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Crusader and Content Creator: A Conversation with Clare Sullivan

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

This week, I was lucky enough to sit down with Tiktok’s favorite interior designer, Clare
Clare is the epitome of grand millennial and the perfect person to look to for all of your
coastal grandmother inspiration. Whether it is a new budget-friendly home renovation, aesthetic
fridge restock, or her most recent floral arrangement hack, Clare shares captivating, trendy
content created perfectly to represent her and her brand.

Clare was so kind to take time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer a few
questions about her time on the hill, her experience growing her brand on TikTok, and taking the
leap of becoming her own boss.

We started off the interview by hearing about Clare.

Super cliche, but tell me a little bit about yourself:

“My name is Clare Sullivan. I am a TikToker, interior designer, and content creator. I
currently live in Connecticut, and I graduated from Holy Cross in 2016″. Looking at Clare’s
social media accounts gives you an incredibly accurate look into her as a person. That is one

thing that is so refreshing about her and her content. It doesn’t feel fake at all. It instead feels so
incredibly and uniquely curated to her.
We then moved on to questions about her Holy Cross experience:

What were some of your favorite spots on campus and why:

“The place where I spent the most time was definitely Dinand. There was this little table
that was hidden away in the basement in between the stacks,” said Clare. “I used to write all of
my papers down there, and it was great because there was no internet, so I had no distraction
from my phone.” Clare shared about the struggle we all know of showing up to your favorite
study spot and finding someone beat you to it. “I would literally camp out and wait for them to
leave or show up super early. I definitely considered it kind of like ‘my table.’”

Was there a class at Holy Cross that majorly affected you or what you wanted to do

“When I was at Holy Cross, I was a history major. While I loved history, I always took art
classes on the side, but I knew I wasn’t going to graduate and become a studio artist.”

Clare told me that she took a class called “Drawing on the Walls” with professor Cristi
Rinklin (who is still a professor here at HC). “She was the best art teacher I have ever had.” “The
premise was to go around campus and literally draw on the walls. We got to do installations in
Hogan, the science library, and the art building. We got to really bring stories to life this way. It was so fun and such an unexpected curriculum. It’s a class that stuck with me in more ways than

Clare did a recent ad campaign for Sharpie where she mentions the class. “I was drawing
on the walls in my own office, and I realized I learned how to break the rules and draw on the
walls during my time at Holy Cross.”

After hearing about Clare’s experience on Mount Saint James, we shifted gears to learn
about her personal and professional life.

Who is the person who has influenced you the most in your life?

“Definitely my grandmother. She was my Mimi,” said Clare. “She influenced me both
personally and professionally. It’s a rare combination in a person. Her Mimi, who Clare described
as “fashion-loving” and “incredibly glamorous,” started her own business selling canvas bags in
Fanieul Hall in Boston. “She got picked up by boutiques all over the United States and from
there opened her boutique in Kennebunkport, Maine.” The Snappy Turtle has been passed on
through the family and has since opened multiple other storefronts in Florida. “The fact that
during the hardest time of her life, she was able to create the most beautiful thing she had ever
done,” says Clare about her grandmother’s business.

“She really taught me about not caring what anyone thought. It’s such a big part of my
career, not trying to think about other people’s opinions of me. I need to do what is going to make

me happy and bring joy to others. That’s exactly what she did.” That is exactly what Clare does.
Bringing joy to her followers through the content she shares.

What did you do for work post-grad? Why did you decide to leave that job?

“After graduating from Holy Cross, I went to work as a sales associate for a fashion
company.” Soon after starting, Clare realized it was just not what she wanted to do with her life.
She shared that coming from Holy Cross, where she was writing papers and constantly being
challenged, and going to arranging dresses on a rack was a massive jump. “I just felt like I wasn’t
using my intellect enough.” After some work experience in financial PR, she again realized that
it wasn’t what she wanted to do.

One night, Clare was having a conversation with her now husband (and fellow Holy
Cross grad). “He asked me what I wanted to do. We laugh about it now, but in between sobs, I
looked at him and said, ‘I just want to make everything around me pretty’.” His response was
perfect. “So do that,” he said. We love a supportive husband. This is where the wheels started
turning, and Clare began thinking about making that big jump to work for herself.

How did you start on Tiktok? Was there a specific moment when you realized that your
following was really growing?

“I was posting daily on TikTok trying to get people to buy my art. My videos were just not
hitting. They were only getting around 20 views.” As someone who started following Clare in
2019, I can remember seeing her likes in the low hundreds, which is crazy to look back on now.

“Everyone started having questions and commenting about my apartment. I realized I had
been so focused on my art that I wasn’t thinking bigger”. Something that a lot of people can
relate to. Limiting ourselves to a certain level and not realizing our full potential”.

“It was also really exciting to know that people connected with my design style. None of
my friends really share my style. I think the only time you are going to find like-minded people
in the design community is online. It’s a way to find inspiration but also to connect with people
who like what you like.”

Be right back while I send this to my aunt, who says there are no benefits to social media.

As Clare’s following grew and more people began engaging with her content, she thought:
“What if I just see if I can make this into my career?” She jumped into it and went into content
creation full-time, leaving behind the sale tags and data charts she had worked with in her
previous two jobs.

“I kind of live by the notion that you can’t live by following plan B. There’s only plan A. If
you fail, you fail.”

“I think the biggest hurdle for me was thinking about people from high school and college
that would be viewing my videos and think I’m crazy.” Then you look at the other side of it, and
there is success and doing what you love.”

Realizing we had already been talking for close to 40 minutes, we jumped into the final
question that I had for Clare:

What is your best advice for current college girls?

“Don’t be stressed about not knowing what you want to do right after graduation. I really
wish I took my time figuring out what I wanted to do instead of feeling the pressure to work
from everyone else”. This is a 10/10 piece of advice for college students and anyone trying to
figure out what they want to do.

“There is really no rush. Take your time and discover what you want to do”.

Hearing about Clare, how she discovered what she wanted out of her life, and how she has
grown as a content creator was incredible. All of her experiences and advice that she was kind
enough to share genuinely apply to so many people and young college students.

Sending a special thank you to Clare for taking the time to talk with me and for sharing
about her time on the campus that we all know and love.

Caroline Hanson

Holy Cross '27

Caroline Hanson is currently a freshman at Holy Cross studying psychology and education. She is from Lowell MA and plans to be a school psychologist before pursuing private practice! Se spends her time with family and friends, playing golf, and doing mental health advocacy work!