Q&A with Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers, Mutha.hood

Q&A with Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers, Mutha.hood image
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
My name’s Gemma, I have two girls aged 7 and 4, both are redheads that we frequently refer to them as Big Red and Little Red. I run an online brand called Mutha.Hood, it’s the home of the community that is the Strong Girls Club

When and why did you decide to launch Mutha.hood?
The birth of my second daughter wasn’t easy. I experienced birth trauma and unfortunately suffered PTSD as a result. One of the things I realised after that experience was not only how strong I was physically but also how important it is to have a sense of value in your own voice. To have the self-worth to be heard. It’s something that I desperately want to teach my children. I started sharing my story on Instagram and I found my Strong Girls Club

Did you expect that it would be so popular?
I had no expectations. I really hoped that a few people might find comfort in what I was sharing. When I launched the products, I hoped that I might make enough money to recoup the £400 I’d spent printing the first batch of tees. Then when we did that, I hoped that I might make enough to pay for us to go on holiday as a family. Every month the figures surprise me and it’s taken me quite a while to accept that what started as a bit of fun and something I’d refer to as ‘a thing’ is actually a real-life business.

What’s the key to your success on Instagram?
The brilliance of Instagram is that you can not only build a community, but you can share so much of the 'behind the scenes.' I view my grid as my look book – a place for more polished pictures as well as great discussion topics to be shared, and I view my stories as the window into the person behind the brand. I consider it lucky that IG stories launched just after I did, I think they’ve done wonders for the brand; for people to understand more about why it exists and the hard work that goes into running it. I also think that part of the success is that I try to be as much me as possible. I don’t try to use it to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, or to just give a glossy image of life. There’s a famous quote by Rita Hayworth ‘they go to bed with Gilda and they wake up with me.’ I never wanted anyone meeting me in real life to be disappointed that I was nothing like the ‘persona’ I was sharing on social.

Who inspires you?
My children

What do you wish for your girls?
To know their worth, to always try, to not let self-doubt stop them from saying yes to opportunities. To understand that you can romanticise the regret of not trying something, but you rarely regret something given a go.

What’s your best baby buy?
The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine saved our sanity during the early months. I am really impressed with the SleepyHead too, sadly it wasn’t out when I had my two babies, but my friend has had real success with it with her baby.

What have you found the most challenging part of motherhood?
Apart from never being in control of when I wake up in the mornings; accepting that whilst they’re little they need so much and that the sense of lost identity isn’t really lost, it’s merely adjusted and pivoted for a short amount of time.

What is your best piece of advice for new mums?
There is no perfect. Trust your Instincts. You know your baby.

Any advice on bringing up your girls in the digital age – particularly with social media?
I very much use social media as a marketing tool, they know that me being on my phone is Mummy’s work, rather than escapism. Because it’s ‘work’ I tend not to use it whilst their around as I don’t want to set an example of frequent social media use. I very much boundary technology – I don’t like how invasive it is nowadays compared to the time when the most thrilling thing on our phone was Snake! I don’t have notifications on and although technology is asking me to be available 24/7 I don’t allow myself to be.

What’s your favourite slogan?
Strong Girls Club…. Always!

*Published: Monday 14 October 2019