When a trained stage actor realizes her love of storytelling can be translated into the digital and event spaces, don’t dare bring around a cloud to rain on her parade. San Antonio creative and experience curator Christina Cate of Cate Creative knows just how to connect clients with their audiences in any space. With a quickly growing consulting business that she nurtured alongside her infant son, Cate has recently leaped from the nonprofit world into full-time entrepreneurship, and is weighing in on work ethic, the importance of a trusted support network, and the heroic powers of balance, determination and devotion she learned from her mother that inspire her work both on stage and behind-the-scenes.
On the path that led to Cate Creative:
Cate Creative was born the same week my son TJ was born, two years ago. I was on unpaid maternity leave and had developed the skills in my day job(s) to do creative freelance work. Due to the relationships I cultivated in my full-time positions in the nonprofit arts world, I picked up some clients by word of mouth. Before I knew it, I was planning small parties, doing graphic design and managing social media accounts. After a few years of running Cate Creative in the evenings and on the weekends, my client list more than quadrupled and I was faced with a real decision to make: pull back, or lean in. I chose to lean in. Even though I still wrestle with a bit of imposter syndrome, it is exhilarating to be taking the leap.
On how a theater background was preparation for creative consulting:
My background and education is in the production and performance of live theatre, which some might think is a far cry from the world of marketing. However, being trained as an actor is basically akin to taking a crash-course in marketing, communications, public relations, design, literature, and even a dash of anthropology. Actors are storytellers first and foremost, and that is my goal with each Cate Creative project I approach: to tell a story that any given audience is dying to hear.
On the importance of a strong support system:
The incredible support system I have is what ultimately drowns out the voices of self-doubt that I experience as a solo entrepreneur. That network of support I lean on daily is mostly comprised of women mentors and family members; however, it is my husband who did not hesitate to offer his unconditional support when I was faced with the decision of whether or not to take Cate Creative full-time and transition out of a more secure working environment. I am certainly not the first person to make a jump into a career like this, but I am humbled by the idea just the same. As the character Rose would say in the musical Gypsy, “Gangway, world, get off of my runway!”
On her personal female hero:
At the risk of sounding cliché, my hero is my mom. I have always admired her work ethic, but I don’t think I truly understood her superhero powers until I became a mom myself. From the time I was five, my mom was a single parent, working full time, and at one point also earning her Master’s Degree. If that wasn’t enough, she was (and still is) extremely involved in the performing arts community and often took me to various shows, events and board meetings that sparked the passions I still pursue today. Without knowing, she instilled that tireless determination in me. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without the love and support she has given me (and now my own family) every single day of my life.
Connect with Christina Cate @cc.create.
This profile was (Em)Powered by Cate Creative.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.