Rise’s Radical Renegade is a monthly series featuring interviews with trailblazing career mavens. Meet Michelle Alerte, guardian of New Women Space along with her brother, Philip Alerte. New Women Space is a vibrant and affirming community-led event space centered on inclusivity, gender equity, creative expression, and the celebration of identity.

Why did you start your company?

To create a safe space for women, people of color and members of the queer community to meet, share ideas and celebrate our differences. We are motivated by the overwhelming enthusiasm our community displays! Our mission is to build strong relationships, create economic opportunity, and inspire possibility for women, POC, femme, queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming individuals in an accessible, supportive, safer space.

What are some of the major lessons you’ve learned along the way?

It takes a team, hard work and little luck to make a successful company.

Tell us about a setback you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Um… Covid-19. We are an event space and we had to virtual programming. Once again we were surprised by how much the community seems to need the virtual platform so we have created Virtual Memberships!

What advice do you have for women who feel stuck in their careers?

Ask other women! Talk share ideas look for mentors in your desired fields. I am a storyteller. Be it telling stories through my romance novels, through poetry, or through producing web shows or events, I always look for what brings people together and encourages us to see ourselves and be seen by others. I have owned a T-shirt company, currently own a photo booth company, @KaptureKinetics, have created and published several comic strips, written a short play, etc. Essentially, if it involves creativity and birthing an idea from start to finish, I’m all over it!

We all know how difficult work/life balance is, how do you draw the line to create separation in these two spheres?

Well New Women Space is not work, it is a lifestyle. Although we do work hard, we never forget to relax enjoy our space and each other. Also, our programming trends towards work balance, life balance and being our best selves.