Kirsty-Nicole Hadley aka Kirsti International is many things, but she will never know how she has single handedly taught me what the word 'experiential' means and how this very word sums up my entire career/existence. So Kirsti...cheers babes!

Aside from educating me, she is officially the coolest chick in town, she represents talented talent, she DJs, partners with wicked brands, brings them to the masses and organises fabulous events where you always leave feeling empowered and ready to start a girl gang/band. Kirsti lives in Brighton with her boyfriend, her kid Sonny and their pug, but with so many peeps wanting a piece of her I wanted to know Fatboy Slim stylee (Brighton innit) "Where's HER head at?"


Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?

We are probably all a bit of both I think aren't we! 

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?

I turn to telly! I mean I study the televisual arts - this is a valid hobby yes? SUCH a Brummie, It just really helps me to switch off the stress and be consumed by something away from whatever it is thats getting on top of me - that in turn gives my brain the break it needs to start thinking reasonably and be inspired again - it might not be for everyone but it works a treat for me. 

Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?

I don’t believe normal is a word that should be used to describe people at all.
— Kirsti International

Yeah my friends and I are all very open about everything - it's so important that we share the bad stuff as well as the good, it makes us all feel more normal, not that any of us are, I don't believe normal is a word that should be used to describe people at all. 

How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?

Sonny recently asked why he's different from everyone else and so I explained that its good to be different and that as an adult that's what you strive for but I think sometimes we can tend to tell them too much about how its going to be and not pay attention enough to how it is right now - for me the most important thing i've learned is that everything doesn't have to be ok all the time for us or for them and that THAT is actually fine and as parents we don't have to FIX everything immediately for our kids - we need to guide them enough so that they start to know how to fix things for themselves.

Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)

The kid, my boyfriend, my dog, my boyfriends mum, my m8s, exercise and if it really is going tits up then a couple of days on the sofa with a duvet usually does the trick - there is absolutely zero shame in wanting or needing to do fuck all for a couple of days AND I have been toying with the idea of therapy for myself this year - i'm 45 in March and it feels like a good time for a spring clean of the brain, i've always had a bit of a temper (runs in my family) which i've only just realised is learned behaviour so I'm on a mission to get rid before I pass it on to my son. 

What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)

The kid, my boyfriend, my dog, my boyfriends mum, my m8s, having a dog and having to exercise the dog daily is actually genius for the mind body and soul - I would highly recommend it AND my work for sure - I'm lucky to be able to make enough money to make working for myself a viable option and the excitement of a new project never gets old.

Is it hard to talk about your mental health? (Doesn't mean on Instagram necessarily, but do you feel the stigma is lifting and do you feel safe to speak your mind, even if it is possibly 'mental'?)

I don't find it hard at all but I'm a very open person in my old age - I didn't used to be when I was younger because I just thought no-one wanted to hear depressing stuff but that's definitely changed - we are heading in the right direction and getting closer every day to a space where no-one has to suffer in silence any more.

A long time ago when the care in the community bill had just been passed I worked with patients that were being housed in their own homes for the first time and one of those people was a downs syndrome man in his 50's called Nobby - he was adorable and I know he wouldn't mind me saying that he looked just like Humpty Dumpty - he was also well cheeky and used to pinch my bum when I was teaching him how to cook - we had such a good understanding of one another even though Nobby couldn't talk, NOT because he was born without the power of speech but because he was kept in a cupboard under the stairs at home as a child, with very little human interaction - it's impossibly sad and something we can't believe would ever happen and yet it was in our lifetime. THANK FUCK we have come a long way since. 

Where’s your head at? 

V excited for the year ahead - i've already confirmed monthly talks at Shoreditch House which was a big goal for this year and i'm eternally grateful for the guys at Soho House believing in us AND we've just bought our very first house which is something I wasn't sure was ever going to be achievable for us so all is ace BUT that doesn't stop me feeling slightly un motivated on this monday afternoon and that's fine too, i'm going to pick out the jobs that are enjoyable today and leave the not so fun ones until tomorrow AND i've just watched the Oprah Golden Globes speech and I suggest everyone does the same immediately!!!! 

Soft Play or Rehab?

SOFT PLAY although horrific is an absolute life saver for mums of energetic boys on rainy days!!! We actually have one on the pier in Brighton which is marginally less VOM inducing than the rest! 

Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?

Jacobs Cracker - I like wine but I will always prefer food when push comes to shove.

Nut Job or Nut Allergy?


Self Care or Self Sabotage?

It depends what your definition of self care is - mine really is being a good mum, working hard and being able to find a clean pair of socks in the morning! If I'm not ticking all of thee boxes i'm sabotaging myself. I'm all about little actions that make a difference on a daily basis - like the knowing where the socks are - on a bad day that could tip me right over the edge in the morning rush! 

Journal or jog?

I am a massive list maker so its journal but I need to make it both - I love running when I do it - I just don't do it often enough.

Ask for help or happy to hermit?

My life motto is "if you don't ask you don't get" so I think that speaks for itself - shy bairns get no milk in this life. Work out what you want and go get it, ask for the help but always repay the favours and give help without wanting anything in return - thats the golden rule. 

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Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.