THE MNY SPOTLIGHT

Meet Clare Sullivan, a TikTok Influencer, Interior Designer, and NYC Business Owner

Introduce yourself!

My name is Clare Sullivan. I am a 28-year-old Tik-toker, interior designer and business owner living in New York City.

Clare wears the Gigi Chinoiserie Pajama Set

You’ve had amazing growth on TikTok from sharing your home decor tips and organizational tricks! What has been the best part of creating this content? 

The best part of creating content on TikTok has been the response from my followers. I've never felt more confident or proud of myself than I do right now, and that is thanks to their kind words and enthusiasm for what I put out into the world. I experience so much joy when I read a comment from a follower telling me that, thanks to my content, she's gotten her living room in order - or even just been inspired to organize her jewelry. But the comment that makes me think "OK, I am definitely living the path that's meant for me" is when someone tells me that I brought joy to their day. I create content that some people may deem as frivolous - especially as we are living in a world that is only getting more tumultuous - but if my content can improve someone's day by just 1%, then I know I did something good. We don't all need to work the most heroic jobs to feel rewarded - if you're improving people's lives just by smiling, you have done enough.

Do you attribute anything specific to your success? 

I'm definitely coming from a place of privilege. White, attractive on paper, parents who could afford to put me through college and provide for anything I needed. I think lots of people in my position deny their privilege as an insistence that it takes away from their hard work. But for me, I know my hard work got me where I am in combination with how I was raised. My parents have always praised, supported, and loved me - no matter what. That was enough to give me wings at a young age to believe in my creativity. I look at people who've achieved success without those privileges and am all the more in awe of them. 

In terms of how I've reached my goals, it all comes down to manifestation. I've never achieved something in my life that I haven't written down on paper. In 2021, I wrote a goal that within 5 years I would have one million followers. I ended up getting that done in less than 6 months. I'm a big fan of visualization. If you can picture something in your head, I truly believe you can make it happen. It may not be exact, and of course you'll experience trouble along the way, but if you keep your end goal in mind, you'll get there.

What is your top piece of advice for someone decorating on a budget?

Two things. 1: Thrift. Before you buy a headboard from Amazon or Wayfair, look for it in an antique store or at Goodwill. Chances are, you'll find it - AND it'll be half the price but better quality than a new inexpensive piece. 2: Be patient. Don't commit to decorating your place in a month. Instead, take your time choosing pieces that are affordable but also feel right to you. When you take your time, the perfect pieces start to present themselves to you. I waited a year to find living room chairs that would work with my couch and found them at a hole-in-the-wall antiques store on long island. 19th Century French Country chairs. They fit right in!

Follow Clare on Instagram @clare.sull and TikTok @clare.sullivan_

How has your style evolved throughout the years?

I used to deny myself a sense of style. My grandmother founded the Snappy Turtle, which is an iconic women's boutique. They specialize in preppy clothes, and growing up, I totally rejected the preppy style since I hated the elitism that can often be tied to it. I didn't really have a style in college, and I look back and roll my eyes at the trendy outfits I'd wear to try to blend in. But as I got older, I started to realize just how amazing my grandmother's style was. It was never true prep with its country club ties - she called it "preppy with a twist". And that's what it was - subversive. Needlepoint pillows with ridiculous sayings emblazoned on them. My favorite: "If I keel over in K-Mart, drag my body to the Snappy Turtle". And later, as my aunts took the helm at the store, beaded bracelets that said "FUCK" and "BITCH" in all caps. I get annoyed when people brand me as preppy since I think it's a style with a history of exclusivity and elitism, but I can SO get behind the subversive element of new prep. I've been obsessed with the LL Bean Boat and Totes that Gen Z'ers are getting monogrammed. But instead of a monogram, you'll see "GUCCI" or "BRAT". Mine is a camo XL with "MOREISMORE" embroidered in orange. 

Who are some of your female role models?

 Ina Garten, Oprah, Martha Stewart, my mom. All women who use their (pretty extreme) intelligence for bringing joy and beauty into the world. My Aunt Caroline, who my followers know as "Aunty C," is a huge one for me. She is the hardest working person I know and lives to bring color and beauty into the world.

What is your favorite color scheme for decorating a space?

Start neutral with jute and rattan textures, then bake in shades of blue with pillows, art, and textiles. Basic and simple but effective, breezy and you just can't do it wrong! I tend to stray away from black and dark brown. I like my interiors to feel light and upbeat. 

Do you have any plans for new series/videos coming up?

TOO MANY! Lol. I just got an office. It's 1000 square feet of opportunity. I'm definitely going to be taking my followers along with me as I revamp the space and transform it into the chic office of my dreams. I have an exciting launch coming up in the next few months where I'll be offering my designs to the world. I also am working on a couple interior design projects for friends and family that will work in some "high/low" design options. 

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

I like to believe that my Mimi is my guiding style voice inside of my head, so when I see a brand that I know she would have loved, I'm all about it. Timeless prints, luxurious fabrics, and flattering cuts? It's just perfection. I'm not a big "capsule wardrobe" girl. I genuinely believe every piece in your closet should be exquisite and special. I love that each piece appears to be carefully considered. It looks "designed" - you can tell that every item is its final iteration. Embellishments have been perfected, sleeve cuts have been well thought over to be their most flattering, and even the packaging is delightful. It was truly a delight to the senses to open my last order! I'm currently annoyed at myself for not finding the brand earlier - I would have definitely worn the flora mini dress to my wedding after party.

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel? 
This might sound dramatic, but it makes me feel like a f**cking queen. I made my husband feel the fabric - I've never slept in more luxurious PJs. I keep bringing it back to my grandmother. She used to tell me before tucking me to bed at her condo in Florida: "Wear cute pajamas to bed - You never know who you'll meet in your dreams". And I've certainly lived by this statement - which means I have high standards for PJ's. These are the best I own.
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