Catching Up With Claudia Sulewski In Quarantine
The leading influencer talks life on the internet, her new podcast “We Bought A House,” and spreading positivity amid the pandemic.
The internet exists on an ever-evolving landscape, and oftentimes, appealing to the zeitgeist is a difficult feat, but YouTube personality Claudia Sulewski’s long-standing digital prowess certainly stands the test of time. For the 24-year-old starlet, who uploaded her life-changing first video to the streaming platform over nine years ago, the bedrock to her almost decade-long success is her unfiltered realness. “Being on the platform for so long, I’ve always tried to maintain authenticity through my content and just focus on being myself,” says Sulewski. “I really value that because so many of the relationships I have with my followers have existed for so long. Although I grew up and changed a bunch, at the same time, that same person is still in there.” Each of Sulewski’s diary-like videos showcase a new facet to her well-put-together yet oh-so-carefree personality, and it’s that genuine portrayal that cinches an incomparable camaraderie between the weekly vlogger and her fans.
Sulewski’s entire reality exists in the public eye. Everything from her worldwide travels and her interior design endeavors to her workout regimen and her relationship with musician Finneas O’Connell is documented for her viewers to enjoy, to the point that her internet identity has essentially molded into a scrapbook of her personal life. “Because I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve built a natural filter where I subconsciously know what I should or shouldn’t include [in my videos],” she explains. “For me, as long as the creation of content doesn’t diminish what’s happening in the present moment, then I’m happy with it.”
Rightfully proud of her captivating videos, Sulewski reflects on a compliment Finneas once gave her on her ability to create exemplary content while also living in the moment. “It was our first Coachella together and I showed him the final edit of my video after the festival, and he was like, ‘I don’t even remember you holding the camera in half of these moments, you record them so subtly.’” Never wanting to ruin an experience with a camera’s interference, Sulewski has mastered the art of capturing life at just the right moments. “I’d rather create the moment on camera or keep [my recording] low key and subtle. I think that’s what keeps it organic.”
In the face of treachery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sulewski aims to provide an elevated sense of blissful escape through her YouTube channel. Altering her usual layout, which typically provides an inside look into the happenings of her daily life, the leading lifestyle influencer is now looking to inspire her viewers with mindful, forward-looking conversations. Before pressing record, she asks herself, “What can I center my conversations around to make sure that my content is thoughtful and enriching in some way?” In these uncharted times, answering that question is incredibly difficult, but Sulewski believes encouraging an optimistic mentality is the most important usage of her platform at the moment. “Whether it’s spreading positivity or just giving a reminder to stretch, it’s all about figuring out how I can redirect the conversations that I’m having with my followers because this is such a time of reflection,” she explains.
Ultimately, Sulewski’s own reflections echo those of the disheartened, citing that today’s difficult climate is making her realize friendship’s vital contributions to a healthy mind. “This time is helping us recognize and appreciate the things that we took for granted,” she says. “I miss the fuck out of my friends! My hope is that after all of this mellows out, people will cherish that real time with each other and enjoy face-to-face communication.”
Furthering her platform as a home base for good-natured escape, Sulewski recently debuted a podcast with her boyfriend Finneas titled “We Bought A House,” where the inseparable pair get refreshingly candid about their relationship and speak on the highs and the lows of their life together. “All we do is just sit and talk for an hour, but if that can bring entertainment for someone and help them escape for just a little bit, that’s the goal,” says Sulewski. While it feels near impossible to avoid discussing the world’s health crisis, Sulewski and Finneas challenge themselves to talk about the laughable moments during their quarantine together in an effort to lift spirits. “It’s been an escape for us because it forces us to talk about things that aren’t just about [the pandemic]. It forces us to find the funnier moments in our week and the things that could brighten someone’s day, which has been a fun exercise for us. And it seems to be helping others out, too.”
While YouTube is Sulewski’s main outlet for creativity, she certainly doesn’t shy away from exploring other artistic realms. Most recently, the videographer-turned-designer partnered with Nordstrom BP for an all-encompassing, exclusive capsule collection of graphic tees, matching sets, dresses, biker shorts, and an extensive range of accessories, among many other pieces. Appropriately named BP x Claudia Sulewski, the collection marked the influencer’s first official step into fashion, and not only did she take part in drawing up the designs, Sulewski also acted as creative director for the line’s social media campaign, crafted all of the advertisements, and produced her own lookbook for the launch.
As for the future, the budding creator seeks to continue designing, although in an entirely different business sector: homeware. “Every single day, I’m drawing up random different designs, like a reusable utensil kit that’s to-go and it’s cute, or this tote bag that turns into a grocery bag,” she says. “I want to figure out what exactly I want to create that’s going to make this world a better place, and I want it to be very eco-conscious.” Whatever that may be, it’s safe to say that the future will hold an official collection of sustainable, Claudia Sulewski-approved house essentials.
Centering on the overarching messages she intends to share on her platform, Sulewski finds a strong focal point in personal growth. “I focus a ton on self-improvement,” she affirms. “Whether it’s your environment or your health, your body, the way you view yourself, the thing that I always want to come across with my videos is being kind and gentle to yourself and others.” A task much easier said than done, Sulewski dedicates a portion of her channel to videos on health and well-being, each of which instill an inspired sense of motivation in the viewer upon watching.
On a grander level, Sulewski identifies her life-long goals with her life in the spotlight. “Personally, I want to be remembered as kind and hard working,” she fondly reveals. “YouTube is a platform where you can literally say and do anything and there’s so much power in your hands, so I want to be more mindful of that and be a positive light.” Through her career’s longevity and specifically amidst the dangers of today’s global pandemic, Sulewski is undoubtedly living up to the archetype she sets out for herself—creating content with the viewer’s well-being at the forefront of her process and never failing to end each of her videos on a much-needed, feel-good note.
Head to Claudia Sulewski’s YouTube channel to keep up with her life at home, and tune into “We Bought A House” for all of her engaging and candid discussions with Finneas, below.