I wanted to tell you about me. But then it felt really one-sided. So let’s talk about YOU first, shall we? Let me guess. You’re:
Did I nail it? Please tell me I at least got 5 things right about you!! Now that I know the basics about you (still waiting on you to DM me your favorite TV show – your girl needs RECS), we can get to answering your most important questions about me, CLARE!
• What was your personality like at a young age?
Childhood was very good to me in general and I was lucky. My dad is super hardworking and paid his way through his education to become a lawyer. He always made sure we had what we needed, and I’m very grateful for that and aware of the privileges it awarded me. My mom is the best mom in the world. She would sit with me and help me create fairy villages out of sticks and leaves. She’d tell me and my brother crazy imaginative stories to help us fall asleep. We always moved. I think we moved like 8 times growing up. We always had dogs and pets and friends running around. It was pretty chaotic but my parents have a great sense of humor so I remember laughing a lot. I was always creative. I loved to draw and create little worlds on paper. I will say that I remember I cried a LOT, to the point my mom refers to one whole summer as “the crying summer”. The truth is, I was struggling with OCD but didn’t know how to vocalize it. I was terrified of stepping on cracks, and had intrusive thoughts all day long about my family dying traumatically. I had a great childhood, but for some reason I developed OCD. It came and went throughout my life, and I don’t blame my parents for not catching it since most of it was going on inside of my head, and I didn’t like to talk about it. On the other hand, I had great friends. I’m an introvert, but I thrive with close friendships, so in every stage of my life I’ve kept a handful of my friends close to my chest. I was smart, and entrepreneurial; always tried to create little businesses, from lemonade stands to greeting card businesses to lip gloss companies. I haven’t changed at all, really! Aside from developing an affinity for sauvignon blanc and reality TV ;-).
• How did you and B meet?
We met at a party junior year. I always thought he was super handsome, and so my best friend Mary essentially forced us to kiss. The rest was history lol. We both always knew we’d get married so never gave ourselves a plan B or the option to give up on each other. He is my best friend and the most supportive person in my life. He’s also an ANGEL to me and the fact that he’s 6’4″ isn’t too bad either 😉
• Do you genuinely like being an influencer?
I love content creation, I love storytelling, and the free stuff is great (obviously). I LOVE working with brands I have admired forever, and the best part is getting to know my followers and knowing I bring brightness to their day. But the flip side is that it’s overwhelming and toxic. That said, I am learning to love it again. And the only way I can do that is by truly connecting with my audience, speaking to you all in my DMs, and reading your kind and thoughtful comments. I am working on tuning out the negativity so I can focus on creating beautiful content and products, and I can feel it starting to work. I worry about my future, how this lifestyle will affect my kids one day. It’s all one step at a time, but I know that if I focus on the good, the rest will fall into place. Overall, I want to create beautiful things. My platform gives me the chance to do that, along with opportunities to become more than “just an influencer”.
• Are you related to the founders of J. McLaughlin?
No affiliation whatsoever. I guess Irish names are really that common!
• How did you get into doing this?
Doing what?! JK. Well, I went to Parsons to get my MFA in Interior Design. That’s where the design side fits in. When I graduated, it was 2020, so I couldn’t get a job at an interior design firm due to the pandemic. So, I decided to take a risk and start selling my art to make money. I worked super hard, didn’t make much money at all, but was able to pay my bills and rent and get groceries. After about a year of doing that, I started sharing my art on TikTok. Looking back, the videos were laughable. They were super slow moving and not engaging at all, so they received no views. One day in April, I cleaned my apartment and took a video of it to show off some of my artwork which was hanging on the walls. I was hoping to promote my art prints to get sales, but what happened was actually much more exciting – the video went semi-viral and people seemed to like my apartment. And that was the beginning of “this”!
• What are your long term goals?
I want to build an empire! Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss, amiright?! But actually, I want to have a multifaceted company that sells beautiful, thoughtfully designed home products. I’d love to have a media branch. I want to write a book about all things #BudgetLuxury! I’m a huge believer in manifesting, so putting these crazy things out there to the world is all part of that. Above all, I want to bring joy and beauty to people’s homes.
• What is your daily schedule?
Unfortunately, and you’re not gonna love this answer, I don’t have one. Every day looks different since my job is so unique. I can tell you today’s schedule, though!
And the rest of the day will probably consist of working until around 8 PM, cooking an easy dinner and then winding down with Bravo on in the background.
• What helps with your anxiety?
The best thing I do for my anxiety is treat it with medication and see a therapist. This is my favorite meditation if I’m having bad anxiety. I take CBD every night, which I think helps. These are my favorite gummies and my code is CLAREMCLAUGHLIN for 15% off. I write in this journal every morning and night, and it honestly did change my life for the better. I’m happier and more grateful for what I have. Usually if I’m going through an anxious phase, I can trace the cause to not treating my body right. Maybe I went out and drank too much over the weekend or I’ve been working myself to the bone and can’t sleep because of it. If I take a second to evaluate how my body feels and what I can do to adjust, it usually help alleviate my anxiety.
• What inspires your style?
Real life. We spend so much time being oversaturated with imagery and inspiration on our phones. But I’ve found that my best inspiration comes from leaving the house, going on a walk. Sometimes peering into a brownstone to see the homeowner’s kitchen layout (anyone else guilty of being creepy?) will help me rethink a design project. Or, walking through a gorgeous store like Williams Sonoma will inspire me to beautify a new project in my apartment. Something about seeing and doing things IRL helps my creativity much more than the doomscrolling on my phone. Everyone is trying to look the same, so remember not to get caught up in what people’s homes look like on social media. Be yourself. Decorate with things you truly love.
Let’s wrap this up. I only got to the tip of the question iceberg, so I’ll make a part two soon!