Yesterday I braved the winter precipitation to attend Claire Sulmers', founder of FashionBombDaily, book signing and Q & A session at Indigo Bleu Design and Culture Center in Philly.
I had just finished her new book, The Bomb Life, the day before so it was a pretty cool experience for me to read her memoir one day and be able to ask her about it the very next.
I review the book below.
The venue was filled with fabulously dressed brown folks and the vibe was friendly. Everyone showed pure enthusiasm for Claire and the brand that she's built. To be totally honest, she's only been on my radar for a few months, although I've followed FBD on IG for a few years. I began seeing her in interviews and and hearing her name more and more so when an #instafriend DM'd me the post about her Philly event, I was intrigued. I immediately downloaded her book on Amazon and finished it in 2 days. Attending her event the next day was my opportunity to place a personality to the online image and I must say that Claire seemed very transparent, genuinely grateful to her audience, and sincerely helpful to up and coming entrepreneurs who sought her advice in the Q & A session.
Here are 10 key gems of advice from Claire during the interview/Q & A:
1. Fill a void! Claire began FashionBombDaily because the Elle's and Vogue's of the world that she (and I ) poured over in her youth failed to reflect the magic and diversity of brown skin beauties. So she did it, with a vengeance.
2. Pay your dues. Claire took her fair share of unpaid internships and awful jobs to gain experience, build relationships and learn the business of fashion and journalism. Expect to do the same.
3. Be yourself and don't compromise your morals. Claire gives praise to Christ for her success and sanity. Whether or not doing so turns some people off is not her concern. You can't please everyone so you may as well be true to yourself.
4. Provide a service that serves the world. Your blog or business won't be successful unless it benefits others.
5. Dealing with bullies: Prayer. Also, wait it out. Negative people won't have longevity.
6. Being fearless: Go boldly in the direction of your dreams. Believe in yourself!
7. Be very discerning of who you allow in your inner circle. Be wary of people who attempt to plant seeds of insecurity in your mind. Good vibes only!
(I have this phrase on the wall of my home office.)
8. You're going to get a lot of rejection (in any venture.) Never give attention to those who don't support you. Focus on those who do.
9. People give up too easily! Do absolutely EVERYTHING possible to make sure you succeed (within reason, obviously.)
10. Do one thing really well (before jumping to the next thing) then get a team/process to takeover while you proceed to the next venture.
I had a lovely time at #ConvoswithClaire and will continue to pump my fist to her success.
Very well written, Claire takes us on a trek that begins in her middle-class childhood to understand her addiction to fashion and its source. Fashion has been an armor in her life shielding her from the judgments of more affluent classmates and it's even changed her professional life as she upgraded and defined her own personal signature style.
But beyond the superficialities of staying trendy, The Bomb Life dives into the real grit-work Claire endured to become one of the the world's most influential style bloggers. From moving to Paris without a job to being used and (emotionally) abused by a fellow Ivy League boyfriend, to making a prosperous living in business as a fashion blogger, The Bomb Life shares the good, the bad, and the fabulous!
Claire is smart, tenacious, fearless, and has proven that she will not lose (her personal motto.)
I highly recommend the book.