Milly Kenny-Ryder lives and works in Peckham, South London
‘Singer, fashionista, eater, arts enthusiast, writer and blogger’… Milly Kenny-Ryder‘s career is almost undefinable; which in itself is so very modern. She has intrigued me since I came across her creation: ‘Weekend Journals: Cornwall‘; a beautiful guide book to the most stylish hotels, restaurants and sights in the county.
It reflects the best of everything that Cornwall has to offer, all wrapped up in a beautifully presented package – an A5 bookazine that costs £15 (worth every penny) and is selling like hotcakes. The photography is elegant, and the writing informative and succinct. It is something to treasure, the perfect coffee table book. I chatted to Milly to find out all about the woman behind it, and how and why it came about.
- How would you describe your job, and how do you juggle it all?
My job is different every day, which keeps it interesting. My daily work load is a balance of creative projects and meetings with like-minded people. To juggle it all I make lists in my diary and try to have quiet evenings as the daytimes can be manic!
- Why the interest in travel writing, and Cornwall, in particular?
I began my blog, thoroughlymodernmilly.com writing about music and theatre in London, as I studied to be a singer. But as my reputation grew I began getting offers to write about places further afield, and this ignited my love for travel. Cornwall is a place I visited often as a child and I think it is a magical part of the world. When I realised there were no stylish guidebooks for this county I felt it was my mission to fill the gap in the market.
- What has been your biggest career setback and how did you overcome it?
Travelling for five months was both my biggest set back and my biggest career starter. It removed me from the writing scene in London, and I became a bit forgotten about. But I continued to write and take photos I was proud of, and it paid off.
- Did you ever feel held back in your career, because you are a woman? If so, how did you conquer that?
Not really, every creative person is an individual, sex is really irrelevant and it is not something I ever really think about. I think inequality in the workplace is mostly confined to more conventional careers, which is perhaps why I have avoided going down that route.
- How have you gained confidence within your working roles? Do you have a favourite ‘job’?
Accept opportunities that are fun and challenging. I have agreed to be on a panel in a few weeks time. The idea terrifies me, but I know it will be good experience and a new skill to master. My favourite job is experiencing something wonderful, whether it is a Michelin-starred meal or a beautiful destination, capturing it and showing it to world through my words and images.
- Work aside, how do you prioritise your social time? Who and what, gets most of your attention?
I have a big family who I love spending time with, so they always come first. My closest friends are all brilliantly creative and successful so we always struggle to fit in time to see each other regularly, which makes it really special when we do have an evening together.
- How do you relax?
A long hot bath and a night in at home.
8. Do you think it is the modern style to have multi-hyphenated job titles? What would you say to women who are interested in starting a similar career?
Yes, definitely. Why confine yourself to one role? It is much more stimulating and exciting to have lots of smaller jobs. I would say, don’t be scared to take the plunge and go freelance or part-time… there are always full time jobs you can go back to.
- Is your blog part of your career plan, or is it just for fun?
It began as a bit of fun but has become the backbone of my career. After eight years of running Thoroughly Modern Milly I can’t really imagine my life without it now!
- Thinking of ‘Weekend Journals’ in particular, what are your three top tips for turning what you love doing, into a business?
- Be Brave
- Have conviction and confidence in your ideas
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Let your ideas evolve naturally.
- What’s next for ‘Weekend Journals’?
We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the first book. Cornwall is selling so well that we are considering a reprint. We begin research for our next book on Provence this summer!
- How ambitious are you? How are you striving for more success?
I think I am very ambitious, but perhaps as I’ve got older I’ve become more realistic with what is achievable. I hope to continue growing the Weekend Journals brand, while also improving on my photography.
- What is your favourite/best social media tool?
Instagram, it is beautiful and I always use it for travel and food tips.
Buy your copy of Weekend Journals: Cornwall, now
Read the other interviews in our ‘inspiring women’ series…
- Sam and Nic, founders of Pixiwoo, here
- Chef and Masterchef winner, Ping Coombes, here
- Fashion and beauty blogger Danie Vanier, here
- Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here
- Kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here
- Lifestyle PR guru Shosh Kazab, here
- Nutrition expert + lots more Yvonne Wake, here
- Writer and social media expert, Susie Verrill, here
- WGSN kids’ fashion editor, Clare Weston, here
Love Cornwall? Read more on FashCatherine…
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CHAPEL HOUSE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [REVIEW + PHOTOS]
ARTIST RESIDENCE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [REVIEW + PHOTOS]
CHAPEL HOUSE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [HOTEL VIDEOS]
ARTIST RESIDENCE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [ROOM TOUR VIDEO]