*DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT SPONSORED/NOR WAS I GIVEN THE BOOK. These opinions are 1000% my own*
It was the first week out of school, and I was anxious to delve into something that has NOTHING to do with Urban Policy. Enter: The Bomb Life.
Two weeks ago, I attended Claire Sulmers’ “Conversations with Claire.” And while the conversations were fruitful and the drinks were flowing, I wanted to learn more about the Fashion Bomb brand and how Claire rose to be the force that she is today. At the time, I wasn’t curious about being a boss, bombshell, and beauty–but after reading her book, I realized that I have potential to be someone/something more. Also, since I was featured on Fashion Bomb Daily in the past, so you already know my interests were piqued before attending the event. Before we get into the book, just wanted to give a little bio on the Fashion Bomb Daily:
Created in August 2006 by journalist Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily provides daily doses of chic to savvy stylistas. Recognizing there were few print and online sources for multicultural fashion, Claire took her interests in style and writing to create the number one online destination for global chic seekers with a penchant for all things fabulous. Readers log on to The Fashion Bomb for its fresh takes on fashion news and stories, along with its boutique spotlights, exclusive editorials, magazine scans, fashion show reviews, trends, wardrobe advice, celebrity looks for less, and tips on how to break into the industry from the best in the business.With 2.4 million monthly visitors, The Fashion Bomb made Ebony Magazine’s 2011 Power 100 List, while Claire was named Black Blogger of the Month by Black Enterprise, and was dubbed Blogger of the Moment by Teen Vogue. Well respected in the industry, The Fashion Bomb has been referenced in New York Magazine, featured in Glamour, and quoted in Time. Claire is a regular contributor to Essence.com and Vogue.it.
BOSS right? Now, I know that this life isn’t for everyone. In fact, I am starting to realize that this life may not be for me, either. But, if there’s anything that I learned from The Bomb Life, it’s the power of hard work, sacrifice, gut instinct, and playing the part! In this stunning memoir and self-help book, she tells what she had to do to get to the top, and offers aspiring bloggers and digital influencers tips on how to monetize their sites, build an audience, and ultimately live the Bomb Life.
-Sets the scene-
When I first picked up the book, I was commuting to-day 1 of my Fair Housing Training in Washington, DC. Eager to finally read something that didn’t come from a course catalog, I immediately started to flip the titles of The Bomb Life. I saw that the book wasn’t lengthy so I committed myself to two chapters a day. The first chapter immediately hooked me in. Claire’s life reminded me of mine. Not only is she Haitian, but her parents worked hard to send her to private schools. Claire’s humble beginnings show that she was brilliant and stayed true to who she was–much like myself. She had her fair share of bullies, over-wore her “most popular” item in her closet and had to deal with parents who were “anti your creative dream”. I know this all too well because my mom loved her some bargains and still doesn’t know why I blog. Suffice to say, they usually come around.
As I continued to read, she started to find out who she really wanted to be. She went to Harvard and killed it; she persisted in finding opportunities to advance herself in the field of journalism, and then she took the leap of faith that I still have yet to carry out: the move to NY. From there, she landed a gig as an intern for a well-known publication, but still faced the issues of working in an “it’s who you know/who knows you” industry. But the endearing part of it all is, that never stopped her. She kept working hard!
From gatecrashing high-end fashion shows to walking around the streets of Paris to find the most stylish people for Vogue.fr, Claire was on a mission! I found her passion for fashion, her reasonable application of life’s lessons, and even her lust for creating her own lane inspiring. Even when reading about her love story gone wrong, it made her seem more REAL. Once you’ve read about her drug dealing ex-boyfriend, you might instantly start seeing similarities lol …not that I dated a drug dealer…I’ll shut up now.
All while Claire launched her blog Fashion Bomb Daily, she was still working her way to the top. She multi-tasked, wrote blog posts until wee hours of the night/morning, faced the backlash from other bloggers, took rejection from MANY people in the industry, put herself out in the mainstream, and to this day, SHE’S STILL ROCKING IT! Knowing me, I probably would have stopped.
Because this is a relatively short book (or maybe it’s short for me because I am used to reading 1500 pages a week for school), I kept the synopsis short and sweet! I really urge you to buy the book and read it on your own. Why? Well here are five reasons why reading The Bomb Life is GOALS!
Any book that includes even a bit of prayer/trust in God GETS ME! Even though I am trying to figure out who I am today, I am grateful for the lessons that God teaches me along the route. I know that everyone doesn’t ascribe to a specific faith, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without HIM.
Letters to Younger Self
At the end of the book, Claire writes letters to her younger self. Those letters are POWERFUL! No, they aren’t written in prolific conundrums or use crazy rhetorical devices, but instead, her letters give clear examples of how to learn to love yourself better, learn to wait for love (my biggest challenge) learn to trust the process and learning that the world is yours for the taking.
Blogging/Digital Influencer Advice
To be honest y’all, I’ve been sitting on the fence with this whole blogging thing. Social media is double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can make your coins, connect with others around the globe, and even gain valuable knowledge or today’s news. But on the contrary, you can feel really shitty about yourself. You subject yourself to developing low self-esteem, the feeling of having to keep up the Joneses, and I’ve been in positions where social media has affected my relationships. Scary right? But Claire provides a positive spin on social media. From tips on a establishing your domain to ways to marketing yourself better, Claire drops two chapters of gems SPECIFICALLY to social media + brand building. But, if you read the book from cover to cover, you will see the book is just oozing with gems on how to build your brand OVERALL.
Personal Appearance Advice
Every time I see Claire, she looks AMAZING! One time I saw her on the plane at 5 am and she looked like she just came back from a hot date! Admittedly, I looked like a hobo, so I didn’t even try to say hi. However, in her novel, she speaks on how she consulted with image consultants and brand experts to refine her look. She gives advice on how to play up your features and to always be “ON” because you never know who’s watching. Who knows, if Claire looked the way I was looking that day I saw her at the ATL airport, I probably wouldn’t have noticed her. So what am I doing now? BUDGETING–budgeting my wardrobe, hair, makeup, and nails. For a while, I was trying to dress sexier so that my love interest would lust over me like all the girls he fawns over. But in the midst of that, I failed lol. I tried to be sexy with a hint of who I am at the core. So imagine Blair Waldorf meets a BBW entertainer? YEA! To that end, in the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on an interactive journey with my image consultant.
Staying True to You
In Claire’s book, she gave so many examples where she could’ve been petty, foul, and even threw a wad of cash in people’s faces. But, that’s not who she is. From sleuthing interns to over zealous bloggers, Claire maintained her composure, didn’t have sleep with anyone to get where she is, and kept it pushing! It’s hard to maintain who you are once you enter an industry. I’ve watched bloggers and models who were so down to earth become some of the most unpleasant people to be around. In fact, one of them is —oops, Claire advises against talking bad about others…nothing but bad karma ensues.— Don’t let the fame and fortune get to you.
I give this book an A+!
For content, readability, real life application, and complete honesty! If you haven’t already bought her book, head to the website to check it out!
Until next time,