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Family business Dublin mum tells how daughter Miss Ella May became an Instagram star at age of 4

What started off as playing dress up with her little girl for Kelly Fitzsimons (30), has transformed into a fully-fledged business as both mother and daughter have become a hugely popular account on the grid.

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Ella May and her mum, Kelly, who created a huge following for Ella on Instagram by sharing photos of her in stylish outfits

Ella May and her mum, Kelly, who created a huge following for Ella on Instagram by sharing photos of her in stylish outfits

Ella May and her mum, Kelly, who created a huge following for Ella on Instagram by sharing photos of her in stylish outfits

Five years ago, Mum & Me got a lesson in sass from a five-year-old. That five-year-old was Miss Ella May, the most talented, if not tiniest, fashion blogger to ever grace our cover.

Bouncing on a hopper between shoots, the pint-sized social-media giant was on course to hit a whopping 20,000-plus followers because of her daily outfit posts.

Today, little has changed, except for the fact that the Miss Ella May show has become a double act, now that her equally sartorial-savvy mum has stepped in front of the ring light.

What started off as playing dress up with her little girl for Kelly Fitzsimons (30), has transformed into a fully-fledged business as both mother and daughter have become a hugely popular account on the grid.

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lla May and her mum, Kelly

lla May and her mum, Kelly

lla May and her mum, Kelly

Closing in on 80,000 followers, @missellamayandmommy has secured scores of high-profile campaigns and ambassadorial roles, but that's not about to go to the office worker's head.

"Instagram has always been there and has always been part of our life. I started this when Ella (10) was four because I loved dressing her as a baby, and I always got so many questions about her clothes. I used to only be behind the camera, but now, I am in front of it too.

"To see the numbers on Instagram go so high is a little crazy because I am just a normal Joe Soap. I think people can relate to me because I am just me in a tracksuit and a hun-bun.

"If I put up a picture of me with makeup on, it is catfish level 100. People are just there for the baking and the cake."

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Kelly and her Instagram star Ella May

Kelly and her Instagram star Ella May

Kelly and her Instagram star Ella May

Aside from the collaborations and sponsorship deals, the businesswoman has just one concern: "I always say to Ella, 'What is the main thing I want you to be? And Ella says, 'To be kind.' It doesn't matter about your exterior, once you are a kind, nice person, that's all that matters."

A soundbite Kelly echoed five years ago, during our interview on set.

"I asked Ella May to describe herself in three words. She said, 'Kind, friendly and famous.' I told her, 'You're not famous, you're just a normal little girl.' That's not why I started the account, I didn't make it for recognition."

For Kelly, who was forced to reschedule her wedding three times due to Covid-19 restrictions, working alongside her mini-me on fashion posts and creative endeavours has been nothing short of a dream.

"Instagram has allowed me to work part-time and spend more time with Ella, which I never thought I would ever be able to do. I was working two jobs last year at Christmastime and now we have had so many opportunities. I love working on outfit posts together.

"Since lockdown, I am up 25,000 followers, but I am also aware that the older Ella has gotten, the less interest she has in it and the less interest I have in putting her out there, in case she's walking up the road one day and someone says something mean to her."

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Ireland’s most fashionable youngster, mini Instagram star Ella May shows off her fabulous style

Ireland’s most fashionable youngster, mini Instagram star Ella May shows off her fabulous style

Ireland’s most fashionable youngster, mini Instagram star Ella May shows off her fabulous style

Far from being a stage mom, Kelly reveals: "I'm not going to stand there and take a picture if she doesn't want to. Now, if Ella does get a job, it's because she wants to do it. She knows it is work and the money will go into her savings account, or she knows she can buy something - it gives her a little work ethic.

"Right now, I don't know if I would like to do it full-time. I do like having the security of working in an office. You don't know what way this is going to go. Instagram could be gone tomorrow and then what have I got?"

The mum and daughter may not have a five-year plan, but they have certainly been on a journey.

"I was 19 when I had Ella, and we grew up together, essentially. When I am 40, she will be 21 a couple of months after.

"I thought I was fully prepared when I was pregnant for everything to come, but no one prepared me for just how much I'd love her.

"I find it very hard to draw the line between parent and friend with Ella because we are so close. She really is just a smaller version of myself. The attitude, the sassiness - she's brilliant."

Fans may relish the fashion posts, interiors, baking and recipes, but Kelly, who also makes bespoke bows (kella.ie), espouses body positivity on her page - a message that has really enamoured her to the masses.

"I grew up wanting to be smaller and fitting a certain frame, and I don't want Ella to ever feel like that. It doesn't matter what size she is. I think a lot of people can relate to how I feel about my body. I will never speak negatively about myself or my body in front of Ella. I would never say, 'Oh, I feel so fat today,' because if she hears me saying that, she will say it about herself.

"I struggle with it daily. I comfort eat beyond belief and it is a vicious circle. It is so hard. Slowly, slowly I have come around, and now I say 'This is me.'

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Kelly shared a body-positive photo of herself in a bikini with her young Instagram-star daughter back in 2016 when Ella May was six

Kelly shared a body-positive photo of herself in a bikini with her young Instagram-star daughter back in 2016 when Ella May was six

Kelly shared a body-positive photo of herself in a bikini with her young Instagram-star daughter back in 2016 when Ella May was six

"There is more to life than worrying about your body. I think that's why people are attracted to my page, I give them a dose of normality."

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