How I Get Sh*t Done: Claudia Erban
Okay so who here loves reading those super lengthy, inspirational/motivational captions a lot of social media influencers are using now a days on Instagram to capture the kind of messages they are trying to send out to you via their feed? I used to dislike them, not because of the messaging, but I just would find myself scrolling through until the end of it, wondering why these girls sat down and wrote these lengthy stories out. That was until I started following Claudia Erban. Claudia, known from her blog as Urban Meets Erban, writes these lengthy kind of posts, and they will literally change your perspective on long captions. They are filled with real talk, girl power, motivation and so so much more. Claudia is a law clerk who just happened to turn into a lifestyle blogger! Through her amazing blog, and inspiring instagram, she's motivating us to be our most authentic selves, encouraging us to lift each other up, and given us the real talk that we sometimes all need in our daily lives. This week, I had the awesome privilege of interviewing Claudia, and we talk everything from her rant-like captions to her favourite mantra she carries with her every day. Hope you enjoy! xo
Q: What is Urban Meets Erban and how did it all come to be?
A: Urban Meets Erban started as a lifestyle blog. Mind you, the blog has taken a short break as I wrap my head around the brand and the upcoming years. It’s now transitioned over into Instagram where my blog posts are condensed into captions – albeit lengthy captions. At the end of the day, I’m just sharing my journey as I head down this road to self-confidence.
And #BeYouConfidently started about a year into the blog when I had my first breakthrough. It was a pivotal moment in my journey when I realized this journey could only continue authentically if I could just remind myself to be ME, confidently.
The blog came to be just over a year and a half ago when I was about to turn 30 and felt a bit lost. I was flip flopping between good days and bad, I was pushing myself too hard, and I never felt good enough. I knew there were other’s struggling to be their best version, despite the uprising of this self-love movement. And because I knew I wasn’t alone in this, and I didn’t want to keep pretending to be this happy go-lucky person, I knew I had to take control of my life, to find my self-worth, and to do so I had to be held accountable! And what better way than to share my journey and some tips and tricks along the way on social media. It was a vulnerable move, but it’s helped Urban Meets
Q: It’s your average day- take us through your morning routine!
A: My days are anything but average. They always take me by surprise in some way or another! However, the structure tends to stay relatively the same. I wake up, check my phone (a habit I need to stop), shower, and straight to my skincare routine and quick hair + makeup. My boyfriend will have kindly made my coffee (black) and put out my vitamins + probiotics. I try to get my celery juice in too and water. I then sip on my coffee while I set my intention for the day and write in my Five Minute Journal – if you don’t have it, get it. It’s my meditation. I don’t eat breakfast. I’ve found fasting helpful with putting my digestive issues at ease. I then walk to work, about 12-15 minutes. Easy speed walk.
I’m a Law Clerk at an insurance company – people are always shocked by this fact. I tend to eat lunch sometime between 12-1PM now, usually something veggie and protein packed, and then loads of water and tea throughout the afternoon. I LOVE to snack but have been trying to reach for chocolate a little less. My work day ends at 5PM, which I then rush to kickboxing at Big Hit or to my home gym and get a good workout in with Kirsty Dunne’s app (life changing).
After a good workout I quickly shower, I’m always eager to get to my night time skincare routine. Can you tell I love skincare? Dinner is always something home cooked and delicious. I often eat in front of the TV, catching up on a favorite show or re-watching FRIENDS. I’m falling asleep around 9:30/10PM these days. But, before I fall asleep I grab that journal and recap the day - it’s funny how setting an intention makes all the difference. That’s pretty much most days.
Q: What’s your favourite way to get your sweat on?
A: Kickboxing. I’ve written about the transformation this form of fitness does for your body and mind. I’m never not sweating profusely. There is something about the progress, the commitment, and the attention it requires that makes your perception of your body shift entirely. I can honestly say, I’ve never looked at myself more positively than I have after kickboxing. Lauren Ramesbottom, coach at BH, has a little something to do with that too. And if I’m not at BH, It’s the master trainer, Alena Luciani, at BOLO that kicks my bum in her next to impossible Glute n’ Grind class to book on Saturday’s. Book at least two weeks in advance!
Q: What are some of your go-to studio/classes to go to in Toronto?
A: - Big Hit – Corebox
- BOLO – Glute n’ Grind
- Myodetox Performance – Steel Mace
- Beverley Cheng or Kelsey Rose bootcamps
Q: You’re also an ambassador for Bikini Village, tell us when that began and what your role is?
A: Sheer luck. Truly, I’m so grateful for this insane opportunity. Someone mentioned they were looking for their first ever ambassador and all you had to do was leave your handle and a quick reason why you want to be one in one of their posts. I very quickly wrote the reason behind #BeYouConfidently and left it. I saw a reminder for it and checked back to see hundreds of incredible women writing some of the most inspirational things. My heart was so full.
Anyway, long story short they chose me and Charlotte (they chose two instead of one, and I’m thankful they did). I’m essentially given an opportunity to use their platform to share my journey and encourage their followers to #BeYouConfidently.
Through a couple incredible trips and their reposts, they help drive traffic to my page (and vice versa), where we both get to work together to promote our brands, as well as the incredible designers they carry. And now, until the end of this year, I get the privilege of wearing some beautiful pieces and sharing #MyBikiniStory with the Bikini Village team as we work together to share some positivity and love throughout social media. It’s insane when I think about just how lucky I am. I don’t know what I did to deserve it.
Q: You are known on Instagram to write these lengthy captions on your absolutely stunning and real photos (love your feed, girl!). I told you a few weeks ago in an Insta dm how I used to dislike reading long captions on influencers’ pages, but yours changed my mind because they are always filled with real and raw inspiration. How do you come up with captions, and what inspires you to write them?
A: BLUSHING. You are far too kind. I never know how to take a compliment. But, thank you for saying that. That really means a lot to me.
Emotions. I write each caption with a flurry of emotions. Occasionally I keep them a bit lighter when talking beauty and sometimes fitness, they tend to come from a place of growth after an experience. I always ask myself what I would want to come across when scrolling through IG and could help me? I love coming across someone’s post that resonates, or, perhaps makes me think about something and think “sh*t, I don’t do that, or I should reflect on my behavior”. I even just love helpful reminders that make life a little better.
If you’ve followed me for a while, the captions changed at the one-year mark. I reassessed my content. I mean, who doesn’t love feel-good comments or compliments on something you’ve worked hard for – whether it’s body or mind. But while some of my posts bring that, I want to ensure that EVERY post also leaves someone feeling better than before they saw my post. Did it educate, entertain, or create an impact? If not, why am I posting?
Q: Do you have a favourite mantra or quote that you carry throughout your days?
A: I’ve been repeating this one for nearly five years. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – John Lennon (although made popular by John Lennon, it’s believed to have descended from an only Indian proverb).
Q: How do you like to unwind after a busy week?
A: Wine. A lot of Wine! Okay, reasonable amounts of wine and good friends. Nothing makes me happier than seeing those who matter most to me. Even if I’m exhausted from the week, hearing them laugh or tell me about the highs from their week help me relax. If I’m not out with friends, I like to order in and stay on the couch with my boyfriend. But if you know me well, cleaning also helps me unwind. I’m a bit of a Monica from friends.
Q: What does your bedtime routine look like?
A: My routine flip flops constantly. I’m trying to find a good routine but haven’t managed to find the best way to turn my brain off. I’m a very creative human being and ideas float in that brain of mine constantly. I like to write things down and my go-to is ‘notes’ in my phone. Terrible habit. Anyway, my bedtime routine typically goes a little something like this: shower and a serious skincare routine! I use that time in the bathroom as my way to unwind. I can’t watch TV, I’m not talking to anyone, and I’m definitely not looking at my phone. I take my time and appreciate every minute of it. This usually helps bring me back to earth and get ready for bed.
If I don’t opt to watch tv, I crawl into bed, catch up on social media, and then turn my nighttime music on. Yes, I have to turn on a particular song and set the time on my phone for 30 minutes (October Skies by Ebb & Flod). I focus on the sounds and avoid reaching for my phone. A little tip for bedtime reminders: set your phone to lower the screen brightness at your optimal bedtime. This will remind you to stop what you’re doing and consider going to bed.
Q: What advice would you give other social media influencers on how to build a following?
A: Be authentic and grow organically. Don’t buy followers, don’t use bots, and don’t buy into loop giveaways (unless you’re working with a company you represent to do a giveaway, I don’t mind those). I know that the number of followers mean a lot to most people, however, after listening to The MFCEO Project podcast about influencing, it’s about the engagement and focused comments. Don’t get addicted to the likes, focus on who is engaging with your content and if their comments loop back to your caption. If you’re going to sell someone, 1,000 likes from people/bots won’t help you. People who trust you and engage with you will be the ones buying what you’re selling. So, if you’re trying to build an authentic following with the purpose of educating, selling, or simply entertaining, focus on producing quality content that has some purpose behind it. Do that, the following will come naturally. It may take time, but at least you put the work in.
Q: What does Healthy is Hot mean to you?
A: When Chloe Wilde started using the hashtag I gravitated toward her. It was a hashtag used to finally promote healthy as the new hot. You worked out? That’s hot. You took care of your body and fueled it today? That’s hot. So, what it means to me is very similar to Chloe’s. Healthy is hot is about dedicating the time and sweat to giving our body what it needs and simultaneously changing our perceptions of our bodies to a more positive one. As we boost those endorphins and feel good about our commitment to ourselves, we being to see ourselves as the incredible human beings we are! And that’s what’s hot. Our dedication to loving ourselves and committing to ourselves.
Follow Claudia’s awesome Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/urban.meets.erban/
Check out Urban Meets Erban: https://www.urbanmeetserban.com