Clariss Anya Rubenstein is a celebrity hairstylist and mom boss whose clients include Sofia Vergara, Gemma Chan, Jennifer Garner, Alison Brie, Kaley Cuoco, Kat Dennings and Leighton Meester. ModernMom interviewed her before Mother’s Day to see what motherhood has taught her.
How are you doing, really?
Well, that is a loaded question. On the plus side, I start each day by choosing which sweatsuit I’m going to wear. Honestly, I’m feeling all the feelings…gratitude, worry, claustrophobia… Each hour brings a different feeling. But my overarching feeling is of being grateful. Grateful my family and I are healthy. Grateful we have a place to live. Grateful we have access to food. That being said I have had really tough moments adjusting to the current situation. My place within a working society has always been a massive part of who I am. To have that ripped away, so abruptly, with zero time to process, has been an adjustment. While I love my son more than anything, and I am enjoying every moment I have with him, I never envisioned myself not working. I just do not feel myself or totally complete, when I’m not working and producing financially.
How are you handling the responsibilities of working while being a mom during the quarantine?
This time is definitely forcing me to become a more organized person. It has not been easy, but I believe I’m getting better at it. My husband and I both work full time, while his business is busier than ever, he is in his home office most of the day. We try to have our day scheduled so I have some time in the morning to work, then take over baby duty and finish everything I can during his nap, my son’s nap, not my husbands. But each day can be a moving target. Since the majority of my work is typically on location, may it be a photo shoot or glamming someone for an event: this type of work doesn’t exist right now.
There are other elements of my job, such as, brand partnerships and social media content creation. Both of these aspects of my work are still going strong and happen to be growing. But juggling work and having a toddler at my feet can be quite challenging. I’m lucky to have a helpful supportive partner and a child that’s a good napper. But make no mistake, every Mom that is working full-time from home, and is also the full-time childcare provider, should be given a raise, immediately. It takes the skills of a Superhero. Put that in BOLD.
How have you pivoted your business?
I’ve leaned into the brand partnership aspect of my business. It is normally a part of what I do, but now its a much bigger part! I’ve been really lucky to have partnered with some brands that I really believe in. I love giving hair advice, and I have been getting so many questions, that I have incorporated this into my social media content creation. Talking hair-health and hair-care is my favorite. I’m also prioritizing some time each day (when I can, let’s be real) to get my wheels turning about my evolution in business. Sometimes it’s simply listening to a podcast, or its going down a rabbit hole and researching businesses of people that I really respect. Either way, I believe it is important to make the time to invest into your own personal development.
What recommendations do you have for other working moms in the professional services industry?
We are all facing an unprecedented moment in history. Everyone of us in the service industry is having a difficult time. But if there is an element to your job that doesn’t require you to be hands on, focus your energy on this aspect. Even if it’s not currently paying, you never know what your energy can help generate. This goes without saying, stay in communication with others in your industry. There’s solidarity in the fact that this is something effecting us all. People are really coming together to support one another.
What are you doing to unwind and relax each day?
There’s two parts to that answer. During the day when I am completely ‘on’ I do things in our home which I believe creates a more peaceful environment. The TV is never on, but music always is. Going on walks in my neighborhood and other neighborhoods, picking out our next home! I’ve been baking whenever I can, not healthy stuff, the fun, naughty stuff. I’ve always enjoyed baking and seeing the finished result gives me a sense of accomplishment. I stay in contact with friends and we keep each other laughing. It is so important to keep laughing.
The second half of my unwind and relax can only come after my son is asleep. On the advice of a friend, I recently began dry brushing myself before showering, it’s amazing for your skin and for your lymphatic drainage. Then I take a steaming hot shower with some eucalyptus oil drops and I feel the day just slough off. Next is my skincare routine, without missing a step, the comfiest pajamas I can find, sinking into the couch with my husband (and two very needy French Bulldogs) and deciding between watching something intense or mindless.
Any big plans for Mother’s Day?
That’s on my husband (😂) I’ll keep you posted!