Posted on October 14 2015
This week's Wednesday Woman is Sooby Lynch, Co-Founder of the fantastic Mutiny Kids Magazine. Read how this former burlesque dancer started Mutiny
Bardega: Can you tell us a bit about your background and what you were up to prior to starting Mutiny Kids?
Sooby Lynch: Well for the two years before Mutiny Kids, I was busy being a full time mama to Penny who is now 3. All I ever wanted to be was a mum and although I adore the role, it definitely keeps me on my toes, trying to succeed at parenthood as much as I can.
Before I fell pregnant, I was a burlesque dancer and a childminder! I guess both jobs sum up what I love. Burlesque allowed me to be creative and I loved bringing an idea of a routine to life on the stage. The Dublin burlesque scene is busy and full of amazing people; such talented dancers and performers. Spending my weekends with them was (and still is when I get a chance to attend shows) so much fun.
I also adore kids so childminding was very rewarding too, and emerging myself in arts and crafts, and trips to the park every day made me totally happy. It was a great job, and the kids I looked after were the best.
I’ve also been a serial student… hopping from one course to the next. I’ve studied Media Production, Journalism, Drama, English Literature and Performance so I guess most of those, in one way or another, have helped me in my current day to day job of creating Mutiny Kids.
Bardega: Can you tell us about how you met Lili and what led you both to start Mutiny Kids? And whats your mission?
Lynch: Lili Forberg (Co-Editor of Mutiny Kids) has been Ireland’s top fashion photographer for over ten years and is well used to shooting fashion editorials and working in the magazine and publication world. I had followed her on Instagram as I’ve always been a huge fan of her work, and then one day I was in a supermarket and spotted her with her then little baby Leon. We got chatting and it turned out our kids were the same age, and we lived really close to each other. We started meeting up for coffee and playdates and became great friends.
We both love kids fashion and interiors and we both love aesthetically pleasing things, (I guess that’s why we enjoy Instagram) and we wanted to do something that would combine all those passions in one place together.
We both have completely different talents and knew we would work well together and compliment each other so we decided we wanted to make a magazine, and rather than spending too long researching, we just got stuck in and started, learning along the way. There was only ten weeks between the original idea and launching the magazine!
We hope that Mutiny Kids shows that you can love kids fashion without taking it too seriously. We showcase the best brands on the market but still focus on a lot of small, independent and newly launched stores and brands. We mix in those independent brands with high street items and bigger design house styles, creating looks that can be inspiring but will fit in with different budgets and appeal to different tastes.
We were lucky because so many people gave us a shout out, repost or just said nice things when we brought out our first issue, so we know the importance, and what a big deal it is to have another business say, "Well done, we like what you're doing."
We are also now expanding the business with Mutiny Kids Creates which will involve creating styling and photographing lookbooks for companies who want to showcase their products.
Bardega: What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from running your own blog and magazine?
Lynch: The main one I am realising is that sometimes taking two hours out of your planned working schedule to watch a tutorial online saves you WAY more than two hours in the future. It’s hard to make that decision to just stop what you're doing and give that time to learning conclusively how to do it.
With this issue, we have also learned how important it is to have contributors. Until now it was just Lili and myself doing absolutely everything. Not only is that incredibly time consuming, it also means that the styles and items were all chosen by us. We wanted to broaden opinion and have some of our favourite style-loving parents show what THEY love, and how they would do things. So we’ve learned the importance of including contributors, and hopefully our readers will appreciate seeing other talent too.
Bardega: You have a built a loyal following on social networks - how important are platforms like Instagram to helping you reach your audience / build a community?
Lynch: Completely essential. Everything about Mutiny Kids has come from social media. From our friendship, our inspiration, our collaborations, the casting of the kids we use in our photo shoots.
We probably spend 30% or more of our scheduled working time per day working our social media platforms. It's very enjoyable and more than a little addictive ~ there is always a new brand/person/photograph to inspire, like and comment on!
Also, as I’ve mentioned, we have had huge support from our readers, and the kids' fashion community. Everyone has been so nice, and we have made some great friendships and contacts from our online profiles.
Bardega: How do you juggle the demands of motherhood and running the blog?
Lynch: With a lot of late nights, smartphones and coffee. Lili works as a photographer during the week, and when she isn't at work, has Leon at home. I do adult styling also and finding time to fit everything in is definitely a challenge. Penny has just started preschool and I have high hopes for those newly acquired six hours a week of free time to get stuff done! Both our husbands run their own businesses but are hugely supportive of what we are doing. In the run up to the release of an issue, I don't think I make dinner for about two weeks. It just gets handed to me at the computer.
We do our best to leave work aside until Penny and Leon are asleep, but of course the odd episode of kid's TV helps when we have to answer an email urgently or have a deadline. I definitely don’t feel like the best mum in the world in those two weeks, and "mum guilt" sets in, but I think as we try our hardest to ignore our phones for the majority of being a mum time, it's OK sometimes. As a night owl, I actually don't find the late nights hard, but this month I’ve been trying the odd early morning before Penny wakes, and although it’s torture to get out of bed, once I’m up, I do find myself a lot more productive. So that may be part of my new plan!
Bardega: What / who inspires you?
Lynch: Every mum and dad who are working hard at being the best they can be. Especially those who have worked out what that is, and do it with confidence, happiness and satisfaction. Whether you work full time, part time or stay at home, I think the trick is to be happy with what you have chosen for your family. Those parents who aren’t completely happy, but go about finding a way to make the best of the situation they find themselves in - that's inspiring.
Supportive and encouraging business people. It is so nice when you see people being supportive to others who could be considered competitors. To choose to talk to, and learn from each other, rather than see them as a threat is inspiring and such a pleasant and endearing trait to see in someone.
Penny and Leon also inspire us. They are the best teachers and prove, daily, that even though making a kid's fashion magazine is enjoyable and fun and a wonderful creative outlet for us, it's certainly not nearly the most important thing in our lives - they are. They don’t care about what clothes they are wearing, or what the latest style is. Leon is most likely to be found in a Spiderman costume, and Penny in my old communion dress. Saying that, they are also our little muses and we know we wouldn't have found this dream job grown from our friendship, if it wasn't for them.
Bardega: Finally, are there any lessons you have learned from being a mother which have proved useful in business?
Lynch: Patience. I think knowing what being a mother is like has been so helpful in knowing what someone else might be going through with their business. Sometimes you won’t get an email reply for a few days, and I’m much more understanding of that now than before I was a parent (and of course sometimes I don’t reply to an email for a couple of days). Rather than assuming someone is ignoring me or being rude, I presume they're busy with their family, and that answering us is on their to do list.
Accepting that things don’t always go as planned but often work out better in the long run. Working with children means you have to be very laid back and go with the flow. Sometimes a concept for a photoshoot will completely change from the plan to the outcome, but it's always a success in its own way and accepting that some of the control of your idea may change is definitely an advantage in this job.