Content Strategist and Freelance Writer
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.
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.