The passion and the pride shines through Clémentine Galey’s work. Since April 2018, she has been the queen of motherhood podcasts in France with her Bliss Stories.

Words by Yasmin Arrigo,
Global Editorial Director, Amplify.

Each Monday, she shares an unfiltered story via her podcast and the brand’s footprint has grown beyond audio into IRL experiences and physical products. Accustomed to sharing the personal journey of others, here we turn the tables and share hers...

Blissful beginnings

When I started Bliss Stories it was really in response to a personal need, and also a need of
women around me – like one of my sisters who was pregnant at the time and who would ask me plenty of questions around pregnancy and labour. When I would answer her sincerely, honestly and spontaneously, she responded by saying “If you hadn’t spoken to me this way, who would?” And that made me realise that even in 2018, many women that had a huge amount of information to access on so many platforms still didn’t know what went on in a labour room and knew even less about what to do when they took their baby home. The idea was to respond to this urgent need and lack of information and this invisibility of a whole part of a woman’s life.

A world of stories

At the start, people thought I would run out of content and be covering the same ground or
not have enough personal stories coming through. Having been a casting director for years
and knowing how hard it is to find a good story and teller, I knew instinctively that there
was a rich font of stories. Bliss Stories is about women and motherhood stories – the scope
is infinite. We receive around 500 requests to share stories each month, there are just so
many voices out there that want to be heard. This community is my fuel and it is so organic,
always communicating and it brings me so much gratitude. The feedback on how sharing
stories and receiving the information has helped is my motivation every day.

The power of community

When I started, I also launched an Instagram account to draw in women and mothers that
used the platform. I already knew mothers on the platform were vocal. But at that time, they
would only show the attractive side of pregnancy – with beautiful, filtered photos with a
really soft and lovely outlook. What I really wanted was to take away those Insta filters, to
take them away from that way of communicating dictated by the perfect aesthetic and to
talk about real life. It was by infiltrating this community of extremely powerful Insta mums
that I was able to go on and set up my own. Connections snowballed and we now have 180K followers and we are a family – we’ve formed bonds and are like an army of women who are working together to help relay information, and that’s so powerful.

The main aim of this project was also to create an appointment. My episodes come out every Monday. Having spoken to other entrepreneurs, it is quite difficult to create a place for people to gather, like a safe space where you know there is no judgement, where we’ll listen and give tips. But I think we’ve earned this unconditional trust of our audiences. So we now have to honour this trust every Monday and via all the other products we’ve discovered via Bliss. My community pulls me up because it has high standards and I owe it to them to be my best.

Defining the universe

In France, there was no media that covered maternity and motherhood in depth. Bliss Stories launched to give women a platform to discuss the subjects in this way. It was about creating a space for women to use and to share information that had real meaning for them. Since launch we have built 40 million listens in five years, which is quite phenomenal for the podcast market in France, so clearly it found its target. I wanted to accompany women right to the end of the journey with specific content. So beyond the podcast, we have developed paid audio shows, physical products plus a book and a live show. We have Bliss Bump, an audio guide which is about preg- nancy, featuring month-by-month information.

To continue helping, we wanted to create physical products to stand out from the audio. Bliss Vanity is our survival kit for post-pregnancy, created with cosmetics brand Talm. Our first drop was a big commercial hit with our listeners and suddenly this product became emblematic of our community.

The idea of the Bliss ecosystem was always to be coherent and to always maintain the values and draw various threads together from the mother ship that is the podcast. Recently, Bliss became a live show. I didn’t just want this to be a version of the podcast recorded on a stage, I wanted an evening to celebrate women and motherhood and I wrote the show I wanted to watch. It is a lively and entertaining show that also provided information and was emotional and imparted both trust and good vibes, so women would leave the venue with self-confidence and power and the belief that they are capable of anything – like a superhero. It shares the same values as the podcast, Bliss Bump and Bliss Vanity.

Ditch the manual

I didn’t set out to create a brand, I created a medium first that became a brand. I went so slowly, with lots of uncertainty and innocence and ignorance of traditional strategy, and by not knowing how to do something sometimes, without a manual, you can work better. It meant I had complete freedom in terms of possibilities and listened to my instincts. I have a lot of faith in projects that come from within. When you have a project that comes from your gut and your heart, it carries a lot of truth.