Entrepreneur, business woman and influencer by day, cool gal by night (really cool gal all day though), we caught up with Claire Vögeli @clairevogeli one of the @therealcatwalksa organisers (a catwalk that celebrate self-love in all shapes, sizes, skin colours and body types) to learn a bit more about her and how she built her career, and her brand:
Tell us a little bit about you and what you do.
I’m originally from Nelspruit, grew up in the bush but have been in Cape Town for 11 years. I am an empowerment coach, entrepreneur, blogger and photographer. I collect tattoos, chihuahuas and change my hair colour more than I change my mind, I have a sushi problem and can make any animal sound you want. Seriously.
Your resume is very impressive. What inspired you to become a photographer, blogger, and coach?
I worked for a company for just under 2 years before I realised I was not cut out for the 9 to 5 despite all the exciting things I learnt. Slowly but surely I invested in growing my various interests and talents and somehow they have all melded together to create my very own Fempire which is still unfolding daily. Nothing I have ever done was for nothing, from musical theatre, to yoga instructing to art, all of these play a part in my unique set of skills.
What are some of your daily inspirations, challenges and rewards as a busy entrepreneur/instagram influencer?
I love waking up slowly, working hard and getting out of the house at least once a day. Gym in the evenings helps me shake off the working-from-home feeling. I wake up every day, excited to grow my dream and my business. At times it can be terrifying working for yourself but I have such a strong support system from my husband, mom and close friends. I am lucky to have people who believe in my vision and want to be a part of it.
What do you find is the hardest challenge balancing your work and personal life?
Saying NO to work that doesn’t resonate with me. The more I say YES to what speaks to my soul, the busier I get and the more my business buzzes. If I find I take on anything that comes my way it generally creates an imbalance. The power of positive attraction is real.
You look amazing and carry a contagious body positive image! What inspires you to stay fit and healthy?
I love feeling strong! My body is a machine and I love nothing more than fueling it and working it out.
You are one of the @therealcatwalksa organisers (a catwalk that celebrate self-love in all shapes, sizes, skin colours and body types). What advice would you give to our female readers who don’t feel body positive?
I would say that you should stop putting so much pressure on yourself to “love your body” and start focusing more on the soul inside it. As women we are constantly told we should care about the shape we are in but it limits us to worrying only about the physical when you are so, so much more. It is important to have a loving relationship with your body, yes, but your whole life and worth should not be weighted in your fat content or jean size.
What does self-care mean to you? What do you do to keep sane?
Self-care is not always bubble baths and chick flicks. Self-care is saying NO and not allowing the world to make you feel selfish. Self-care is standing up for yourself and speaking your truth. I keep sane by feeding my life with what feels good in my soul. If this comes in the form of tiger striped pants, you best believe I’ll be buying those pants!
Must have beauty products?
Lush Jason & The Argon shampoo bar, Lush Rose Jam body spray, Fake Bake Flawless Darker self-tan liquid.
What types of exercises bring out the best in your body shape?
I love weight training and am so enjoying pushing myself and watching my strength increase. A mixture of weights and Yoga would be ideal.
What 3 tips would you give to women who want to start a business?
1. Start somewhere
2. You do not need to be perfect to start a business, there’s plenty of room at the top and nobody starts there
3. Do something you love.
Take us through an average day in the life, the first thing you do in the morning through to the last thing you do at night.
I wake up slowly and start my day with a cappuccino at our Nespresso machine while talking to my 2 fur babies. I usually have my coffee in the lounge or outside if its warm. After that I have a shower, get dressed ( sometimes ) to sit down to emails and work that needs to be done. I take breaks throughout the day to run errands and catch up on Instagram or have a coffee date / meeting / coaching session. Around 6pm I hit the gym and then come home for dinner. I work well in the evenings but try to clock off before 9pm so that I can wind down before bed. Every now and then I have a bright idea just before bed and that sees me planning and writing like a mad person till well after 12pm!
What does your perfect day in Cape Town look like?
Waking up early for a freedive in Simon’s Town followed by hot coffee. Possibly an afternoon nap then later a little al fresco pizza in our courtyard before a night out on the town complete with ice cold tequila soda and lime!
If it were somewhere else, it would have to be a day out on the scooters in Bali, exploring waterfalls and strange towns with my husband.
What is your philosophy when it comes to food?
No food is good or bad, those are shame based emotions. Eat to fuel your body and always have balance.
What is your favourite home cooked dish? Who inspired your cooking?
I love making fresh pasta! My uncle taught me how to make pasta, he is the pasta king! I usually make a truffle mushroom or Carbonaro or fresh pesto and roast tomato. If my husband is cooking, it would have to be his Ramen. He has perfected it over the years.
Can you share your favourite recipe with us?
Jacques Ramen – AKA Ramen King
• 2 Woolies Pork Rashers
• 3 Tbsp Miso Paste
• 7 Tbsp Soy sauce
• 2 Sachets Woolies liquid fish stock
• 2 Sachets Woolies Vegetable stock
• 3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
• 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
• 1 Tbsp Garlic
• Palm Size Fresh Ginger
• 1 Brown Onion Diced
• 6 Spring Onion Stalks chopped
• 2 packets Woolies Pok Choi
• 1 Punnet Mung Bean Sprouts
• 1 Punnet Woolies Exotic Mushrooms
• 1 Punnet Brown Mushrooms
• Fresh Chives
• Small Handful Star Anise
• 1 Tsp Fresh Chili
• 1 Egg Per Person
• Rice Noodles
• 4L Boiled water
• 4 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
• 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
• 1 Tbsp Chili Flakes or Chinese 5 spice
• Add marinate to pork and set aside
• In a big pot add your coconut oil and garlic then slowly brown the onion. Add star anise and grated ginger to the pot. If you have a herb bag, use this instead at step 4.
• Add miso paste, chili, sesame oil and chopped mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are browned, add 4L of boiled water.
• Add the fish stock and vegetable stock and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes
• Fry the marinated pork rashers in a pan and dice once cooked, set aside
• Bring water to a boil and cook eggs for 8 minutes
• Add Pork Choi to the broth, 5 minutes before serving
• Bring water to the boil and add rice noodles, cook for 6 minutes
• Serve the noodles covered in broth and top with pork, fresh chives, spring onion and an egg. Season to taste with soy sauce.
• Give gratitude and ENJOY!
I cannot stop buying leopard print. It’s a real problem. That and crazy jewellery.
Something you can’t live without?
My fur babies, Kola and Gizmo
What is next for you?
We plan to immigrate for a few years, explore Europe and all it has to offer. I would like to eventually build an online course / confidence program and hold regular group coaching sessions for finding your inner power and connecting to your authenticity as a woman.
Sweet or Savoury? Savory
Hot or cold? Cold
Lips or Eyes? Lips
Smoothie or Juice? Tomato Juice
Yoga or Pilates? Yoga
Coffee or Tea? Coffee Always
Favorite movie ever? Where The Wild Things Are
Describe yourself as a person in 3 words: Short, loud and hungry
Your favourite thing in your closet right now? Anything leopard print!
What’s on your cell phone playlist at the moment (3-5 favourites)?
Sunset – The Midnight
Body Funk – Purple Disco Machine
Solar System – Sub Focus
One book you read that positively shaped you? The subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson. INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Favorite Tv show? A Handmaids Tale
One superpower you would like to have? I would love to breathe under water!
Best gift you have ever received? Still has to be my freediving fins from Edo!