Meet Emma Ross. Better known as Mamalina to those who already follow her. Emma keeps a real good grid filled with warmth, kindness, good taste & natty second-hand threads.
If you’re looking for more inspiration then take a look at her soulful & sincere blog. It’s a nice place to spend some time: real, honest, wholesome, thoughtful, practical & cool-looking.
Backpacks now put away until 2022, Emma recently returned from an incredible road adventure with her family-of-five all down to Portugal. Thirty days. Three countries. Two birthdays. Ten different beds. Four and a half thousand kilometres. Five big smiles! It looked like the kind of holiday you might dream about, the kind that would do well to be sound-tracked by a casually elegant twangy 60s guitar ensemble, lurking behind bus-stops, news-stands & beatnik café tables smoothly flexing their tremolo arms.
Right now Emma is training to become a forest school leader, learning about knots, knives, kettles & dens. In her words, forest school “is a place where outcomes don’t matter; a child can spend an entire session digging a hole, swinging in a hammock or whittling a stick. What matters is independence, creativity & resilience… looking after ourselves, each other and the environment.” It’ll be an exciting journey and we’re looking forward to hearing about it. I know when my son comes home from nursery, with mud all over his knees, that he’s had a good day. It’s also when I realise there are advantages to having a home shelf full of cleaning samples ready to be tested.
We were so happy to see Emma bulk refilling and wanted to find out more about her, Mamalina and slowing down. So, we caught up with her just before her epic holiday in August. Here’s the interview…
WHO IS MAMALINA
That’s me, Emma 😉
‘Mamalina’ is a play on the nickname, ‘Emmalina’ I had when I was a little girl. I’m a Londoner (and occasional escaping-to-the countryside-daydreamer) with 3 kids. I spend my days looking after our littlest boy and creating content, offering up tips around parenting that bit more slowly and sustainably.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY
I graduated from university, spent a year flitting between various roles – I tried everything from Politics to Acting to the Charity sector – before landing a job at YouTube where I went on to work for 9 years. When I fell pregnant with our eldest, now 7, I started my own YouTube channel and began documenting my journey – the highs and lows of pregnancy, and everything in between. ‘Mamalina’ evolved from there!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
I love being able to connect with like-minded people, and as an extension, create and foster a community that people can feel part of, tap in and out of when they might need a little support, and find inspiration from. I also love sharing my passions, trying to (gently!) encourage others, and getting to be creative around that communication (though it can be hard to keep-up given how many new features Instagram keeps bringing out!)
IF YOU WEREN’T RUNNING THE MAMALINA PLATFORM AND INSPIRING OTHERS WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING
I’d love to have a job where I could be outdoors most of the day and away from a phone and computer – so a gardener, forest school leader, park ranger. All of these jobs appeal hugely.
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON
We’re about to head off on a road trip across Europe, I CANNOT WAIT
WHAT STARTED YOU OUT IN REFILL/ZERO WASTE/LOW IMPACT LIVING
It was during an NCT session (a group for parents to be) where we were learning about nappies. Right at the end the teacher shoehorned in a section about cloth nappies which immediately spoke to me – I gravitated towards low waste parenting from there – and have been a cloth nappy devotee ever since.
HOW DO YOU ESCAPE
Gardening – it’s the best tonic. Even better with a great podcast and a strong coffee alongside me.
Honestly, these days I get the biggest buzz from just being home with my family. Since lockdown has lifted, life has felt too busy. There’s nothing better than slow days at home, a full fridge, a banging playlist, and content kiddos.
A VALUABLE LESSON
I believe that good things come to those who wait.
Home Farm Glamping – the sweetest glamping site with the best gigs and dinners only 30 minutes from London.
ONE PLACE WE SHOULD GO SEE
Church Ope Cove, Dorset. The most perfect little cove with a beautiful hike down. I nabbed some giant pebbles which I will always treasure.
WHO IS YOUR ZERO (LOW WASTE) HERO
I’d have to say Bea Johnson, the original zero waster.
I once saw her speak and she was super inspirational. She’s the one that made me feel less weird and taught me about picking up hair bands off the street and how handy they always come in.
THINGS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Peppermint tea, a good face moisturiser & dungarees.
LAST SONG YOU CHOSE TO LISTEN TO
The Staves – Jolene. The most beautiful version
WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD TO THE FILL CLEAN REPEAT PLAYLIST
Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga – If Ever. It’s such a soothing song, perfect for any mood.
Nut butter. So freakin’ thick and delicious.
HARDEST THING TO FIND ZERO WASTE
Because your products are simple, work great and are beautiful to look at!
Check out Emma’s posts on zero waste living, bulk buying, slow & low impact living, shopping second-hand, chazza shop hauls, old toys & hand-me-down-duds. She also writes on positive parenting, cloth nappies, relationships & responsible travel.
Slow down, step back, enjoy simple things more. Go take a look around.