Have you ever been just going along in your daily life and felt compelled to connect with a certain person? It may be a little strange. Okay, maybe it’s just me. But it happens to me sometimes. Okay, it happens to me a lot. It might appear that I’m a stalker, but I have such an interest in the stories of how women get the courage to start their businesses, I simply can’t help it.
Somehow along the way, I started following Bree Clarke on social media.
I saw her leading these fabulous, and beautifully diverse, workshops for women all around the DFW metroplex and I was so intrigued. As I paid more attention, and started listening to the parts of her story she would share on social media, that intrigue turned to incredible respect and admiration. So I reached out to her to connect.
Parts of Bree’s story might seem unfathomable to the watching world.
She’s experienced everything from homelessness and jail time to running several successful businesses, alongside her husband and her two boys. She’s the first to tell you that her success has, not been in spite of her struggle, but it’s been precisely because of her struggle. At one point, she had a house, but no table. She sat with her family on an air mattress to eat a meal.
She wanted a pretty table but couldn’t afford one.
Her dad came in to town to teach Bree and Carlos how to build their own table. As our struggles often do, it became her gift to the world. Together they began making farmhouse tables for their friends and selling them online.
They built a business and a new life around that table.
It’s a life that took a lot of courage to build. Bree calls herself “A walking second chance”. It’s precisely that humble perspective that inspires others to follow her, connect with her, and do business with her. She embraces the messy reality of life, while also demanding that we each take ownership of our own paths.
Bree shines a bright light on our preconceived ideas about each other.
She knows what it feels like to be judged by her past. She’s felt the sting of that judgement more times than she cares to remember, but she uses that pain as the rocket fuel to propel her forward. It’s become the basis for her battle cry.
“Everyone deserves a seat at the table. No matter who you are or where you are in life, no matter your background, your religion, or your opinion, you deserve a seat at the table.
You deserve a place to go and feel welcome.”
Every single month at GNO, we talk about the importance of going below the highlight reel of our social media feeds, to the stories that weave us all together.
Bree’s story is such a beautiful example of what that looks like.
You never know what the beautiful woman next to you is going through today, or has been through in her past. Don’t let her outsides fool you. Don’t believe her social media feed is all there is. There’s always more.
Reach out to connect.
You never know what’s waiting for you around the table.
to more love,