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Ask Claire: How Do You Find A Good Support Group?

Alright! I’ve taken a break from Style Diaries for an Ask Claire question!
Dee Dee wrote, “Hi Claire! I’m not sure if you’ll even respond to this as busy as you are-but I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not in the fashion industry but I’m working on building my own private practice. The question I have is how do you find that group of people that will help you move forward, who build and support you? People often say network….but how do you network..lol? Where do you begin? I’m typically a shy person but I have been challenging myself to move beyond that with success, but I still don’t know how to find “my people” lol how to network…? Any tips or posts or articles…if not..just want you to know i’ve been a die hard fan for years and I greatly admire you!!” Thanks, dear!
88 claire sulmres fashion bomb daily 4th of July at ESSENCE Festival with My Black is Beautiful and Elle Varner + My Meet and Greet with Meow and Barks Boutique!
Well, Dee Dee, I’d say that seeking support from strangers will most likely end in disaster. Seeking support amongst people in your industry? Not likely to happen. People who want to do the same thing you do can get competitive, and friends can easily become foes if they feel intimidated.
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My strongest advocates are friends from school. People who know me well–who might be at the top of their fields in investment banking, medicine, or law–but who can offer that wise ear when you need one.
meow and barks boutique a daily diva
I count myself BEYOND lucky that I have so many brilliant friends who are willing to take time out of their days to brainstorm ideas with me (I actually just got done with an advisory board meeting this morning). All of these women are people who I have known for a long time. They’re all successful and smart. And they all want to see me ‘win.’ And if you think about it, you probably have loads of people like that surrounding you that you might not realize are there to help.
123  meow and barks boutique fashion bomb daily
Even before I tap my friends, my siblings are always great sounding boards. Start close to home.
Escadaria Selarón and Aprazível Restaurant in Norma Kamali's Metallic Cotton-Blend Sweatshirt and Matching Shorts claire sulmers
What do you guys think? Who makes up your career support system?
*On the 4th of July, I wore a House of Holland Denim Dress, Versace sandals, and Moschino accessories.
Images: Karl Pierre

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