Emily Norris is a vlogger, marketeer and busy mum. We caught up with her at home in Brentwood just two weeks after the birth of her third son, Jackson (what a cutie!)
What strikes you when you first meet Emily is that she is exactly the same person in real life as she is in her videos. She has the same friendly smile and warm, approachable air about her that makes you feel instantly at ease and ready to go and put the kettle on for good chat. We have no doubt that this sincerity is part of the reason behind her huge success. As a busy mother of three, Emily, has come a long way in the last two years. Her Youtube channel has grown to over fourteen thousand subscribers, she's joined the Channel Mum vlogging team and is fast becoming a favourite with brands who want to reach an audience of mums. Emily was also the first woman in the UK to live stream her labour on Facebook! If you'd like to find out more about the lady in front of the camera then read on.
What inspired you to start vlogging?
For years I have enjoyed watching other vloggers for beauty tips and advice on coping with motherhood. When I had my second son, my sister (who lives in Canada) had a baby at the same time. We were both on maternity leave and it was such a shame we weren't in the same country spending the time together. When it came time to wean our babies I thought I'd give her all of my tips by making a video about my experience. I uploaded it to YouTube (mostly for her eyes) and started to receive lovely messages from other viewers thanking me for my help! It was a great feeling and I really enjoyed filming and editing the videos and it quickly became my hobby.
For a lot of people, vlogging is still a relatively new concept. How would you best describe what you do?
Vlogging is a video diary. I make videos on what is going on in my life, it might be sharing my experience with something, such as how I coped with returning to work or pregnancy. I also love capturing days with my children. Vlogging is a great way to record their milestones and make memories.
The newest addition to your family, gorgeous baby Jackson (who we were lucky enough to meet last week) was born at home. Can you tell us a little about how you found the experience?
Having a home birth was an amazing experience and something I would do again tomorrow if I could (and I'm sure most people wouldn't say that about birth!). There is something really special about giving birth in your own environment and just being able to relax and let your body do what it needs to do (without the medical feel of a hospital). My labour was also very quick and I think it is because I was so relaxed at home.
How did you feel when you found out you were the first person to live stream your Labour on Facebook?
I couldn't believe it! I wasn't trying to be the first, but I was keen to share a positive birth experience with mums-to-be and I felt confident that it would all go well as my previous two births went so smoothly. I am proud that I shared it with everyone as I documented my pregnancy through weekly vlogs so it felt right to share the birth too.
There is a lot of pressure on bloggers and vloggers to be ever present on social media. How do you keep up with it all?
Now this is something I feel like I could be better at. I don't really plan my posts, I just share when I feel something is worth sharing. I probably should come up with a strategy of the best time to post each day etc. but I haven't. I am however an 'over sharer' who loves social media and I think that helps.
We know many of your followers are very keen to have Matt, your husband, feature in more of your vlogs. Is there any chance of him taking time out from running his busy salons to take part? How does he feel about being in the spotlight?
Honestly, he hates the camera! It took SO much convincing just to get him to appear in our baby gender reveal video (and it was his baby!) More and more brands are asking for my whole family to take part in campaigns but we have had to turn some down as he's not comfortable. Matt will be in my videos as long as he doesn't have to talk to camera!
What has been the highlight of your career?
There have been some great moments: Going to YouTube HQ in London, meeting celebs like Sam Faiers, being a part of the fantastic Channel Mum team and working with brands I love. The moment that tops them all was recently going on maternity leave from my day job and knowing that I would not have to return, if I didn't want to. I am now earning enough from my channel that I have that option. I cried as I drove away from work on my last day because the two years of juggling work, kids and vlogging had all paid off.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Definitely peoples opinions of vlogging. I have had friends and family tell me they 'just don't get it' or wonder if I make the videos because I'm some narcissist. If they could see the emails I get from mums thanking me for my help they would understand.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Kill people with kindness. If someone is difficult with you nothing annoys them more than if you are really really nice to them.
What is your favourite quote?
'All that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae' - Paul Walker
What were you doing this time last week?
I was relaxing at home and feeling emotional that my baby was a month old!
What has been your biggest adventure, before and after becoming a parent?
BEFORE: When I was 22 I booked a trip around the world with my friends. We went to LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in 7 months. I met a guy just before we were due to leave and fell in love. He ended up quitting his job and selling his car on eBay to come with us! Luckily that guy was Matt and I ended up marrying him :-) we met amazing people and saw the most beautiful places, I am so glad we shared that experience together.
AFTER: Learning how to raise boys. I always saw myself (an extremely girly girl) having girls. I had visions of pink dresses and playing Barbie all day - I never imagined that I would be raising three boys!!! But it has been an amazing adventure. Getting outdoors, running wild, learning to appreciate bugs and even toilet humour - it has changed me - and all for the better.
What top tips would you give to someone who just started out on their vlogging journey?
Just start and go for it! I learned far more from just doing it and making mistakes than I ever would just thinking about it. Also, keep uploading videos and just be yourself! If you do anything consistently, it will grow over time I promise.
Having achieved so much in the last two years, tell us.. what's next for Emily Norris?
My main priority is to raise three boys into stand up men that I can be proud to send out into the world. I would also like to keep growing my YouTube channel and reach 500,000 subscribers and continue to work with brands I love. I'd also like to write a book on parenting and/or a parenting app.