Why The Woman Behind Fashion Bomb Daily Used To Hide Her Identity
Claire Sulmers is the brain behind your favorite fashion page on Insta, Fashion Bomb Daily, but once upon a time she was a regular journalist whose boss refused to move her over to the company’s fashion department.
When she first created the page, kept her identity secret for fear that her boss would discover her personal project and fire her!
But a lot has changed since then and we talked to Claire about how she started her blog, where it’s going, and the secret to being a successful freelancer and social media maven.
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How did you go from a journalist to CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily?
I was working at a home and lifestyle magazine and discovered my passion for fashion and writing. When my requests to join the fashion department at my magazine were denied, I decided to start a blog. And thus, I became the CEO of my own online magazine, FBD.
How can freelance journalists capitalize on their passion?
I’d say to acquire as much diverse experience as possible. Pitch ideas to various magazines and see if any of them result in work. Make those coffee dates and request those informational interviews. It might seem like opportunities arise slowly, but just keep at it. Knock on every door until one opens.
When you were an upcoming journalist, writers were getting fired for having personal blogs, why do you think this was happening and is this still an issue?
It was definitely one of my fears that I would get fired for having a blog. For years, I didn’t reveal my identity. When I would do posts about myself, my head was cut off. WWD wrote an article about bloggers at Fashion Week in 2007, and I concealed my identity for fear of getting caught. Now the times have changed. Everyone has a blog and a social media page, and pursuing interests outside of your job can be seen as an asset.
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What sets your fashion blog apart from others and what was your initial vision for it?
We focus on a very powerful, yet often overlooked demographic: women who love fashion who don’t fit in your typical box. We embrace women of various backgrounds, cultures, races, and body types. Now, mainstream magazines are starting to catch on.
As you’ve grown more successful over the years, what has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
I think the hardest thing is understanding that you have created something valuable and protecting it. I have to be very discerning about who I let close to me, who I share things with, because now I have more to lose.
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What are your views on the representation of women of color in the media and fashion industry?
I think they are improving, but I always yearn for there to be more multilayered, complicated, and balanced representations of women of color in the media. We have seen lots of success, and progress has been made, but I don’t feel as if we are viewed in our totality just yet.
What tips do you have for journalists looking to start their own brands through blogging and becoming brand ambassadors?
I’d say to supply a demand. Think about what your unique experience can offer that no other brand does. Don’t copy what someone else is doing, and if you do, you better blow it out of the water. Focus on creating something a lot of people want or didn’t know they needed. After you have established a strong foundation, then you can look to pursue ambassadorships, etc.