BritMums Live Speakers 2014

BritMums Live showcases brilliant, motivating speakers from the blogging, social media, charity, journalism, TV and political worlds to ensure the 2-day experience is full of inspiration, learning and valuable insight.

Get your ticket to BritMums Live now and don’t miss out!  

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Friday 20th

Emma Freud[1]Emma Freud  has worked as a TV presenter for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and as a radio broadcaster on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4. For 25 years she has been an interviewer on Radio 4’s Loose Ends. Emma is also the public face of NT Live which broadcasts National Theatre productions all over the world. She is the script editor of all her partner Richard Curtis’ films including Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill and Love Actually – and was second unit director on The Boat That Rocked. She’s a trustee of Comic Relief, director of Red Nose Day, helped to run the Make Poverty History campaign and was producer of the Live 8 concerts. She is also a patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. In November 2011 Emma was given an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services through Comic Relief. Emma has four children – Scarlett, Jake, Charlie and Spike.  She’d quite like a little lie down.

 

Emma Kennedy

Saturday 21st

Benjamin Brooks-Dutton Head Shot ColourBenjamin Brooks-Dutton was widowed on 10th November 2012 when he was just 33 years old. On 7th January 2013 he started blogging about his experiences of widowhood and caring for a grieving toddler – his then two-year-old son, Jackson. Within a year his blog, Life as a Widower, received nearly a million views. Hundreds of testimonials also flooded in to show how his regular posts write were helping people to better understand grief, to live through their own loss and to learn how to best support grieving loved ones. The blog itself also led to a publishing deal with Hodder & Stoughton. Ben’s first book – It’s Not Raining, Daddy, It’s Happy – will be published on 8th May 2014.

 

BiB Awards Presenter

Photo by Julia Boggio Studios

Photo by Julia Boggio Studios

Katy Hill has over 2,000 hours of live broadcasting to her name, a BAFTA Best Presenter Award, a National Television Award and an extensive fan base, including her two biggest fans ­and proudest achievements to date ­- 7 year-old daughter Kaya Sky and 4-year-old son Akira Seven.  Having taken time out to focus on her kids, Katy is just getting back to speed – these days presenting on Heart Radio and ITV’s Daybreak where she’s a regular. You might also have caught her reading the C-Beebies Bedtime Stories!  Katy is passionate about supporting parents and 2013 was the year she chose to stand up for the UK’s most famous new mum, Kate Middleton, when she tweeted a picture of her own post-baby belly in support of the Duchess after the fuss over her “belly”.  The tweet went viral and saw Katy interviewed worldwide on the subject of new mums and women’s body image generally. Katy juggles work and kids with her husband, TV Presenter & Actor Trey Farley.  Katy has a lifestyle and parenting blog at katyhill.com and has written for Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast and Hello. The family also make travel Vlogs which can be seen through their website www.treyandkaty.com.  You can follow Katy on Twitter @KatyHillTV.

 

Saturday Evening Special Guest

Good Enough Mums ClubThe Good Enough Mums Club is a poignant and hilarious toddle through the highs, lows and sleep deprivation of mummyhood. From peeing on sticks to experiencing drooping tits, GEMC shares the love and dispels the myths of motherhood. Five women, thrown together by motherhood, overcome their isolation, loneliness, judgment and desire for perfection to discover that they’re stronger as a group than as individuals, and that sometimes, being good enough, is best. This hysterical, heartbreaking and honest new musical, created, written & produced by mothers is capturing the attention of critics, parents and non-parents alike throughout the country.  Written by Emily Beecher with Sally Samad, music by Chris Passey and Amy Carroll, lyrics by Emily Beecher and Sally Samad.

 

 

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Anjum Anand

Anjum Anand is an internationally renowned TV chef, best-selling food writer, entrepreneur and mother of two young children. She is the face of modern Indian cuisine. In 2007, Anjum first appeared on television with her series Indian Food Made Easy on BBC 2, establishing her as an empathetic, warm and capable presenter. Anjum is now considered one of the first food writers of Indian recipes to cater for the health-conscious cook. She has written six books including bestseller Indian Food Made Easy, ‘I Love Curry’ and Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast. Her new book Anjum’s Quick and Easy Indian is published in March 2014. Anjum is also the creator of The Spice Tailor, an award-winning range of authentic curry sauces and chutneys.

 

Penny AlexanderPenny Alexander blogs at A Residence, Little Legacy and parentshaped.co.uk. A former film and drama teacher with a Diploma in Creative Writing, Penny loves exercising her creative muscles through words, video and photos. She has built successful relationships with a range of brands and organisations – including Kodak, Panasonic, Eden Hall Spa, Camp Bestival, the YHA, the Italian and Welsh tourist boards, Direct Debit, Carnival Cruise Lines and Comic Relief – ranging from sponsored posts and reviews to longer term projects and ambassadorships. She is one third of the founding team behind Team Honk, the blogging team that has to date raised £40,000 for Comic Relief and the Alexanders were selected to be Carnival Cruise Lines funnest family, making a series of videos about taking a family cruise. In early 2014 A Residence caught the eye of Wayfair.co.uk the homes and interiors store who bought the blog. A Residence moved to its new home within Wayfair.co.uk in March, where Penny to continues to write her blog as a freelance employee. Penny is passionate about travel, adventure and memory making. She is @AResidence on Twitter.

 

lindsay_akinLindsay Atkin. Mum of three, primary school teacher, vlogger, anti-bullying campaigner and Save the Children ambassador. Like all mums, Lindsay juggles as many things as she possibly can. She’s passionate about her teaching career and also enjoys making little vlogs now and then on YouTube.  After being inspired by her YouTuber son, Charlie McDonnell, she began making videos to help teens and have covered a variety of topics topics including anti-bullying and teenage love. As well as this, she’s made cooking videos and other films using a few fun ideas that have popped into her head. She loves being a content creator and has met some wonderful people on her YouTube journey. She’s also passionate about the projects she’s supported with Save the Children, including a trip to Tanzania promoting the Enoughfoodif campaign through #IFYouTube. The experience was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

Paul ArmstrongPaul Armstrong. Currently a Digital Consultant working with mid- to large-sized brands and agencies, Paul is back in London after spending seven years in Los Angeles, the last two of which were at MySpace in the Corporate Communications department. Recently, Paul headed up Mindshare’s Social Media department – the largest dedicated team of all media agencies in the UK – creating strategies for clients such as HSBC, Three, Ford, ITV, and Unilever. Whilst in the US, Paul created and executed strategies for some of the top brands out there like Sony, Activision, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks and Yahoo! He gets a real kick out of digital media but enjoys keeping abreast of how it fits in business and the real world. In his spare time Paul travels, takes photos, blogs for various outlets and updates the @themediaisdying Twitter network amongst other less digital things.

John ArnoldJohn Arnold is a photography and parenting blogger and podcaster who’s better at talking than writing. He is host of PhotoWalkthrough, where he teaches photography and post processing through free video tutorials. John is also co-host of parenting themed shows “The Love All Dads Podcast” with a cadre of daddy bloggers, and “Parental Geekery” with his wife Ruth, the geekmummy. John has been podcasting since 2006. It’s opened up a huge number of exciting opportunities, nearly all of which have been hugely life-enhancing but very few that actually make money! John wanted kids his whole life and despite starting a little late he’s over the moon to have his work and play constantly interrupted by Catherine, 6 and David, 3. Over the moon. Really.

 

Ruth ArnoldRuth Arnold is a geeky, technology-loving mother of two pre-schoolers (a daughter aged four and a son aged one). She has been blogging since 2005 and podcasting since 2007. Ruth launched her geekmummy blog in August 2010 as a maternity leave project, as looking after a newborn and a toddler clearly wasn’t enough to keep her busy. In early 2011 Ruth started working with her husband John to bring his experience of video production to her blog, and geekmummy.tv was born. Shortly afterwards Ruth joined the BritMums video blogging team, and she regularly features in the BritMums featured topic discussions. Geekmummy.com has won the BritMums Video Blogging BiB award and the MAD award for Most Innovative Blog.

 

lewis_ackroyd

Lewis Ackroyd is a 32-year old-dad of two. Three years ago he joined Twitter to find support and help about the scary prospect of becoming a first-time dad. Shortly after, he started blogging to keep a record of his boys growing up. At www.dadwhoblogs.co.uk, Lewis blogs about the adventures of Benjamin and Samuel, the ups and downs of being a dad and sometimes just his general ramblings and observations about the world.

 

 

Mummy_BarrowMummy Barrow also goes by the name Tanya but nobody calls her that unless she has been naughty. Most people now call her T.  T lives in Hampshire with her husband Mr B, three teenagers and a mad dog. T comes from a background in property and knows the ins and outs of evicting tenants and making landlords fix that leaky roof but these days she is more likely to be seen hanging out on Twitter, of which she is a massive fan. T was reluctant to start blogging initially, believing her lack of A levels and lack of writing expertise would mean nobody would want to read what she wrote or would even notice her little corner of the web. She was quickly proved wrong however and now has quite a following with not only her weekly Ranty Friday Linky but also her monthly blog Book Club. In 2013 she was one of three bloggers who visited Ghana with Comic Relief, live blogging and tweeting from projects as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations of Red Nose Day. In 2014 Team Honk returned with a fundraising relay across the UK, raising money for Sports Relief.

 

camilla kids companyCamila Batmanghelidjh is the founder and director of Kids Company and has been a psychotherapist for more than 20 years. In her early twenties Camila founded her first charity: ‘The Place To Be, now a national organisation reaching thousands of children. In her early thirties, Camila founded Kids Company in six converted railway arches in London, catering to children described as “hard to reach”. She has created a pioneering approach in delivering services to vulnerable children, and become an advocate for them, speaking at conferences and contributing to publications. Her book, Shattered Lives: Children living with Courage and Dignity was published in May 2006. She considers herself privileged to be working with what she describes as extraordinarily courageous and dignified children.

 

 

hannah beackermanHannah Beckerman worked in television for thirteen years as a Commissioning Editor for Arts and Documentary programming for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel in America. She left TV in 2011 to indulge her childhood fantasy of writing full-time, and in February 2014 her debut novel, The Dead Wife’s Handbook, was published in the UK by Penguin. Described as “beautifully written and full of love” by Fern Britton, the novel will be published internationally in the USA, Italy, Germany and Turkey.  She’s now working on her second novel as well as writing features for the FT Weekend Magazine and blogging for The Huffington Post and on her website: hannahbeckerman.com. When not writing she’s generally to be found on Twitter (@hannahbeckerman) chatting to writers and bloggers about favourite books, terrible TV programmes and children’s sleep patterns. She lives in London with her husband and their incredibly lively toddler.

 

Emily Beecher, Good Enough Mums ClubEmily Beecher is a producer, writer, actress and proud single mama to her precocious four-year-old daughter. Her latest project, The Good Enough Mums Club grew out of her experience with severe postnatal depression and postnatal psychosis. Through her recovery Emily realized that she was comparing herself against an unobtainable standard and wondered where the “perfect mother” ideal was coming from. After writing her own story, Emily began collecting other mothers’ experiences of motherhood and The Good Enough Mums Club was born. As a producer, Emily’s had the pleasure of working with clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Somerset House, the English National Ballet, Hasbro, Kelloggs, Universal, Nintendo, Nickelodeon, and the Labour Party. A published writer, Emily helped with the creation of ‘blush’ magazine (Canada) and has consulted on several video games, film scripts and the ‘Patient Zero’ comic book series. She’s currently working towards a Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford University.

 

 

Andy Bell, Boomf, MintAndy Bell founded Mint on an ironing board in Brixton in 2004. Now Mint is a 40-person digital product development studio based in London and New York. Mint founded the StickyGram (now Sticky9), the Instagram fridge magnet company that sold to PhotoBox in 2013. Since then Mint has launched Boomf – Magical Marshmallows – in collaboration with James Middleton, and The Bathory, which lets you invent your own bath soak. Mint’s studio has clients including Tesco, Channel 4 and vInspired. Sexperience, a sex education platform for teens built for Channel 4, has won numerous awards including a BIMA and an RTS. Andy has one wife and two sons and lives on the Shepherd’s Bush/Acton border.

 

Pippa BestPippa Best is co-founder of Story of Mum, a free online creative community encouraging mums to share their stories, beat “bad mummy” guilt, and carve out vital me-time. Passionate about supporting mums to be heard and valued, she hosts Mamas’ Retreats on and offline, and last year toured a participatory motherhood exhibition and events programme across England and on to New York. Pippa also works as a feature film script consultant and project manager, helping writers and directors to tell their stories. She lives with her surf-obsessed husband, hilarious son and daughter in a chaotic house in Cornwall, UK.

 

 

Tom Briggs

Tom  Briggs is a husband of one, a dad and punchbag of two and one quarter of the Love All Dads Podcast team. He likes zombie films rather too much, can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under four minutes, was once the cover model on a woodwork magazine and lists making his line manager dress up as a cat and hide behind a tree as his career highlight to date. He has been blogging at Diary of the Dad since 2010.

 

 

jane_blackmoreJane Blackmore is a youthful thirty-something who fell into blogging almost three years ago and has been hooked ever since. Previous to discovering WordPress she was an avid diary keeper and is still waiting for the day that someone finds them hidden under her bed and turns them into award winning novels. In the last couple of years Jane has been recognised for her blogging exploits by people other than her mum, last year she was awarded the Mad Blog Award for Best Writer and was a finalist in the Bibs. Writing has turned from a hobby to the seeds of a career for Jane and she can be found popping up on different parts of the internet mainly writing about parenting, sometimes about travel and on the occasion discussing risky topics (don’t tell her mum). You can find her at www.northernmum.com or at her brand new blog www.fromspendingtosaving.co.uk

 

juliaboggioJulia Boggio is one of the UK’s leading wedding and portrait photographers. She is a popular columnist for Photo Professional magazine and has achieved over 30 magazine covers, including Cosmo Bride and You & Your Wedding – the magazine that gave her the Brides’ Choice award in 2010. Julia and her husband James run a family, couple and boudoir portrait studio based in Wimbledon (www.juliaboggiostudios.com), known for its fun and boutique style. Julia was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Merton in 2010 and 2011, the latter while she was on maternity leave after giving birth to her first child in May. Julia and James are also infamous for their first dance from their wedding on YouTube. Their Dirty Dancing video spurred a worldwide trend in choreographed first dances and they’ve appeared on news shows across the globe, including Richard & Judy, BBC Breakfast and GMTV in the UK, Sunrise TV in Australia, and The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US – where Julia danced with Patrick Swayze. Julia writes about what happened next in her successful mum blog, www.icarriedawatermelon.co.uk.

 

Luigi BonomiLuigi Bonomi has been working in publishing 30 years as both a publisher – as Editorial Director of Penguin Books – and, in the last 17 years, as a literary agent. He represents a large number of authors with a very broad range including thrillers, crime, historical, psychological suspense, Young Adult, and general women’s fiction. He is always on the search for new writers. What he’s looking for is the same as what he loves: novels that shock and surprise; novels that have secrets from the past that are played out in the present; novels that make us cry; novels that are imaginative and have a cross-genre appeal; historical fiction with a tortured love story; dark fast-paced thrillers with an edge; a good ghost story, a bit of paranormal – particularly if it frightens him. He also has years’ experience developing great non-fiction ideas into bestsellers.

 

Greg Brand TravizeoGreg Brand is Creative Director of Travizeo, a travel video production, marketing and training firm. As a result, he’s been able to pursue his passion for filming as well as travel to some of the most beautiful locations, meet some inspiring people, and work with our sensational team to create visual stories for the most forward thinking travel brands. His role at Travizeo is primarily as a cameraman, editor and director and he also delves into the world of search, online marketing and loads of other social seeding goodness. He’s a bit of a geek at heart and the fast pace at which the industry develops drives him  to stay on top of trends, new technology and VSEO movements.

 

Susie BurdekinSusie Burdekin is a business coach and consultant. She specialises in helping Directors of established small businesses get to the next level; whether that be to change direction or grow. Over the past 14 years Susie has worked within digital agencies helping brands such as Audi, BBC, O2, Visa and Royal Albert Hall implement strategies and ideas. She was the joint Director of brand partnership agency, Cherry London; taking the business from start-up to a 25 strong, profitable, award-winning agency in under 4 years. Cherry is currently Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) ‘Agency of the Year’. She is also Co-Founder for Commercial Break; a charity set up to help young people get into the communications industry and business mentor for the Prince’s Trust and Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.

 

 

Trish BurgessTrish Burgess began blogging in 2009 after uploading her diary entries for a series of posts called ‘Mum’s Gone to Iceland’. Since then her blog Mum’s Gone To… has documented her family travels, usually with tongue firmly in cheek: from Lake Garda to London, Canada to Cyprus and Spain to Sweden. She is the editor of the monthly travel round-ups for the BritMums blog and was the winner of the Travel category (Go!) at the 2012 Brilliance in Blogging awards. She has recently begun writing a weekly light-hearted column, Trish Takes Five, for her local newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press.

 

Simon CalderSimon Calder is a special guest of our gold sponsor, Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Simon is Britain’s leading travel commentator but it wasn’t always like this. He began his career at Gatwick airport, where he cleaned out planes for Sir Freddie Laker and, later, frisked passengers (for a job, that is; not a hobby). He then started to write travel guidebooks and travel articles. Today Simon is Senior Travel Editor of The Independent. Simon also writes for the Evening Standard, the i newspaper, Conde Nast Traveller, BA’s inflight magazine High Life, as well as many other publications. Simon is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast News, Daybreak, CNN, ITV News and Sky News. Once a month, he presents the Global Guru slot on The Travel Show (BBC Worldwide and BBC2) where he answers viewers travel questions and queries. He was a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind, and his specialist subject was Concord. To his utter astonishment, he won. More recently he was a contestant on Celebrity Eggheads and lost. Simon is also often interviewed on BBC radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Five Live.

 

 

emma_lamEmma Clark Lam has dreamed of being a writer since she was a child in long white socks, living in the desert state of Abu Dhabi. In 2012, she published her first novel, A Sister for Margot, as a Kindle book. It is a family saga set in England during WW2 and in modern-day Ibiza. When she is not writing fiction, Emma uses her blog, An Author’s Notebook, as an outlet for her thoughts on novels, parenting and anything that piques her curiosity. Emma grew up in the Far East and the Middle East, and spent most of her summers in Ibiza. Before becoming a mum of two, she worked as a journalist for BBC News Online in London and for Euromoney Institutional Investor in New York. Now based in Henley-on-Thames, she is working on her second novel: a domestic thriller set in Indonesia during the 1970s.

 

Stella CreasyStella Creasy is the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Walthamstow and is Labour’s spokesperson on Competition and Consumer Affairs as part of the Shadow Business Innovation and Skills team. Whilst in Parliament she has campaigned on issues such as payday lending, violence against women and girls as well as supporting local volunteering in Walthamstow through the 7Days4Stow project. Before being elected, Stella was the Head of Campaigns at the Scout Association, working to support young people across the country in developing their own advocacy skills. She has a PhD in Social Psychology from the LSE and served as Mayor and Chief Whip on the London Borough of Waltham Forest during her tenure as a Councillor from 2002-06.

 

 

Di Coke“SuperLucky” Di Coke started blogging in 2009. With 17 years’ experience as a “comper” and over £250,000 of prizes under her belt, Di believes that with a bit of effort, anyone can be super lucky. As well as sharing prize-winning secrets and stories at www.superlucky.co.uk, she hosts popular monthly giveaway linkys and creative competition round-ups. Di is passionate about well-organised and inspiring competitions and campaigns, works hard to ensure they are run properly and that scammers are named and shamed. Obsessed with T&Cs, she works with promoters to ensure their prize draws and competitions are fair, fun and successful. Di has been interviewed about competitions on BBC Breakfast, Radio 1 and in the national press, and never tires of welcoming new recruits to the hobby.

 

 

rowan_colemanRowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years before winning Company Magazine Young Writer of the Year in 2001. Her first novel Growing Up Twice was published in 2002 and was a WHS Fresh Talent winner. Since then, Rowan has written 10 novels including The Accidental Mother, The Baby Group and Dearest Rose, which won The Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read 2012, The RoNA Epic Romance novel of 2013, was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2013 and is the book that inspired Rowan to release Woman Walks Into a Bar as an ebook (published September 2013) with 100% of her royalties going to Refuge. Her latest novel The Memory Book was published January 2014. Rowan lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and four children, including surprise toddler twins. Rowan is often quite tired.

 

darren_coleshillDarren Coleshill. OneDad3Girls started at the end of 2011 and has become a place where Darren tells tales about his young family. The family is made up of Darren, or Daddy, Laura (Mummy), the 6-year-old princess Aly and the 3-year-old cheeky monkey Mia. He is a regular contributor to the LoveAllDads podcast. Follow Darren via Twitter on @OneDad3Girls.

country wivesCountry Wives. The CountryWives blog is, unusually, written by not one person but three. Annabel, Grace and Ellie are old friends who precariously lived out their youth in London, somehow survived and then moved with their respective families to various corners of the English countryside. They have seven children between them, ranging from 10 – 31, plus the husbands and dogs. The CountryWives blog began three years ago as a way for the three friends to stay in touch when it proved beyond impossible to get together anymore – too many children, too many dogs. Their blog has morphed into a website offering a light-hearted mixture of emotional rants, rave reviews and top tips. Despite being more familiar these days with muddy wellies and village shops than Manolo’s and Harvey Nix, they still have an urban edge to their writing, which is often candid and always endearingly truthful.

 

nidel campNigel Camp is founder of DevilBoy Productions, which specialises in producing videos with animation for  businesses who want a big company experience on an affordable budget. He is about to release his book entitled The Video Effect, which explains how to create quality content with professional advice on production techniques, equipment, storyboarding and content sharing. His blog www.thevideoeffect.tv contains cool video tips. When he’s not working you can find him relaxing on a beach on getting ready for his next snowboard trip. Follow Nigel on Twitter at @nigelcamp.

 

James Dearsley Digital Marketing BureauJames Dearsley is founder of The Digital Marketing Bureau. In 2006, as sales & marketing director for a leading overseas property company, James saw and grasped the benefits of a digital marketing strategy. With the combination of a blog, Twitter and LinkedIn opening up opportunities for him on British and American TV, he understood the opportunities that Social Media Marketing in particular offered and made it his personal mission to learn everything he could about it. After building successful strategies in his own businesses ranging from property to beekeeping, he decided to take the leap and use his passion for communication and digital marketing to help others succeed. James is also a husband, and father to two boys, a keen gardener and beekeeper, and published author.

 

 

Sarah EbnerSarah Ebner has worked across newspapers, television and digital media. She is the current holder of the award for best commentary/blogging at the Online Media Awards, and also won the 2013 award for outstanding online commentary at the Education Journalism Awards. Both were for her education blog, School Gate. Sarah began her career as a graduate trainee on the Daily Express and has written for almost every national newspaper, as well as being a producer and occasional reporter on Newsnight. She now works on The Times sports desk, where one of her jobs is to look after the very successful football blog, The Game. Together with her children she writes The Family Travel Times, which, as the name suggests, is all about family holidays and days out. Her book The Starting School Survival Guide is published by White Ladder.

 

 

alice_elliottAlice Elliott, also known as the Fairy Blog Mother, offers tuition and helpful advice to bloggers, covering newbie, beginner and intermediate levels. Her particular talent is explaining blogging in ordinary, everyday language, and she provides e-courses that train in a highly visual format. Alice describes herself as a highly-developed WordPress user, approaching blogging through the user’s point of view by the blog’s “front door”, rather than the more confusing and technical “back-end,” providing practical solutions that anyone can understand and use immediately.

 

Michelle Eshkeri, Lavender BakeryMichelle Eshkeri is a baker and cake designer who started The Lavender Bakery in 2008, realising early on the importance of blogging and social media for the success of a small business. Michelle is raising her two sons aged one and three with her husband in North London whilst baking and decorating cakes and developing a retail bakery and café due to open later this year. She wouldn’t be without blogs, endless stacks of recipes to test or a well-fed sourdough starter on the go, fresh yeast in the fridge and a large sack of flour in the kitchen. Find cakes, bread experiments and recipes at The Lavender Bakery and Lavender Cooks and find her on Twitter @lavenderbakery.

 

Melinda Fargo 2Melinda Fargo is a former senior corporate executive turned student mentor, and first came to social media attention via her successful, satirical and reflective blog ‘HerMelness Speaks…Out’, a blog which was born as an antidote to the sudden death of her husband, Bronson Hart Fargo Jr., on 15th January 2010. Hitherto a closet writer – solely for the amusement and edification of family and friends – it was therefore bereavement which ‘outed’ Melinda’s writing. Regularly featured in the writing and blogging worlds, Melinda was also talent spotted last year by the UK’s largest regional newspaper, ‘The Eastern Daily Press’, where she is now a proud monthly columnist. Melinda remains a widow and is parenting four young people towards their best lives. She will marry Denzel Washington after the sudden and unexpected disappearance of any of his wives.

 

 

Lizzie Gold PinterestLizzie Gold is the UK Marketing Manager for Pinterest, the tool for collecting and organising things you love. She’s a marketing and digital PR specialist with over 5 years’ experience in community management, project management, brand management on social platforms and event planning. She’s also passionate about vinyl records, cocktails, nail varnish, squirrels and fondue.

 

 

 

Bryony GordonBryony Gordon is an interviewer and columnist at The Telegraph, where she has worked for 14 years. She has also contributed to Grazia, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Red and Marie Claire. Her first book, The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos, is out now. She lives in South London with her husband, a financial journalist, and one-year-old daughter.

 

 

 

downssideup3-2Hayley Goleniowska. A former language teacher and voice-over artist, Hayley is now the Mum of two gorgeous girls, the youngest of whom, Natty, has Down’s Syndrome. She blogs, speaks, provides training and writes articles on the subject for parents, teachers, medical staff and other organisations. Through her blog Downs Side Up, she aims to both offer support and encouragement to new families with a diagnosis, and to gently change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome from within the hearts of the nation through her powerful words and beautiful photographs. Natty is also a clothing model and an amazing ambassador for children with disabilities everywhere, featuring in countless newspapers, magazines, journals, TV and radio programmes. You can find Hayley on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.

 

 

Julie Hall Women UnlimitedJulie Hall is the founder of Women Unlimited, a business community and learning and development company for small business owners (www.womenunlimitedworldwide.com), small business web design agency Springmedia (www.springmedia.co.uk) and the MicroEntrepreneur Podcast. She is a self-confessed internet geek and loves all things to do with social media, WordPress and marketing on the web, and is particularly passionate about teaching women how to be more successful in their businesses. You can connect with her @JulieHallOnline or @women_unlimited.

 

Lucy Heath Capture by LucyLucy Heath writes the award winning photography-focussed blog capturebylucy.com, documenting her family life with her childhood sweetheart and their 2 small boys in the South West of England. Lucy juggles a part-time consultancy job in the development industry, where she established her career as a land buyer for national house builders, with her growing product photography business. Lucy’s passion is in making the ordinary extraordinary through creativity, a positive outlook and imagination. Her blog features her love of making, baking and sourcing pretty things as well as her charity shop hauls and vintage treasures. Lucy’s photography work has been featured in a number of magazines including Pretty Nostalgic, Wedding Flowers and the US publication Where Women Cook. Find Lucy on Twitter @capturebylucy for a daily dose of happy.

 

cook sisterJeanne Horak-Druiff is a born-and-bred South African who has been living in London since 2002. Her internationally recognised blog CookSister! has appeared on the Times Online’s list of top 50 food blogs in the world and Saveur’s 55 top global food blogs list. She is a four-time winner of Best Food Blog in the South African Blog Awards. Her writing has been published in National Geographic’s 500 Food Journeys500 Secret Journeys, and Creating a Meal You’ll Love, as well as various magazines. She speaks regularly at blogging, writing and photography workshops and conferences in Europe and South Africa. Her blog encompasses her three obsessions: food, travel and photography.

 

 

Amanda Jennings - photoAmanda Jennings is a contemporary fiction writer who lives near Henley-on-Thames with her husband and three daughters. Vogue.co.uk called her first book Sworn Secret “an intense, relentless story that grips from the start”. It was published last year, and is soon to be released in Italy and Taiwan, and as an ebook in the US by Witness (HarperCollins). Her second book The Judas Scar is out in May 2014. She went to university to study architecture, making a change to history of art when it became clear she was more interested in writing than designing. Amanda worked at the BBC but left to become a full-time mum, writing in any spare time she could find. She also now writes a blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Talking Entertainment. When not writing she can generally be found misbehaving on Twitter or walking the dog. @mandajjennings

 

Emily-Johnston-525x600Emily Johnston. A leading style tastemaker in the UK, Emily Johnston is the editor and founder of Fashion Foie Gras. The site was founded in September 2009 with the idea of creating one place where all things newsworthy for fashion and style are reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Emily is also a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan, Glamour Magazine UK and Stylist Magazine.

 

 

 

stevekeenanSteve Keenan is a longtime travel journalist, an expert in travel social media, video and site curation, and the former online travel editor for The Sunday Times. In 2011 he co-formed Travel Perspective with Mark Frary. The company runs social media sessions at World Travel Market in London, and now works with Reed Expos and other clients in helping the industry best understand and embrace the world of social and digital media in travel.

 

 

Louise LamontLouise Lamont studied English Literature and Medieval Studies at university, then joined the literary agency AP Watt Ltd after a brief spell in the world of film development. She worked with Caradoc King and his clients for seven years, while also building her own list. In 2013, Louise moved to LBA. She’s particularly looking for writers and illustrators for children and teen readers that focuses on strong, sharp storytelling with a hint of humour and a sense of adventure.

 

rachael lucasRachael Lucas self published her novel Sealed with a Kiss in 2013. After a year where the book was downloaded over 130,000 times and hit the Amazon top 10, she signed up with LBA literary agency and was offered a three book deal by Pan Macmillan. Sealed with a Kiss, pronounced “gloriously romantic” by Katie Fforde, is now available in all good bookshops.  Rachael lives by the seaside in the North West of England with her partner and blended family of six children. When she’s not working on her books, she’s sharing her social media skills with other writers, giving workshops, and blogging at http://rachaellucas.com. In her spare time, she – well, actually, she doesn’t have much spare time. She’s working on it.

 

jaumeJaume Marin is the Marketing Director at the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board. Prior to his time in Costa Brava, Jaume participated in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games as IT Coordinator, then went on to live in Holland and Scotland for over 5 years. While in Scotland, he helped in developing Sports and Excellence in the Sports Scotland marketing department. Coming back to Spain, he was involved with two golf resorts, and fell in love with Costa Brava and the Pyrenees. Now working in Costa Brava, he has found great success in combining 1.0 and 2.0 strategies – implementing Storytelling wherever possible. He finds himself very lucky to be a part of one of the best marketing teams in tourism – whose successful blogtrips #incostabrava and #inpyrenees have received worldwide recognition.

 

Helen McGinnHelen McGinn is the author of the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, an award-winning blog and now book (Pan Macmillan, £7.99). Having spent almost a decade as a wine buyer for a big supermarket souring wines from around the world, she spent the next half-decade pregnant. Three children later, Helen decided to post weekly wine recommendations on a blog, in the hope that she might inspire people to try new wines. The blog was avidly followed by at least three people (mother, sister and husband); but soon starting gaining an audience with people she wasn’t actually related to. Last year, the blog won in the Outstanding Category in the BritMums BiBs, and before that she won Red Magazine’s Hot Women Award for blogging. Helen’s mission – apart from more sleep and to find an eye cream that actually works – is to spread the good wine gospel, because life is too short to drink bad wine.

 

 

Cherry Menlove stripy apronCherry Menlove is a self-confessed homemaker, with a home-grown passion for all things creative. She started writing her homemaking blog in 2005 from the spare bedroom of her flat in London. Since settling in the Sussex countryside with her husband, Robert, and their young twins, Cherry has fulfilled her dream of documenting the way in which simple things in your home can transform your life.  Cherry now shares her passion and enthusiasm for handmade projects throughout the home, from cooking and baking to crafts, restoration and gardening, through her vibrant website and popular blog.  Follow Cherry at Cherrymenlove.com and on Facebook, Pinterest and on Twitter at @CherryMenlove.

 

eleanor millsEleanor Mills is Editorial Director of The Sunday Times, and also Chair of Women in Journalism. She writes a weekly column in the News Review section of the paper on social affairs as well as one in Home on how we live now. Eleanor is proud to be a winner of the International Alliance of Women World of Difference Awards for her “contribution to the economic empowerment of women” and was one of four journalists to be shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the European Diversity Awards 2012. She appears regularly on television, reviewing the papers on Sky News, Lorraine, This Morning etc and on radio – Woman’s Hour, BBC London, LBC etc. In 2011, she was shortlisted for Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards for her long-form writing in the Sunday Times magazine. Publications include Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs: the best journalism by women from the last 100 Years, published by Constable and Robinson. For ten years Eleanor edited the News Review section of the Sunday Times and was the most senior woman on the paper.

 

chris moslerChris Mosler is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and Mum to four children aged from 7 to 17  and work as Community Liaison Officer for Save the Children. Blogging at Thinly Spread since 2010 her tagline is Stretched But Not Snapped – although that may only be a matter of time! Weaving together stories about family life as her children begin to spread their wings with her passions for social justice, the environment, education and anything else which gets her goat, Chris says that blogging has enriched her life.  It has given her a platform for personal writing, bringing her opportunities to meet amazing people to speak at a wide range of events and to work with numerous charities and campaign groups which are close to her heart. She enjoys the freedom from editorial control which blogging brings!

 

Helen NealeHelen Neale started blogging in 2012 on KiddyCharts and Stickers, Stars and Smiles after throwing in the towel on being a business analyst and a mum after too many late nights and trips to the US. Believe it or not, she missed them. Writing had always been a dream, and blogging seemed to be an ideal way of developing that dream while still managing to keep her kids entertained. Blogging and social media quickly became her not so secret escape; coupled with the occasional diet coke and sneaky choccy bar. Thankfully, other organisations noticed she was spending far too much time on social media; with KiddyCharts making it as a finalist in the National Blog awards this year, and in the BIBs last year. KiddyCharts has now developed into much more than a mere distraction and provides a steady income, alongside her social media and blogging role for the online retailer, Truprint.

 

Kirstie PellingKirstie Pelling is a UK writer and journalist who blogs at The Family Adventure Project. Together with her partner Stuart Wickes and their three children she has created content for national campaigns by brands including Duracell, Berghaus, Expedia, Late Rooms and Visit Wales. They have created mini campaigns on their blog for companies including Avis and Budget. They have partnered with travel brands including DFDS and Smyril Lines and worked with tourist boards including Costa Brava Pirineu, Visit Faroes, Visit Iceland and Visit Belfast. Kirstie writes family travel features for Late Rooms, Parentdish and Homeaway. She regularly pitches campaign ideas at anyone who will listen.

 

Emma RaphaelEmma Raphael is an English expat mum currently based in Munich. Now on her second country (she lived near Copenhagen previously), she likes to make sure that her family explores as much of each new country they reside in as possible. Travel is something of an obsession to her. She was born abroad so you could say that her first ever possession was a passport – something she has definitely put to good use since! Recent adventures have included trips to Japan, Florida, Bosnia, Italy, France and Austria, and a night spent in an Iglu on top of Germany’s tallest Mountain. She blogs at Bavarian Sojourn.

 

 

 

Urban Rajah Ivor PetersThe Urban Rajah (aka Ivor Peters) is a food writer, cook and traveller with roots deep in the Indian Subcontinent. His cookbook Urban Rajah’s Curry tells his love affair with curry through more than 80 familial recipes and was nominated for the World Food Awards Cook Book of the Year. His blog www.urbanrajah.com is dedicated to recipes and stories about food, travel, life and style finds. His supper club Cash n Curry is a social enterprise dedicated to raising funds for projects helping India’s street children, trafficked children and those in bonded labour. He also serves Indian streetfood at festivals through the Urban Rajah’s Grill and also demonstrates his passion for Indian cuisine through spice masterclasses. His pop-up restaurant, The Great Indian Food Feast is an immersive dining experience. A self-confessed dandy, he rarely leaves home without a tub of moustache wax or a piece of millinery. Connect with Ivor at @urbanrajah and www.urbanrajah.com.

kerstin rodgers-150x150Kerstin Rodgers aka Ms. Marmitelover is the pioneer of the underground restaurant movement in the UK and one of the most-read UK food bloggers. This year at BritMums Live she is curating a programme of food blogging and styling focused on quality and professionalism. Although she trained as a photographer, cooking has become her job. Her supper club The Underground Restaurant specialises in highly researched original menus. Her Underground Farmers’ and Craft Market, which takes place at her house, encourage entrepreneurs to start up food businesses via a “dragon’s den” talent panel. She’s the author of Supper Club: Recipes and notes from The Underground Restaurant, published by Harper Collins in 2011. She’s appears regularly on TV, radio and in the national press. She’s also singlehandedly raised an 18-year-old daughter. She agrees with Roseanne Barr who once said, “I figure if my kids are alive at the end of the day, I’ve done my job.”

 

Georgi RollingsGeorgi Rollings. Starfish Accounting provides accounting, tax and bookkeeping services to women in business and micro business, together with innovative support for sole traders. Starfish Accounting was founded in early 2011 by Georgi Rollings, a Chartered Accountant with 16 years experience and mum to toddler twin girls, who understands the challenges of running a business around family commitments. From a no nonsense blog with straight forward tax and accounting tips and tricks to low cost monthly packages to help you from when you first start your self employed business, Starfish Accounting supports women in business to be in charge of their finances, run their businesses effectively, and puts them firmly on the road to success. Visit www.starfishaccounting.co.uk or for more info contact [email protected]tarfishaccounting.co.uk.

 

anamrsoAna Silva O’Reilley. With a degree in Business Studies and a Henley Business School MBA, Ana Silva O’Reilly developed her career in strategic marketing management as Marketing Director for Portugal, Spain and Turkey with global commercial real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield. She is also a New York University alumni (NYU), having graduated from its Social Media Strategy & Execution course in 2011 & 2013. Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, Ana is 34, lives in the United Kingdom and is an accomplished entrepreneur, who embraced the concept of a portfolio career. She is the Mrs. O behind award-winning luxury travel blog, mrsoaroundtheworld.com, started in late 2011. The blog has welcomed over 250,000 visitors in its first year and Mrs. O has also co-founded the very successful twitter chat #GirlsTravel. Follow her on @mrsoaroundworld.

 

tamsin smithTamsin Smith is a freelance radio/TV journalist and a mum of two. She can often be heard reporting for Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. Before going freelance she spent 15 years as a staff BBC Television and Radio correspondent, reporting for BBC Breakfast News and TV News Bulletins as well as Radio 4, Radio 5Live and Radio 1 Newsbeat. She has travelled to over 25 countries to cover news stories but the highlight of these foreign adventures was two years in Rome where amazing food and fabulous shoes were a constant distraction from work. You can find her via her website (www.tamsinsmithmedia.com) or follow her on Twitter (@tamsin_smith). She’s always on the hunt for interesting story ideas for Woman’s Hour so do get in touch if you have a gem.

 

Annie SprattAnnie Spratt is a multi-award-winning power blogger, mother and wife. She is known for her high energy and support of bloggers and creativity in the blogging and social media space. Annie’s first blog Mammasaurus won three national blogging awards in 2012 and she is also overlord of Love All Blogs. She writes for The Huffington Post and enjoys working with charities. In 2013 she was one of three bloggers who visited Ghana with Comic Relief, live blogging and tweeting from projects as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations of Red Nose Day. In 2014 Team Honk returned with a fundraising relay across the UK, raising money for Sports Relief. Find her on Twitter at @MammasaurusBlog.

 

Zenobie Syrett, EtsyZenobie Syrett is Digital Marketing Coordinator at Etsy. Etsy is the global, online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. An experienced affiliate marketer, Zenobie works with bloggers and brands to help them generate commission from their content through Etsy’s affiliate programme, which launched in the UK, France, Germany, Canada and Australia in May 2013. Outside of her work with Etsy, Zenobie loves all things creative including knitting impractically long scarves and mixing impossibly sweet cocktails!

 

Sophie TannerSophie Tanner trained in theatre and journalism and has a background in online travel marketing; she now works as an Online PR Consultant at digital media agency, Propellernet. She works with retail, fashion and travel brands such as Waitrose, SportsShoes, M&S, Kiddicare and Forest Holidays – her forte is creating quality, shareable content. She is currently writing a novel and has a strong interest in digital culture, social influence and the interesting journey of writing and editorial. Sophie also has a real passion for nature and the outdoors, with a particular interest in conservation and sustainable living.

 

Jo Turnbull SEO Jo BlogsJo Turnbull is a freelance online marketing consultant and blogger on SEO Jo Blogs.  She has been working in SEO since 2007, having worked both agency and client side. She is also the organiser of Search London, a meetup group for online professionals in London which has over 1,300 members. Jo is one of the editors of State of Digital, one of Europe’s leading websites in Digital Marketing related topics. She organises media partnerships with events worldwide at State of Digital. Jo has a broad international background, having lived in many countries around the world. She speaks French, Spanish and some Japanese.

 

maisoncupcake_sarah-june-2013
Sarah Trivuncic is a London based freelancer and blogger. She lives with her 6 year old son Ted, and husband Nick. Her book, called Bake Me I’m Yours: Sweet Bitesize Bakes is available from Amazon. Maison Cupcake is her first blog which she began publishing in 2009. Although initially a baking blog, the site does mutate depending on Sarah’s main interests at the time – lately there’s been more lifestyle and shopping content rather than just recipes. Sarah’s not a caterer nor a cupcake bakery although she sometimes make birthday cakes for friends locally.

 

Kat Williams, Rock N Roll BrideKat Williams is the founder of Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride. Topping ‘influential blogger’ lists throughout the UK and beyond, Rock n Roll Bride is the brainchild of writer Kat Williams. Launched in 2007 while Kat was planning her own wedding, it has quickly grown from ‘just another bride blog’ to one of the biggest in the world. After becoming jaded by the limited offerings of the UK wedding industry, Kat saw a niche for alternative wedding inspiration and ran with it! Kat now works on the site, and the ever growing Rock n Roll Bride brand, full-time alongside her long-suffering husband Gareth.

helen willsHelen Wills has been blogging at Actually Mummy for 2 years. In the voice of her 8 year old daughter (who has rather a lot to say for herself) Helen catalogues the ups and downs of family and school life according to the kids. She is also thrilled to write the BritMums Newbie Tuesday round-up, showcasing the best of the newest bloggers. Since starting her quirky blog, Helen has taken on freelance blogging and social media management work, and now writes for several small businesses on a professional basis. She attributes this good fortune to the support she has found amongst parent bloggers, and is particularly proud to have had the support of the BritMums community over the last 2 years.
maggy woodleyMaggy Woodley, author of Red Ted Art and mum of two, her mission in life is to make non crafty people crafty. However her blogging life doesn’t stop at writing about crafty fun, but she also runs a number of other blogs, from a traditional parenting blog (Life At The Zoo), to a co-owned feature website (Fun, Crafts, Kids), whilst also translating her craft blog into German and Russian. Maggy is all about experimenting, networking and collaborations. Building relationships and community spirit amongst crafters and fellow bloggers – from crafty Google hangouts, to featuring fellow BiBs Nominees on her site, to collaborative initiatives with US blogs such as the 20 Mom network — she is all about support and collaboration. A successful blogger never stands alone.

 

Room Moderators

 

kate davis holmes newKate Davis-Holmes is a freelance writer and a member of the BritMums team. She blogs at http://kateonthinice.com After studying Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, Kate spent 20 years promoting and supporting a wide range of charities including Oxfam and Citizens Advice Bureaux.  Her roles included media relations and events organisation.  She has encouraged many people to participate in volunteering and also Action Learning. Kate lives with her husband and 3 children in Hampshire.

 

Kelly InnesKelly Innes is the face behind the silhouette at Domestic Goddesque, part of The Motherhood and contributing editor at BritMums. She is a wife to her beloved DH, mother to two absurdly photogenic daughters, dog-owner, chicken-feeder and country-dweller. She likes baking cakes, drinking cocktails and arguing with the Sat Nav and *may* have an unhealthy fondness for her coffee machine, but don’t hold it against her, will you?

 

 

Michelle Pannell, Mummy from the HeartMummy from the Heart is the fourth baby of Michelle Pannell, a 40 year old (manic) mother living in East Sussex. Having recently moved to the countryside and “retired”, Michelle can now be found eating too much cake and taking long walks. She lives life on the bright side and looks for the joy in every situation, even the excess pounds those cakes keep adding! Michelle’s blog is a very honest place where she shares tales of imperfect parenting, being a Christian and anything else that takes her fancy.

 

Marianne WeekesMarianne Weekes is a top UK blogger and editor of the BritMums blog. She and has been creating family and lifestyle content for more than four years at Mari’s World, sharing her favourite family recipes, lifestyle tricks and parenting mishaps as they happen. Mother to four and grandma to three, she is constantly on the move and can always be found brainstorming ideas. She has been a Butlins ambassador for three years and also ambassador for John Crane and Panasonic. Having lived half her life in Italy, she is known to be a bit too huggy, kisses everyone she meets on both cheeks and can knock up a mean risotto.

 

 

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