Check Out My Interview With Laura Jane Fashion About The Challenges I Faced Being A Urban African Lifestyle Blogger.
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Laura Jane Fashion, a fashion designer based in the UK, about my life as a blogger and a mom. We chatted about a lot, including how my blog got started, some of the challenges I faced along the way, and how I balance my blog and personal life. I thought it would be great to share this the article here!
The article was originally posted at this link on the Laura Jane Fashion website, but you can also read a copy of it below:
My Interview with LAURA JANE FASHION
My name is Jen Martens. I am of Ghanaian descent and based in Hamburg (Germany). I lived in Kumasi and Accra (Ghana) for 5 years to learn the language Twi. Today, I am a state certified business economist and founder of Frolicious, an urban African lifestyle blog.
Frolicious is a multicutural hair and lifestyle blog for openminded, creative and passionate women. Started in 2013 as a natural hair blog, Frolicious has evolved into much more. Besides natural hair care my topics are fashion, african home décor and women empowerment. Frolicious is a place where other Frolicious sisters can find inspirations to try something new. This blog is dedicated to spread the self-love and to empower other Frolicious Beauties to feel the same.
That’s so awesome, I love hearing entrepreneur journeys! What inspired you to start blogging?
I started the website Frolicious.de as a personal tool as I wanted to share my natural hair journey. Another reason why I started Frolicious is that there is a lot of information available about natural hair, and Black-owned business in North America and the UK. In Germany and other parts of Europe there is a noticeable void. I created the blog to meet this need.
Growing up in Germany as part of a visible minority, we did not receive messages from society that we fit the ‘image of beauty’. I now have a unique opportunity to share my pride and self-love through natural hair and Afrocentric fashion.
Frolicious is not just about me. I love to support other people who are dealing with the same problems as I do. Everyday, I am very grateful for people who are following me on my journey. I love to share thoughts and experiences with my readers. It makes me proud if people write to me and tell me that they have done something like a big chop due to Frolicious encouragement. These things keep me going and it is also a huge inspiration. I think Frolicious is a great place to meet and connect with like-minded people.
Powerful. It’s a chain reaction. You seem to have achieved a whole lot with Frolicious, what has been your greatest achievement to date?
To be honest with you I can’t even name one. Because I am so proud of so many things, I have achieved in my life. However, my greatest accomplishment is sitting where I am right now. I believe that life is a constant work-in-progress and that all moments, the huge ones and the small quiet ones, all make up who I am. Doing this interview with you is another important, meaningful moment that will represent another proud accomplishment in my life that I’ve been fortunate to have experienced.
I’m honoured that you feel that way and I pray others will adopt such a great mindset. What has been your greatest lesson to date?
I’ve learnt that if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Some years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and along with that I was told that because of it the chances of me ever getting pregnant were slim. Instead of allowing myself to become depressed, sad and instead of complaining about the situation, I started doing my research and made some major lifestyle changes. Today, I’m proud to say that my son is one year old.
That melted my heart, congratulations! What a testimony. You seem like someone with no limits so if you could go anywhere in the world, no strings attached, where would you go and why?
Since watching the movie “Cool Runnings” I’ve always wanted to travel to Jamaica. There are so many reasons why I would love to go to Jamaica. Besides the breathtaking sunrises, sunsets and crystal blue waters, I’d love to try Jamaican food.
The Caribbean in me wants you to try the food too, I promise you won’t be disappointed! A little birdie told me your a TV presenter? Tell us more…
Yes that’s true. One day the main host of the TV show “Afrika Outlook” was not able to do the show and one of the guests, who knows me, suggested I replace the host. They called me in and asked if I would be able to do an interview for the TV show. Of course I said yes and I became a stand in host. After a while, I progressed into becoming the second host of Africa Outlook, which is based in Hamburg (Germany). The TV show features news, entertainment and fashion topics focused on the African Diaspora residing in Germany. One of the great things is that I co-produce my shows. It is a great experience and I am learning a whole lot.
That’s so cool, I had my first taste of TV towards the end of last year and i’d love to do it again. I think you’re the definition of wonder woman! How have you learnt to juggle TV, blogging and being a young mum?
That is a good question. One thing I have learned to do is to organize everything. My life has changed since becoming a mother. Of course my son is my first priority and I try to arrange everything around him if possible. Sometimes, I have to miss out on things because of the unexpected. I’ve learned to be more flexible than ever before. For example: In order to create interesting content for my blog I communicate a lot with my audience, I also use an organizer and a pin board to write down my ideas and to process my blogging. To make sure that my writing stays in a specific time so I can meet my deadlines I work to a timer. Using these tools allows me to blog and still have a private life with my family and friends.
Great tips i’m sure our readers will be able to use in their everyday lives too. What are your goals for 2018?
I’d love to collaborate more with different people, businesses or organisations to introduce them to my Frolicious audience. I love doing reviews, advertising, promotion posts or give aways. In addition to this, I have started doing social media workshops, which is a passion of mine and I would love to see this grow. 2018 is going to be interesting and exciting.
Count me in! I’ve loved interviewing you and would love to be introduced to your Frolicious audience too. Tell us one thing about yourself our readers will be surprised to hear.
I stand in a superhero pose for a few minutes before an important appointment or a difficult task. It makes me feel more confident although it looks hilarious.
That made me laugh hard, but I can’t pretend that i’m not tempted to try it! What tip can you share with our readers?
In the past and also nowadays, in some countries, women like us don’t have the right to speak and express themselves. Today we live in a country where, as a women, we are able to think, talk, write and live on our own terms. Be proud and celebrate yourself. Without important women like Nana Yaa Asantewaa from Ghana who fought for us we would not be there where we are now.
We are fighters because sometimes in terms of a career we have to work much harder to get to the same level as men. We are strong and responsible. Even whilst going through hard times, we never forget that we are wives, sisters and/or mothers.
So if you have an idea think about how to give it life. Be a fan and get inspired by a role model, ask questions, work hard, be patient and never give up. One day your work will pay off. You will see.