405 - Grace Clarke

Grace Clarke is a marketing consultant based in New York and Paris

Grace Clarke is a marketing consultant for consumer brands, focusing on efficient community-powered growth.

She also cohosts Founders' Weekend, an annual retreat, and runs Gen Z Board of Directors, a monthly insights session she launched in 2019.

She's based in New York and Paris, where these photos are of her kitchen workspace.

Twitter (X) → twitter.com/graceclarke
Instagram → instagram.com/gracegclarke

Grace's Workspace Tour

Where I’ve done some of my best work
uiGradients background and Borgo notebook
An interesting video call backdrop that’s also great for acoustics: a patchwork tapestry I sewed. I cannot stand echo-y sounds. All artwork made by me.
A counter is just a free standing desk
I want every background on camera to have something personal. All artwork handmade by me.
One of the reasons I have fabric on so many surfaces in my workspace: I am very sensitive to noises, and fabric absorbs sound. I painted this shelf to have a marble-like effect and sewed a velvet curtain into a table skirt.
My work uniform - soft fabrics, grays, and blues.

Workspace Essentials

I keep it very simple:

  • Macbook Pro 13” 2020 (bought refurbished)
  • Borgo Delle Tovaglie notebook - handmade with excess fabric and scrap paper from their factory, and refillable. I use Asana, but am constantly scribbling things.
  • PILOT G2 .5mm extra-fine pens - I know there’s a Uniball Vision pen in the photo, which, with red ink is excellent, but there was a misunderstanding at the pen store because I am not fluent in french. The .5mm PILOT has been my go-to for a decade.

Extras for certain occasions:

  • Blue Yeti Microphone in Blackout - I record a lot of video podcasts, and this is the most subtle if it’s on-screen. I find tech and setups distracting; I want exchanges to be as human as possible.
  • NEEWER VL67C clip-on light - It’s not vanity. Better lighting makes conversations more effective for everyone. You can convey subtle cues and nuances that get lost remotely, and others better-absorb what you’re saying, because our brains are wired to prioritize and engage with well-lit, visually prominent subjects. (It’s science, literally - published in 2023.)
  • A treadmill desk - I spoke to Vogue about the positive impact movement has on cognition and self-image.

Physical space

I love hotel lobbies and coffee shops where I can absorb others’ energy without having to interact. I do need it to be extremely quiet, so I play brown noise on the Loftie app that goes with the sunrise clock and lamp you see everywhere online.


I’ll try to share less-expected things that people might not have thought of:

  • Slack - for working with clients, marketing groups, but importantly, my remote assistant. I’m now an absolute pro at SOPs and task delegation. I am happy to share my tips and examples.
  • Asana - way beyond the professional. I keep track of recurring gifts, doctors appointments, personal events…I love hosting intimate events. Poker class, ceramics, walking tours…way more fun than networking dinners.
  • Note to Self app - for sending yourself anything with two taps rather than opening an email, etc etc etc.
  • Spotify (My 2023 Wrapped was upbeat jazz, girlpop, and bird sounds - great for mood and creativity)
  • Splice - the best mobile video editing app
  • uiGradients - you’ll look more vibrant if you set your background to orange Citrus Peel. Here’s my before-and-after
  • Reddit - add “reddit” to every Google search.
  • Gmail - create a separate inbox to email yourself links, images, anything, to read later in a focused catch-up rather than context switching (distracting, mentally expensive) or losing track of things (annoying).

What is the most useful item in your workspace?

You may roll your eyes at this, but breathing! I’ve heard breath described as the remote control of our nervous system, which manages our mental cognition. Deep breaths create physical and mental calm, and this allows for my most useful qualities: a questioning mind, clarity (that’s hard), and fearlessness. It unfurls into other things I value: shrewdness, joy, empathy, self-awareness, integrity. 

Most people want something tangible, so: whiteboard roll you can tape up anywhere. Just leave the backing on.

How do you spark creativity?

1. Laughing! It relaxes us, and when we’re less on edge, we’re better antennas for team dynamics better at uniting around an idea, and understanding how to individually motivate people.

2. Physically moving. Even standing up and stretching. Anything to break that tech trance from staring at your screen.

What does your typical day look like?

A good day starts with an early bedtime the night before. My days: blocks for meetings, blocks for silence, and blocks for rest.

Two operational philosophies: “it’s easier to keep up than catch up”  and “only handle it once.” 

For context, I was trained by a classic and very old fashioned magazine editor at Conde Nast, and as a result, I became an excellent organizer, great at creating processes, and ruthless about figuring things out. There is always a way. (Once, I needed to discreetly and urgently deliver a memo to my boss who was at one of three restaurants uptown, but I didn’t know which. After speaking with the GMs or securities at each, I found her and had one slip her a piece of paper. (You might say, “it’s a fashion magazine — that’s so dramatic.” Exactly! It was a secret, and I will never repeat it.)

Anyway, fifteen years later, I have a process or template for absolutely everything and will always share them. The ones people download the most are my monthly marketing planner and the personal annual plan framework.

All photos in this interview were taken by Claire Lejeune.

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