Michelle Gadd / Elasticpantcity

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“It is really hard to be a mom. It is really wonderful to be a mom. How do we reconcile these two realities?” – Michelle Gadd

Empress Avenue had the opportunity to meet Michelle Gadd from high profile Vancouver blog Elasticpantcity, an outlet to write about life, parenting, city living, fashion, frugality and food! Michelle invites her readers to take a glimpse inside her life and be inspired by the beauty of art in the every day. You can also find her at vancouvermom.ca

1. Tell us about yourself and how you started blogging.- I am an urban dwelling, Vancouver housewife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers. I have my B.A. in Psychology from Simon Fraser University. I was married shortly after graduating and then had our first baby a couple years later. I started my career as a writer at the same time as having kids.  My background in psychology is put to good use as I try to self-diagnosis all my neuroses.  Then I write about it in the form of commentary on what it means to be a mother, a wife, an artist and every thing in between. Ultimately my blog, Elasticpantcity, is a cultural curation of my daily experiences.  I like to invite readers to take a glimpse inside my life and be inspired by the beauty of art in the every day. Life is beautiful! I want people to see that beauty even when the kids are crazy, the house is a mess and I haven’t showered in a looong time.

2. What makes your blog absolutely fabulous?- Vulnerability. I don’t write about everything that happens in my life, but I try to tap into what I think are the common experiences that women and mothers go through on a daily basis. I think of my blog as a conversation with a good friend. I want to be open, encouraging and inspiring.  I want to communicate the humor I find in being a mother as well as a sense of empathy with other moms; We’re all in this together!

3. What type of content fits with your targeted audience?- My target audience is women and specifically mothers (although I do know men who read my blog).  I don’t think mothers always want to talk about their kids so I write about fashion, products I love and events that are happening locally in Vancouver. However, the posts that are the most popular with my readers are when I get into the nitty, gritty of life and parenting: It is really hard to be a mom. It is really wonderful to be a mom. How do we reconcile these two realities?

4. What does a day in your blog life look like?- I’m a lucky woman. My husband brings me coffee and breakfast in bed and then I start the day by going through all my emails from PR companies. I delete about 70% of them because they don’t apply to my blog. I then check out the comments on Elasticpantcity, and go through my daily reads. This is done within a 15 to a 45 minute period. And then I put my mom shoes on and start my day with my wonderful boys. I stay away from the Internet until their naptime unless something is really pressing. During their naptime I usually write a post, respond to more emails and do research on various writing opportunities.  About twice a week I head out to some PR event. Many events that I attend are geared towards moms so there is childcare on site, which is awesome! Evening events equally rock because I usually get to dress up  (Which sometimes means switching from sweat pants to jeans).

5. What types of readers are in your blog ‘pink book’ and who are you looking to connect with?-  I love connecting with anyone interested in parenting, motherhood, health, fashion, and urban living (and many other lifestyle related topics). I also enjoy connecting with entrepreneurs who have come up with great and innovative products for moms and babes.

6. Is running your own blog as glamorous as it sounds? –  Hmmm, that’s a tricky one to answer. There’s a lot of name-dropping out there and ‘check out my swag’ type attitudes but appearing glamorous is not one of my end goals. I spend 90 per cent of my time doing regular mom, wife, daughter, and friend stuff.  I started Elasticpantcity not caring if any one read it. For me it was an outlet to express creativity and sort through my new role as a mom.  The truth is I would still write it if no one read it. It’s a very personal thing to me, a part of my life that I mostly do just for me. I’m flattered that people read Elasticpantcity, I love meeting my readers and they’ve become very important to me but my identity is not found in stats.

7. What celebrity do you look at for style inspiration?-  My favorite art form is fashion so the celebrity’s I look to for style inspiration tend to be in that industry. I think designers Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo have amazing personal style and it’s reflected in their clothing. Style blogger Garance Dore has a very classic personal style that I admire. I also love Leandra Medine from The Man Repeller for her grunged down, high fashion looks and Natalie Joos of Tales of Endearment for her vintage inspiration.

8. What are your favourite stores to shop at for the perfect wardrobe?-  Ebay, is great for cheap designer pieces and I tend to scout for designers like Miu Miu online. Zara and Urban Outfitters are great for basics. However, I often walk into those stores and realize that Value Village carries the authentic version of their pieces. I’m a big time thrifter, but I will also wander through Holt Renfrew to get a feel for the materials and prints that are popular with the high-end designers.

9. What is your favourite travel hot spot? –  My favorite travel spot is New York. I’ll never finish exploring that city. I love urban landscapes and so I tend to prefer visiting metropolitan areas as opposed to tropical vacation spots. If I’m travelling to a city I always pack good walking shoes because we cover miles.  I pack a lot of basics and then usually one or two fancier outfits for going out in the evening.  I always bring my big, honking SLR on trips and my laptop so I can update my blog.  I don’t pack a lot of toiletries because I like using the free hotel products and I’ve dealt with one too many spills in my bags.

10. Can you offer any advice for new bloggers or female entrepreneurs looking to promote their business?-  I think anyone who has an expertise in a certain craft should have a blog and be engaged on all the social media networks. It’s the best way to self-promote.  It’s important to learn about SEO to create a site that gets high traffic as well as have basic skills in HTML and CSS.  Every thing I learned was through friends and Google. If you’re interested in writing, look for the sites that are asking for contributors. Every piece you write for another publication is a resume booster. Other than that: Do what you love, avoid debt as much as possible, and most importantly don’t sacrifice your family on the alter of your ego.

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