One of the greatest things about starting The Select 7 has been meeting really fascinating, strong, beautiful, smart and successful individuals. I am in awe of the sheer number of humans out there who are doing interesting things in interesting ways, and I am humbled beyond words to be in the company of so many of them. One such babe is Jackie Clark, a PR guru by day and leader of the Babes With Coffee movement at all other hours. Her side hustle started out as a way for her to share her love of the greatest beverage ever created along with her passion for photography, but it quickly grew into much more than just your average blog. I'll let her take it from here, but the bottom line is that there are lessons to be learned everywhere. Even in your morning cup of coffee.
When I started the instagram Babes With Coffee, I had every intention of using the platform to post beautiful pictures of my friends at the most aesthetically pleasing coffee spots I could find. After all, taking photos and drinking coffee are my two FAVORITE activities. Two years later, my partner Michelle and I have launched a blog, a coffee line, partnered with a charity and met more inspiring women than I can count. I can’t say that this was what I was expecting, but I can share with you the amazing things I have learned along the way ...
- Jackie Clark
1, Women who support women are happier and more successful
I cannot stress enough how true this statement is. One of the best take-aways from running BWC has been that women are our best allies. Those I have met along this journey have inspired me with their honesty, ambition and will to fight against norms. A lot of them have become my biggest cheerleaders and even closer friends!
2. There is power in vulnerability
One theme I have seen time and time again is that those who are the happiest are those who are the most honest. By no means is anyone on BWC “perfect”, and the beautiful thing is that none of them are afraid to tell you that! One of our features, Alison Joseph, details her personal struggle with anorexia. She describes her fears and challenges in her recovery without shame, guilt or worry of what others will think. Despite this life challenge, she is one of the most strong and happy people I have ever met. My favorite, and admittedly most overused Brené Brown quote is, “What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful,” and I couldn’t agree more.
3. You CAN make a difference
I can't tell you how grateful I am for my BWC partner, Michelle Hadley. She was the brainchild behind our partnership with Laura’s House OC, a shelter that aids women and children fleeing domestic abuse. I never thought that I would be able to help others in an impactful way because I didn’t have the means or social influence, but Michelle taught me differently. She taught me that a kind act, no matter how small, makes a huge impact. Although we are not a huge force on social media, we have been able to fund a donation and raffle in which the all proceeds were donated to Laura’s House. Additionally, we donate a portion of all our cap and coffee sales to the organization.
4. Connection is key
Coffee culture is amazing in that it fosters connections with others. So many of my friendships have formed over the love of a good cup of joe. As someone who has battled with anxiety and depression, it's so important to connect with others in order to get through it. Coffee has been a great medium for me to open up and bond with some really awesome people.
5. Find something you love
Well this is a no-brainer, but honestly, I didn't know what I really “loved” until starting BWC. Like most young adults, I was (and still am) searching for my true identity. But through this journey I have learned that I love friendship and really really good coffee and learning that has made my life full.
6. Start small
Both Michelle and I had a strong desire to support a local, female-focused organization. In our research, we were shocked to learn that over 40% of women in California have experienced physical violence from their intimate partner. This discovery led us to Laura’s House OC, a non-profit that offers help to victims of domestic violence. Since forming our partnership, we have hosted a raffle, fundraiser, and have committed to donating a portion of all sales from our website to the organization. If you are looking to give back, look around you! Their are countless local organizations that can use your help.
7. Kindness matters
I think one of the biggest take-aways I have from working with Laura’s House and connecting with so many other inspiring women, is that kindness is so important. Every single person has their own battle. Trust me, no matter how perfect a person may seem there is always something. I have learned that my words and actions can have an impact on someone even when I don’t realize it. Being nice is easy, free, and helps make a difference!
Jackie Clark is a passionate Chapman Graduate with experience branding and launching her own company, Babes With Coffee, an Instagram account and blog geared toward millennial women and the digital coffee culture. Babes With Coffee has since bloomed into a small business aimed at selling apparel and coffee in order to raise money for nonprofits.
Currently, she works full-time at a nationally recognized boutique, lifestyle PR agency in Los Angeles. She is continually working with consumer and lifestyle clients in order to help them stand out in media and on their social platforms.