Fiona Burrage – founder of Nor-folk – and Keira O’Mara of Mama Designs originally ‘met’ via Instagram. They’ve now teamed up for a creative collaboration #IRL. Keira tells us about the beauty of online friendships and how Instagram is bringing mums together…
So what is it about Instagram that is getting strangers talking, people sharing, becoming friends, businesses collaborating and all from the comfort of their own home? It has fast become one of my favourite places to hang out. From what I have seen I am not the only one, there are thousands of women like me – lots of them mamas, all over the country… an online community who like to shop, chat, gossip, support and share advice.
I have managed to meet quite a few of my new Insta-friends in real life but regardless of whether we have met or not, this is a supportive, collaborative online community and it’s pretty amazing.
Over the course of the last 18+ months I have got to know other brands, bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers, retailers and my customers in a totally different way through my phone and often without ever meeting.
I recently met Fiona Burrage, founder of lifestyle brand Nor-folk, for the first time. We were already “insta-friends” after I had sent her a baby sleeping bag for her little boy Stanley 18 months earlier. We had stayed in contact – chatting about work, life, business advice etc and when she suggested collaborating on a shoot for my new product range at her iconic apartment I jumped at the chance. Recent shoots have included Ikea and Made.com. We found some gorgeous local babies to model (again through Instagram, are you sensing a theme?!) and the results were amazing.
A recent – and heart-warming – example of the power of the insta community is the story of an Insta mama @leshylamb who makes handmade clothing. She found out that one of her followers has cancer and needed immunotherapy treatment but did not have the £50,000 to pay for it. Without knowing this lady but simply because the story had moved her, she organised an online auction and gathered together a group of brands to donate products. The power and force of the mamas of Instagram shone through and the total sum was raised in a couple of days.
I love the fact that women can work together – collaborate and support – which results in great things happening. We work in an entirely different way to men. Here’s to all the amazing women (and Insta mums) out there.