Friends and family of 30-year-old blogger Tamsin Hopkins are taking her business more seriously since she won a coveted national award.
Tamsin, from Stansfield, Sudbury, writes about her eco and green lifestyle, as well as chronic and rare health conditions, on her website Eco Fluffy Mama at www.ecofluffymama.com.
With 10,000 followers, she earns her living by being affiliated to brands she is absolutely passionate about, having advertising on her website, and by writing carefully-selected sponsored posts.
Tamsin was recently crowned winner of the green and eco category at The UK Blog Awards, which this year attracted 2,000 entries and more than 96,000 public votes.
Having been nominated by her fans, she was judged on the layout, usability and content of her website.
She said: “My family thought what I doing was a waste of time, but they are taking my job more seriously now that they can see I am earning a living and have won an award.
“My fiancé Chris has always been very supportive of what I do, as have my friends.”
Tamsin said she was always interested in the environment but originally wrote blogs about fitness.
Blogging is growing as a profession and is particularly popular with digitally-confident young people in their 20s, she says.
“After my son was born, I became more interested in items such as cloth nappies and the zero waste movement.
“I am horrified by what happens to waste in this country and I realised there were lots of great eco products and brands out there for people to choose from, so now I blog about everything, from eco-friendly products to compostable toothbrushes,” she said.
Due to her own chronic health conditions – and her role as a mum – working from home and blogging has been the ideal career choice.
In future, she plans to hold workshops to educate people about zero waste and reusable products, and hopes to challenge the fashion industry which she says is a culprit for waste.
She wants to encourage people to opt for swapping or donating clothing, rather than constantly buying and throwing things away.
Companies and her readers have sent her green products which she donates to a women’s shelter in Bury St Edmunds, as well an organisation in Ipswich supporting homeless people.
A spokesman for the awards said: “With the continual growth of social platforms and blogging, the potential for brands, businesses and individuals to cultivate mutually-beneficial relationships with bloggers is enormous.
“The event recognises and awards the power bloggers have to highlight products, services and individuals, then champion them among their audiences.”