In Conversation With…Samara Brown

Words and photography by Emily Nardini

UV have the nearest and dearest of friends. They’re more like sisters. In those friends, some are Yummy Mummy’s. Majority are all working mama’s. UV being feminists, we’re aware of the gender pay gap and all that inequality. We thought by interviewing one of our best mama friends, we could get more of an insight on how they feel with the expectation of “work like they don’t have kids and mother like they don’t work”. We channel, Samara and her little man Mavarni (beautiful or what?!), in the traditional white top/blue jeans/white background attire. The inspiration came from a photoshoot my own fam participated in the 90’s. We get Samara Brown’s thoughts on what it’s like to be a working mama in 2019…

My girl Samara! How you feeling?

I am feeling good today, woke up in a positive light knowing I was going to have a lush photoshoot with my boy and the weather is beautiful

For those that don’t know you, what’s your main job and your creative job?

My main job is Assistant Office Administrator for a call centre in the outsourcing/offshoring industry and then I love to do hairdressing in my free time or when I can but my main passion is braiding

What’s it like basically working full-time then going home doing hair?

It’s obviously hard being a mum and having to work full time so I wish I could do my job on reduced hours then I would have more time for the creative side of things when it comes to my hairdressing. I feel like working full time takes that passion out of what I love about hairdressing just from being so tired but I have regular clients that I want to keep happy

What was it like coming off maternity and any opinions on maternity overall?

It was very difficult for me at first as when I was on maternity you get to spend day in and day out with your baba then all of a sudden it stops. Also because I couldn’t commit to full time hours straight away, I was unable to be placed back into my previous role as an Office Manager so I had to learn a whole other role. You do get used to it, being away from your child and it does get easier but I still have bad days

What’s your thoughts on how the work place treats working mothers?

I believe they don’t do enough for working mothers or fathers. Majority of the time it is the mothers that have to take a whole year break from any career building, earning a full time wage and even some independence. My work didn’t have any extra employee benefits other than providing us with extra unpaid leave throughout the year which helps but isn’t the best. I found it incredibly hard to live off of statutory maternity pay. Like Sweden for example, they pay 80% of wages to both parents who take leave for up to 420 days and then a reduced amount for another 90. I had to come back to work as maternity pay stops in the UK after 9 months

Absolutely agree with you babe! What do you inspire to do creatively in the future?

I grew up as a mixed raced child with really thick coarse Afro Caribbean hair, my mum had no knowledge on how to handle my type of hair and growing up I was bullied a lot for my hair being messy/out of control. Eventually my mum learned how to do single braids but couldn’t always find the time to do it as I had so much. My main goal for the future involves a solution to that. Just need a little money behind me

What does feminism mean to you?

To me it means balance, equality and treating everyone the same but at the same time we as women have been oppressed for so long. We want to make a statement and we want to make it now

Any wise words for UV and working/full-time mama’s?

As a working full time mum, I barely have time to myself so I would always say don’t ever forget about you and having you time

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