Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blogmas Day 9: Interview with Clare Brown Meneely!

Hey guys! I hope you're have a good Tuesday and you're not too overwhelmed. I had Hot Professor's final exam this morning, which rendered me completely brain dead, so I'm a little worse for wear. Also oddly enough when I turned my exam in he didn't profess his love for me, which is odd. I mean does he not realize he won't have another opportunity? I don't understand boys.

All jokes aside, today I'm really excited about this blog post, because I had the privilege of being able to interview Clare Brown Meneely, also known to the internet as Clarabelle. I stumbled upon Clare when she was written up in Teen Vogue about a year ago, when I was lost in the sea of potential majors and career goals. Reading about her life and work, I resonated with her and quickly realized she was a huge inspiration to me. I wrote extensively about this in a blog post entitled "I Changed My Life Plan!", so I won't delve too deep into all of that now. Just know this a big exciting deal for me and I hope you enjoy!

For those that don't know, can you give a quick run-down of what you do, both as a profession and as a blogger?
By day, I work in social media at a major beauty company. By night, I write a fashion blog called Clarabelle.

What inspired you to create your fashion blog?
I actually started my blog in grad school. I went to Syracuse and it was very cold and snowy. Not to mention that the work load was tremendous. I rarely left my apartment, and I needed a creative outlet. I started Clarabelle as an entertainment blog. I thought I was going to be the next Perez Hilton! I quickly realized my passion was less in entertainment and more in fashion. So Clarabelle as you know it today was born.

On your blog you call your style "preppy--with an urban twist." How did you come to find your personal style?
I have always been preppy. I grew up in Virginia and southern prep is a big subculture where I grew up. When I moved to NYC, I noticed that preppy dressing was not really the norm. I was very inspired by urban style, but I didn't want to give up my preppy roots. I feel like I created a personal style that is a reflection of the super trendy, edgy styles I see on NYC streets every day, but still stays true to the classic preppy style I love.

The name of my blog is "I Wrote This in Starbucks," because I tend to get inspiration to write in coffee shops. Where do you go when you want to be inspired or need motivation?
I get inspired every day! NYC is full of women who dress better then I could ever imagine. I am constantly inspired and awed by the women around me.

When you were in college, did you know you wanted to eventually work in social media or did you have other career goals in mind?
I didn't even know you could work in social media in college! I thought Facebook was strictly for stalking that cute boy the next dorm over, haha. I set out to find a job in traditional PR and I ended up in social media purely by accident. It was a lucky break, though, because I couldn't imagine any other job!

Do you see any problems that exist for young people who want to create online content now that didn't exist when you started your blog?
I do think starting a blog now is a lot harder than it was five years ago. The market is incredibly cluttered and many of the big bloggers have somewhat of a monopoly on the market. But now there are so many other outlets to build an audience. For me, Instagram has been invaluable in growing my blog and that is a resource I never had before. So while it is harder to start a super successful blog, it is much easier to find your voice and build an audience now.

With that in mind, what advice would you give to people--especially young women--who want to start creating content or want to pursue a career in social media?
First, social media is a growing career field. It is also a great time to be in social media and be an expert. The internet is the future of marketing and brand building, after all. I would say having a great online presence is key to getting a great job in social media. You don't need to have an amazing presence on every platform, but pick one and really blow it out of the park. Think of social media as your new resume. Put up the best version of yourself and be creative.

And finally, just because it's the most wonderful time of the year: what are your favorite holiday movies, songs, and foods?
Yay! My favorite holiday movies are: A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation and Love Actually. It is hard for me to pick a favorite Christmas song. They are all so fun. But if old school Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston sing it, it is hard for me not to love it. Cookies. Christmas cookies for the WIN!



I hope you all enjoyed reading about Clare's career and what she does online. She's a huge inspiration to me personally and I hope at least one of you will pop on over to her blog to check it out. Promise you'll still come back here on occasion though, because I guarantee you'll quickly realize in comparison to her blog I'm basically a monkey behind a MacBook.

If you'd like to contact Clare, visit her website at ClarabelleBlog.com or tweet her @clarabelleCWB
For a reference, I've posted a picture of her from her blog below so you can get a small glimpse into her world.

Clarabelle 2014

And that's from me, y'all! I hope you're having a great night and I'll talk to you again tomorrow!

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." -Coco Chanel (obviously)

x,
Lauren


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