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Meet Christa Clarke of Cubicles to Cocktails in Neartown-Montrose

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christa Clarke.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am from Chicagoland. However, after living in Houston since 2008, I now consider myself a born-again Texan! I earned both my Bachelor’s in Bioengineering and Master’s in Bioscience & Health Policy from Rice University. After completing my master’s, I began working in the Texas Medical Center.

Upon reentering the workforce, I felt that my creativity was blocked, and my clarity about my life became muddled. I wanted an outlet to reignite and express my creativity while processing the many emotions I was—and still am— encountering as I continue discovering, “What is my purpose in life?”

So in 2016, I started my personal blog Freeing She, where I write about topics that range from personal development to goal setting, wellness to relationships, and career to blogging. I strongly value community and did not want to go at this journey alone! Therefore, I started hosting a meetup group at the same time.

I am ambitious, especially when it comes to my career and actively pursuing my ideal lifestyle. One day in Summer 2017, I was enjoying a happy hour after work. I thought to myself, “Wow, I really love being an ambitious Black woman!” I also love cocktails and conversations. I thought, “Aha! Cubicles to Cocktails!” and officially debuted the event series on February 1, 2018.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Growing both of my ventures—my organization Cubicles to Cocktails and my blog Freeing She— simultaneously has been everything but easy. I have to juggle my many roles: career woman, entrepreneur, blogger, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I also have to make my mental and physical well-being a priority. Contrary to popular belief, most of us do not have as many “hours” in the day as Beyoncé— she literally has a beehive of staff adding thousands of productivity hours to her day.

As a new organization and platform, I don’t have a part-time or full-time team to support Cubicles to Cocktails, yet. Therefore, I rely heavily on volunteers, my friends, and my husband to fill in where needed— especially around event time. I don’t have Fortune 500 company sponsors backing me, yet. I self-fund Cubicles to Cocktails including all of the events, for now.

Truthfully, many people just don’t know how financially and physically taxing well-produced events, even events at my current scale, are to host. Staying true to my nature, I collaborate! I partner with executive leadership coaches, small business owners, local influencers and creatives, to name a few to help make each event a success!

Overall, what I do and witnessing the growth of the women in my community is rewarding and exhilarating! I constantly am motivated to continue pressing forward for us!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cubicles to Cocktails story. Tell us more about the business.
Cubicles to Cocktails is an organization and platform for success-minded career women looking to connect with, learn from, and grow with other driven, creative, and success-minded women. We host workshops and events as well as provide resources and tools for women wanting to level up in their careers and build their ideal lifestyles.

Currently, Cubicles to Cocktails focuses on curating and hosting career and leadership development events in Houston, TX. However, I have several exciting new aspects in the pipeline, including taking this show on the road!

I created Cubicles to Cocktails with Black, Brown, and Latinx career women of color in mind. For women, especially for women of color, corporate or traditional work environments can be sterile, very masculine, and even hostile towards us. As we move up the career ladder, gender and racial/ethnic diversity decreases, intensifying the barriers we face. We may find ourselves shrinking away from expressing ourselves in a way that we feel is authentic. We may find a lack of outlets to have meaningful and vulnerable conversations relevant to us. Shockingly, for ambitious women, we may also find a lack of training or resources tailored towards our experiences and reality.

As a millennial, a feminist, and a cocktail connoisseur, what makes Cubicles to Cocktails unique is that I create experiences that are as genuine, meaningful, and lively as the conversations you would have with gal friends during happy hour. I strive for every Cubicles to Cocktails experience to provide an avenue for millennial, career women to connect on a deeper level with other ambitious women as well invest in their careers and lives.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My proudest moments always occur when I learn of the impact that Cubicles to Cocktails and Freeing She has had in the lives of my community. Freeing She has been the catalyst for women seeking therapy, accomplishing their “big, scary” goals, as well as starting blogs of their own. Cubicles to Cocktails has been the catalyst for women to further their education, negotiate for better salaries and promotions, find career mentors, and even launch businesses. These moments remind me why I do the work I do!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Morgan Wade, FotoHer Co

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