Ladies, I have such a Valentine’s treat for you today! We get to chat to the gorgeous Emily Claire Clarke, founder of Busy Bee Well: Elegant Effortless Living. When I first discovered Ms. Clarke’s glamorous Instagram page, I was taken in by her beautiful and charming personality and style.
After reading her life story I was even more impressed by her courage and determination to live a beautiful life no matter the circumstances. I am sure you too will be inspired by her story!
Welcome, dear Emily, to The Not-So Desperate Housewives community! It’s such an honor to feature you here. Could you please tell us a little bit about your personal love story? How did you meet your husband and how did he propose?
Absolutely! My husband and I were set up on a blind date. I was at a crossroads in my life- I had just left a dream job- “the role a million girls would kill for” and was feeling lost and unsure of my path. Plus, I was on my monthly juice cleanse and a “drink” did not fit into the health agenda…
It did not seem like the time to date but, I am so grateful the desire to dress up and get out of The Upper East Side for a few hours prevailed. I remember shyly walking into The Rose Bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel and immediately spying the most handsome figure, in a red Hermes tie, seated at the bar and thinking “Wow! Now that is a gentleman!”
When I checked my text messages, I was thrilled to read that my date had messaged me that he was seated at the end of the bar and wearing a red tie.
“As we stood at the bar waiting for our table, a couple began chatting with us and predicted that we would get married!”Emily Claire Clarke
The night was completely refreshing- my husband was an open book and came prepared to lay his cards out on the table. By the end of the first date, it felt like we were on a third date. We chatted openly about religion, politics, our families, and our future goals and dreams.
I also appreciated his optimism- having hoped that the drinks would go well, he made a reservation at a restaurant in the area and asked me to move on to dinner with him.
I had to decline because of the juice cleanse but, we had a proper dinner date that Friday night at Elio’s. As we stood at the bar waiting for our table, a couple began chatting with us and predicted that we would get married!
Of course, we both laughed knowing that it was our first real date…The prophecy was correct because thirteen months later we were married! Six months into our relationship, the bank transferred my then boyfriend back to London.
Neither of us wanted to experiment with long distance- for us, it would have felt like taking several steps backwards in our blossoming relationship. As luck would have it, I was presented with the opportunity to relocate to London, with my recently found job.
I jumped excitedly at the opportunity, booked a one way ticket and never looked back! I moved to London in January and in May of the same year received a proposal. Our proposal was heartfelt but, not as I had imagined it would be as a daydreaming girl growing up.
Mr. Bee’s birthday is May 26th which also is a bank holiday-meaning that he has the day off of Bloomberg and out of the office. My husband is an early-riser and true to his “early bird catches the worm” nature, he asked me to marry him at five in the morning on a dark and rainy Monday May 26th.
Of course we were at home and my alarm was not set to go off for another two hours but, in retrospect, I appreciate his enthusiasm at the prospect of us becoming partners for life.
It still sounds very romantic! After getting married and moving to London you were then diagnosed with a rare illness. How were you able to deal with this great challenge?
Yes. Actually, I had my first Trigeminal Neuralgia attack two weeks before Mr. Bee proposed. Thinking back that he knew I might be sick and still chose to propose and marry me- it is undeniable proof that his love was and is unconditional.
As I was so new to London- I had no friends, no gym acquaintances, no network of doctors and healthcare providers- I was without community and totally lost. Plus, my family and friends were five to six hours behind London time so, communicating my real needs in real time was impossible.
This forced me to communicate both my physical and emotional pain to my new husband who became not only my husband but, my health advocate in the first year of life with Trigeminal Neuralgia.
I was blessed because my husband learned to effectively communicate with my American family through daily health updates and I became immediately immersed in his lovely northern Italian family when his mother flew in from Italy and lived with us when I could not be on my own.
The support of our families coordinated through Mr. Bee is one of the ways I was able to deal with and navigate my diagnosis.
My health struggles have taught me that each and every day- even the mundane ones spent at home in lockdown – is worthy of appreciation and celebration simply because the day has been spent together with my partner in love and life.Emily Claire Clarke
Wow, that was a real test of the strength of your union. What is your best advice for using an unexpected hardship bring you closer together in your marriage?
Take everything one day at a time or, one hour at a time if needed. Understand that your values and future goals are in sync so, use the hardship’s challenges to learn to live fully in the present moment and to communicate without fear or shame (emotions that exist only in the regrets of the past and fears of the future).
Rock-bottom teaches you life’s greatest lessons and my health struggles have taught me that each and every day- even the mundane ones spent at home in lockdown – is worthy of appreciation and celebration-simply because the day has been spent together with my partner in love and life.
That is very wise advice. How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?
Our Valentine’s Day will be celebrated at home with an exchange of handwritten notes before a homemade dinner in the dining room. I believe that food is medicine and as such- I joyfully accept the responsibility of cooking nutritious and delicious meals for our little family- including our Yorkshire terrier, Georgina.
Our love is the foundation of our home and with each other- we have everything we need!Emily Claire Clarke
The centerpiece on the table will be 50 tulips from The Flower Bx, who does all of the florals at The Mark Hotel in New York- which is our favorite hotel in America! And, the silver will be that of my husband’s late Grandmother who was both a supreme hostess and a devoted wife. It is all about the details!
Of course, there will be place cards from my Busy Bee Mail line- white tented cards with hand engraved gold “Everyone Worth Knowing”- to emphasize that our love is the foundation of our home and with each other- we have everything we need!
Busy Bee Well & Busy Bee Mail
Busy Bee Well was born after I returned to school to study nutrition. I launched the Instagram account to connect with other women afflicted with chronic pain and invisible illnesses to exchange successes and share failures without judgement.
Over the years, it has become a small but mighty community of women who embrace “progress not perfection” and celebrate the healing journey.
Before the pandemic, I hosted anti-inflammatory cooking parties in partnership with The Rosewood London and The Outnet. I am happiest bringing women together for a night of celebrating themselves and the new friends around them. Community over competition!
Now that we cannot gather together, and I cannot work with clients in person, I am working virtually just to provide a bit of support and gently advise women who are struggling with their Trigeminal Neuralgia. In the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from lovely women in Chicago and Australia!
During London’s first lockdown, I was moved to launch a line of stationery, notepads and place cards to encourage women to: sit down, slow down and, put pen to paper to remind those they were separated from of their love.
The stationery is hand cut, hand engraved and the envelopes are hand lined, in the heart of Mayfair-in accordance to the highest luxury standards. English craftsmanship served with an American girl twist!
I have just finished the designs for the third collection and cannot wait to share them with you, Mrs. Hannover!
I hope you enjoyed getting to know the fabulous Emily Claire Clarke and that she inspired you to make each and everyday beautiful – no matter where you are or how you’re feeling.
P.S. If you didn’t you get a chance to read my review of Myka Meier’s Duchess Effect online course click here.