Hi, I’m Mummy Est. 2014 and I’m a kids clothes addict. J has always had an incredibly full wardrobe. When he was first born I didn’t buy that many clothes as I had so much gifted to me. Some of the clothes didn’t even get worn as he grew so fast.
So when the mountain of 0-3m and 3-6m clothes were outgrown I begun buying more outfits. I’d usually shop in generic shops and supermarkets, and would save up for the odd JoJo Maman Bebe bits. When J was 1 I found Instagram. It opened up a whole world of insta-shops.
I was amazed by the clothes I found. Some homemade, some sourced. There was so much more choice and unique outfits than in the main shops. I quickly got to know a lot of Mum Bosses. These were Mums who either worked full time and ran their insta shops or were running their insta shops to allow them to stay home with their families. I loved the fact the money I would pay went towards small businesses and families rather than big CEOs.
RJ Apparel were one of the first instashops that I fell in love with. I can’t even remember when I first found her. I quickly became addicted to the amazing clothes and especially things like hats and scarfs as I could never find ones I liked in the shops. The infinity scarves/snoops were incredibly helpful as J would never let me wrap a scarf around him.
(Scarf, hoodie and boots from RJ Apparel)
Kiera is a busy Mum to her two year old. Her sons initials ‘RJ’ were the inspiration for her shop name ‘RJ Apparel’. It was when Kiera was pregnant with RJ that she discovered the world of Instagram and fell in love with the community feel. It was this insta community and the flexibility that having on online shop gave her which pushed her to give it and go…and she’s never looked back.
However, her love of fashion and creativity started much earlier than motherhood. Kiera studied at art college and was interested in fashion, textures and photography but she swapped this for a career in education and childcare. By starting RJ Apparel Kiera was able to rekindle her love and talent in creativity and fashion (with the introduction of her personalised and customised items her creativity shines through).
(J’s autism T-shirt is one of Kiera’s creations)
I asked Kiera what was the hardest part about running an insta shop and being a ‘mum boss’. She said it was the fact that working 3 jobs all at home means she’s always on the go. She is often on the Ipad or her phone in the evenings which means she doesn’t always get to spend as much time with the hubby as she’d like. As an insta-customer I really appreciate that despite how busy she is Kiera is always here for me to message with requests, questions and when I have moment where I just don’t know what I want. She is always happy to help me out.
(Soft dungarees from RJ Apparel)
The clothes from RJ Apparel are often items you just can’t find in most shops. J is regularly complimented on his outfits and especially his custom ordered shoes. The best bit is that they are affordable. If you are lucky you’ll even grab discounts by using codes that Kiera often posts on her Instagram page to celebrate various events (or you can use code ‘Mummyest2014’ and get 10% off, anytime).
(Jumper from RJ Apparel)
Kiera is also a huge supporter of charity events. She helped me raise over £100 for a children cancer charity on behalf of my friends little girl who is currently fighting cancer (if you have a spare £1 you’d like to donate to Mia’s ‘Go Fund Me’ to help with costs of her care and for activities and things to make her smile then it is always appreciated). Kiera often donates to raffles, posts and shares charity events and helps round up a troupe of other instashops. Honestly, I think Kiera has managed to create 31 hour days, how else does she get so much done?!
(Outfit from RJ Apparel)
I think it’s easy to just see insta shops as yet another business. I’m hoping that by sharing the behind the scenes side of this small shops that it will help encourage social media users to appreciate the love and dedication, and time that goes into these business. Every time you buy from a small shop owner like RJ Apparel, you are helping a family or an individual who had a dream.
(J’s 2nd birthday crown from RJ Apparel)
So, now I’ve finished gushing I hope you’ll go and say hi to Kiera on Instagram. I’d love to know if there’s any instashops that you think are worth a visit?
Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this post and it has not been sponsored. I am a brand enthusiast for RJ Apparel on instagram and do get a small discount off items I buy in return for photos and instalove. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.