We had the good fortune of connecting with Clare Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clare, what do you attribute your success to?
There’s no doubt that someone would use a plethora of descriptors to reason success in business. Some may say creativeness, hard work, vision, planning, financial soundness, commitment or even luck. Of course, these are all wonderful qualities and talents and hold true in any equation of success. However, for myself, I would use other far less popular words to describe the factors that relate to the overall success of Hawthorn Tree and in my own life. This would be faith, collaboration and resilience. The combination of having faith in your purpose, working with others who share that goal and more than anything, being adapt and able to switch it up at any given moment is what I have found is the foundation for my success and those around me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
If the roadmap to life or business were a straight path, what would be the point? I started out in the same pharmacy college that my grandfather, father, and three older siblings had all attended. I spent nearly three years agonizing over switching and finally (without permission or notice) dropped out of school. Luckily, the University of North Carolina was willing to forgive me much faster than my parents (just kidding), and I graduated with a BS in Business Marketing. I created a niche gift boutique that did quite well, but life is never that simple. The birth of my son, followed closely by a divorce at the age of 28 left me looking at better options once again. I went back to college for my Masters of Education and took a position teaching business. I loved the job, adored my students and appreciated the time I was able to spend being a mom. Fast-forward a decade (or maybe two) and I am now happily married 12+ years to my dearest friend. We have 3 children (Finn 19, Ella 17, and Luna 8). I have returned to operating businesses. It’s funny how life throws you curves and your just have to maneuver and stay true to yourself. What I am most proud of as I look back is that no matter what the situation I was able to stop, take a breath and enjoy where I was in the moment. I don’t ever look back with regret because I live life passionately and always with a genuine heart.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think if you ask this question, we need to preface it with which friend exactly. But for the purpose of this, let’s assume it’s my best friend from grade school. We know how to have fun together. Day 1. First, I would take her around my hometown of Carlinville. We have a lot to offer for such a small town and everyone is nice and welcoming. that will take about 15 minutes. Ha! We also would swing over to Hillsboro, IL and visit family while checking out all the new shops. Hillsboro is a story in itself. Lots of growth there, which is not common for small communities in Illinois. They are revitalizing the area and it is a great example of how like-minded people can really make things happen. Talk to Brian Sullivan, Mark Hughes or check out mysmalltowncool.com for more info. Day 2. Then, we are off to hang out with the kids in St. Louis at the new aquarium, the zoo (FREE admission and awesome) and of course, The City Museum. If you haven’t written about this place, stop everything now and check it out! If we plan on feeding the children (which is always a good time) we typically take them to The Spaghetti Factory on The Landing or Fitz Soda Factory on The Loop. Day 3. The next day we have a outdoor hiking adventure at Pier Marquette State Park in Grafton, IL which is stunningly beautiful and sits on the Mississippi River. We will have a glass of wine at Grafton Winery and stop for some comfort food at Fin Inn where the walls are all fish tanks where you can check out the local turtles and river fish. Day 4. We are headed back south for a shopping adventure. We hit the local Italian Markets on The Hill, the Farmers market in Soulard, and Olde St. Charles, Mo. Here there are plenty of niche shoppes, great restaurants and bars to visit. However, if we are eating this day, we are eating at Mama Campisi’s on the Hill. Family owned and Italian perfection. Day 5. Art Day! One of my favorite places in the area is on The Loop. You can watch or learn to blow glass at 3rd Degree Glass Factory. The Grove is also trendy but just getting some roots. The STL Art museum is always fun because you can take in some great exhibits, have the best lunch you will ever have in their little bistro and then walk through Forest Park, which is a huge and fun park to just stroll, picnic, take nature pics and people watch. Day 6. Drink Coffee in our Pj’s and talk for hours… because coffee and cool friends make the best combo!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My love for business, and all that comes with it, was formed from deep roots. I come from a long line of business entrepreneur’s. Nature or nurture, who really knows… but there is definitely a pattern here. Nearly every relative has or currently owns and operates their own business. Pharmacies, lumber yards, auto parts shops, gift stores, convenience stores, bars, medical supplies, chiropractic clinics, restaurants, coffeehouses, welding shops, etc. The list seemingly is never-ending. Literally, I was born and raised behind the counter of my parents local pharmacies and playing in the rocks piles behind grandpa’s lumber yard. It is the way my parents were raised and the way we have raised our own children. I owe my passion for business and addiction to people to all these perfectly quirky family members who have each shared their lessons of business and life with me along the way.
Other: as you can see… I have definite limitations when it comes to social media. I actually had to ask an employee for these. I try …. but my heart is old-school all the way,
Karin Doolin of Ten Sixteen Photography Danielle Sullivan of Danielle Sullivan Photography