Apryl Munro and Sarah Lajeunesse have always worked within labels and titles. They were TV news reporters, they were women, wives, and then they became moms. That last one was the one they liked the most, but it came with greater challenges.
“In TV news it’s hard to be both a career woman and a mom,” Apryl says of her time juggling her job at Breakfast Television and raising her son. “I would be at work in the middle of the night and miss all kinds of things when Cooper woke up in the morning. I loved my job, but I loved my family more.”
Sarah had the same conflict. Working very long days at a production company in Markham, her family would eat dinner at 7pm when she got home, or worse, eat without her. “Our family needed balance, and in my head I had to figure out how I could be a mom and still do the job I loved.” That would come in 2016, when the two founded This Kinda Life, a lifestyle vlog based in Barrie.
It allowed them to work from home around their kids’ schedules but still do videos in the city they loved. Focusing on local people, local events and local issues, but from a unique female perspective, TKL was hard to put in a box. They were compared to Mommy Bloggers, identified as local media, considered a talk show to highlight the community. Now they embrace all the titles that come at them.
In the age of digital media where the rules are not as black and white as they are on TV, TKL found that there was some freedom in not being stuck to a label like TV show or vlog that identifies them. Except for one that they steadfastly believe in: REAL.
“We hear all the time what people like about TKL is how real it is,” Sarah says. “And that’s what we strive for every day. If it’s not real and not offering a window into our own female issues and struggles, then we’re not doing our jobs. I wish someone out there told me I’d be peeing my pants all the time after having kids!”
This Kinda Life produces three to four videos a week using the ladies’ skills in broadcasting, and is shared through social media. The women say they chose that platform because people were getting their information through Facebook and Twitter more than the traditional ways. From the get-go, the community caught on. Their weekly chat shines a humourous spotlight on their world behind the cameras, and one segment called Keys to the City of Barrie with Pratt Homes, brings local events to life, and is popular among viewers.
The mix of community coverage, entertaining dialogue, their unapologetic realness, as well as tips and tricks with local businesses have made This Kinda Life a hit. It only continues to grow.
TKL has teamed up with 93.1 Fresh FM, producing online content for the Fresh Mom’s Club.
“TKL is a labour of love and it’s so great that people are embracing it,” Apryl says. “For us, it allows us to have more in our lives. We can be Apryl and Sarah: Moms, wives, friends, women, business owners, community members at all the same time. Not just one or the other. It’s exactly the balance we were longing for.”
This Kinda Life may not fit into one box, but these pioneers of Barrie’s digital media wave prefer it that way!
You can see more of TKL online at tklmedia.ca