If you haven’t yet already, you might want to add the effortlessly cool Kiwi, Kelly Müller, to your Instagram feed (@kellymuller_). Kelly, former Marketing Director at Stylerunner, now runs her own PR & Marketing business, KMC. It’s proven to be a successful career move for Müller, who now consults for some of Australia’s most stylish labels including P.E Nation, Zulu & Zephyr and One Teaspoon.
Following the birth of her daughter and a shift in priorities, Kelly’s consulting business has given her the flexibility to spend more time with 16-month-old Sunny Marlow, whilst building her business from her Bondi home. Kelly is a glass half full kind of dame, and most mornings the happy duo can be found seaside enjoying an ocean swim, which she claims both clears her head and makes her feel connected, before work is a priority. Kelly is not afraid to acknowledge the challenges of being a working mama and counts coffee and a salty dip as her allies against sleep deprivation. Her down to earth and positive approach to motherhood is both relatable and likeable.
Recently married and very much in love, it’s clearly been a big couple of years for this cool mama. We had a chat to her about two of her loves – her family and the ocean, as well as her travel plans and summer wardrobe must haves.
Kelly describes herself as passionate, determined and energetic. A successful career woman as well as a contributor to My Domaine and Not So Mumsy, she’s clearly also very clever. Kelly exudes warmth and good humour - and if her daughter is anything like her, we couldn’t think of a more fitting name than Sunny.
Please tell me a bit about yourself:
Growing up, I wanted to be a writer so I did a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications with the intent to become a journalist. Turns out, the universe had other ideas for me and when I moved to Sydney from New Zealand, I began my career in PR. I applied for the role because it said ‘writing was a necessity’; I thought it might be a good place to start. I loved the strategic thinking involved in PR and began to broaden my skills in integrated agencies where I could also work across marketing and digital. During a stint back in New Zealand, I dabbled in a few other things including launching my own online vintage clothing store, Gran’s Loose Change, and partnering with a friend to launch The Little Big Markets - which she has grown into amazing things today.
Following a relocation back to Sydney with my then boyfriend (now husband), I worked in a digital agency then accepted the role as PR and Communications Manager before moving into Digital Marketing at ModelCo. After almost 2 and a half years there, I took on the role of Marketing Director at Stylerunner.
Almost a year and a half later, I was excited to learn that I was pregnant. Prior to being a mama my work defined me in a way and I naively thought I would return to work 3-4 months after she was born. I saw my personal success as my career accomplishments but once Sunny was born, I realised success was nothing to do with my career and I couldn’t go back to work the way I knew it before.
I created a new path that allowed me to balance both work and home life. Having my daughter gave me the clarity I needed around what was important. I started consulting when she was four months old and have juggled work/life ever since. It's hard, but it's great. It gives me the freedom to be with my daughter and the motivation to get amazing results in the time that I have available. It's incredible how much you can get done when you have a shorter window of opportunity. I now consult with brands I love and am passionate about whilst being there 100% for Sunny. After doing it on my own for the past year, I have just hired my first full time employee and I am so excited about what’s to come in 2017.
Describe your 16 year old self and how she is different to you now:
My 16 year old self was much like I am now, driven, determined, passionate and energetic, but she was much more obnoxious haha. I've learnt to be kinder, calmer, more patient and mindful as I've gotten older.
You recently tied the knot. What are the most attractive traits in your husband?
Have you seen my husband?!!! Other than the fact that I think he's the most handsome man on the planet, he is such an incredible human. I truly don't know anyone else like him. He is selfless, calm and patient. He is giving, kind and generous, level-headed and intelligent - and he has never asked me to be anyone other than myself. I could embarrassingly gush over him all day because he is actually the bloody best.
Tell me about the last time you laughed so hard you cried:
Sunny makes me laugh in some way or another every single day.
When the sun is shining, where can you be found?
In the sea!!! We are a seaside living and loving family – and Bondi Beach is currently our local.
How do you spend ‘me time’?
Me time exists?!! It's something that I am working on because when I'm not with Sunny, I am working and when I'm not working, I'm doing things around the house. I make exercise a priority and at the moment, fit in two F45 sessions each week, exercise makes me feel good, sleep better and it gives me energy - and as a mum to a busy toddler, I need all the energy I can get!
Has your parenting style evolved over the last year? If so, how?
Josh and I approached parenting with an open-mind, patience, mindfulness and positivity - even in the toughest moments, we try to look for the silver lining. I like to think our style has remained pretty consistent, we encourage Sunny to learn independently, to explore, to get messy and to be a kid, but we're always there to keep her safe, healthy and happy.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
My family and I used to camp at the same beach every year for a really long time. We stayed in the exact same spot and grew up with all of the same kids whose families were doing the same as ours. Josh and I hope to create family traditions with Sunny and travel is a big part of that.
What is your favourite way to spend time with your family?
Literally just spending time together!!! It's a beautiful thing when the phone and computers are switched off, we're outside in the fresh air and we're just together. We spend a lot of time at the beach or in the park where we do a whole lot of nothing. We've spent a lot of mornings and evenings at the beach this summer.
What do you think are the main benefits of kids spending time seaside?
We literally spend every day at the beach, whether it's walking the Bondi Beach promenade, sitting on the South Bondi Hill, lapping up the sunsets on the Grassy Knoll or spending our days in the ocean. I think it's an incredible place to raise Sunny. She gets outside and in the fresh air daily. Even if it's chilly, we'll rug her up and get her outside. She loves the ocean and from a really young age, has never been afraid of it. It's taught her to explore, test her boundaries and she is really social - I think because she's always surrounded with people.
You and your husband have both done a bit of travelling. What are the top 3 summer destinations on your hit list?
Well, we've just booked Hawaii again, it is such a magical place and I'm dying to get to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
What is your summer wardrobe uniform?
PICK A SIDE:
High five or fist pump: High five
Vino or G&T: Red wine in winter and G&T in summer
Text or call: Text
Wallet packed with receipts or totally organised: Organised
Trashy mag or Novel: Novel
Fleetwood Mac or The Beach Boys: Fleetwood!!!!
Sunrise or sunset: Both!
Birthday or Xmas: Birthday
Mr Whippy or Banana Paddlepop: Neither, but a Tip Top Grapefruit and Lime Fruju? Now you're talking (I think you can only get them in NZ)
Mexico or Greece: I've never been to either but they're both on the list!