Helen James started her Insta @i_heart_kmart just over 5 years ago when she noticed a change in the Kmart brand. Fast forward to now, Helen has 120,000+ followers, is a full time blogger and has a second blog Mama Loves to Share with her bestie Lisa, and is about to debut a live show later this month! I caught up with Helen all about her journey, being a mum and why her Kmart posts on Insta are still the most popular. Be prepared for a beautifully honest and refreshing take on blogging life...
What started your blogging journey and what is I Heart Kmart all about?
I started @i_heart_kmart just over 5 years ago, around the time that I began to notice a change in the Kmart brand. They were starting to become a lot more on trend, but the prices were still ridiculously low! So, I created a ‘fan’ Instagram account, @i_heart_kmart. It took off straight away. Before I knew it, I had 1,000 followers which soon grew to then 20,000 and now today, 120,000+ followers on Instagram with another 10,000+ on Facebook which still blows my mind! I guess I was in the right place at the right time, Kmart was becoming more popular, Instagram was becoming more popular. Now a days @i_heart_kmart shares a mixture of affordable fashion under $100 from a variety of businesses and I also produce an interview series called 'More than a Mama' where I chat to inspiring boss mamas who are nailing the whole elusive home/work life juggle! The Kmart posts are still the most popular though! Once a Kmart lover always a Kmart lover!
What are your 'must have' or 'go to' pieces you are wearing right now?
I'm a jeans and tee type of gal. I'm currently living in my Kmart high waisted sculpting skinny jeans ($25), they suck in the mum tum nice and tight and miraculously lift the butt! Even in hot weather I love wearing jeans! I like wearing these with an oversized tee or light weight linen blend shirt and a pair of flat shoes, either white sneakers or mules, the Kmart woven mules are really on trend and surprisingly super comfy seeming they are only $15.
Would love to know your styling advice for busy mamas on the go?
Get yourself a pair of flat white sneakers. You can wear them with everything - jeans, midi skirts, maxi dresses. I'm all about comfort with a twist so I tend to keep my clothing quite simple but then I might accessorize with a cool pair of earrings or sunglasses. Accessories are so affordable now, shops like Kmart, Big W, Lovisa, Colette, H&M. Also don't worry about a face full of makeup. Honestly, no one is looking or judging! I wear very minimal makeup, just some BB cream, bronzer and a pink gloss, hair up in a high messy bun - done!
"@i_heart_kmart shares a mixture of affordable fashion under $100 from a variety of businesses and I also produce an interview series called 'More than a Mama' where I chat to inspiring boss mamas who are nailing the whole elusive home/work life juggle!"
What do you enjoy most about being a blogger?
100% the flexibility of being able to work from home. I worked in event management for over 10 years which involved long hours and travel which just logistically isn't possible for our family right now. We have three children (8, 5 and 2) my husband works 6 days a week and is training or playing cricket 4 times a week, so I am the primary carer for our children. School drop off and pick up, after school sport activities, running the house etc... that's a full time job in itself so for me "blogging" writing, photographing, content creation etc... is the perfect job for me right now as I can work around the children and still make a little bit of pocket money on the side whilst being a "stay at home mum".
Tell us all about your IGTV Series 'More than a Mama'!
'More than a Mama' actually started on my blog Mama Loves to Share around 3 years ago. I was meeting so many incredible women in my local community who were not only mums but small business owners and hard workers too. There was a common trend within all these women, they loved being with their kids and being mums, but they also had a burning desire to do something for themselves too and start their own businesses. So, we started interviewing them to share their stories in the hope it would inspire other mamas to do the same. It has grown from there and I am now producing these interviews for my IGTV on @i_heart_kmart. I absolutely love presenting and interviewing people, especially inspiring women. I feel a great connection with them and love sharing their stories in the hope that it will inspire someone else to live out their dreams.
You mentioned your other blog 'Mama loves to share' that you have with your BFF Lisa - BFF's with 6 kids! What sparked this collaboration?
Lisa and I have known each other for over 20 years now, best friends for the last 10 years. We were pregnant at the same time with our first babies and would constantly text each other back and forth with parenting questions, advice and funny stories. One day we just thought that if we found what each other was saying helpful/interesting/funny then perhaps other people would to! That's when we decided to start the blog. It's really an extension of the two of us. We keep it 100% real as to what life is really like with 6 kids between us. There is definitely a comedic undertone to our content. We love laughing at ourselves and making other people laugh. Cause let's be honest, if you can't laugh after a shit day with the kids (sometimes, literally a shit filled day!) then you will probably end up go absolutely bonkers. I think our audience appreciates that we don't brush over the crap days. We put it all out there, the good the bad and the ugly! It's very relateable.
"We keep it 100% real as to what life is really like with 6 kids between us. There is definitely a comedic undertone to our content. We love laughing at ourselves and making other people laugh. "
Tell us about your live show coming up on 23 November (how exciting!)
Oh my goodness this is huge and scary and exciting! Mama Loves to Share is going live on stage! We have basically skipped the podcast and gone straight to live show! Haha! We are working with a comedian/producer and taking our content off the page and onto the stage. We will be performing skits and monologues, parody songs and having mum life discussions. There will also be games and interaction with the audience. Think of it as a mum's version of The Footy Show! 90 mins of laughs! We are so excited but secretly pooping our pants at the same time!
What’s a day in the life look life for you right now?
I'm 100% engrossed in the show right now. Content writing, singing rehearsals, ticket sales, marketing, set styling, sponsorship, menus etc... it's a full-blown production. We are not just performing but we are the event managers too so it's full on (one day hopefully we will be dripping in money so we can delegate these tasks to others!) So my day is wake up around 7:30am when the kids wake up, make the school lunches, take the two older kids to school, take the toddler for a coffee & bubba chino and then come home and answer emails/write scripts/make videos/play with the toddler etc... pick the kids up from school, go to after school sports, dinner, kids to bed then I hop back on the computer, usually until around midnight before bed and repeating again the next day!
What is your favourite self-care or me time thing you enjoy?
I love dancing. I try and get to a Sh'Bam class at the gym when I can. I also love cooking and editing/producing videos. If I could have a complete day of self-care with no mum guilt, then I would probably have a facial and get my nails done. Honestly, it's the little things that excite me!
Thank you Helen for sharing your blogging journey with us. For more from Helen and More than a Mama, follow along on Instagram!