Name: Sam Sparrow & Lea Rice, AKA The High Tea Cast
Blog: The High Tea Cast (www.thehighteacast.co.uk)
When did you start blogging?
July 2011 (but both started before then)
What inspired you to start blogging?
We met for the first time in June 2011, after contributing on a mutual friend’s podcast. Through a haze of Jaegerbombs and cupcakes we hit it off and decided we really wanted to create a podcast of our own, and The High Tea cast was born. Crazily, the blog was an afterthought, but after three years it’s become central to what we do with our incredible crack team of incredible writers and friends. We were fed up of magazines telling us what we should be doing and thinking, and wanted to bring something different to the ears and eyes of intelligent and sharp thinking women (and men) everywhere.
Do you have any other ‘day jobs’?
We do! We both work full time for a national youth volunteering charity (we appear to be glued to the hip!) – Lea works in the digital team managing content and social media, and Sam works in research and innovation, finding crazy ways to support young people. We also run the Sunday breakfast show on Hoxton Radio from 10-12pm.
What are your blogging must-have tools?
Our blog tools are a little different as our podcast is central to what we do. Our MacBooks, fully loaded up with audio software Garageband are our desert island tools! But we also love (and hate in equal measure) WordPress as our platform of choice. Aside from that, Hootsuite is a real lifesaver for us in allowing us to promote our content from across all our platforms to our different audiences.
What is your favourite place to blog from?
As we have a team of about 20 of us, and very very busy lives, we often blog separately from the comfort of our own beds/sofas/spare rooms BUT we love it when we get to spend a whole day planning and blogging, along with our gorgeous deputy editor Michelle. This usually involves a little bit of blogging and lots of cake, messing about and other such shenanigans. We prefer to do things together!
Tell us about your favourite experience through blogging?
The best bit for us about blogging has been the fact that we’ve pretty much met our best friends through it. The people we’ve managed to meet at blogger events has been amazing, and even though our team are dotted about across the country, when we’ve had the chance to meet them (usually over a cocktail or three) it’s always been amazing. Teaching people how to podcast at seminars and conferences has always been a favourite too – we love seeing people’s faces when they realise just how easy – and fun it can be. We really want to get more women into audio.
What inspires you?
We are constantly inspired by the lovely people who write with us as part of Team Tea. Their energy, creativity and above all friendship keeps us super motivated and picks us up when things get us down. Our private facebook group for the team (this is how we communicate with everyone – another must have tool!) is a bit like a therapy session sometimes and we love it! We are also hugely inspired by other ballsy women who are just trying to do things their own way – Caitlin Moran, Alexandra Heminsley, Sali Hughes and Miss Polly Rae are huge influences.
What is your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Time is definitely the biggest barrier for us. We are both nightmarishly busy women and this can lead to immense stress and deadlines – so as the blog and team has grown we’ve had to get hugely organised. This was a real challenge at first as we didn’t know where to start, but once we got a system in place, it allowed us to go back and be both creative and ranty – which is the bit we enjoy most!
Share three of your favourite bloggers with us.
There are SO many bloggers that we love, and the tops ones would be those written by our amazing team – got check them out on our team page! Aside from that, Domestic Sluttery (we are homeware fetishists!), The Vagenda and Bangs from Bangs And A Bun are our go to bloggers!
What are your future plans in the blogosphere?
We are always cooking up major plans, that is what keeps us on our toes! Constantly evolving the podcast format and seeking out some amazing people to interview is top our agenda (we’ve got some incredible interviewees lined up), our new e-newsletter and some e-books will be with us before Summer AND we’ve got six new writers to introduce you to as well. Most of our biggest plans are born out of spontaneity (or the sugar high from a cake binge), so as always, watch this space!
Thanks for chatting to us today Sam and Lea!
This is part of the Blogger Interviews series
Psst… have you got your ticket for Blognix 2014 yet?