I am delighted to feature Laura Rutherford, a true wonder woman whose smile lights up any room. Laura is family and lifestyle blogger artist, as well as a charity event organiser, raising money for Grenfell Tower, with the charity The Real Community and also Breast cancer. Our paths crossed many moons ago when Laura and I worked at Topshop and then again through the power of the instagram community. Laura’s frank account of how being sexually assaulted left her suffering, is testament to how women are finding their voice to speak up, and the key reason why Future Female was born. To give a voice and hope to women to speak up about gender equality bringing misogyny into the everyday conversation.
FF: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
LR: I’m one of 7 children and grew up in Marylebone, central London…it’s rare these days to find real Londoners! I studied Art at university and went on to work in Fashion Buying , before changing careers altogether to Nannying. I married my husband at 25 and we have two awesomely active boys. I compare raising boys to raising dogs (in the nicest sense); they love cuddles, food and need a good run every single day to tire them out!
FF: What does Future Female mean to you?
LR: Despite having boys, I think it’s incredibly important that my husband and I instill in them equality and for them to know that we are all equal and as important as each other. My underlying Christian faith is at the heart of all my teaching as a mother. Also, coming from a family of predominantly girls, we have grown into fierce strong women. Our mummy was the best role model and without help raised us while juggling various jobs and fulfilling her role as a mother to the fullest.
FF: The recent #MeToo hashtag caught the attention of many women who joined the conversation, what is your view and have you been affected by misogynistic behavior during your lifetime and is it something you feel comfortable discussing?
LR: I was sexually assaulted early in my twenties and had to endure a court hearing only for him to be acquitted by the end of it. Despite the outcome, I know I did the right thing by reporting it, especially if it put a stop to this man’s behavior. Subsequently I have suffered with depression ever since, however I’m still very much able to lead a normal life. For every person that speaks up about such horrendous events, the female voice gets louder and louder and that can only be a good thing right?
FF: Tell us about your blog and business.
LR: I write a family and lifestyle blog over at www.laurarutherford.com which I began when my firstborn was little. It has always been an amazing outlet for me to be able to talk about topics that are of interest to me…whether they be parenting, fashion, getting creative or life experiences. I am a micro influencer @that_mummy_smile logging my life through pictures and showcasing brand collaborations. @wreathartbylauraand Wreath Art is my Etsy business (as pictured below) creating bespoke personalised art for those special occasions and making memories for loved ones.
FF: What do you love about being your own boss, and what are the challenges?
LR: The biggest challenges are obtaining paid work! The Influencer and Blogger market is becoming so saturated and finding brands to work with on paid sponsorships is very hard. There is a lot of graft, without the guarantee of work.
FF: There is a shift in how and where women work, was it a natural progression for you to go it alone and why?
LR: I admire any woman that goes into business alone, because like anything, it’s about multi-tasking and juggling all the balls and that’s what we’re so good at! Bringing up children you are faced with certain obstacles and limited options, so the natural progression is to be your own boss.
FF: Is there an inspiring project you at working on at the moment?
LR: Last year I did a couple of charity projects and events and thoroughly enjoyed it. So this year I have a couple of things in the pipeline that I hope materialise! I find it so rewarding doing things for others and making a difference.
FF: If there was one thing you would change about your life as a woman what would it be?
LR: I wouldn’t change a thing. I like to look ahead and the idea of being the woman I want to be; encompassing positive attitudes and life choices. Focusing on what is important in the world and surrounding ourselves with amazing people.
FF: Are there key messages you are passing on to your children when it comes to gender equality, how important do you think it is to change your story around gender?
LR: I am teaching my children about the world we WANT to live in and that we CAN live in. It’s all about them learning through good examples; gender equality and inclusion, having good morals and growing up to be kind, loving and fair.
FF: How would you describe your style?
LR: When I was working in Fashion I was always very conscious of my image. However since my body shape has changed from having children, my style is a lot more relaxed and about being comfortable. You won’t see me wearing heels unless I’m off ‘out out’! I am a sucker for High street fashion and a good charity shop haul. I always know that if I’ve started off the day making very little effort on myself, that I’ll feel a bit crappy. But if I’ve put just a little bit of thought into it…maybe even throwing on a lippy, my mood is totally uplifted and I carry myself much better.
A big thanks to Laura, you can find her everyday musings over on her instagram That Mummy Smile