Claire Guentz is my soul sista from a different mista. And -- can we just have a moment of silence for THOSE ABS?! Claire is a full time blogger AND she casually crushes it as a RN in the ICU. Aka: total kween.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hey everyone! So my name is Claire but assuming you already know that ;) In addition to working as a full time blogger I also work as a RN in a Medical ICU. I went back to school for my bachelors in nursing, but my original degree is a bachelors in communication studies. I’m 29 years old, and got married last year to the love of my life—Stephen! We met online and he was the first and only person I went out with; I knew right away he was the one :) We currently live in Raleigh/Durham and probably won’t be leaving anytime soon. We really love it here, and are currently house hunting—whooo! Hmmm I guess that kind of sums up the basics!
What was the inspiration behind your account?
So, I actually started my blog when I was in nursing school as a hobby to just share my fashion and beauty tips! And then I started by Instagram account later on to stay motivated with a new workout program I was starting. I was never unhealthy necessarily, but just wanted to feel more confident and actually stick to an overall healthier lifestyle. After several months of posting for personal accountability, I discovered that I was actually helping motivate others (not just keep myself motivated). From there, I really started to focus on helping encourage other women to lead a healthier lifestyle. As time went on though, I found that I loved sharing about my life in general and not just fitness related content. I wanted women to feel like they didn’t need to have the “perfect” body to feel confident, so I started focusing less on fitness and more on how I navigate my everyday life—whether it be fitness and health related, my personal style, relationship advice, etc. I found that in doing so I was really encouraging women to live a more well rounded and fulfilled life. It took me going through a very strict fitness and workout phase to be able to inspire others that they don’t need to do that in order to feel confident and live their best life! …because who doesn’t want to live their best life?!
What are your top tips for someone looking to build their personal brand?
I’ve actually written a few blog posts on this topic because I feel like a lot of people want to know how to build a social media presence, their blog, and overall brand, etc. And I will be the first to say that I am still learning every day! But there are a few things that I’ve picked up along the way that I think are especially important. The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to share. Does your strength lie within a specific niche like style, beauty, fitness, cooking…or is it broader than that? I will say that if you’re first starting out if helps to be more specific and then slowly branch out as you acquire readers and/or followers (like for me, fitness). Once that is done, you have to think within that topic what makes you different? What will make you stand out from others? It’s true that the market is getting saturated BUT there is only ONE of you—so it’s all about how you market yourself! For example, I love feeds that are beautifully curated and all the photos are taken with a professional camera, but thats not really me. What makes me unique (IMO) is that I am more relatable. What you see is what you get—I am always open and honest with my readers. And I share a lot about my personal life! If you follow me, you know about Stephen (my husband) and we share all our behind the scenes stuff with everyone. I think it’s things like that which set me apart—not because I have the best feed or photos. So yeah, you just have to play to your strengths! Also, think of aesthetically what you want your brand to be/look like. You want people to recognize your brand. Meaning, you don’t want to have dark moody colors on your IG and then people go to your blog and it’s all bright pastels. It needs to be cohesive. Lastly, I would say be patient. It takes years and years to build a brand, and it’s always going to be evolving. So with that said, just START. Things will never be “perfect” but you have to just jump into it and navigate as you go. You will learn from your experiences and make adjustments as you go.
What do you love most about your job?
Hmmm which one? I’m going to go with blogging on this one. I got a message from a mom the other day that said she tried my wavy hair tutorial on her daughter who has really thin hair, had never really cared about her hair, and is also developmentally delayed. She said that after styling her hair from my tutorial that her daughter had a confidence level like she had never seen before and was showing her new hair off to her teacher and other classmates. THAT is why I love what I do. There have been so many women who have messaged me saying that because of me they were inspired to do “X” or realized that confidence doesn’t come from looking a certain way. Being able to change people’s perspective of how they feel about themselves is one of the most rewarding things. We should all feel like we are the best version of ourselves…ya know?!
What do you love most about yourself?
Oh gosh. Ummm, I guess I would say that it’s my ability to be relatable and approachable? I don’t know lol. I’ve never really thought ‘WOW IM SO RELATABLE’ but have my friends tell me that I make it really easy for people to approach me and confide in me. And I guess people find me relatable that follow along on my blog and IG through feedback I’ve gotten?! So, I guess I would say that is what I love most. Feeling alienated, judged, or singled out is a terrible feeling in general. I was made fun of a lot in middle school and didn’t really feel like I fit in. So, I’m glad that I don’t make others feel that way! (Or at least I hope not!!!)
Take us through a day in the life of Claire. We want all the deets!
So this depends! If I work at the hospital (I work 3 shifts one week, and then 2 shifts the next week), then my days basically look the same. Wake up at 5:45, leave for work at 6:30, get home around 7:30that night, go to the gym, eat dinner, catch up on emails, sleep. LOL not interesting! But on my days off from the hospital I pretty much work on my brand from around 8am to 9pm at night. Every day looks a little different depending on what is going on that week but a typical day would probably start with me waking up around 7am, having breakfast and answering emails. Then I’d hit the gym and then get ready for my day. Sometimes my day consists of Stephen (since he takes all my photos) and I going out and shooting content for IG and/or the blog. Depending on how many collaborations there are to shoot, this may take just an hour or it may take the whole afternoon. Then later that afternoon I typically recheck my emails, sit down and answer DM’s and comments on IG, post to IG, (start to) write a blog post, edit photos, etc. Stephen and I are about to start a podcast and a YouTube channel so recently we’ve been setting side time to record episodes, film videos or blogs, etc. But that is a general run down of my days!
What's on the horizon for you in 2018?
So big things are a podcast with Stephen (stay tuned!) and more Youtube! Stephen and I will be starting a channel, and I definitely want to be posting more videos to my personal channel. Now that Stephen is able to help me with taking photos and editing videos I feel like I can add YouTube to my plate. I know it will be a lot of work but there’s topics that people want to hear about that I think will be better conveyed through video. I am also rebranding my blog (again, stay tuned) so I’m looking forward to just kind of redesigning and solidifying (at least for the time being haha) my overall brand this year :) It’s always a work in progress but it feels good to have a plan!
And lastly, what makes you feel like a kween?
The day that I realized that confidence doesn’t stem from how you look on the outside but how you carry yourself and how you view yourself on the inside! For so long I associated my self worth with having abs and being in the “best” shape. But then I realized how ridiculous that is! It really is a learning process—like you have to train your mind to not be so fixated on your physical body. But once you realize that self love stems from SO many other traits and characteristics that you possess, you start to feel like a kween all day every day! ;)