In the Limelight with Clarissa Burt interviews Sharron Clear: Instagram Super-Influencer
Welcome everyone, you are In the Limelight! I have a special influencer for you, a lovely lady coming in from one of my favorite cities, Atlanta, Georgia.
Sharron Clear: Hello, everybody!
Clarissa: Let’s get started at the beginning. You’re a fashionista and an influencer on Instagram. Before we get to that, I want to know about 4-year-old Sharron when she was padding around the house in her mommy’s high heels and asking for a purse to accessorize. We all loved to play dress up. Tell us about your dress-up days.
Sharron Clear: Oh, my goodness, I was such a girly girl. I loved anything that had to do with dresses, I’ve been a fashionista my whole life. I remember asking for my purse and my mom asked, “What are you putting in it?” I had my crayons, my coloring books, my gum, everything. It started from there, that four or five-year-old Sharron for sure.
Clarissa: After that, you were going through school, you started to work at a retail store where you’re turning everyone on to the latest trends.
Sharron Clear: Even before the retail store, I was shopping. I remember when I was 12 or 13, I told my mom, “I want to go to the thrift store. All the kids are wearing the same thing, I want to look different.” It wasn’t like it is now; thrifting is huge today. I would get these pieces and cut them off to make them my own. Then, I started working in high school and the older ladies would come in and I’d help them get dressed.
Clarissa: What store was it?
Sharron Clear: I worked at several different stores. I worked at shoe stores. I worked at THE LIMITED.
Clarissa: I worked at THE LIMITED too, at the Livingston Mall in New Jersey when I was in high school!
Sharron Clear: I worked there for a long time and also Banana republic. I don’t know if it’s still a store, I think they’re under Banana Republic Express.
Clarissa: Wait, let’s not gloss over one of the most important things you said so far: thrifting. Can we talk about it for a second? Everybody thinks I’m crazy but I love Goodwill. I don’t care what you say, it is not your mother’s goodwill. It has changed so much.
Sharron Clear: It’s so organized. They have everything categorized by color, but it’s more than Goodwill now. You have the Salvation Army, the mom and pop shops and a lot of them are for charity. Many people don’t like it, they think, “I can’t, it takes so much time.” It takes patience.
Clarissa: It does take patience. I don’t have a lot of time but when I do, people say, “What do you do for fun?” I tell them I go to Goodwill. First of all, there’s the money that you save. Senior citizens, much like myself, every Tuesday, we get 25% off. Every other Saturday, everything in the store is 50% off. Second, we’re making too many clothes. We’re ruining the planet with all the fabrics we’re making. It is an overpopulation of clothing, it sounds like a joke but it’s not.
Sharron Clear: It’s reality. I’ve never heard anybody say it like that but you’re right. There are too many clothes and thrifting is almost like recycling.
Clarissa: From a sustainable standpoint, we are making too much in the way of clothing. I’m not sponsored by Goodwill but it is a lot of fun. It’s not just about clothing, you can find other things there as well.
Sharron Clear: It’s a scavenger hunt, but there are unique finds. I don’t have time to thrift like I used to but I’m going to find the time because I need to recycle.
Clarissa: We haven’t touched upon you being a single mother of three. How old are they? What’s your typical day look like?
Sharron Clear: My kids are older. My life is a little different now than when they were smaller. I get up, work out every morning, get home from the gym, my son goes to school, and I go on with my day, 9:00 to 5:00. Then I’m blogging when I get home. I’m on 16-hour days.
Clarissa: Your 9 to 5 is more like 5:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night.
Sharron Clear: It’s time management. I try to use every weekend working on my business, enjoying the kids or traveling. It’s a challenge sometimes.
Clarissa: Let’s get into the transition from THE LIMITED, you were working at the shop and helping people pick out clothing. What was the next step? Did you just happen to become an Instagram influencer with 60,000 followers?
Sharron Clear: It was one of those things I put off for so long. In 2013, I wanted to blog about, being a mom, being divorced, starting over. I wanted to but I was afraid, I had no idea where to start. One day, I’m looking on Instagram saying, “I can do this.” I love fashion, it comes naturally to me. It’s effortless to put clothing together. I posted one picture and it got 20-50 likes!
Clarissa: You got hooked!
Sharron Clear: Yes, but then I stopped. I thought, “OK. This is what I love.” One post led to another and here I am now.
Clarissa: I want to mention the gorgeousness this lady is putting up. I don’t know if you go location hunting or you go, “Oh, a pink set of stairs, I must come back with my flowy gown and take a picture.”
Sharron Clear: Sometimes, believe it or not, I just drive to a spot with my photographer. My outfit is in my car and I’m dressing back and forth. I had never seen some of these places before the photoshoot.
Clarissa: Don’t you love that?
Sharron Clear: Yeah, it’s a spur of the moment type of thing. There are times I’ll go out and scout locations but typically we shoot in this area of the city and boom, there you go.
Clarissa: She found a beautiful multicolored, vibrant mural somewhere in Atlanta and stopped for pictures. The funny part of it is, the clothes she’s wearing are the same colors on the mural.
Sharron Clear: Clarissa, I’m going to tell you, that’s on the side of a liquor store.
Clarissa: Well, tell me where you’re getting these gorgeous clothes from.
Sharron Clear: That was from ASOS. Certain people send me things as well. One of my friends from Africa sent me pants, pink, wide legs, from Nigeria and an organza top from Zara. I put them both together for a beautiful outfit.
Clarissa: This progression is really important, the progression of, “I love this and I can do this. I write and I love fashion. I’m going to start doing a thing here.” Tell me what happens after that.
Sharron Clear: I continued to post, all the while I’m doing my nine to five and I loved it. I became involved with the audience and I met a variety of people. I connected with plenty of awesome women who love the things I love on Instagram. It gave me the motivation to continue with the DMs, e-mails, the conversation in-post. Then, brands start reaching out to me and here I am now.
Clarissa: Brands like TRESemmé, Aerie, Aveeno, Vici Dolls, Walgreens., GoDaddy, Roku and IHG Hotels & Resorts. May I just say, talk about #GirlBoss.
Sharron Clear: Yes, I’m working on a collaboration with The Gap, True Religion now. It’s been so exciting. Like I said earlier, it was effortless for me and fun.
Clarissa: I go to a lot of events and I’ve heard from very successful entrepreneurs, “Do whatever it is that you would do for free, to make money. That’s your sweet spot, that’s where you need to be navigating and working.”
Sharron Clear: Other than fashion, I got my degree and I wanted to teach as well. I started with Mass Communications, wanting to follow Oprah and go on television, but then I ended up teaching. I was a college professor for five years, teaching business courses. I resigned when this took off just last year. Now, it’s on a different level of teaching for me.
Clarissa: You were explaining to me the clothing I was showing came from Africa. How did that hookup happen?
Sharron Clear: I meet different people on Instagram, they’ll either message me and say, “I have a new line coming out.” Or, this one particular person I love, she has amazing style, started a clothing line so most things come from her. Different people send me different things. I love the African style.
Clarissa: These pictures are glorious. On Instagram, you can be found at @ArrayofFaces, right?
Sharron Clear: Yep, that’s my handle. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest under the same name.
Clarissa: You could also find her on the streets of Atlanta and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Sharron Clear: You’ll find me shooting photos on the side of the road.
Clarissa: What do you foresee in five years, where do you want to be?
Sharron Clear: I want to be on television. I would love to be in commercials, be a household name. I would want people to know who I am.
Clarissa: What do you want to be famous for?
Sharron Clear: For inspiring women to do what they love and to not give up when you start over.
Clarissa: This is so beautiful. I can’t give you enough compliments. I’ve been in the industry of photography, models, fashion, makeup, and beauty for a long time, and you, my love, are doing an extraordinary job.
Sharron Clear: Thank you! I appreciate you so much.
Clarissa: I wish you continued success! Anything else you’d like to add in closing?
Sharron Clear: Please follow me @ArrayofFaces and I hope you’re inspired.
Clarissa: I think we are, thanks, Sharron. ✧