You may recognize Claire Sulmers as the creative genius behind the popular blog, Fashion Bomb Daily, but her influence and presence goes far beyond that of a blogger.
After building up a loyal following that has now includes more than 912,000 followers on Instagram and more than 54,000 followers on Twitter, the Harvard University graduate has taken her brand from a blog to a nationwide cocktail tour that allows her to connect one-on-one with her fans and readers.
Hosting the New York City edition of Cocktails with Claire on Saturday, May 7, Sulmers started the day with an entertainment panel that included Power 105.1’s Angela Yee, E! News correspondent Alicia Quarles, celebrity stylist Ty Hunter, entrepreneur Yandy Smith, DJ Kitty Cash and The Brand Group Inc. CEO Miss Diddy.
Later in the evening, attendees enjoyed a cocktail and networking reception that included vendors, small bites by Chef Jeff Catering and tunes by DJ Kitty Cash.
In an interview with BlackEnterprise.com, Sulmers shares why she started Cocktails with Claire, her partnership with Miss Diddy, and the best career advice she’s ever received.
What prompted you to start Cocktails with Claire?
When I first started Cocktails with Claire, it was an opportunity for me to meet and greet Fashion Bomb Daily readers and enthusiasts and a chance for us to talk offline. Each year, it continues to evolve because I want people to be more enriched and I want them to get more out of the experience. So the first year, we included local vendors and turned it into a shopping party. I looked at it as a chance to give vendors an opportunity to showcase their wares, and in addition to our readers being able to shop, we would also promote them on Instagram. Then I realized that people want to know how to break into the fashion industry, or any industry for that matter. Last year, during our Atlanta stop, we did a breaking into fashion panel series. This year, because I partnered with Miss Diddy; I said we can have a breaking into entertainment panel.
How did the opportunity come about for you to bring Miss Diddy on board for this year’s tour?
I speak on a lot of panels and Miss Diddy and I spoke on a panel in Atlanta called “Ladies Who Brunch.” We sat by each other and just hit it off. I admire her business sense and her entrepreneurship, and when I was in L.A. I saw her out and about and we were like let’s do something together and so we did.
With all of your success, what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Somebody told me once to keep on keeping on and to never give up. I think that has proven to be true. Just don’t give up on your dreams. Even [for this] I was fearful and wondered if people would like it. But you just have to see what works and what doesn’t, and don’t be afraid to just do it.