Molly Gunn aka @SelfishMother, “curator of goodness” and founder of The FMLY Store..
Q. You’ve become a bit of an Instagram powerhouse. Why do you think you’ve amassed such an impressive following?
A. I started my Instagram account @SelfishMother in January 2015, to regram a picture of Leah Wood who had worn one of my MOTHER T-shirts. I already had a big following on Facebook, but then I realised I really loved Instagram! Alongside sharing pics of people in my T-shirts I shared pictures of me and my life as a parent… and it happened to be the time when no one was really doing that, apart from a few others, so my following and theirs grew quite swiftly. I started ’gramming at the same time as people like @DressLikeaMum, @ClemmieTelford, @Mothers_Meetings, @Mother_Pukka and @Mother_Of_Daughters – who was then @MidwifeyHooper.
Q. What came first, blogging orThe FMLY Store?
A. I launched SelfishMother.com, the blogzine, in September 2013, as a space to share what I really felt about life and motherhood. I had around 10 writers/friends who wrote articles for the launch. And soon after launching lots of people asked to write for it, so I tweaked the WordPress site so that people could post articles themselves… now we
have over 5,000 writers!
I created the MOTHER Tee in July 2014 – I wanted to raise money for women in war-torn countries, so I supported Women for Women International with every sale. There wasn’t any other “mum merch” around at the time! At first I sold the T-shirts from a page on the SelfishMother.com blog. But when I started creating clothing for men and kids too, I created a standalone shop called TheFMLYStore.com – FMLY is pronounced family, and the idea is that the shop is a space for the whole family. We have a thriving online store and a real-life shop, hub and events space in Bruton, Somerset.
Q. It must feel so rewarding to have raised as much as you have for charity…
A. It’s amazing! I can’t believe we’ve raised nearly £1 million for charity. We support 12 charities through our #GoodTees, from small local charities to global ones. One of the biggest pinch-me moments was getting a call from Save The Children a couple of years ago, when they asked us to create the Christmas Jumper collection with them. For such a big charity to get in touch felt amazing. We’re now working on our third Christmas collection with them – which means we’ll be adding to the £150K we’ve already raised for them! Every year a host of amazing ambassadors takes part in the STC campaign, and this year I’m so so excited to reveal who is involved. Some mega names!
Q. Why did you decide to move to Bruton?
A. I moved to Bruton as I love Somerset and Bruton has a real buzz about it. It is very quiet but also has lots going on. All the shops are small independents, there are no chains. The FMLY Store is on the high street and it’s great to be a big brilliant shop in a small town… often customers “pop in” on their way to Devon and Cornwall. And some have even booked holidays around visits to our store! Other ace small shops in Bruton include CARO and Rose & Lyons. Also there is a great art scene care of Hauser & Wirth and the Bruton Art Factory. And a super restaurant and bakery which I pop into daily, At The Chapel. Also everyone is super-friendly and Bruton is beautiful… and compared to London, where I used to live, property doesn’t cost the earth!
Q. Why did you switch to putting out a blogzine on Instagram?
A. I love Instagram but I do feel it needs more depth, so to give my feed difference and longevity I want to share quality content by putting blogzines on the feed. It is going back to what Selfish Mother was when it started! A space to share what people are feeling about life and motherhood. So as well as pics from my life, I’m sharing blogs from SelfishMother.com and also we’re putting out InstaZines, which is like a magazine on Instagram. My audience spends so much time on Instagram that I think, why not have something to read on the squares?
We also have @TheFMLYStore Instagram where we share pics of the shop and new products and launches etc., as well as IGTV videos of our in-store events.
Q. What’s next for Selfish Mother?
A. More super content. More super #GoodTees. And also more digital masterclasses – video courses sharing all my tips for turning a kitchen-table brand into a business. Also shouting about our amazing Christmas Jumper Collection with Save the Children!