A breath of fresh air, Mel Carrero brings an authentic and relatable approach to Instagram that we can't get enough of. We sat down with Mel to talk all things motherhood, body positivity and influencer marketing...
Hey Mel, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. We just love your content, and your honest and relatable approach on Instagram. Can you share a little about yourself and what you do?
Thank you! I am a 35 year old new mama based in Lismore, Northern NSW. I am Head of Brand for fashion label Spell in Byron, and I also run my personal Instagram where I feature fashion, beauty and lifestyle for fun and sometimes as offical content creation partnerships. Most recently I’ve been working a bit less because I had a baby boy in October, called Aurelius!
You often speak quite openly about body image and how your perspective has changed, especially since becoming a mum. Can you tell us about this journey and why you think it's important to share these thoughts with your community?
Growing up I had some battles with body image, I’ve been a curvy gal most my life. In my mid-late 20s I started my blog /styling/photography journey where I would do shoots with different models, and grew an Instagram following based on that! Eventually people started to want to see who was behind the lens more, so I started featuring myself and there was a great and encouraging response. I think that propels me to do more / share more, as I get messages from people saying they were confident enough to wear a swimsuit in summer because of me. I mean that is depressing - wear the swimsuit, who cares! But if I made a difference to one just person’s perception, that’s brilliant.
We have loved following your journey into motherhood. What has surprised you most and how have you adapted?
Definitely how hard breastfeeding was at the start was the biggest surprise! I didn’t get the store cracked nipples (thankfully!) but I did have supply issues and it was so hard and depressing! Auri was smaller on the weight scale and it made me feel like a failure. I did so much to up my supply but it didn’t really come back massively, so we did a top up bottle of formula to get him to gain weight. I feel like there’s a stigma around that stuff for sure.
I’ve adapted to lack of sleep. He was an amazing sleeper the first 5 months then he got sick and it’s never been the same since! I’m working on a routine of sorts but it’s definitely something I’ve adapted to - it’s surprising what a coffee does (note I didn’t drink coffee regularly before having a baby).
We know that no two days are the same, but can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you?
Depends on which day it is because I’m back at work part time! Even then it can be so so different! A usual day with Auri is we wake up and have breakfast, play and read books till his morning nap. Then sometimes I go out after he wakes and then try for an arvo nap (his sleep schedule has never fell into place properly! He hates sleep haha!) I try to end most afternoons with a walk around my neighbourhood then it’s into a wind down bath and bed for him. Then I usually am doing some work from my phone after that! When it’s a work day I’m usually in meetings because I’ve only just started back! That includes creating our marketing strategy, helping the team plan shoots and events, and guiding them. Then somewhere in between I work on my own content, and I’ve been trying to prioritising catching up with friends whilst I’m only part time (and now with the sun finally shining!) so all in all pretty busy!
All of the brand partnerships that you share seem so genuine and thoughtful. Can you tell us a little about this process and if there are any key values that you keep in mind when forming collaborations?
Thank you! I have a manager who helps me with enquires so I’m not just not seeing opportunities, and she handles all of the official convos which is great! So usually brands reach out with what they want and my manager brings it to me to see if I want to do it. The main thing for me is I only want to work with a brand if I’m proud to speak about it - ie; would I wear it, would I use it, would I drink it, would I do it! In terms of values, I do ask a lot of my brands about their sustainability values. Some are smaller brands that are working on it too. It’s not a make or break as I know there are many working parts to this, but it’s definitely an important factor.
The Essential 5
What's your coffee order? Oat cap (before Auri; an oat chai)
3 beauty items you can't live without:
Elle Effect tan, having my nails done regularly and Biologi Rosehip Oil
(however their new lip serum is so good for winter and I use it morning and night)
Favourite local restaurant/cafe: Oh so hard! There are so many and also sadly my fav cafe, Flock, is not open due to the Lismore floods, so I'll shout out Stockpot Kitchen in Lismore as it is tasty and they have reopened. For Byron, I'd have to say Bayleaf has my favourite brunch meals of all time.
Favourite self-care ritual: Definitely getting a facial of some sort is my fave, but also having my nails done, it makes me feel together when life is a mess haha.
A short and sweet piece of advice on motherhood: Enjoy every second and try not to obsess and stress, I constantly do and I'm trying to take a deep breath and appreciate the now, as it has gone fast already and everyone says you blink and they're 15!