I know, and she agreed to answer some questions about herself and Mamazou for From the Inside.
From the Inside: How did Mamazou come about? What pushed you to create this awesome spot for parents?
Jenny Raymond: When I was pregnant, I became so overwhelmed with the information Google had to offer and it sparked even more questions than I was originally searching. I wanted to talk to people (that I didn’t know) about pregnancy and being a parent and found that the forums I signed up to were judgmental. I then decided it would be pretty cool if I could create something of my own where people could talk openly, freely and safely.
How do you see Mamazou evolving over the next six months to a year?
I see it going from strength to strength. There are so many paths that it could go down and so many wonderful companies that I’m starting to collaborate with. Things are becoming very exciting. I can’t reveal too much at the moment but watch this space. We’re constantly working on things to try and improve Mamazou and give our users the best experience possible.
For me personally the Mamazou community has been a blessing and I am always amazed at how kind and caring you are. How do you personally navigate the constant “mummy wars” that people seem to be instigating on every imaginable parenting subject?
Thank you so much – that’s so kind of you to say! I don’t have time for any nastiness. If people are going to be bitchy to one another then they’re not welcome and their account will be suspended. I have no tolerance for it. There’s so much of that in the world, I’m all about celebrating every journey through life and supporting one another. It’s all about #perfectlyimperfectparenting
You are based in the UK but seem to attract people from all over the world. How do you go about this?
I’m actually not so sure – they say your vibe attracts your tribe so I’ll go with that. I wanted to tackle the US market first as they’re bigger than the UK. Once I started with that… I thought the more that live in different countries, the better.
Tell us more about your #mamazoufeatures
This is relatively new but as we’re a community all about supporting others, I wanted to create something specifically for bloggers (and recently companies) to get their voice out more. To be able to share something that’s on their mind but broaden their target audience at the same time.
Who and/or what do you count as inspirations?
My daughter, Hayley. It’s so clichéd but she’s the reason I get out of bed every morning and in her almost 3 short years of life she has taught me SO much. My actions will always influence her so I make sure that I’m the best version of myself, so that one day, maybe, she will be inspired by me.
My father is another huge inspiration to me. He has always done his best to provide my siblings and I with the best upbringing possible and has worked so hard in order to do so. He’s so incredibly inspirational.
Can you tell us what your favourite social media platform is and why?
I have to say Mamazou :D not that I’m biased or anything. It’s a wonderful and supportive community full of so many down to earth parents. Following that, Instagram!
You can check out the awesomeness that is Mamazou right here, and also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And if you feel like chatting to some wonderful people, reading some great insights, learning about all types of new and exciting products and just joining in, you can sign up on the homepage of the website!