The Union Club opened in 1836, it was one of the most affluent social clubs in New York City.
In 1915 the Yale Club’s doors welcomed even more powerful men, taking away some of the spotlight from the exclusivity of the older club. It is estimated that by the year 1902, over 150 clubs were open specifically for males. Where did all the women go? The ladies did not have a common space to reunite and enjoy casual chat. The expectation was for women to raise their families while prioritizing responsibilities at home.
Modern-day society offers women more options to get together and create conversations unique to their gender, social preferences, lifestyle, or professional status. Clubs like The Wing, Soho Sanctuary or HER Global Network are indeed popular, however, many come with sticker shock. The cost for some of these memberships can have many people unsure of how much is the networking worth? In addition, some of the ladies-only clubs can be perceived as too exclusive or cliquey. Women’s gatherings can be about connecting and empowering one another, not necessarily to hold discussions about the latest and greatest gossip or fashion. You want to get something out of it personally or professionally. Men have had the luxury of hanging out in social clubs for over a century. We are beginning to find out how to have the same luxury for a price. But how about if you can find a moderately priced social club that offers an opportunity to build female relationships with the young and old while exploring culture and cultivating new experiences?
Claudia Mendoza believed there was a niche for this type of club. In 2018, at the age of 26, this young lady set out to create something a bit different. The debut of Mami Chulas Social Club was a hit with the ladies, as well as their matriarchs. Over the course of one year, the Latinas have signed up approximately 700 members with no signs of slowing down. The club based out of Uptown Manhattan has been featured in prominent news media such as The New York Times. Members have also collaborated with Getty Images Nosotros Project. The group worked with photographer, Evelyn Martinez to create a new collection of images representative of all Latinos. Among Mami Chula’s special events are activities like a Twerkshop, Cigar & Whisky pairing lesson, and a night of conversation with Dominican author, Armanda Alcantara, writer of ”Chula.” The social club is dedicated to making memorable moments for its members.
There are some special aspects of this particular club. Mami Chula Social Club caters to Latina women, their mothers, and even grandmothers. A blending of age and experiences that transcends age. It has become a community that has a culture and gender in common. Women gather for various events to share life stories about love, pain, family and motherhood and career.