We are extremely excited to introduce The Mother Hub's Fashion contributor, Jo Sawkins.
Jo started her career at Cosmopolitan magazine, where she worked as part of a busy fashion team for seven years. Shooting both in London and overseas, she gained a wealth of experience and got to work alongside well known models, photographers and celebrities. Jo then moved on to be the Fashion Editor for Sugar magazine, where she headed up the fashion department. Now freelance, Jo works with a variety of fashion clients on women's and kids' brands for editorial, commercial and advertising campaigns. We are thrilled to have her on our team and can't wait for her first feature! Below is an interview with the lovely lady herself...
What inspired you to get into the world of fashion?
I've always loved clothes. According to my mum, when I was little, I used to change outfits about six times a day! I remember spending hours playing with toys like "Fashion Wheel" where you could sketch and put outfits together. I even used to cut out pictures from magazines and arrange them to make my own layouts.
You often have to travel abroad with work, or have multiple days on shoots. How do you juggle your role as a mum with work commitments?
It's hard. I love my job, which helps me to stay focused and I know that when I leave my daughter for work, she is in safe hands. If I have to travel, we always Face Time and if I'm working in the U.K but shooting multiple days I always try to think of the last day. I'm lucky that freelance work is flexible so when the job wraps, I normally have a few days off to spend time with her. I'm also super organised, and very much a list maker, so ticking things off the "to do" list always gives me a little boost! I don't let things pile up at home, I try to run a seamless ship. However, I'm not perfect and of course sometimes things don't go according to plan. Having a child has definitely taught me to "let go" (a tiny bit!) and adopt the attitude that "Oh well, tomorrow is a new day!"
What has been the highlight of your career?
Travelling to Iceland to shoot. We were on freezing glaciers, riding skidoos carrying clothes, the models were wearing "barely there" chiffon gowns and huge sheepskin coats and I remember thinking "This is exactly how I always imagined my job would be!" Last year, I was also lucky enough to travel to a private island in the Bahamas with work. It was truly breathtaking and probably a once in a lifetime experience.
What has been the biggest challenge?
When I was made redundant and had to go freelance. At the time I was Fashion Editor for a magazine and things were great. Then totally unexpectedly, the publishers were bought out and the new owners closed a few titles. It was a shock, it was really tough. Being a freelance editor and stylist was so different. Before I would have had PRs emailing all the time with content, proposals and gifts, and then overnight you feel a bit like you've been forgotten about! So you have to be strong, patient, rebuild your clients and totally change your way of working.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
To breathe. It sounds silly, but it wasn't until I was preparing for labour that I understood the importance of breathing. Taking a deep breath when things are crazy really settles my mind and can pull me back from the "brink".
What is your favourite quote?
"It is what it is". I've learnt that worrying or stressing about something isn't going to change it. Once you accept a situation you can then find solutions and move forward.
What were you doing this time last week?
I was launching my blog "She Who Shops". I had been thinking about starting a blog for the last three years, but the tech stuff and the "putting yourself out there" was what always stopped me from getting started. Recently a few of my friends and Instagram followers said I should start one and I guess that gave me the confidence to just go for it, what's the worst that can happen?
Whats been your biggest adventure?
Having my daughter. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood, it's like a learning curve whirlwind. It's taught me lots, mainly about loosening my slightly "control freak" ways, but mostly about patience. It's the best thing I ever did.
What would be your top styling tips for busy women?
Get the basics right and then you'll never have that "I have nothing to wear" feeling. Spend your money on investment pieces (the coat, the boots, the bag etc) that will last and then add to them with "top-ups" to inject a touch of the new season looks to your wardrobe.
If your house was on fire and you could only save one item from your wardrobe, what would it be?
My Matthew Williamson embroidered jacket. I don't wear it too much anymore (as it's a bit snug!) but it's a statement piece and one that I hunted down and managed to find on sale. That makes me love it even more!
Can you share two of your favourite photos with us and tell us a little about why you chose them?