Jemma Thomas of insta-famous ‘Mumma’s Health Hub’ talks mental health, being a mumpreneur, motherhood and finding motivation…
For people who don’t know you, give us a bit of background – what’s your story?
The majority of my career, from age 19, was spent in marketing and advertising agencies. I decided to train for my exercise qualifications after I’d had my first son Jude 6 years ago, as I found exercise to be a really useful tool for managing what I assumed were just ‘darker days’, and what I would later look back on and recognise as PND. I only went full throttle with it in 2016 after my second son Buddy was born. I became a mumpreneur and set up Mumma’s Health Hub as a source of motivation to help busy mums to move more and feel better as a result, without worrying about weight or looks. The sole focus was on the mental benefits.
And as we know, that’s been a huge success for you! So what’s the set-up like at home? Who does what? Does your hubby help with the business at all?
I have childcare for Buddy 2 days a week, and that’s when I fit in clients, planning, emails and any content creation. The rest of the week, I fit in work in the evenings. Billy, my husband, is my ‘in-house designer’, if you like! He helps with the creative stuff – he’s a studio manager at an advertising agency, so if he isn’t sick of designing by the time he gets home, then we sit down to go over stuff like potential products, Instagram posts and content ideas. We usually put the kids to bed together around 7.30 / 8pm, then we eat, chat about our days and then I whip out the computer and make him help me ha, ha!
Sounds like you’ve got a solid team! What’s an average day like for you both?
Alarm goes off at 6.30am, and I get dressed and ready to go live on Instagram for my ‘Got 5 Live’ at 7am, which really does wake me up. I’m not just saying that! It’s been one of the most effective ways to wake my body up – and my brain. I drink about two filter coffees, a protein shake or some eggs and tons of water for breakfast, whilst we get the kids ready.
I then do the school and childcare drop-offs, and get ready for sessions with my clients, who I train in my kitchen.
Then, from 11am to 3pm, I sit in my ‘corner’ and email back and forth with brands, work on local marketing for my home-based training, and take photos or write content for my Instagram.
I then do the school pick-up and try to switch off for a bit while I hang out with the kids. At about 8pm, I’ll check my emails again, write my to-do list for the next day, and then I often do a bit of late-night ‘youtubing’ to keep on top of any new wellness trends. I’m not a night owl or a person who can stay up until 2am doing work, I don’t work well like that, so I go to bed before 11pm most nights, as I love sleep! I’m not the type of entrepreneur who can survive on 4 hours sleep, and in fact, I think sleep helps me to be more creative!
Pretty packed, then! So how and why did you get into what you’re doing now? Were you always a fitness lover or was it because of something deeper?
I was never really into fitness that much before MHH. I’d go to the gym sometimes but I wasn’t heavily into it. My love for fitness gradually came from making such a deep connection to the amount I moved to how I felt. I couldn’t deny the fact that when I exercised, I simply felt better and I was therefore kinder to myself and those around me. I know it sounds silly, but it was like a magic pill for me – and it still is. I just wanted to shout about that more. My message has always been pretty simple – its not about dieting, its about a healthy mind. I think all that weight-loss stuff is a load of bollocks! If you move more and feel better mentally, that’s all that matters to me.
So, why did you choose to focus your business on mums?
I felt like I could relate to every facet of a mum’s life. I could empathise and offer a solution (fast fitness and motivation), so it was a no-brainer to become a mumpreneur. I’d also seen some beefy male trainers who had brought out a mum’s fitness programme, and I thought, ‘I just don’t relate to you’. I started by creating a Mumma’s Health Hub ‘Pack of Hacks‘ – quick card with one exercise that could be picked up at random. It was a quick and easy way to get mums into exercising more and making it fun.
You do a 7am live workout every morning for your followers – how the hell do you find the time and motivation?!
I actually need it in my life to be honest, the followers are an added bonus! I’m so much more productive if I start my day by raising my pulse, and I really like knowing that I’m doing something that will help other mums feel more positive about their day. I love getting DM’s saying it’s made a difference to them, and I screen shot and keep them all to look at for motivation.
What has been your major ‘No Bull’ moment? (A moment when you’ve gone against the grain, stood up for yourself, cut the crap etc.)
I had a pretty decent, flexible job until February 2017. But one day I just decided to quit, to give myself ‘the fear’ and finally pursue a career I was passionate about. I knew in my heart that I wanted to do more with Mumma’s Health Hub, and I wanted to be working on something of my own. It was hard at first, as we lost a salary in the household and I’m still growing the business now – it’s not a gold mine yet! But I’m constantly making small steps as well as trying to get to a place that’s equally as meaningful as it is successful – and of course I’m learning ALL THE TIME!
Have you ever struggled with any self doubt/self esteem issues? Has that ever affected your business?
Oh yes, all the time. Recently, it was Instagram that made me feel a bit rubbish. I was doing the usual comparing, worrying if I had a ‘big’ enough personality to succeed in this new ‘story-led’ Instagram era. I felt the pressure, but I realised you just have to be yourself or you’ll be knackered trying to keep up with it all. I have self doubt all the time, and sometimes I just want to give it all up. But then to counteract that feeling, I get moments of sheer self love and I think, ‘Fuck it! You’re amazing, look at where you started and how far you’ve come!’ I’m a bit extreme like that!
Aren’t we all… Do you ever get ‘mum guilt’? How do you deal with it?
I do, but weirdly it’s mainly when I’m with the kids, and I let them watch ‘just one more’ TV programme. I feel guilty that I’m not more motivated to be creative with them and I’m choosing the easy way to entertain them, or if I’m replying to DM’s whist I’m with them. I don’t want them to have memories of me always being on my phone when I’m with them, but it’s hard as a lot of what I do is done via Instagram. I guess we all go through that, right?!
What are you currently working on manifesting, and whats the game plan for the foreseeable future?
I’m working on manifesting more revenue streams for the business, mainly. I also have some ‘merch’ (that’s what we call it right?!) coming out in April, and I’m looking at producing a programme of videos for Mums to follow at home. So keep your eyes peeled for those too!
You can follow Jemma’s journey (and join in on her 5 live workouts in the morning) on her instagram here!