20 Under 40: Chelsea Beebe

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chelsea Beebe poses in her home office in Red Bank.
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chelsea Beebe poses in her home office in Red Bank.

Chelsea Beebe, 32

Art director, LEO Events; Vice president, United Way Emerging Leaders – Chattanooga; 2019 LEO Gives Award; 2015 LEO Pride Award; IDEO U certification in Creative Leadership

Mantra: #pivot

Quarantine projects: My goals were lofty: to finish my certification classes through IDEO U, read more, finish up never-ending house projects, spend time being creative off the computer, and learn the ukulele I bought last summer. I managed a little bit of everything! [Though I] did not manage to make progress learning ukulele, which will be a shock to no one.

Favorite quarantine reads: "The Likeability Trap," "Female Firebrands" and "Untamed." I'm currently listening to "How Women Rise" and it's been pretty great as well.

How did the pandemic upend your routine? ...I took up more opportunities to help the community and volunteered at the food bank as well as in moderating the Chattanooga COVID-19 Community Assistance page on Facebook. Helping others has always been a really great way for me to refocus and relieve my own stresses and anxiety. ... I also found that my walks around the neighborhood with a good podcast or book really helped me maintain my sanity.

Has the pandemic changed your outlook in any way? I think I have become an even more empathetic person, and am a lot less stressed out because I still have so much to be thankful for. Ultimately, I can either stress out about something now or take care of it later. It's really put into perspective how to worry only about things I can control.

What's your goal professionally? I would love to be able to speak about my journey of finding a career as a creative, motivate other women to pursue what makes them feel fulfilled, and talk about the struggles of finding your voice. I have had so many highs and lows along the way and I honestly had no idea where I was going half the time, or at least felt that way, and would love to inspire and motivate others. I also have a dream to start a program for students to learn more about the arts as a life path and hear about all the opportunities that are available to them, because it's such a vastly underfunded or non-existent area in school curriculum.

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