Super Mum: Mathilde Moyell Juul
We are excited to bring you the Mother's Day edition of our Super Mums blog.
Meet Mathilde Moyell Juul, the founder of green lifestyle guide, orgayana.
This travel-loving Danish-born Super Mum of three talks us through fulfilling her early career ambitions as a journalist and editor, and how overcoming a personal health crisis was a lightbulb moment to pursue her own passion; sharing with others how to create a more sustainable lifestyle.
Read on for Mathilde's tips on easy ways you can live more green and sustainably, her thoughts on parenting and a career highlight interviewing Bradley Cooper (!).
How do mornings look in your household?
Probably more affected by the sound than the look, our toddler likes to make sure we all know he’s awake, early! The upside, is that we have plenty of time in the mornings, not much stress and time to enjoy the breakfast slowly, read a book and chat on the way to bus pick-up for our two older ones.
What's your daily uniform?
Very much depend on the schedule that day - it often starts of with some fitness wear and then I’ll generally be quite relaxed in organic shorts/bottoms from Aiayu and a t-shirt from sustainably sourced Source Collections. If I have to dress up a bit for an event, I like to wear my up-cycled colourful dress from Sidsel Edelbo or dig out an old classic, like one of my Jasper Living dresses.
You work with some fantastic green and eco brands, can you share some of your favourites?
That’s a tough one, so many brands popping up all the time, but for skincare I love many of the local brands here in Singapore, especially Biconi that has helped me reduce my skincare range to about three products: Coconut oil (removing make-up, face cleansing, body oil and as a hair serum), a natural soap bar for body, and a natural face serum for moisturising. I also love The Sustainability Project for reusable items and The Green Collective in Kinex Mall for a one-stop shopping trip on all things green!
Can you give us some of your top tips to achieve a more green and conscious lifestyle?
BYO is first and foremost. If you are not already doing it, make sure your handbag or rucksack for the day consists of: a couple of reusable bags, a water bottle, a reusable coffee cup and a container and cutlery if you know you’ll be eating take-away. It might seem like a lot, but when it’s becomes a habit, you feel so much better for never having to get near a public bin or add to the pile of plastic bags in your own home.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist. Yay, I made it!
That’s fantastic! And which female are you inspired by?
Zero Waste pioneer Bea Johnson - I’m in awe of her jar. To be able reduce all your waste and be left with one small jar a year, is not normal, it’s just really crazy impressive.
It’s mind blowing! So what is your philosophy on motherhood?
Finding the balance. Happy mother, happy kids right? But finding out what makes you happy as a woman OTHER than being a mother. For me, I felt a loss of identity for a couple of years, when my focus was 100% kids and although I had all the time for them, I wasn’t really 100% there or 100% happy. I realised that for me, having a career or passion that didn’t involve my role as a mother was essential to feel ‘me’ and enjoy my kids. Quality over quantity. (That said, entrepreneurship eats away some of the quality time too!)
Where is your fave place in the world?
That is so unbelievably tough to answer. But Galapagos Islands in Ecuador is probably the most unique place I’ve ever been to. I love spreading the word about favourite travel spots though, which is why I also host a travel blog with my kids, TripsByKids.
What inspired you to start your online platform, orgayana?
I’ve always been quite hooked on exploring health advice and trends, particularly after losing my dad to cancer and going through a tough time with a brain tumour myself. Trying to get our 3rd child, I also underwent four miscarriages and consequently started looking a my diet and health when the doctors had given up. Out of this came Chris, and he stayed.
My interest in health and sustainable lifestyle started earlier though - I grew up in Denmark, in a house with a vegetable garden, fruit trees, compost and recycling bins. And with the move to Singapore, I found it hard to find answers to many of my green questions, and thought: perhaps I could help answer them AND spread the word in Singapore, by doing a one-stop shop with great tips and advice on healthy and sustainable lifestyle? Well, orgayana was born.
What do you love most about your work?
I get to combine my competences, my passions and do good for the planet - all at the same time. That’s pretty unique I find and I feel incredibly blessed.
Anything that you know now you wish you’d known as a start-up mumpreneur?
How mentally and physically draining it is to wear ten different hats, where nine of them is doing something you haven’t done before. If I was to advise myself now, I would probably say chillax a bit - you can only do so much and rushing things and stressing does not make you a good advocate for a green lifestyle! - And team up with a partner, so when things get hard, you’re not all alone.
Really great advice, thank you! And what’s been your career highlight?
If I could possibly sum up the past year - creating a lifestyle magazine from scratch, doing incredible interviews with big change makers, presenting talks on less waste…. I guess my career highlight is that I have pushed my boundaries again and again, all while founding a media that can actually make a difference for people as well as for the planet.
And ok, interviewing Bradley Cooper in my the old tv-days was also pretty cool..
OK you win with the Bradley interview! And what have been your biggest lessons learned being a mum?
You cannot be present with your children while working or with any type of device in your hand. Be there a 100% or don’t be there at all.
What's been your proudest moment as a parent to date?
I can’t pick one. But my two eldest being elected as eco-warrior representatives at school - completely on their own initiate - made their eco-mum very proud. And just shows how important role modelling is - showing it, rather than telling it.
And finally, any funny parenting story to share?
I guess those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. All in the last month: Sienna, seven, cutting her fringe down to 2cm, because the hair was ‘in the way’. Or when Chris, two, drew a ‘firetruck’ on the sofa, so he could add to his collection. Or when Philip, nine, thought adding a bottle of liquid soap into the condo jacuzzi pool would just feel like a giant bath and not messy or problematic at all. Joy of kids, they do make me laugh a lot more than cry, thankfully.
You can read more about living a more conscious lifestyle on Mathilde's platform orgayana.
And.. we are co-hosting a special Kids' Eco Warrior festival with orgayana and the Green Collective on June 1st, 2019! You can RSVP on the event page here.