Home > Life > TMC Talks > TMC Talks To Kim Palmer Founder Of Clementine App.
What is the story behind Clementine?

Well the story behind Clementine very much starts with my own struggles with my mental health. I started Clementine back in 2017 after I had a mental health breakdown that meant I lost my confidence completely. At its worst I thought I might have to give up my career as I was so stressed and anxious and was having panic attacks on a daily basis. To cut a long story short I found hypnotherapy which got me out of a very dark hole and I realized that I had found a tool that could help me sleep, relieve my stress, build up my confidence – it was like a complete savior. After spending a few years getting better but seeing more and more women like me suffering (in silence) I thought it was time to do something to help them and I built Clementine. It started as a passion project and now we have a perfectly formed team of 4 women who live and breathe finding innovative ways to help women look after their emotional wellbeing and their mindsets. The first thing we created was our award winning app, now we have our walking club and there is more solutions in the pipeline 🙂

Sum Clementine up in 3 words:

Better….sleep & confidence

What does your day or week entail?

Well I’ve got two young boys (7 & 3) so let’s just say it’s busy and noisy hahaha. Both my partner and I work fulltime so it’s a bit of a juggling act. A typical day looks look this: Breakfast with everyone sat at the table everyday – this is so important to me or I find that I don’t start the day feeling grounded and together with the family. I mean it’s chaotic but I like it. My partner does the school/nursery run so I get a chance to move in the morning before I start work at 9am. I either walk or take a short jog (emphasis on jog not run). This is a ritual for me. I find I have a clearer head if I’ve had a chance to move and get fresh air. I only ever have one coffee a day as it makes me quite panicky. But I make it a ritual – taking my time to make it really nice and sitting down to drink before I start at 9am I work solidly until 3.30pm and then I do the school run. Then I’m with the family making dinner or doing homework. My kids go to bed quite early and are asleep by 7pm. I normally log back into work for a few hours and I love this time as it’s no meetings and I can get on with some creative work. A couple of nights I do a boxing club and I’ve just joined a lifting club too so I feel soooo much better as I feel myself getting stronger. Fridays are my fav day of the week. We always have pizza and movie night on Fridays. Saturday mornings are sport with the boys and then we do nothing on Sat afternoons. I try not to plan anything as I kind of feel it’s good for us all to just chill at home and learn to be ok with not doing stuff all the time. Sundays are the same – usually no plans and try to keep it simple. We usually take the boys for a walk or a bike ride but apart from that it’s a whole load of nothing which suits us.

What has been your proudest moment of Clementine to date?

Ohh good question. I think in the early days it was seeing Clementine on the front page of The Guardian as ‘one of the seven apps every women should own’ and I had no clue it was going to be there. I was at work (as I had a job at the time) and someone in my office showed it to me and most people were aware I had this side hustle but I think they sort of just thought it was not something of interest or value. I suppose this gave me some external validation that what I was creating was of value.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Oh gosh that’s hard as there are so many challenges. But I suppose the biggest challenge is how to grow and scale Clementine without spending loads of money on marketing. That is hard you know. It keeps me up at night trying to figure out new innovative ways to partner with other businesses to grow. It takes a lot longer than just buying ads. But I hope it will pay off in the longer term.

Something you’ve learnt that is crucial to either your job or to success:

I think the biggest one for me is about how to trust my own instinct. I’ve made some fairly bad decisions that have had long lasting impacts and when I really think about it, it was because I didn’t listen to the feeling I had in my stomach. I went with my head and not my heart. And the other is about when to listen to other people’s opinions and advice and when to acknowledge it but not take it on. I have a tendency to put others up on pedestals and think everyone knows more than me so this is one that I have to constantly be aware of.

Greatest piece of advice you’ve been given? And worst?

Worst piece of advice I was given was when I was climbing the corporate career ladder and it was before I had kids. A very senior woman told me that if I wanted to become the Director of Marketing at this company I was working for that I should try to do this before I had kids. Well that was totally unhelpful because I became like some crazy obsessed person about getting promoted and then when I became pregnant rather than slowing down, I sped up and it was a huge trigger for me developing anxiety and panic attacks. Rubbish advice. Best piece of advice was from an old boss who posed a question to me. He said if you could do anything in the world Kim what would it be? He then said because Kim you are capable of doing anything. So before you jump to the next job, have a think about what you would like to do. I was like wooooooo that’s a big question and not one I had asked myself for years and years. This set me off on a completely different path and was the beginning of me thinking it was time to step off the corporate ladder and start my own thing.

How important is it to switch off?

OMG so important. I’m still working on this tbh as I find my work so compelling that I just keep working and working and working but that’s not healthy. So that’s very much why I structure my day and week with lots of moments of non-working time like exercising or being with the kids and then doing my exercise clubs etc. I really notice the benefits of switching off from work and immersing myself in something completely different. It actually makes my work better. As an example I had a pretty shitty week at work this week and I was finding myself a bit obsessed and I had lost perspective. When I’m in that mode I just keep working. So I recognized this and took a few hours off yesterday to watch my son play cricket as I knew I needed to switch off. And it was amazing and I felt so renewed and good about life again. And today I feel like I’m on fire with my work.

How do you manage your work / life balance?

It’s all about how I structure my days. Focusing on having lots of mini rituals that I know make me feel good like the coffee, like the movement, getting outside etc. I also don’t really believe in this whole concept of balance which I think has helped me a lot. I try to focus less on striving for balance and focus more on boundaries – figuring out what I will say no to and yes to and changing it all the time.

How do manage mum guilt?

Oh gosh that’s a hard one. Again I think I’ve just accepted that it’s part of being a Mum and rather than feeling bad for feeling guilty I kind of sink into it and then I find it passes much quicker. I also usually talk to my sister about it too as she helps to rationalize things.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?

Stop trying to fit in. Just be you and the more you are you the more you will feel comfortable to be and do anything you want.

Words you live by

Progress not perfection – I wish the word perfect didn’t exist. In my world it doesn’t and I just keep going and that is enough.

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