10 things Claire Bruce can't live without

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Claire Bruce (Laura Simon)

Claire Bruce says when she was growing up in Kennett, Mo., Cape Girardeau was the place to come when you needed to get out of a small town. After living in big cities -- Nashville, Dallas and Chicago -- Claire decided to move back to Cape Girardeau.

"Living in Chicago and Dallas, it was too big. Kennett was a little too small," she says. "Cape is just the right size." She says Cape is the first place she's felt a connection to the community.

Claire owns her own business, Merchapolitan, and does market research for companies to find ways to connect with their target audience. She recently started Sloan & Themis, a vintage jewelry business on, she says, a shoestring budget. "It's kind of my science fair project," she says. With Sloan & Themis, Claire says she has the freedom to build, rebuild and tweak the brand. And she's tracking and recording everything to determine how she can get the largest returns for little cost -- things she can translate into work with her other clients.

In her spare time -- which there isn't a lot of, she says -- Claire likes to spend time with family and friends and these 10 things she can't live without.

Lunch at the Corner Grocery. I have a pretty busy work schedule and sometimes I would have to skip lunch. That was until I found out that the Corner Grocery did lunch. Miss Mary [Gentry] is an amazing lady, who really knows how to make all the country cooking favorites that we grew up with! It has been a great pleasure getting to know her and her husband, Mr. Robert.

Vintage brooches. I have been collecting vintage brooches since I was a child. For my birthday this year my friend Deb at Pastimes Antiques gave me an incredible blue vintage Weiss brooch.

Vintage Belleek Limpet. This year for Christmas, my best buddy, Paula Haas, gave me my first Belleek Limpet bowl because she knew my family was from Ireland. It is the most delicate porcelain I have ever seen. Simply beautiful.

PBS app for iPad. I am a big Masterpiece Theater nerd. Thanks to this little free app, I don't have to wait for Sunday night to get my fix!

Aveda Chakra No. 2. eDen sells the best-smelling all natural perfumes. I love it!

Jane Iredale Lip Fixation. I am like most women -- just too busy to run and reapply lipstick every few hours. I am a huge fan of Lip Fixation because it will not wear off. Seriously, it once lasted nine hours!

Blue Lizard sunblock. One of my health routines is to always wear sunscreen. Lee at Broadway Prescription Shop told me about Blue Lizard. It's probably the best one I have ever tried.

Edmundo Ros albums. I first heard his Wedding Samba in the movie "A Good Year," and I was hooked. I had to download the rest of Edmundo's repertoire.

"Cook with Jamie." I started watching Jamie Oliver 10 years ago and noticed that I started cooking better after watching several of his shows. His book "Cook with Jamie" has continued that education.

My neighbors and friends downtown. I truly live in the most wonderful place! I chose to live here because I love the people in the neighborhood and the vibe of downtown.

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