interview

What Do You Actually Do? Claire Baker by Ilsa Melchiori

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Describe what you do in 5 words or less.
Guide women home to themselves.


Now expand…
My work centres on the menstrual cycle; I believe we need a greater understanding as
individuals, and in the collective, on the shifting rhythm that women who menstruate
experience each cyclic month. I teach women how to flow with these changes, across all
areas of life, rather than working against them. I’m particularly interested in the emotional,
spiritual, and creative aspects of the menstrual cycle, recognising that our self-care
practice is deeply rooted in both. I deliver this work through 1:1 coaching, writing and
publishing eBooks, and teaching various live workshops and online courses throughout the
year.

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What has your career journey been like?
Surprising! I would not have believed you five years ago if you told me this is what I’d be
doing today. I trained as a health coach in 2013 after previously studying and working in
both the arts industry and business management roles. It’s been an organic step-by-step
transition since graduating and delving into self-employment, as I’ve uncovered more and
more about what I feel most called to focus on in my work.


Best part of your job?
Freedom of time is one of my highest values. I’d say I work more hours now than I ever
have before, but I treasure the fact that I can work around my own cycle. That’s a real
privilege; being able to create a ‘job’ that is truly aligned with my own creative rhythms. I
deeply believe in the conversations that I’m having right now through this work, and it’s
really exciting to see the change that’s beginning to happen in the world of menstruation
and rising period positive culture and to be able to play a part in that.


Worst/hardest part of your job?
Admin is never much fun is it?

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What does your typical workday look like?
I wake up around 7.30 - 8 am and will get outside as soon as I can for a walk, or a yoga
class if I’m up a little earlier (which doesn’t happen so much in London!). I always give
myself a couple of hours to exercise, have breakfast, do some journaling and check in with
myself before diving into work. I see clients every second week, so if it’s a coaching week
then I’ll sit down for those Skype sessions at home, otherwise, I’m writing content, and I
tend to spend these creative weeks out of the house in a cafe or co-working space.
I don’t have an office (or a desk), so if I’m at home I’m just moving between the kitchen
and my lounge room floor, sometimes even my bed! I’m really structured when it comes to
what needs to be done in a week, but on a daily basis I’m much more free flowing, and
that works for me. I try to finish around 6 pm, but some days it’s earlier or later than that.
I’m currently experimenting with a 4-day working week, which does mean my working days
tend to be longer, but it’s worth it for a long weekend every week!

What percent of your time is spent on work that pays the bills vs your own creative
projects?

Ha! Honestly, over the past year (since moving to London) this ratio has slid much further
away from my own creative projects, but I can see balance slowly beginning to restore
itself. It comes in seasons for me; sometimes I’m devoted to my creative writing and
exploring new mediums, but the truth is that the work that pays the bills so often takes
priority. It’s also hard to discern the difference between the two sometimes; I’m currently
thrilled to be working on a book that most likely won’t bring in a great deal of income (even
when published), and while it is certainly a ‘life goal’ for me, it also isn’t the same as writing
short stories for fun on a lazy afternoon. Many of my arty projects end up becoming apart
of the courses I teach or used on my website or social media. I always try to set aside
time for ‘Claire’s Creative Time’ but it inevitably embeds itself in my work. I think that’s
okay though!

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What are your favourite apps to use for work?
I use Satori for everything coaching related, iCal for scheduling, Adobe Creative Cloud,
Wordpress for blogging, Instagram is my favourite social media app (though I love
Facebook groups), Self Control for blocking said social media, MailChimp for email
communication and course delivery (as well as Soundcloud and Vimeo for course content
storage) and I use Pages and Dropbox to write, store and share my work.


What is it like working for yourself?
It’s genuinely been a life-changing experience being self-employed; it’s forced me to be
more accountable, responsible, and more socially conscious. I absolutely LOVE it and
cannot imagine working for someone else again. I’m a bit of an introverted hermit, so
working alone suits me. The older I get the more I recognise my own sensitivities and
strengths, so being able to create my own working environment is the biggest gift. I very
rarely miss working in a team, and if I do need feedback or idea workshopping, it’s easy to
reach out for that.


What is your current work playlist?
Bonobo, Ryan Adams, Michael Kiwanuka, Banks, Four Tet, Fleetwood Mac, Father John
Misty.


Best career advice/tips you could give someone?
We’re living in such an exciting time in history, where so much more than we can even
imagine is possible. If you feel a call to a project, just really go for it. This all sounds so
cliche doesn’t it? But it’s true: hard work and devotion are gifts in themselves.


Can you tell us about your next project?
What I am most committed to seeing manifest is a published version of my eBook Adore
Your Cycle. I just want to hold her in my hands! (And smell her pages!)


What is your next step/move? Any future dreams/goals?

I think I’m going to move to Ireland next year. I love London, but it’ll be time to move in
2018, and I’m not ready to come back to Australia yet — though I am running a retreat in
Victoria next year! I’m very very grateful that I can take my work with me like that. :)

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24.4 What Do You Actually Do? Q&A with CC from Little Hurricane by Ilsa Melchiori

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Next up in the What Do You Actually Do series, we pry into the busy life of CC, from the San Diego alt-rock band, Little Hurricane. With a new album recently released and a jam-packed touring schedule, what exactly does the daily life of a busy musician and business woman look like? We ask CC all the usual What Do You Actually Do questions, along with a few bonus style and beauty questions (because let's face it, I couldn't help myself).

To find out more about Little Hurricane, look up tour dates and find out how to get your hands on their striking new album, Same Sun Same Moon, head over to their website: www.littlehurricanemusic.com

Describe what you do in 5 words or less.

CC: I'm an entrepreneur who drums

Now expand...

CC: I play drums and sing in a band, but my job is so much more than that. I co-run a small business with many components. I am in charge of all of our merchandising which we sell online and the road. Right now we offer t-shirts, tank tops, custom drumsticks, CD's, vinyl records, posters and a book. I have to find the right designers for all of the above, source a manufacturer to print them and order a proper inventory for both touring and our online store. I have to make sure what we are spending is cost efficient so these products can generate a profit. I am in charge of our marketing, which is focused mainly on the internet but also some physical marketing. I run our social media and our street team to keep our fans engaged with our tour dates and new content. I organize and style our photo and video shoots, and when we are touring I am our HR department, making sure we have the right crew at the right pay level for each tour.

I Am ilsa Melchiori what do you acutally do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group
I Am ilsa Melchiori what do you acutally do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group

What has your career journey been like?

CC: It's been a dream! I opted for culinary school instead of a traditional college and cooked into my early 20's. No matter how many kitchens I tried out, it never felt like the right fit. When I made the switch to playing in a band, it fulfilled me in ways I never thought possible. I get to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit, but I also get to travel and perform. Playing drums is the closest thing to my heart I love every aspect of being behind a drum kit. The fact that I get paid to do this is unreal! Although it's a lot of work being on the road, I have loved this journey so much and feel so lucky to have my passion as my career.

Best part of your job?

CC: Getting to meet people who have been affected by our music. I love hearing stories of how one of our songs helped someone out of a difficult time, or how I have inspired someone to leave their comfort zone and try something new.

Worst/hardest part of your job?

CC: Not having a drum tech yet. The actual act of carrying in, setting up and breaking down my drums. It sounds silly but I hate doing it they are so big and clunky and I dream of a day where I can just show up to a gig and my drums are already set up!

I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group
I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group

What does your typical work day look like?

CC: When I am off the road I am up early answering emails and getting busy work done. I usually practice in the afternoon, cook dinner and go to bed early.

How does this differ when on tour?

CC: On the road, I am usually up by 8 am answering emails. I eat a small breakfast and head to the van to drive anywhere from 2-8 hours to a gig. I don't do most of the driving, but do 2-hour shifts when I can. I find us a spot for lunch and make sure we are organized for load in. Usually, by 4 pm we load into the venue, which means emptying the van of all the music gear and merchandise. We have about 1000 pounds of music gear. It takes about an hour to set up and sound check, and then we break for dinner. I do my makeup and pick out an outfit and do some warm ups before the set. We usually perform for about 60-75 minutes, and after the set, we hang out and take pictures and sign autographs. Then we begin taking everything on stage apart, putting it back in the cases, and organizing it back in the van. It is usually midnight by now and we drive to the hotel, check in, sleep for 6 hours and do it all over again the next day.

I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group
I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group

What are your top 5 essential beauty products for tour?

CC: Dry Shampoo, Burts Bee's facial wipes, Bliss eye makeup remover, Tan Towels, Stila eyeliner.

What are your favourite apps to use for work?

CC: I use Yelp every day to find the best spots to eat in a new city. I use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for work and Snapchat for communicating with friends. I love the Canva app to make graphics on the road as well.

What is it like working for yourself?

CC: I believe everyone should work for themselves if they want. The downside is you never clock out, the upside is you aren't selling your time to follow someone else's dream. It takes a lot of determination and commitment but even if you fail you progress.

I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group
I am Ilsa Melchiori What do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group

How does your personal style differ from your onstage style?

CC: Offstage I am all about comfort. I usually wear leggings and an oversized t. Onstage I try to look pretty feminine - I love old-fashioned dresses and vintage looking clothes. I used to wear exclusively vintage dresses onstage, but have since had to get more updated clothes that will last through tours and nightly sweating.

Favourite new independent designers?

CC: Jennafer Grace out of San Diego is my favorite! She makes these beautiful kimonos that every woman should have in her wardrobe.

What is your current work playlist?

CC: Bahamas, Timber Timbre, Tribe Called Quest

Best career advice/tips you could give someone?

CC: Be your biggest fan. When you feel like giving up, be your own cheerleader and tell yourself you can do it. Be critically aware of your inner voice. It will make or break you.

I am Ilsa Melchiori What Do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group
I am Ilsa Melchiori What Do you actually do CC Little Hurricane Cory Piehowicz Mascot Label Group

Can you tell us about your next project?

CC: I'm looking to put together a girl group. It's something I have had a hard time sussing out, but I'd love to put together a group of female musicians that can make music together.

What's your next step/move? Any future dreams/goals?

CC: For now I just want to do our new record justice. Tour as much as we can, and bring our music to as many people as possible. My future dreams and goals are to do something totally out of my comfort zone and try something new. I have many different ideas for products I want to launch, I am just waiting for the right time.

Image by Cory Piehowicz