Clare in conversation with…

Sara Gordon

Clare in conversation with…

Sara Gordon

You’ve had such a vibrant, varied career so far. Can you give us a quick tour of your CV?

I studied design and psychology and knew early on I wanted to work in advertising after reading David Ogilvy’s book, Ogilvy on Advertising. Brands and the role they play in people’s lives are so interesting and even now more complex as we live on our phones.

I started work in New York and with each new job I took I changed roles to learn something new. Whether it was digital design, brand strategy or PR, I have treated my career as an education, with each role a course.

I’ve worked on ad campaigns for brands like Coca-Cola, led digital strategy for Mary Portas and now I’m working with my team to build and shape Bloom & Wild from the ground up. Our goal is to create a flower brand that people truly desire and is a refreshing take on a tired industry.

How do you keep that momentum going in your career?

There are two important things I’ve learned in my career: know your value, and work in a role and place that makes you slightly uncomfortable. It’s important to communicate knowledge, insight and results and to have an opinion. Find a platform – be it a boss, a mentor or through the results of your work – to build that confidence.

Then, fight for new challenges and learning opportunities. The best roles I’ve had are ones that have scared me shitless, be it through pace, new types of projects or managing more people. Stretching your abilities and mind with new challenges keeps work exciting, energising and fulfilling.

Talk us through your wardrobe

My personal style aims for classic and timeless, with a bit of an edge through my hair and accessories. I resolved years ago to save up for forever pieces that would last, versus spending small amounts each month on fast fashion. My closet is filled with black, white and primary colours, all in modern silhouettes with good tailoring and excellent fabrics. Coats, bags and shoes are where I try and have a bit more fun. To me, a closet is about building a design system where you can mix and match, but everything is harmonious.

What do you typically turn to when dressing for work?

Start-ups are pretty casual by nature, but everyone has a really excellent personal sense of style. We work in an aesthetic business, so naturally, I think, people care about how they present themselves.

I often mix trainers with dresses and heels with jeans and a sweater – I think it shows I don’t take myself too seriously. My black ME+EM jumpsuit from last summer is one of my all-time favourites. I put on that and a pair of jazzy heels and we’re off to the races. Can you please bring that back with a racing stripe or a cool print for this coming summer? It’s incredible. Working at a flower brand, inevitably I have added more florals to my wardrobe too!

“Know your value and work in a role that makes you slightly uncomfortable.”

 

I really believe that as you progress through your career, the role your wardrobe plays changes. Have you seen the way you dress change as you’ve moved through your career?

When I worked in New York, I dressed up for work but never really focussed on what suited my body type or what fabrics flattered. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve focussed more on what suits my body shape.

As I have become more senior, I’ve been conscious to avoid the stodgy image I had of ‘women in business’ when I was starting out. It’s important to me that younger women have a good, achievable impression of female leadership – assertive but still feminine, professional but down-to-earth.

I represent a young, cool, fast-growing brand so whether it’s dressing to inspire at a creative session with my team or to instil confidence at a board meeting, clothes really do make a difference.