Shanika Hillocks
@shanikahillocks
Content Strategist and Freelance Writer  
Harlem

Shanika is shaking up the wine and spirit sector, where women are a still outnumbered. Her authentic vulnerability and courageous spirit is leading the way for other women to follow her lead and break molds of representation.

Shanika Hillocks is a NYC-based content strategist and freelance writer specializing in the food and beverage alcohol spaces. A public relations professional by trade, she has conceptualized influencer programs, executed events, and secured placements in top media outlets.

Q&A

What's been one of your biggest challenges that you've courageously pushed past?

Navigating the wine and spirits space as a woman of color is a daily challenge due to the sheer lack of representation. Sadly, it's still very much still  an "old boys" club and the gatekeepers--editors, the C-Suite, bartenders, writers--are white and male.That said, I use my physical presence to take up space and showcase that I am here, I am smart and very much active in this industry.

How do you practice self-love?

An easy and simple practice I like to implement is burning some sage or smudging palo santo. I enjoy cleaning away any negativity and welcoming the arrival of creative energy. An unsanctioned tradition my partner and I have is cooking for one another at home. Slowing down and procuring ingredients for a meal, cooking with someone you love and enjoying it across from each other at the table is something I appreciate, especially amongst all the cocktail events and comped meals that are often a bit indulgent.  

How do you best express yourself and let yourself be truly seen by others?

I practice kindness, say "good morning," smile and aim to be genuinely interested in someone when conversing. As New Yorkers, we have a tendency to stay in our own world, but keeping connected and practicing subtle aspects of humanity like these really allows me to express my best self.