What do two young boys and 40,000 Instagram followers have in common? Jordie, The Modern Minimalist shares her life as mum to Max and Jack with her 40k strong social media following. She talks all things fashion, travel and family—with a focus now on their life in San Diego having moved there for her husband’s work.
We really love how Jordie not only shares her killer fashion advice, but also keeps it real when it comes to all things mum. Particularly, celebrating the importance of needing some ‘me time’, and how even just an hour can give you the boost you need to re-energise and reset.
Can you tell us about your career journey?
My career started out in advertising after graduating with a degree in comms (majoring in PR and advertising). It was short lived after working in London for six months at a big agency and not earning enough to fund my travels and shopping (ha ha), so I started recruiting for the advertising industry. I did this for a few years in London and then came back to Melbourne and worked for a global media agency in their HR department. I also had my own fashion label, ALESSA. My friend and I both oversaw the design and manufacturing. We had the label for four years and had some great wins, but ultimately the fashion game is a tough one and we decided to wrap it up once we were both pregnant with our firstborns.
Congrats on creating The Modern Minimalist. Can you tell us how it came about?
I had built the Instagram account up with ALESSA and once I had my son Max I knew I still wanted a creative outlet. So I decided to change the name to The Modern Minimalist (TMM) and showcase my minimalist style, whether it be interiors or fashion. After a while it was evident that trying to show perfect houses and perfect dressing wasn’t a reality with kids! I decided to make it more about me and my motherhood journey but still have a fashion edge. It’s been such an amazing outlet while navigating motherhood and in turn it’s created such a supportive community. These days I still share things about motherhood, but I’m focusing more on our family’s experience overseas, as well as my passion for sharing tips on how to create a timeless capsule wardrobe and other fashion advice.
Has your approach to your career changed since becoming a mum?
I think it definitely makes you stop and think about what you want in life. As a mum, I feel like we are challenged by wanting to work and do something for ourselves but also wanting to be there for our children. Finding the balance is what we all want (it’s a discussion I have regularly with my friends). I know that being a mum to my boys isn’t enough (for me personally). I need something for me, which is why I’m lucky to have TMM and I’m working on some projects at the moment that keep me going.
How do you deal with mother’s guilt?
I used to feel guilty all the time and it would give me anxiety. I have found exercise has helped me, and telling myself that I deserve a break every now and again. I am also lucky to have a husband who supports this and I’m surrounded by friends with similar parenting styles.
How do you treat yourself and find ‘me time’?
Since moving overseas and having no support network, I have found some great babysitters who are happy to come for an hour here and there. These days it involves going to the gym or getting a manicure. Sometimes an hour is all you need to reset. I wish I had known that earlier!
You recently moved overseas. Tell us about this?
My husband is running a business which is based in San Diego, and he was doing this from Melbourne and traveling back and forth. Eventually we had to make the call and move. I was really up for the adventure and it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done!
What has been the best and worst thing about the move?
The best thing is how close we’ve become as a family unit, and the worst is being away from family and friends … but I have been incredibly lucky to have made the best group of friends here.
Do you ever miss your pre-mum life?
All the time. I love my boys but I miss my freedom. I am very open about that. Which is why I make sure I get my ‘me time’ so I am present with my kids rather than potentially feeling any resentment (whoa, I know that’s a harsh word but I’m just being honest).
What does a typical morning in your home look like?
It’s chaos. The boys start chanting from their room anytime from 5.50AM to 6.20AM, and Ryan and I look at each other like, ‘here we go’. It’s go, go, go—the boys have a lot of energy. Two different breakfasts which end up everywhere. Faces and hands cleaned, nappy changes, teeth cleaned, clothes changes, dishes, etc. But I actually like the madness even if it is monotonous.
The best advice I was ever given by another mum is … make time for yourself.
What are your favourite work clothing staples?
Good blazers and silk shirts! I think most workplaces these days allow you to wear clothes which can also be worn outside of the workplace. This is why buying blazers that can also be worn with jeans on the weekend is genius. Same goes for beautiful silk shirts, i.e. wear them to work but also out for dinner with some leather pants.
What do you most love about working mums?
Honestly, they work so hard and just get it done! I watched so many colleagues return to work after having babies and they would pack so much into the day and also be grateful to be drinking a hot cup of coffee and having adult conversations (ha ha).
Do you still spend money on clothes or does it all go on the kids?
A bit of both. The boys are easy and I don’t get too excited about boys’ clothes. Jack is in Max’s hand-me-downs, so more funds for mum’s wardrobe!
Favourite time of the day is … when the kids are in bed at night and I can finally binge watch some crappy TV.
Instagram sites that inspire you … not inspiring so much but addicted to trawling NET-A-PORTER, Mytheresa, Shopbop and Who What Wear (for up to date fashion trends). I also follow a lot of travel (food focused) accounts on Instagram to feed my travel/food addiction, i.e. @food_feels and @infatuation.
I’m happiest when … we are out as a family of four making memories (when the boys are behaving, obviously).
I’m addicted to … Nutella. True story.
Favourite wardrobe staple for work … a tailored blazer which can be worn from desk to dinner.
Favourite wardrobe staple for weekend … a flattering pair of jeans and staple tee.
My role model is … I actually don’t have one specific role model. I am inspired by women who have followed their dreams and have built businesses all whilst being mothers, and seem to have their lives together too (Chelsea Thomas, for example, from I Heart Bargains). Some more examples of these women are: Emma Isaacs from Business Chicks, Erin Deering from Triangl Bikini, and stylist Lana Wilkinson. To me, all these women have worked their butts off to achieve their success. I have huge respect for that.
Heels or flats? Heels.