Bree Clarke always says that she is a walking second chance.
About eight years ago, she was arrested and taken to jail for fraudulent possession of IDs. She had gone out with friends and gotten drunk when she picked up someone else’s credit card, ID, and library card.
“And when you pick up those things, guys, you’re supposed to turn them in,” she says. “I didn’t turn them in. I was drunk.”
Later that evening, they were pulled over, and the police found the IDs. Bree ended up in jail and received probation, but she didn’t check in with her probation officer, which is a requirement of probation. A year later she met her husband, moved to Dallas, and went on with her life. A broken headlight brought it all back into focus when a state trooper pulled her over and told her that she had a warrant for her arrest from years ago. She ended up having to serve time for violating her probation.
But she was lucky that she had drawn a gracious judge who made sure that Bree didn’t give birth to her boys in jail. The judge allowed her to turn herself in three months after their birth.
“I went through a really rough time,” she says. “I came from a well to-do family. My parents gave me everything that I wanted, and it created a sense of entitlement in me. So I really feel like that time in jail was something that I needed.
“Every season happens for a reason. And if I didn’t have that season with me being taken away — literally — and me having to start over, me falling on my butt, sitting there. And of course, you can fall and get right back up. But sometimes we need to fall, sit there for a little bit, and look around and see why we’ve fallen, why we are there. If I did not have that moment, I would not be where I am today.”
Today, Bree is the founder and creative director of The Iman Project. Located in Dallas, the project seeks to build a diverse community through style, design, and workshops. She sat down with Local Profile as part of our Local Leaders series on Facebook live to discuss her second chance.
You can watch the interview below.
Local Leaders by Local Profile is an ongoing video series featuring incredible local leaders sharing their best leadership insights. Going beyond business, Local Leaders aims to inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself. It broadcasts LIVE via the Local Profile Facebook page (click here.)