Vicki Psarias’s ‘digital reach’ can be numbered in the millions. Neil Hudson talks to the ‘Honest Mum’ about the art of blogging.
And before long it took on a life of its own.With a background in media and a CV littered with writing and directing credits for the likes of the BBC, Vicki was well positioned to take advantage of the rise of the internet. She describes herself as a ‘digital influencer’, which basically means she has a big audience and one which respects what she says.
Which is why she’s also respected by firms such as Nivea UK, bareMinerals and Aveeno, fronted by Jennifer Anniston. On Saturday she won two top awards in London at the BritMums’ Brilliance in Blogging Awards for outstanding blog and social media. But despite her seemingly high-flying lifestyle, which regularly sees her mingling with the stars, mum of two Vicki, daughter of George and Vasoulla Psarias, owners of The Olive Tree restaurants in Headingley and Chapel Allerton, is very much a ‘feet on the ground’ person.
“I had a wonderful Enid Blyton kind of childhood. I grew up in Ilkley with my brother Solos and would walk the moors and build treehouses together... I remember when we moved to Leeds when I was seven, and we both just cried. In the end, though, it was a good move for all of us.” She attended Leeds Girls’ High School (now Leeds Grammar) and went on to Notre Dame Sixth Form, which is where she says she “blossomed”, before taking a BA Hons in Media and Communications in London - TV presenter Alex Zane was there at the same time - and stayed on to do an MA in screen direction at just 21, coming away with a distinction and a short film Rifts which won awards all over the world at film festivals and caught the attention of the film industry.
She then became a writer/director making shorts, TV docs, drama, fashion films and music videos.
“I never thought about working online as a business nor did I when I first started Honest Mum... Then, in November, 2010, there were a lot of big US parenting bloggers but not many here. I was one of the first hence people often referring to me as being pioneering. I had quite a traumatic pregnancy, which involved pregnancy liver condition ICP and an emergency C-section, and felt rather lost and alone and in need of a creative outlet. I couldn’t believe the response even in those early days. I was honest, I always had that from the beginning, that it had to be real, about real life. Being genuine is one of the most important traits I feel anyone can have, so when I was brainstorming at the start of my blogging journey, I kept returning to the fact that I’m a straight-up, honest person-and I truly wanted to be honest about parenting-sharing the good times and importantly, the bad. It made sense to me...and it grew from there.”