h1 One of my favorite examples to illustrate the Clementine spirit is Bette Midler's character in Beaches. She was authentic.
Erin Loechner, Clementine Daily
Erin Loechner clearly has a knack for creating beautiful sites that readers love. In 2006 she founded Design for Mankind which quickly madeThe London Time’s list of top 50 design blogs in the world. She followed that up with Design for MiniKind, a sister site dedicated to creative moms craving a dose of design. And now she's added a third great site to the list with Clementine Daily, a place for "real women living authentic-sometimes-frenzied-often-harried-but-always-inspired lives."
Daily Clementine and Erin are new Say Media content partners; we took the occasion to catch with her by email and see how the new site is going, the most popular posts so far – and why sponsored content is a win-win for readers and publishers.
Where did the inspiration for Clementine come from? I wrote about this a bit in this month's Letter from the Editor, but basically, Clementine Daily began as a search for a women’s lifestyle site that included all of my aesthetic passions: style, beauty, home design, food – but also the deeper, more meaningful ones: wellness, etiquette, advice, inspiration. I wanted all of it, a site that offered grace and acceptance between boyfriend jeans and beauty balms – a quick pasta recipe seasoned with reassurance and self-respect. I wanted authenticity and reality, not airbrushed and glossy. I wanted inspiration, not aspiration.
What did you feel was missing from other online women's sites that Clementine fills? Talk about your vision of the modern woman... You know, from where I'm sitting, there's this undertone of perfection that's running rampant in the minds of today's women. Pinterest overload, immaculate parties, confetti in our shoes. Celebrations are fun, but somewhere along the way, we lost the everyday. The glitz and glitter has overshadowed the simplest of pleasures: clean sheets, morning light, hot tea. And making time to notice those pleasures - to celebrate those pleasures - is a top priority for me.
But it's not everything. There are mistakes and burnt chickens and harsh words, and overcoming those moments are a large part of what it means to be a woman. At Clementine Daily, we’re committed to celebrating the everyday – the good and the bad. We believe in kitchen dance parties and rainstorms and threadbare t-shirts. We believe in the five-minute face, the quick fix, the scenic route. We believe in growth and mascara, vulnerability and brownies.
Who are some women that embody what Clementine stands for that we might recognize? We actually have a series dedicated to our favorite Clementine gals and the true, inspired wisdom they hold. But one of my favorite examples to illustrate the Clementine spirit is Bette Midler's character in Beaches: she made mistakes and missteps, but she was real and inspired and fiercely loyal to those around her. She was authentic.
It's been a few weeks since you launched – how's it going? Oh goodness, so well! I'm so grateful for our hard-working team of writers and creatives. It's truly been a group effort, from the bloggers/media outlets who have supported our mission to the writers who are crafting it. And especially - the readers who are embracing that very mission. I feel so lucky. Just so incredibly lucky.
For those new to Clementine Daily, what are some of your most popular posts? Our advice column, Dear Clementine, has been a huge hit from day one. This particular piece about a women's inheritance and her surrounding emotions was really well-received, and for good reason - I cried as soon as I read our columnist's wise words and beautiful insights. Other than that, our tips/tricks for easy everyday solutions and our quick 30-minute recipes have all been well-loved by our readers.
You also founded 2 other sites – Design for Mankind and Design for Minikind. What's the relationship between all the sites? The commonality is really just a search for inspiration. Design for Mankind catalogs inspiration in my creative endeavors through styling/interior design, Design for MiniKind catalogs inspiration in my parenting and now, Clementine Daily, catalogs the inspiration in my everyday moments - the in between. It's a perfect storm, really.
How do you like to work with advertisers on Clementine? Our ideal advertiser is one that 100 percent supports our mission, which is at the heart of every editorial decision we make. We're walking a very fine line: sharing daily thoughts or products or ideas in an attempt to inspire, but we never want those inspirations to feel like expectations. Just because we love discovering affordable area rugs or natural beauty creams doesn't mean a woman needs those items to feel domestic or even beautiful. It's a never-ending balance we try to be very mindful of, and our ideal advertiser would support that sensitivity as well.
With that said, we love working on larger campaigns and sponsored post series that provide a service to our readers, either through how to guides, product recommendations or helpful tips/tricks. Offering style, beauty and home advice for today's modern woman is certainly our specialty.
What women's sites do you admire? Who are Clementine Daily's soulmates? You know, Gabrielle Blair (DesignMom) and Joanna Goddard (A Cup of Jo) spring to mind immediately. Not only are they brilliant writers with a knack for celebrating the everyday, but they're kind and inviting and authentic. They're total Clementines, through and through.
How would you finish this sentence: Feeling great is… nine times out of ten, a choice. (And how great is that?)
Follow Erin and Clementine Daily on Twitter @erinloechner.
[All photos via Daily Clementine]