Have a cursory scroll of Marcia Leone’s Instagram (@NotSoMumsy) and you’d be forgiven for thinking her life was picture perfect. In her feed you’ll find an envy-inducing home, equally covetable wardrobe, two beautiful children and a model’s body to boot, but Marcia is the first to tell you that behind the Instagram gloss, nothing could be further from the truth.
After forging a stellar career in media and marketing, former model Marcia was inspired to start her own online platform after she had her son, Archie. “I just couldn’t find an online space that spoke to who I was as a new mum – there was a huge gap between the fashion blogs that I followed pre-motherhood and the mummy blogs all about pureed banana,” she explains. “I wanted to create something in between for the woman who has embraced motherhood but retained her sense of self and style.”
Now an award-winning website, Marcia’s Not So Mumsy encapsulates motherhood’s new mood. “It’s edgy and empowering and strong,” she declares. Recently named one of Sally Hansen’s Self-Made Super Women, Marcia has interviewed celebrity mothers of the likes of Kelly Rowland and Teresa Palmer, both of whom went on to feature her on their own sites, but her biggest success is her two children, who she shares with husband Dave Allison, owner of cult eyewear brand Sunday Somewhere (you might have spied his shades on Beyoncé and Gigi Hadid).
It wasn’t until Marcia struggled to fall pregnant the second time around that she realised Instagram could be harnessed for more than just #inspo of the material variety – she could use it to build, nurture and support a community of women experiencing the same fertility struggles as her. “I didn’t set out to become the poster girl for fertility issues, but I was sharing everything else about motherhood and would have felt like a fraud if I held back,” Marcia admits. “At first I was almost embarrassed by having trouble – I had multiple miscarriages – but each time I opened up on Instagram, the response was overwhelming.”
Now, with six-month-old Poppy Valentine safely in her arms, Marcia is eager as ever to continue to support her online community. “I think creating your own opportunities and having the drive to keep going, despite limitations, is what being a Sally Hansen self-made woman is all about,” she says. Just a week before Poppy came along, she launched a maternity sleepwear label with the aim of donating proceeds to charity, and there’s a childrenswear launch on the horizon. “One of the driving forces for me was building up my platform to the stage where it’s big enough to raise social awareness and raise funds,” she explains. So far, she’s partnered with Mother to Mother, Preemptive Love and the Children’s Hospital, and she’s just wrapped a Christmas campaign for Oxfam.
Working around the clock on her clothing line, website and charity work while mothering two children, Marcia is proud to call herself a Sally Hansen self-made woman. “I left my career to be a stay-at-home mum while my husband launched his company, but on the side created this platform for myself, and worked around his travel schedule, the baby and all these other limitations to create something that sustained and fulfilled me, and gave me another purpose,” she reflects. “Becoming a mother has hands-down been my best achievement and to get to celebrate that every day on Not So Mumsy is my why.”
Through her website, Marcia has learnt firsthand what can happen when women support other women. Her vision of Sally Hansen’s Shetopia – an ideal world created by and for women – is one where we “all genuinely support each other without judgement.”
“When women do try to build each other up, we really are unstoppable,” she says. “Being able to emulate the sense of sisterhood and community I experience online in the real world would be amazing.”