This week we catch up with content creator, vintage lover and new mum, Jo-Ann Alari. We talk about life post baby, dressing to feel good and her love of second hand fashion...
Tell us about you and the journey of how you got to where you are today.
“I studied Fashion Management at the Robert Gordon University and when I graduated I decided to move to London with my husband (boyfriend at the time) as internships in Scotland were pretty much non-existent in 2012. I did a bit of interning in PR before finding a job as a Project Manager with a digital agency. It was something I sort of fell into but was such a great fit and exactly what I needed as interning for free in London was really difficult financially. I’ve been with the same agency for almost 9 years now and have been able to work with some really incredible brands in the luxury sector. As much as I enjoy my day job, Instagram has been such a great outlet for me to dabble in my love for clothes and interiors. My following has slowly gained some momentum over the last couple of years which is so lovely, and recently I’ve been lucky enough to work and collaborate with brands that I really admire. At this point in time I don’t know where my little grid is going to take me but I’m happy with how things are going.”
You’ve recently had a baby girl! Huge congratulations! How are you feeling three months in?
“Thank you! It still feels surreal that I have a daughter and that she’s 3-months old already! We’ve hit a really nice stride now and Sylvie has a good little routine going. We’re at the stage where she’s smiling a lot and giggling which really is the best thing ever and makes any sleepless nights completely worth it! I’m also feeling much more like myself now that we’re a few months in. Those first few weeks are a bit of a rollercoaster and it’s only now where I feel like I’m a bit more on top of things and can get out and about without it feeling as daunting as it was at first.”
What advice do you want to pass down to her when she’s older?
“To be kind, compassionate and know her worth. I plan on being her biggest supporter and want to give her the encouragement my Mum gave me growing up.”
We love how you incorporate colour into your looks. Has dressing post baby changed for you?
“Dressing post-baby was a bit of a challenge for me at first, especially as I was breastfeeding and had to think about that when getting dressed in the morning, and the fact my bust went up three cup sizes! I’ve always had a small chest so I’m glad my milk supply has settled down now and I can wear my favourite bras again. I pretty much live in jeans so throwing on something with a bit of colour is an easy way for me to enjoy getting dressed in the morning. My most loved items of clothing are probably the most colourful things I own. Life is too short to not have fun with your wardrobe and wear what puts a smile on your face.”
What boosts your confidence or makes you feel good when you need it most?
“My wardrobe definitely has an effect on my mood so whenever I’m having an off day I have a go-to uniform that never fails to perk me up - a pair of vintage Levi’s, a plain white t-shirt and my favourite vintage chore jacket that I picked up in LA a few years ago. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world but its comfortable and reminds me to just chill out when I need it most. Oh, and a good face mask when I’m lucky enough to find half an hour to relax in the bath!”
Tell us about your love for vintage fashion and interiors, and how you created The Collected Good Store?
There’s something I find so special about vintage clothing, I’m not sure if it’s the thrill of the hunt or knowing that you have something unique that you won’t see anyone else wearing. Whatever it is, I can’t get enough of it, that’s why I started The Collected Goods Store. The idea came about when me and my husband were in LA a few years ago and managed to finally make it to Rose Bowl flea market which is essentially vintage heaven with hundreds of sellers and so many gems to be had. I picked up a few bits that I loved and decided to sell them via The Collected Goods Store on Instagram and that’s how it started. Before having my baby I was sourcing stuff online which is a lot more difficult but the pandemic didn’t give me many options in terms of travelling to buy stock. Now things are starting to open up again and I’m no longer pregnant, I’m planning a few trips next year so I can give TCGS more time and attention as it’s something that really does bring me joy.”
What have you got coming up for the rest of this year?
“I’m currently on maternity leave so I plan on soaking up every single minute with my baby girl. I’m enjoying life at home and being able to see friends and family again so I want to take the next few months easy and just enjoy being able to spend time with those closest to me. I also have a couple of things that I’m working on with brands that I’ve been able to connect with via Instagram that I’m really excited about so hopefully there will be a bit more of that over the next few months as well. But ultimately, lots of baby girl and dog hang outs!”
Sounds like the dream.
Find Jo-Ann here.