Meet our favorite digital influencers - TheTot
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Meet our favorite digital influencers

They’re sharing their musings on motherhood and connecting with people all over the world. These are the women with a unique sense of style who have been able to turn their social media channels into thriving businesses. So who are they? We’ve rounded up our favorite mamas on Instagram to follow now.

Courtney Adamo

“It’s not easy,” admits Courtney Adamo, co-founder of Babyccino Kids on juggling her work commitments with raising four children. Right now, Adamo is taking a year out to travel the world with her little clan. Over the last few years, she’s amassed a huge following of over 160K on Instagram, and her followers are now joining the Adamo family’s journey around the globe. How does she do it? How does she keep us up to date on what she’s doing and where she is, while also mothering her kids and staying present? “I am constantly trying to find balance between family life and work life. In general, I think it’s about being able to prioritize your time. Like most mothers, I’ve gotten good at multi-tasking, but I am at my best and most productive when I do one thing at a time… When I attempt to mix both roles simultaneously, I usually become a cranky, impatient person,” she says.

Adamo is just one of the many mamas we adore following on Instagram. There are many more and seemingly endless hours are spent in bed at night pouring over their dreamy feeds: Arielle Charnas from Something Navy, Samantha Wennerstrom from Could I Have That? and Chriselle Lim, to name just a few. They’re powerful digital influencers who reach a large, highly engaged audience. So what is it about them that has us so captivated? We can’t get enough of these influencers and love seeing the world through their eyes. The answer is, we’re all unashamedly voyeuristic and fascinated by how other women live. Yes, these women are impossibly stylish which as we all know, isn’t easy when you’re juggling a tot on your hip or dealing with toddler tantrums while trying to apply mascara. But they’re also chronicling motherhood in a way we’ve never seen before: they’re showing us that it is possible to be a mother and also be chic. They go about documenting the big and the small things, highlighting special moments in their lives whilst also wowing us with Pinterest-worthy interiors, killer fashion, beauty tips and gorgeous families. 

Indeed, while it might look glamorous from afar, these women are running businesses and a lot of work goes into making everything look so perfect. In reality, it’s impossible to keep your house tidy at all times when you have children. Behind the scenes on photo shoots, there are often tantrums thrown by hungry babies  – but you wouldn’t know any of that from their feed. These women are showing the more glamorous side of motherhood and it’s a world that we can lose ourselves in.

For every working mother, the work/life balance is a constant juggle. That being said, the wonderful thing about being a digital influencer in the mom space is that you’re able to build a career around your children and often involve them in your work. Creating content around motherhood is also something they’re deeply passionate about and reflects where their life is right now. It almost doesn’t feel like work, because they’re so passionate about it and it brings them a lot of personal fulfilment.

So to celebrate Mother’s Day, we’ve selected our favorite digi-mamas. They’re all smart, stylish and successful women whose Instagram feeds are guaranteed to make you smile and leave you utterly inspired…

Our top mama influencers

From our phone, modern day motherhood looks far more glamorous than it used to. Houses are styled, outfits are ironed and babies are dressed in designer gear (or more importantly, fresh, clean clothes). Days after birth, mamas are out and about sporting the latest ‘IT’ stroller. There’s none of the mess that comes with motherhood on show. Of course, while Instagram is often a rather glossy look at life, it’s also designed to inspire and these women are pros at content creation. They’re stylists, writers, photographers and more. They’ve all got a unique sense of style, which they express through their blog or Instagram account.  Get ready to be inspired…

Olya Hill, @livingnotes
Creative Director of Living Notes, Mother of six

San Francisco-based Olya Hill is the uber-chic creative director of the Living Notes platform which includes four pillars: Urban Crusing; Between Us, Girls; For Kids From Kids; and Living Notes Blog. Olya is also the face behind the hugely popular Instagram account @livingnotes (she’s got over 221K followers). Hill is also a mother of six children. So let’s just say she’s a professional juggler. Hill started her blog when she was pregnant with her third child to keep a record of her pregnancy. Over the years it has grown and Urban Crusing is now an online publication for modern families giving advice and tips on new products for parents and children. Did we mention she’s also a ballerina and a photographer? Did someone say super-momma? Add her to your feed now – this is one seriously inspiring woman.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

The fascinating fact that I get to have the honor of being the best friend to each of my little children. Listening to their little secrets, going through the whirlwind of their emotions, trying to understand how the little minds work and seeing their own personalities – it can’t be described in words how dear this all is to me.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

I love what I do, and it is simply a part of me, just the same way motherhood is, it is impossible even for me to separate work and life: they are so closely woven together. I think work makes me be a better mom: I don’t let a second go by without a purpose and value every minute with my kids; and for work, motherhood opened a whole new universe of emotions and ways of expression that put me on a new path to creativity.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

Work first, play later. Be responsible for everything you do. Be kind: I can’t emphasize enough how much it helped me along my path.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child/children?

Say a little, do a lot, Be kind, meaning : “don’t promise what you can’t do; work hard, but look around and note those that need help; help those that are in need and forgive always”.

What are your top 5 must-have mama/tot items?

  1. A stroller – I have to have it – on the go always!
  2. A baby carrier – Because there is always someone who wants to be held
  3. My bag – It’s a Mary Poppins magical one that has everything you want it to have at any moment. Kids come with me to 90% of work activities and by the 6th I finally figured out how to foresee their needs and wants for a day ahead
  4. Camera – Picture moments are spontaneous; work/life integrate organically daily
  5. Red lipstick – Somehow I feel immediately put together, even when wearing jeans and a white tee

 

Arielle Charnas @somethingnavy
Founder of Something Navy, Mother of one

Arielle Charnas makes motherhood look impossibly stylish (her 868K followers are testament to that). She’s chic, cool and recently became a mother for the first time to baby Ruby. So far, so good. Charnas is out and about with her adorable little girl, Bugaboo Cameleon and BonPoint bag looking more glamorous than ever. She also recently did a blog post where she revealed Ruby’s nursery (ideal if you’re a mother-to-be and looking for beautiful nursery ideas). For fashion inspiration, Charnas is your go-to girl.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

The bond that I have with my baby girl. It’s unlike anything else!

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

I’m just getting adjusted to it. It’s not easy as it’s only been four weeks, but I hear down the line it does get a little bit easier. Having a baby nurse and a second set of hands has really helped me balance. It’s allowed me to get a little more rest so that I can be the best mother I can be.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

Everything. It’s true that you really appreciate your mother ten times more once you become one yourself. Everything she has done for me my entire life all makes sense now.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child?

To be completely passionate, patient, humble, and polite — always say please and thankyou.

What are your top five must-have mama/Tot items:

  1. Bugaboo stroller
  2. Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter
  3. Lansinoh Soothies and Nursing Pads
  4. Tummy Time Fun Activity Gym/Mat
  5. All the classic children books!

Monika Hibbs, @monikahibbs
Founder of MH Monka Hibbs
, Mother of two

Canadian blogger and mother of two Monika Hibbs’s style is elegant and classic. Think a clean, classic aesthetic with lots of pretty details. No wonder she has 113K followers on Instagram. You’ll find lifestyle, fashion, home, entertaining inspiration and more. Monika and her husband Troy are currently building a home in Fort Langley, a suburb outside of Vancouver, so for the interior addicts out there, you can follow their design and building process on Instagram.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

I can’t get enough of the joy that pours out of my two little babes. No matter how I’m feeling, or how tired and hectic life can get, their smiles instantly ground me. Even though motherhood has been the hardest job, it has brought a new sense of peace and understanding. I cherish that they have made me appreciate every moment that we have together.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

I’m actually trying to figure that all out again since Lillya was born (four months ago). Just when you think you have it all under control with one child, adding another to the mix can really shake things up. That being said, I have really enjoyed the switch to two. I’m a bit scattered right now. Which has been hard on me, because I really like to have my ducks in a row, take the time to have my house in order, spend quality time with them, as well as put focus on my brand and business. I’ve discovered that in order to have that all, I needed to ask for help. I am in the middle of hiring to grow my team to reduce the workload and stress. Honestly, I’m taking it day by day at the moment.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

Patience and staying calm. Which surprisingly came hand in hand and quite naturally when I became a mom. It’s amazing how you can go from zero to a hundred. But I’ve found it important to both be patient with them (and myself) and to just keep calm.

What piece of advice do you want to give your children?

I’m all about putting emphasis on words. I believe focusing on the meaning behind a word can speak volumes and really stick in their minds. My words would be: Humble, Kind, Respectful, Grateful, Loving and Caring. Putting others first and being generous all tie those words together. Plus they play a good reminder for my husband and me too.

What are your top five must-have mama/Tot items?

  1. A great blanket
  2. Honest Diapers
  3. Stroller (I love my Bugaboo Donkey)
  4. Diaper Bag
  5. Solly Baby Wrap

Samantha Wennerstrom, @couldihavethat
Founder of Could I Have That?

Cali Babe Samantha Wennerstrom from Could I Have That? is as cool as mamas come. Her blog is a destination for all who love upping the ante in their everyday lives and she originally started it as an outlet for all the things that were inspiring her, hence naming her blog Could I Have That? The red-haired beauty has a knack for mixing luxury with casual looks and has a baby girl called Elin. From her beach look (oversized stripe Iro Paris shirt thrown over a Marysia bikini and a big straw hat) to her denim collection (add Mother Denim and Citizens of Humanity jeans to your collection now), Wennerstrom is a total pro at mama-style.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?
The overwhelming love I have for my daughter and watching her grow (it happens so fast!).

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?
It’s a constant learning curve but having the right help and knowing when to ask for help is key.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?
Keep it simple!

What piece of advice do you want to give your child?
Believe in yourself and never stop dreaming.

What are your top five must-have mama/Tot items?

  1. The orbit stroller
  2. Petite Bateau sleep sacks
  3. Freshly Picked moccasins
  4. Givenchy Antigona tote bag (aka my mom bag)
  5. Knit animal ear jumpers from Oeuf

Anh Sundstrom, @9to5chic
Founder of 9to5 Chic, Works in travel and tourism, Mother of one

In 2009, Ahn Sundstrom launched her fashion blog 9to5chic, as a way of expressing her personal style at work (she was previously in the medical industry and now works in tourism). At the time, she’d just landed her first job as a marketing assistant for a small medical textbook publisher by way of a Craigslist ad. She now also shares her weekend looks too (which is where the mommy-off-duty looks come into play). The New York based blogger is the mother to little girl Lucia and always looks polished and put together.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

This sounds cliche, but I’m just completely in love with her, and that’s what I cherish most: her. There really is nothing like motherhood and I’m so thankful to be on this journey.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

The juggle is real. I couldn’t “do it all,” contrary to how things may appear. I had to make the most difficult decision in my career to leave an industry where I spent many years growing, into one that wasn’t so demanding, and one that gave me flexibility in how I divided my time between work, Lucia, and the blog. In addition to the blocks of time during the day where Lucia has a caretaker, I work after she goes to sleep. Sometimes past midnight… But it’s all worth it because when I feel like taking Lucia to the park at 3pm, I can do it guilt-free.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child?

This might be more of my hope, rather than my advice: that she aspires to be a good person: kind, generous, and filled with empathy for others. That’s all that matters.

What are your top five must-have mama/Tot items:

  1. A white noise machine (for sleep)
  2. A CLEK Foonf carseat (for safety – with a toddler who is in the 99th percentile in both height and weight, this convertible carseat has the best height/weight limits to keep her rear-facing for as long as possible)
  3. Body pillow (for pregnancy)
  4. Sophie the Giraffe (for baby)
  5. Lots of books (our favorites are: Jamberry, The Gruffalo, Mr. Brown Says Moo)

 

Courtney Adamo, @courtneyadamo
Co-founder of Babyccino Kids
, Founder of Somewhere Slower, Mother of four

It’s hard not to instantly warm to Courtney Adamo. The globe-trotting mother of four – Easton, 10, Quin, 8, Ivy, 6 and Marlow, 3 – is the co-founder of Babyccino Kids (an amazing shopping portal where you can find more than 350 brands) and has recently launched a site Somewhere Slower which chronicles her travels around the globe. It’s hard not to connect with Adamo – she’s instantly likeable, has style in spades and her family is unbelievably gorgeous (especially her three-year-old Marlow who always wears her hair in two little buns). Her style is understated and earthy – think neutral hues and natural fibres such as cotton and linen. There’s so much inspiration on this feed and you’ll love following their journey around the world and Adamo’s grounded and uplifting perspective on motherhood. They’re currently in Japan – must follow now.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

Raising children has given me perspective on life that I might not have otherwise found. I love watching my children discover and begin to make sense of our world. I love introducing them to new places and new cultures and watching as they connect the dots. More than this, watching my children brings back memories of my own childhood adventures and carefree days. I am reminded of my parents and the feelings they must have had when raising us. And I think of my grandparents and the generations that came before them—the cycle of life I guess. In the end I just feel so fortunate to experience each of these phases of life – from child to mother to (hopefully) grandmother.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

It’s not easy. I am constantly trying to find balance between family life and work life. In general, I think it’s about being able to prioritize your time. Like most mothers, I’ve gotten good at multi-tasking, but I am at my best and most productive when I do one thing at a time. When it’s work time, I work quickly and efficiently and try to stay focused. When it’s mother time, I give them my undivided attention – no mobile phones, no distractions. When I attempt to mix both roles simultaneously, I usually become a cranky, impatient person.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?
My mother always said that her biggest goal as a parent was to raise children who liked each other. It was this goal, above all others, that guided her parenting practices throughout our childhood. She did everything she could to prevent sibling rivalry, discouraging competition between us and encouraging us to be supportive of each other. This has become my biggest goal as a mother as well.

What piece of advice do you want to give your children?

I am constantly telling my children that the most important goal in life is to be a good person. It doesn’t matter if they’re the best reader or the fastest runner. It doesn’t matter if they have the prettiest dress or the coolest surfboard. It doesn’t matter what school they go to or what job they will eventually have. The most important thing is for them to have compassion, understanding and to be kind to others. In a world that can be overly obsessed with the individual, I believe reminding them of their place in the community is really important. Plus when you make others feel happy, you usually feel happier yourself.

What are your top five must-have mama/Tot items?

This would have been easier to answer last year, before we started living out of our suitcases. This year I’ve found the less I have, the happier I am. But of course there are a few things I depend upon and a few that make the day brighter….

  1. Definitely books – Good children’s books. We have missed books most while on the road. We all look forward to being reunited with our bookshelves
  2. A Tula baby carrier – Marlow hardly ever goes into the carrier anymore, but when she was younger (and lighter) we couldn’t go anywhere without it
  3. Baggu zip up bags – We also have a few that are perfect for keeping things organized (sun protection, medicines, snacks, pencils)
  4. A straw hat – I can’t imagine a day without one. I’ve been collecting them as we travel the world and relying on them for sun protection
  5. Age & Jig dresses – I love them. They are comfortable, flattering and perfect for casual days and dressier evenings

 

Masha Rotar @masha_theone
My Italian Living, Mother of two

The gorgeous Masha Rotar is a mother of two living in London who runs an online furniture shop My Italian Living with her husband. Pretty floral bedding, sweet children’s clothing and beautiful words on life as a mama, Rotar is passionate about documenting motherhood. You’ll love seeing the world through her eyes.

What do you cherish most about being a mama? 

For me being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me, the best feeling in the world that I cherish and I am grateful for every single day. I cherish every single moment that I get to spend with my babies, not only the beautiful moments but also the hard ones too because time flies and we will never get to relive these moments again.

How to you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

To be honest I worked so hard and non stop for so many years that when time came to have babies I decided to stop and dedicate myself fully to them, I miss work some days but I am happiest when at home with my kids.

What’s the most important thing your mother thought you? 

To be me, believe in me and never compare myself to the others.

What piece of advice do you want to give your children? 

Be true to who you are, be kind and giving, live life to the fullest and always fight [for] your dreams! Everything is possible if you believe in yourself!

What are your top five must-have/Tot items?

  1. A good baby sling/carrier, I have so many , they look both stylish and comfortable. And what’s better than keeping your baby close to your heart!
  2. A super light stroller for travelling. It’s a lifesaver!
  3. A good changing bag that can fit all the baby stuff and still look good on you
  4. Trainers. I got myself a good pair of Nikes to run after my two year old while carrying my baby
  5. For those first months, a rocking bouncing chair is a must-have, you can get so much stuff done!

 

Chriselle Lim @chrisellelim
Founder of the The Chriselle Factor, Runs production company, CINC Studios

The impossibly chic, Chriselle Lim, is fashion powerhouse. After a stellar career as a wardrobe stylist, Chriselle, founded The Chriselle Factor to chronicle her daily musings and personal style. It’s easy to see why her 635K Instagram followers adore her effortless style. Chriselle also launched her own YouTube fashion channel which has garnered over 29 million views. Hailed as one of the most influential tastemakers, Chriselle’s ultimate goal is to “encourage, educate, and inspire all women across the globe through her personal style, runway trends, beauty secrets, and fashion tips”.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

I love being able to watch my daughter grow and learn new things everyday. The pure joy of just watching her discover new things for the first time is infectious. I love it when she runs up to me to give me a big hug and kiss before I leave for work and when I come home. She brings me this love and joy that I never knew existed.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

As a new mom it has been challenging figuring out how to juggle and balance it all but I feel like I’m finally in a good place now. I think it’s natural for me to want to do it all, I’m a bit of a control freak so it’s the moment when I accepted that I couldn’t do it all. I have a great support team with both my business and personal life. For my business I’ve learned to delegate a lot of the things I use to do myself, and same thing with my personal life. I also have a very hands-on husband who helps me out a lot with Chloe, and is super supportive with what I do. It takes a village!

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

The most important thing that my mama taught me is to be generous and kind to others. To have sympathy and to always put yourself in their shoes.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child/children?

There are two things I would love to teach her 1. The importance of kindness and generosity. To understand and to sympathize with others and 2. I want Chloe to live a life of passion. To chase after her dreams, and to do what she truly loves to do.

What are your top 5 must-have mama/tot items?

  1. Stokke high chair
  2. Stokke xplory stroller
  3. Baby’s journey “babysitter” – a portable high chair (great for traveling)
  4. Motorola video monitor
  5. Graco sweet slumber sound machine

 

Emily Jackson @emilyijackson
Founder of the Ivory Lane, Mother of two

If you are familiar with the beautiful blog, Ivory Lane, you will instantly know how important family is to Emily Jackson. Her family is her world. Growing up in a household full of girls, Emily developed a deep passion for style, fashion and creative design and her enviable Instagram feed offers the ultimate in glamorous mama style. Emily’s flair has not gone unnoticed. She has been profiled by the likes of Vanity Fair, People Style Watch and Nordstrom, to name but a few.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my kids learn and discover new things and talents. They bring such a joy into my life!

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

First and foremost I’m a mother. In my opinion it’s the most important role and everything else falls after that. Some days are crazy busy with work projects or photoshoots, but at the end of the day I look forward to “unplugging” and spending time with my family.

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

The most important thing my mom ever taught me was to never give up and to enjoy the journey! Come what may and love it.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child/children?

I want my kids to know how much I love and support them and will always be there for them! Life isn’t always easy and they’ll experience difficult things, but what’s important is to get back up after you fall and to never lose sight of who you are and your goals.

What are your top 5 must-have mama/tot items? 

  1. Acure Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion
  2. Nuna carseat and stroller
  3. Sophie la Giraffe
  4. Green Sprouts muslin face cloths
  5. Ubbi diaper pail

Luisa Fernanda Espinosa @luisafere
Entrepreneur, Mother of one

Lovers of fashion are sure to be familiar with Luisa Fernanda Espinosa, a successful entrepreneur who has made a household name for herself and her son, Alonso Mateo, through her coveted Instagram feed @luisafere. Whether they’re taking off in a private jet, snowboarding down a mountain side or enjoying a beachside ice cream, the Laguna Beach pair are the epitome of chic.

What do you cherish most about being a mama?

The best thing about being a mama is being able to say that I am a mother to such a smart, kind, loving and beautiful boy. I know every mom is a little biased, but my son is truly amazing.

How do you juggle your personal brand/business with motherhood?

I am able to juggle work and motherhood because a lot of the time I able to include Mateo in projects I am working on. He’s my mini me!

What’s the most important thing your mama taught you?

To stay focused, always pursue your dreams, the importance of travel and never forget to enjoy the moment in which I also include in Mateo.

What piece of advice do you want to give your child/children?

The advice I would give to my child would be to never stop learning and exploring. Travel, learn, grow, find new passions and enjoy life!

What are your top 5 must-have mama/tot items?

As a mom you have sort of a checklist when you’re constantly on the go. Before we get in the car I always make sure Mateo has some combination of these things: a book, a snack, sunglasses, iPad, Legos, and wipes because Mateo is notorious for spilling chocolate milk in the car.

Mother’s day is about recognizing that mothers do one of the toughest and most important jobs in the world. Looking through the lens of these women’s Instagram feeds, it might be difficult to acknowledge that motherhood can be tough and messy. The world they present to us is a series of perfect moments. We realize that these worlds are, in some sense, fantasies which we love to escape to. And we acknowledge that these fantasies are, for these women, grounded in reality. Their pictures are real – they are moments which have been captured and shared with us. Their beautiful families are real. Their impeccable style is real. And we can all take some inspiration from them – whether it’s the way they dress, the products they use, the places they visit or the work ethic they bring to their busy lives.

Have a Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Story by Georgie Abay, Editor & Founder of The Grace Tales