We have become mildly obsessed with our new favourite luxury online magazine Stylenest. We consider it to be the lifestyle bible for yummy mums so were over the moon when its founder, Hannah Rouch agreed to have a chat with us about it.
Hannah started her career in fashion and beauty journalism at The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella Magazine. She then went onto become the Editor of Red Online. In September 2011 she launched Stylenest.
The Dressing Room(TDR): Hannah thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to chat to you about our new favourite online magazine. Can you tell us how the concept came about?
Hannah Rouch (HR):I’m at the age where many of my friends are having babies. Many found they lost confidence post-pregnancy with their style and came to me for style advice or would ask me for some quick fix beauty tips. The more they asked, the more I realised that there was no website for mums that focused on the mum herself, her needs as a woman not just as a parent.
Essentially, pre-baby she was interested in fashion, style and beauty and liked to travel to luxury hotels. This doesn’t have to change when you become a mum. – it’s just a question of adapting these slightly to fit your new lifestyle. So, I wanted to create a stylish, one-stop-shop where mums could get a little advice for themselves, find great ideas and clothes for the kids and pick up a delicious family friendly recipe all in one visit.
Mums are always juggling a million things at once so it was important to me to create a site that was easy to use and navigate. We aim to make the modern mum’s life a little easier.
TDR: For anyone new to Stylenest, can you explain a bit about the features, focuses and content of the magazine?
HR: StyleNest is a one-stop shop for busy mums. We cover fashion, beauty, travel, recipes childrenswear and more.
We take the latest trends and make them wearable and practical for the busy mum, bring you top beauty tips and round up the tastiest recipes from family friendly, to quick and healthy meals to tasty treats and party food. We also have interviews with inspirational mums and reviews of the best family friendly hotels and restaurants.
There isn’t much we don’t cover!
Our children’s pages focus on clothing from 0-14 as well as our pick of the best toys and and decorating ideas for nurseries and children’s bedrooms.
TDR: You must be thrilled with the great the response the magazine has had after such a short time, has it exceeded your expectations?
HR: Absolutely. The response has been great and just keeps getting better. I set StyleNest up as I thought there would be a demand for a site like this but I never knew it would take off so quickly.
TDR: How did you decide on the name StyleNest, which we love by the way?
HR: Thanks. I wanted something that suggested motherhood yet didn’t sound like a parenting site. Style is at the forefront of what we do and had to be in the name somewhere. After a few weeks of playing around with various names and words I came up with StyleNest. I new instantly this was the right name for the site.
TDR: You left a very established online magazine to set up Stylenest, did you at any point panic about launching something completely new?
HR: Ha, yes! It was such a scary thing. I had always worked at very established publications, starting my career at The Telegraph and then most recently Red. But I really believed in the idea and thought if I didn’t take the leap now I would never do it.
TDR: So many of the magazines today seem to focus on the lives of celebrities. Stylenest doesn’t which is so refreshing, was this a considered decision?
HR: Definitely. I think as women we beat ourselves up about how we look all the time and compare ourselves to everyone so we certainly don’t need anyone else telling us how wonderful celebrities look just weeks after giving birth. We have a get the look page which focuses on celebrities and old movie icons, but essentially these are just women who inpsire us and who we think have great natural style.
TDR: How many of you are there in the Stylenest team?
HR: There are just three of us, Astrid Carter who is the Assistant Editor and Charlie Barnet who is Features Writer. We also have some fantastic contributers who help bring it all together including all of our fab bloggers and our beauty columnist Eleanor Tucker.
TDR: What has been your proudest moment with Stylenest so far?
HR: The day we launched was incredible. We had worked so hard to get everything together and had been furiously writing away for weeks. It was great to see it all come together, launch smoothly and most importantly get great feedback from our readers.
TDR: You have a wealth of fashion experience behind you so here are some quick fire questions to give us a little insight into your fashion likes and dislikes;
TDR: Favourite fashion trend this season?
HR: It has to be prints a la Preen, Peter Pilotto and Sportmax. This summer I will most definitely be teaming a bold printed blouse with some cropped printed trousers. I have my eye on a few at Whistles.
TDR: Fashion trend you won’t be wearing this season?
HR: I love the modern sporty look as seen at Kenzo, DKNY and Stella but personally I like to wear something a little a little more structured and tailored.
TDR: Favourite fashion trend of the last decade?
HR: It would have to be the 1940s. I love the lady-like elegance of the era.
TDR: Favourite fashion capital?
HR: London. I love London – it is such a vibrant and eclectic city. Fashion is really individual here. It’s such an exciting City to live in for style inspiration.
HR: Paris would be a close second though.
TDR: Favourite designer or label?
HR: Louis Vuitton and YSL for accessories
Whistles and Zara for blouses/blazers – all the essentials
I also own too many converse and pairs of Rupert Sanderson
TDR: Favourite childrenswear label?
HR: Tootsa Maginty, Elfie London and Mini Rodini are real favourites.
TDR: Your ultimate style icon past or present?
HR: I love Jane Birkin. She was so beautiful and managed to look incredible in a simple white tee and jeans.
HR:Are you a heels or flats girl?
TDR: Heels. I’m only 5’1 so heels are a must. But on weekends I will mooch about in my converse.
TDR: Dresses or jeans?
TDR: Your staple outfit when having a ‘I have nothing to wear’ day.
HR: On the weekend it would be a Breton, jeans, and parka. For something a little smarter my jeans, silk blouse from zara and my Malene Birger black blazer finished off with leopard print Miu Miu court shoes.
TDR: Define a yummy mummy for me.
HR: A mum who is comfortable in their own style. Who doesn’t follow trends but is inspired by them. A mum who looks after herself but will always put the kids first. A StyleNest mum.
TDR: Top fashion tip.
HR: Don’t be led by trends. Pick a few key pieces you like and can easily incorporate into your wardrobe. This season try a silk, printed blouse and team with your classic blazer and skinnies or swap your favourite jeans for a pair of coloured jeans. One piece will nod to a trend yet will keep your look sophisticated and grown-up.
TDR: Thanks for that. Finally and without giving too much away, what exciting things can we expect to see during the forthcoming year with Stylenest?
HR: We are working on a redesign which will be launching in May which we are really excited about. and we have a few sister (and brother) sites in the pipline but I can’t say too much at the moment.
TDR: Ooh exciting! We can’t wait! If you haven’t already do make sure you have a read of Stylenest. My only advise put the little ankle biters to bed first, as it really is one online magazine you can while away the hours reading!
We are offering 3 lucky ladies the chance to win a voucher worth £50 to spend online. Hurrah! All you have to do is go through to our contact page, fill in your details and send us a message telling us what you think makes a yummy mummy!
Please note by entering the competition you, will automatically be added to our mailing list. Competition winners will be announced on Monday 23rd April.