One of the blogs I follow is that of a young fashionista mom and Kenyan fashion stylist –26 year old Silvia Njoki, she of ‘Style by Silvia’.
In September last year, I featured her here. Her daughter Nielsine was only six months old then. Today, she’s a grown up little girl, slightly over a year and a half old.
I recently caught up with Silvia –a fashion stylist, designer and writer and bring you snippets of my chat with her.
SN: I have continued my employment with the Standard newspaper as a fashion and entertainment writer, and also have remained active as a fashion stylist for individual celebrities and TV shows.
Another new development is that my blog, “Style by Silvia” has become one of my major activities. Blogging gives me more and more satisfaction. I am happy that my followers like what I am sharing, which I can tell from their positive feedback and the rapidly increasing page views.
The birth of my daughter Nielsine in March last year was of course a major mile stone, and today I just couldn’t imagine my life without her. We own a beach house in Kilifi, it is such a beautiful and serene place where I feel my daughter should grow up, so I try to spend most of my time there with her when I don’t have to work in Nairobi.
SN: The success and overall appreciation of my blog was reflected in the award for “Most Promising New Blogger” which I just won last month is a competition organized by SOMA – Social Media Awards. And I cannot thank God and my fans enough! Winning that award, thanks to a large amount of individual votes, has given me a greater spirit to make my blog even better and more attractive to my followers.
MT: Do you make all of your daughter’s outfits? Were you a little fashionista yourself while growing up?
SN: When I grew up, I was far from being a fashionista myself; My mom dressed me up in very beautiful but fewer clothes as compared to my daughter and I dint really have much say in what I wore.
However, I have always loved clothes and I remember looking forward to Christmas, because I was certain to get a new dress. And now I just love to dress Nielsine up in pretty outfits, sometimes I shop too much for her! Occasionally I make an outfit for her, especially when it is meant to match one of mine in true mini-me style as occasionally featured on my blog. Or when I am inspired to give her a certain look.
SN: My daughter Nielsine is now 19 months old and I spend quality time with her whenever possible, as I manage to balance motherhood with my professional responsibilities and tasks.
I feel very blessed in the sense that I can do most of my work from home, which means that I am spending a major part of my time with her in our coastal home.
My work in Nairobi – mainly photo and TV shoots as well as celebrity styling – is of a nature, which makes it complicated to bring her with me on the job, and so far I have not done that. I don’t think she would enjoy it either at this point. But in a couple of years, I am sure she would love to watch mama do her styling. She is already a little fashionista in her own right.
MT: What are your favourite moments with Nielsine?
SN: I love showing her things in the nature including wild animals, flowers and insects. I also love to dance and sing with her, which she also loves herself. She is quite an accomplished dancer already! I do enjoy trying out different outfits on her, and she cooperates with a lot of patience and she loves to watch herself in her mirror in bright and colorful dresses. However my favorite moments are when she is laughing out loud, for instance when we are having a pillow fight or when I tell her a joke or tickle her. I love finding new ways to make her smile.
When I look at my daughter, I see and feel a great level of responsibility; She has the most wonderful big bright eyes. When I look at her I see a beautiful young girl who is destined for greatness, and it is up to me to mould her into a queen, she is already a princess that I thank God for every day.
MT: As you raise your daughter, do you think you have become ‘your mother’?
SN: I have not become my mother. I have picked up some things from her, like being firm on my words, and keeping her in touch with religion and the church. But in most respects I am doing things quite differently with a lot of love and encouragement. I am determined to bring her up as a happy and confident person with lots of basic trust and as much freedom as she can handle, without the spanking I received while growing up.
MT: What is your fitness / health / beauty regime? That keeps you looking lovely always?
SN: I swim and do a lot of home exercise workouts when I can, my favorite is Shaun T’s – Insanity, I drink a lot of water but also take a few mugs of green tea every day. I have not eaten red meat for years. I never wash my face with anything but pure cold water. When I am not going out, I don’t apply makeup to give my pores a rest, and I always wear sun screen.
SN: I hope to give my daughter a little brother or sister, when she is old enough to appreciate it, and I am looking forward to get married and travel more and more with her and my family and for us to discover the world together.
In my professional life I am planning to give increasing attention to my blog and maybe eventually give up any regular employment.
SN: My blog has entered a phase of rapid and consistent growth and I wish to keep up the momentum for the benefit of my many followers. But I also plan to take the business aspect of it more seriously and possibly develop it into a major income-generating activity.
MT: Who is Silvia, in your own words?
SN: I am kind and easy to talk to , I believe in God but I am very liberal in the way I live and bring up my child, I am down to earth and treasure family and friends.
MT: Thanks Silvia for your time and best wishes in your career growth and motherhood journey. Kisses to your lovely daughter.
To see more of Sylvia’s Style, check out her blog Style by Silvia
To see more of her outfits, check out her Facebook page: Style by Silvia
You can follow her conversations on Twitter here.