We speak to Tallaght native Grace Mongey the lady behind the popular Faces By Grace blog. She tells us all about what it takes to make it in the online blogging industry, how she has made a full time career out of it and the new direction she will take now she has announced she is expecting her first baby.
Grace is a Tallaght girl who grew up in Millbrook Lawns and from a young age always had her sights set on becoming a top blogger.
“I set it up like four years ago, but then I went off to Australia and I didn’t do what I wanted to do but I always wanted to pursue it so when I came back, it took about a year to get back into the swing of things then last January it really started to take off”.
Grace may be a familiar face to those of you in Tallaght not just from her blog but from her time working in The Square
“I worked in the Square for years in River Island from the start when it opened, I used to also work in the ice cream parlour too”
Some will say Graces success with her blog page Faces by Grace was an overnight story and Grace tells a somewhat similar story but tells us that a lot of risks went into making the blog work
“In January I said, look ill give this a go and take the risk. Last May I was trying to juggle both, while working full time and my mam sat me down one evening and just said you have to choose what you want. So I went part time in River Island and try and work on my blog. She said if it doesn’t work in six months then give it up. I have a degree so I could just go back to work properly, so that was last May and then in January I gave up work completely.”
At present Grace is living the dream of many young bloggers in the country, making a career out of something you love is something Grace says she really enjoys. With interest around her Instagram account and page growing all last year she hasn’t looked back
“Toward the end of the summer my Instagram would grow by like one thousand a week, now I’m on almost 61,000 and there is only a certain number of bloggers in Ireland that are at that”.
She has just announced this month too that she is expecting her first baby with partner Chris this September
“Finally I was so happy to tell everyone because I was holding it in for so long. Every time I talk about baby or do a blog post or anything baby related it gets so much traction, I wanted to see the other day how many people on my snapchat that were pregnant and it was over 250 people. So I’m talking to others out there who are in the same position too.”
Working in this industry has its plus points when it comes to babies and pregnancies as Grace has pointed out
“It’s going to be amazing to be a stay at home mam, I can do my work at home in my pyjamas.”
Grace has some advice for those of you out there that dream of going down the same route as her in the future she speaks about the highs and lows in the industry and more importantly what you should focus on to make it work for you
“Do it for the right reasons, don’t do it for free stuff. I do get a lot of stuff sent to me but that comes with time and that comes with companies knowing who you are seeing your potential. Don’t do it for money as well because it took me four years for me to be self employed. Then finally just be yourself and be open and honest and don’t try and be what you think everyone wants you to be. I think when I started I was a lot about makeup and beauty and then as I grew up I started to talk a lot about weight loss and mental illness and I really opened up and seen such a massive growth in my followers when I started to talk like I would to my friends.”
Grace has spoken a lot lately on the topic on mental health and has participated in talks with Bressie who has written a book on his own struggles she told us of her own experiences and why she felt the need to speak publically about them
“There was nobody when I was suffering, I help people and I can see the difference that I can make and I get emails from people and I like making a difference. Only when I was 25 I realised what anxiety was, I thought I was mad, I didn’t know why or what was going on so to have somebody there to even ask is this normal? What is going on?”
Grace has been invited to many secondary schools and colleges to address the topic of mental health and it’s a part of the job she says she really does enjoy
“I was in a school the other day talking to sixth year students, you could see a lot of boys didn’t want to be there then the teacher said ‘who ever isn’t interested can leave now’ after I didn’t my talk and there was a big group that stayed behind and the I did stay and did one to one talking so it’s nice to know they actually want to listen to what I have to say and it makes them feel better because they know they aren’t alone.”
As if that isn’t enough of Graces day to day schedule she also discusses with us what a typical day in the life of a successful blogger is like, joking with us that since becoming pregnant she has taken full advantage of the situation
“Since I’m pregnant I stay in bed, but an example of a week for me would be, Monday I went down to Tipperary and I had a talk with the 6th years. Tuesday I worked from at home I did a bit of blog work and then I went to an event, Wednesday I went to Kildare Village for an event, there is a lot of events. Today I’m meeting you and then going to DCU for another talk and then tomorrow is my day off.”
Entering into a new phase in her life Grace explains how she is now gaining further support from new mams and mothers to be out there and loves that her new blog posts on becoming a mam is going down so well
“It has opened up a new aspect in my blog with work which is great an I’ve only announced my pregnancy, once I have a bump I will be able to do a lot more maternity stuff. I do freelance make up as well so I probably won’t do much of that towards the end because I’ll be too sore and I’ll be standing for hours but I can do the blog from at home.”
On the question of whether it’s a boy or a girl Grace says she’s keeping it a surprise, she also has a few names in mind but keeping it to herself for now
“We have come up with lists and different names we both like some he likes more than I like but I’ll be picking it” she jokes.
2016 will be an exciting year for Grace with her following continuing to grow daily along with her soon to be new arrival we wish her the best of luck with everything the next few months brings!