David Coggins
Rosie Clayton

It would be an understatement to claim that Rosie Clayton’s a pro at painting the town red. She actually paints the town every shade under the sun including blue, yellow, purple, and most recently, pink. For those who haven’t stumbled upon Rosie’s inspiring Instagram accounts (@rclayton and @walltraveled), we are pleased to introduce you to one of the most colorful women we know. Rosie’s elevated the standard OOTD post (that’s “outfit of the day” for those who need clarification) by posing in front of painted walls that elevate her feed into a giant color story. Currently, she’s studying the color pink — weather she’s donning a party dress or a simple jeans-and-tee look, she’s perfectly positioned in front of a mural with the cheery hue. Before pink, it was blue. Scroll through, and you’ll quickly learn why we’re tickled pink to feature her on Joe’s Blackbook.

When you were young, what did you think you would be doing at this age?
When I was younger, my dream job was to be fashion editor of a magazine or a costume designer or stylist in the entertainment industry. I wanted a career that would incorporate what I learned majoring in Textiles and Apparel Management with where the industry is going today, one that would allow me to be creative within a structured environment.
How has your site changed your life?
My Instagram channel (@rclayton) has been an incredible creative outlet for me. The platform has allowed me to combine my experience in the fashion industry with two other passions- photography and travel. In addition, I'm able to collaborate with my husband, who is my photographer, on each project. I'm grateful for the opportunity to selectively partner with brands I genuinely believe in, connect with a worldwide audience in celebration of art and style, and the freedom and flexibility of creative and monetary independence. I'm constantly pushing myself to experiment with new techniques so my posts are dynamic and compelling and I hope continue to grow and challenge myself in my artistic expression.
Can you tell me about a milestone in your career that you will never forget?
I know this might sound silly, but reaching 100k followers on @rclayton was a delightful surprise and milestone for me, especially since I don't have a blog. To be completely transparent, I wasn't exactly sure how I would develop my journey in the fashion industry, having been a merchandiser at Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew, and owning my own boutique for seven years. I began curating my Instagram feed as a passion project in 2015; I wanted to focus on color. People tend to comment that they think Chicago is extremely colorful based on my feed, but it's actually not the case; I liked the challenge of finding all the colorful locations that exist. After a few months of creative posts, I was asked to create a wall guide for a blogger in LA. I fell in love with the concept of highlighting street art, colorful interiors, and showcasing my personal style and it all took off from there. I've learned a lot about myself and my ability to create something from nothing- it's been a dream, a very colorful one!
What is your ultimate goal for your feed?
Honestly, as long as I can continue to create authentic content that not only inspires me but strikes a chord with my audience, I'm happy. The goals are simple: travel, create exciting, original content, pay the bills. Trifecta.
Did you fully embrace social media outlets like Instagram and LIKETOKNOW.IT or were you slightly skeptical?
I really just fell into the Instagram influencer world. I was posting what made me happy and it was exciting to see my audience grow and to know my images resonated with others. Having said that, putting yourself out there on social media is a scary thing- strangers will either praise you or judge you behind the safety of a screen. It's taken some getting used to and fortunately, my insta-friends are really wonderful people. LIKEtoKNOW.it has been a wonderful resource but I don't prioritize "making the sale" over connecting with my audience in a genuine way. I want people to smile when they see my posts and if they like the dress I'm wearing, that's a great bonus. Curating my feed is more important to me than anything and I think that ultimately tells the bigger story of my brand. I think people appreciate that and it works out in the long run. I'm still not on Twitter, I know I should be since having multiple platforms is an important asset in what I do, but I'm a visual person and it's just not my thing. I can barely keep up with Instagram alone!
Who do you follow on Instagram for inspiration? And, where do you go for inspiration that does not involve a digital device?
This is a tough question! There are so many inspirational accounts on Instagram across various aesthetics. A few of my favorites for color are @mattcrump, my second account @walltraveled, @thecraftedlife, @melodrama, @acolorstory, @abeautifulmess, @hotpinkpineapples, @splendid_rags, @lizzie_darden, and @andrewkuttler. For style, @juliahengel and @blaireadiebee. Other gorgeous, inspirational feeds I follow are @ariellevey, @lucylaucht, @itslindak, @amystone, @ananewyork, @andreannu, @elsielarson, and @glitterguide.
For inspiration, I love visiting museums here in Chicago and on our travels, going to the park in the summer, and hanging out by the lake or preferably, the ocean when we're in California. One of my favorite family traditions is taking our two dogs camping at least three times each summer or fall- nothing but long hikes and an evening campfire to quiet the noise and allow some time to reflect and regroup. Another favorite activity is going to the Cirque du Soleil shows whenever I can- I think I've seen about ten shows to date and they are so incredible! The visuals are stunning and the attention to detail in each production is unparalleled-the costumes, the colors, the music- all transport me to a fantasy world full of color and mystery; I always leave feeling inspired.
What gadgets can you not live without?
I couldn't live without my phone (that one was obvious- Instagram!), my DSLR, and my Nespresso machine.
What is your typical day like?
On a typical day, I allow myself a quick 15 minutes on Instagram each morning after I wake up and then go straight for my coffee and emails until lunch. I'll do some editing in the afternoon and work on long-term brand collaborations, goals for my brand, and brainstorm location ideas for upcoming shoots. Meetings are sprinkled in here and there depending on the week. Dinner is usually around 8 o’clock and James either makes a home-cooked meal or we love going to a handful of favorite spots. After that, it's just downtime with the dogs and then more editing until bed, which is usually pretty late (2am) since I tend to get my ideas later in the evening. As for shooting images, we try to take one or two days a week to create upcoming content, even less so in the winter months.
If you had a complete day off, what would you do with that day?
My perfect day off would involve taking a long hike with our dogs at one of the nearby forest preserves, lunch with my husband, cocktails with the girls, followed by dinner and a show at The Second City.
Who are your role models?
My parents moved to America, leaving their parents and a total of 11 siblings in Thailand. They pursued their higher education and became exemplary entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry without having a background in hospitality. They balanced owning 5 restaurants with raising me and my brother and were always there for drop off, pick up, and extracurricular activities. They taught me the importance of a solid work ethic, pursuing your passion, and to always believe in myself.
What does style mean to you?
Style is using fashion as a vehicle of expression, a way to convey your individuality and a layer of your personality. My style is eclectic, whimsical, classic mixed with pieces that are on trend. I don't limit myself to one color family, one pattern, one aesthetic- I just know when something feels like "me." I love investing in interesting statement pieces- architecturally unique tops, beautiful lace or beadwork, and stripes- give me all the stripes!
What advice would you give to women looking to start out? What is the best advice you ever received?
I think having a clear vision for your brand and keeping your content and engagement authentic is the most important aspect of social media. There are so many influencers out there and to carve your own path, you really just need to be your unique, genuine self. Drown out the noise, don't compare yourself to others and know your value. Often times, I would doubt myself since I don't have a blog and I felt like having one would legitimize me in the blogger/influencer world. I realized that my brand evolved organically and I needed to take the time to think about what I wanted my future site to look like and how I wanted to grow. Being mindful and intentional with everything you create is going to carry you through.
Check out her instagram accounts @rclayton and @walltraveled

Author: Sarah Yenbamroong

New York | Los Angeles