Most of Doha probably knows her but people who don’t, let me give you a little introduction about Karen. Karen is a full time fashion blogger, who has been blogging for the last 5 years and about 18 months ago embarked on the journey of motherhood. She is a mum to a beautiful little girl, Naomi. Karen is also the winner of Grazia Style Award Blogger of the Year 2016.
I had been following ClumsyChic for a long time but the first time I met Karen was quite a random meeting… it was at a mall. I just went up to her and said hi – I am a fan! Typically I would never go up to people and say hi – I am kind of an introvert that way. But she seemed so approachable and simple that I just had to. And I was super impressed by how humble she was!
ClumsyChic to me is such an appealing blog because it highlights on the simple joys of life. Karen in her writings (and insta-stories, which by the way I love!) comes across as a very genuine person with great aesthetics – both in terms of creative content and visuals. So when I though of starting this section “Women Making A Difference”, the first woman I thought of was her and to my delight, she agreed!So I met up with Karen at her favorite coffee shop to have a lil chit chat. I had the most amazing time chatting with her and photographing her (she is a such a wonderful subject to shoot!). And I was the real clumsy who spilled her coffee on herself while she was extremely chic! 🙂
Here it is for you guys – an up close and personal conversation with Karen, to know a little bit more about ClumsyChic and her journey.
Q: Tell us something about yourself? Everyone knows how Chic you are, and hardly see any Clumsy anywhere.. Who is ClumsyChic in real life?
Karen: Oh I am Clumsy in real life, my husband can confirm that! I live by the essence of Clumsy Chic as it’s all about embracing the beauty of everyday life, however clumsy it may be. I’m a real Taurian at heart, in the sense that I love beautiful things, but I’m not driven by beautiful lavish things but more about appreciating life’s little beauties around me, like the smell of coffee in the morning or opening my organized closet and seeing my shoes on display.
Not taking things so seriously and having a relaxed attitude about everything define my clumsiness and my personality. I like having a good laugh whether it’s with my friends or husband, or when I do something ridiculously silly.
Q: How did you enter the blogosphere? Tell us about the ClumsyChic journey? What/who inspired you to start blogging?
Karen: I started my blog because I needed a creative outlet. I’m someone who is driven and inspired to create and at that point, I was dabbling with photography, and starting a blog seemed to encompass everything that I was really passionate about which is fashion and photography.
I have always believed that it’s important to take the time to do the thing you’re passionate about, outside of our mundane everyday schedule and Clumsy Chic was that for me. I would blog after work until 2am and then wake up at 6am to take pictures before I went to work. Then my husband and I would shoot outfit posts every Friday and then schedule posts on Saturdays. It was a lot of work looking back at it now, but it never felt like work because I was thoroughly enjoying what I was doing.
I think that’s the one precious thing I’ve learnt is you’ve got to have desire and drive to pursue your passion, especially when entering the bloggersphere, because it can often be a rough industry, and you have to know and have faith in why you’re doing this in the first place.
Q: What challenges have you faced while bringing up your blog game?
Karen: Bringing up my blog game for me means honing my craft and becoming better at what I do. I always try to look at my work and ask myself, ‘how can I do this better?’ and challenge myself to produce quality content that I’m proud of. I’m a self-taught photographer and I also learnt how to edit photos or design blog layouts. These things are rewarding for me because it became part of my self-growth.
If we were talking about challenges, it would have to be the industry’s fixation on numbers and followers. I was naïve those past years when I was stuck with this idea that if I produce quality content, people will eventually and naturally come find me. WRONG! What I’ve learnt is that no one will discover how great your product is if you don’t sell it and use social media as a microphone for advocating your product or your cause. In utilizing social media though, my biggest challenge is the time and effort it takes to grow your following and most importantly, grow your community.
I’m not fixated on numbers or followers, but I’m working hard at building a community and using these social media platforms to create a dialogue and support each other.
Q: Can you walk us through a typical day for you?
Having a solid routine is essential for any full-time-work-at-home mom. I like to have some time for myself before Naomi wakes up. I start with meditation and a bit of journal writing with my coffee if time permits, then I shower and get ready. Naomi wakes up at around 6:30 am and the first part of the morning is dedicated to her and doing things together in the house. We have breakfast together, I get her ready, she takes part in household chores and then she watches a bit of TV while I take care of social media updates.
I work on the blog during her morning and afternoon naps. I used to take her with me to meetings or if I have a shoot, but thankfully my mom is here to help out so she watches Naomi when I need to work, which is super helpful. I make a conscious decision to finish work at 3:00 PM and dedicate my time fully to her after that. We do a lot of Montessori activities at home, or go out on play dates. We have dinner as a family at 5:30 or 6:00PM and we put her to bed at around 8:00 PM. After that, I spend time with my husband or work on the blog some more until I pass out. Life as a blogger and stay at home mom is not very chic you see!Q: How has motherhood changed you and your life? How has it affected your work?
Karen: I’m a completely different person now that I’m a mom. I have a whole different perspective of the world and things that I thought were important before I had a baby are no longer on top of my priority list. I’m more about being present in the moment. I had a lot of time to rethink about who I am and what I want in life and I think becoming a mother has got a lot to do with this change. Being a mom also helped me realise my true strength and I developed a whole new meaning of love I never thought I had or felt.
Motherhood is the hardest gig of all and I feel this constant energy and strength that I can do anything I put my mind to, including my work. I work harder and smarter now, as I want to show my daughter that it’s important to do what you’re passionate about and that you have to work hard to get what you want. Mommy guilt is inevitable, but it’s important for me to show her the value of hard work and that there are no shortcuts in life.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as a mum? Your advice to other mums?
Karen: Oh there are tons! As a new mom, everything was new to me and I struggled a lot in the beginning to find my groove and also define myself as a mother. My advice to other moms would be to be at peace with the fact that whatever you do will always be the right decision for you and your baby, whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed, or to co-sleep. You know what’s best for you and your little one.
Having a strong tribe of moms has also helped me immensely as I got to hear and share similar experiences or even thoughts and doubts I have as a mom. I have shared my struggles with my mommy tribe about my postpartum depression right down to asking them about baby poo color!
Q: How did Grazia Style Award for Blogger of the Year 2016, feel like?
Karen: It felt fantastic, not because of winning but because of the support I got from the blogger community and my readers who all rooted for me to win. My ultimate goal when I started Clumsy Chic is to build this community and to know that my work has made an impact or helped women, even if it’s a 5 minute escape from their day-to-day life or reading one of my blogpost has helped them in some way.
I also felt happy that the blogging community is finally getting the credit it deserves as content creators and an important part of the fashion community. I’m hoping this will open up more opportunities for bloggers here in Qatar.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Any advice for newbie bloggers like me?
Karen: It’s not an advice but more the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt during the 5 years of blogging is the importance of defining your blog purpose and identity. Knowing your ‘why’ will give you the clarity and direction you need for your blog. Believing in your ‘why’ will help you get up when you face failures or a roadblock. Understanding your ‘why’ will give you more reason to create and think about content or ideas that will help your readers and your audience .
Q: What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?
Karen: I think it’s really time for me to get serious about learning French. I’ve been learning on and off for years. I want to hopefully be fluent at it so I can understand if my daughter is complaining about me behind my back to her father!
Q: What’s next for you?
Oh that’s a tough question, as I haven’t figured it out. I’m working on changing things a bit with Clumsy Chic in terms of content and work on giving back to the community and helping other bloggers. Watch this space!
TV Show: The Killing
Movie: Two Weeks Notice
Book/Novel: Girl on the Train
Blog: Mine? There are a lot:Mydomaine.com, Whowhatwear.com, Fashionmenow.co.uk
Daily Wear Attire: t-shirt and jeans and sneakers
Perfume: Pure Poison by Dior
Activity with Family: Dancing in our living room
Travel Destination: Japan all the way
Restaurant: Hakkasan Doha
Coffee Shop: Flatwhite
Hair Stylist/Salon: David from Blue Brush Salon at Hilton
High Street Store: Zara
Kids/Baby Store: Zara and Old Navy
Furniture/ Interior store: West Elm and IKEA
Thank you Karen for taking the time out for doing this for my blog.
You can follow Karen on