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career day / a handbag designer...

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

If you have a bag obsession like I do, then you probably know of Clare Vivier. In our newest Career Day, we visited her studio to get a look behind-the-scenes of her fast-growing brand, Clare V. I love her brand so much that I'm often seen wearing two of her bags at the same time (one for my purse and one for my laptop). They are chic, durable, light, and feel classic yet fresh all at the same time.

As a CFDA winner, she has a certain je ne sais quoi that the modern woman loves. To an almost 4-year-old, the idea of making a purse is pretty thrilling. Clare showed Ruby how to make a fabric pom-pom accessory to adorn her little drawstring bag. And even though Clare Vivier is now a name known around the fashion world, I love that she's rooted here in LA (and she's even in my own neighborhood!). Here's a closer look into the chic world of Clare Vivier...

Clare V. studio

Clare V. Studio

What’s your background and when/why did you start Clare V? / I don't have a traditional design background. I was working in French television when I wanted a chic laptop case to use for work. When I couldn't find what I was looking for, I knew how to sew and so I decided to create my own, and that's how the line was conceived.

Career Day with Clare V.

Career Day with Clare V.

When did you know you had something good? / I think when I began to see women wearing my designs locally on the street in Silverlake, where I live, that's when it really hit home. I had tapped into something that I knew that I found to be lacking, but it was what so many other women were wanting too.

Clare V. Studio

Clare V. Studio

If there were two of you, what other type of business or job would the other Clare have? / Hmmmm, this is like Sliding Doors. I love it! I do not know, I think I would have started another creative business. I’ve always had the notion that a good idea and the right people make successful ventures.

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

How many hours do you work each day/week? Do you take off on the weekends? / It really never ends, but that's also something that I love about it. In many ways, I feel like I've become the brand which has been so incredibly rewarding, but that also means that it's quite hard to turn "off." I'm at the office or I'm traveling or I'm meeting with people or at dinners and when I do get some downtime, I like nothing more than to spend time at home with my family.

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

Best part about your job? / The people I get to meet and work with day in and day out. No two days are the same which keeps it interesting and exciting. 

Worst part about your job? / There's no worst part but there are certainly challenges that come with building and running a company. There are constantly things that I'm learning on the business side and need to be better at and need help with and those can be frustrating but also all important things to learn about.

Clare V. Studio

Why did you change your brand name from Clare Vivier to Clare V.? / As our company really began to grow, we were approached by another company with a similar name. In order to avoid any conflict, it made the most sense for us to rebrand as Clare V. in 2014. It actually came at a really great time for us as the brand was really at a turning point in terms of growth and recognition and so the rebrand made sense. Of course it's had its challenges and we still have people who refer to us as Clare Vivier, but Clare V. has a nice sophistication that I think fits where we are quite nicely.

Career Day with Clare V.

Career Day with Clare V.

What is your dream for your brand? World accessory domination? / I like the trajectory we have right now. We're building in a really strategic and organic way that makes sense for the brand. We have four stores now and are excited to introduce more in the near future in markets that are a real fit for CV. We're also making our way into other product categories like t-shirts and men's and shoes and will continue to serve our customer with everything they're looking for. It's fun to continue to extend the brand and see where we go.

Ruby had the best time seeing what goes into making those pretty purses. And, I love seeing businesses and women in business grow. I remember when Clare opened her first shop in our neighborhood a few years ago. It started as part of another shop, then grew to her own store, and now to four stores. It shows how her strong aesthetic, point of view, and the desire to fill a void in the market has helped Claire achieve her continued success. 

P.S. See past Career Day posts right here!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

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