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Black Girl Magic at The Bougie Brunch- NYC Edition

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Article and photos by Sharifa Khan

We live in a time where the media plays a heavier role in our lives than ever before. In face of these times, women – particularly women of color – must work even harder to find their place within a rapidly changing status quo. The push for representation has resonated in the hearts of WOC and slowly but surely, we see them breaking through into spaces where they are much needed and have not been able to occupy in the past. The Bougie Brunch is one of the best examples of this, an event created for black women to show up, stand out, and “netWERK.”

The idea for the brunch came about at a birthday brunch for Lyndsay Christian, the Chief Marketing Officer of the event. It was here that she, Shawanda Green (Chief Operating Officer), Joi Adams (Chief Technology Officer), and Ericka Hatfield (Chief Executive Officer) recognized the need for a space that showcases how inspiring a girls outing can be and how valuable female connections are. Thus, The Bougie Brunch was born where women of all backgrounds and professional levels come together over a good mimosa to help one another out in their personal endeavors.

However, it’s more than just a networking event. On August 19th at Clyde Frazier’s Wine & Dine in NYC  the energy in the room was unlike anything you would experience on a day-to-day basis. Watching these women interact gave me a chance to observe their passion for success and a collective energy that radiated strength and drive to leave their impact on the world. As each woman stood up and introduced themselves, it was common to hear things such as, “By day I’m a CEO of this company, and by night I create pieces for my own clothing line,” or, “I help organize fundraisers in my community and every day I’m a full-time mom.”

To be in a room full of women who are dedicating their time to multiple projects but still find the time to lend a hand back to others was what stood out to me the most. I had the pleasure of speaking to a few of the 90+ attendees of the event to learn about their background and get a little takeaway of what they found inspiring about The Bougie Brunch. Take a look at the brief, paraphrased quotes from various attendees below:

Ericka Hatfield – Chief Executive Officer of The Bougie Brunch (@theerickahatfield)

“What inspires me the most is seeing all these beautiful women networking, which justifies us creating this event to provide a space for the most valuable women in NYC to network. The level of inspiration that will come out of this room trumps everything.”

Nicole Nixon – Nicole Nixon NYC Accessories (@nicolenixonnyc/nicolenixonnyc.com)

“I just want to say, there are NO men in the room!!” As women, we are tore down right from birth and we’re told what our place is, what to do, what to feel; just all these rules, and I’m inspired by the fact that this room is combatting that conventional “role” we’re told to fit into.”

Judith Jacques – CEO & Founder of Black Women in Media (@BlackWomenInMedia/@judithjacques)

“I created my organization to change the narrative and create representation for black women. This event was phenomenal and I’m here for any platform or space that is created where black women can come together and celebrate.”

Nataskia Seymore – Owner of Neshair (@Neshair)

“I began doing hair when my aunt developed cancer. I was her personal hair stylist and after she passed I began taking this more seriously. I came because my friend Kioka suggested I come out today and network. It feels great to be here because it shows me that without struggle there is no progress.”

Tina Banks – Owner of SHE Boutique NJ (@sheboutiquenj)

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have really good women in my life where, yes, we have conflict at times but they’re honest, open, and communicate well. Having that makes me want to help provide connections like that to other people, and it’s just amazing to see all these women here with diverse positions ready to help one another. When Lindsey reached out to me to provide some clothing for this event I couldn’t say no!”

Andrea Kwakyeh – Owner of Domesticated Drea/Pharmacist and her Non-Profit Raising H.O.P.E (@domesticateddrea/DomesticatedDrea.com)

“I began to sew clothing after my grandmother passed away. My aunt bought me a machine to help the grieving process and eventually I began making things based off what I knew and YouTube. I wanted to do something for women so I began my line to support my non-profit, Raising H.O.P.E (hopeful orphans pursuing excellence). We host clothing drives and fundraisers for orphans and children with special needs as well as complete missions in Ghana 1 – 3 times a year. I am inspired by the empowerment in this room, and to see black women working so hard to give back to other black women.”

Myrna L. Datilus – Acolorfuldreamer.com

“I’ve worked in sales for over 15 years and I’m currently an account executive at Yelp. I create cultural events to get people connecting. I love that I’m able to meet with people who are doing all different things that others are scared to do. It’s good to see everyone merging their minds together and fostering relationships.”

Frasilie Stinvil – Principal Attorney at Stinvil Law PLLC

“I created my own firm because I wanted to be able to provide someone with a qualified black attorney and be the face of our industry. It is amazing to see so many women doing the same here. I love that the event is fun, yet encourages women to bring out their resumés to be able to connect professionally.”

Sawkia Patterson – Health Care Consultant

“There’s not a lot of spaces for black women to be authentic. We’re either too loud or too professional or too ghetto and this event allows us to be carefree and laugh as well as connect. In my personal life, I am full of love and I’m glad I could be here to spread that and hopefully help someone along the way someone helped me in the past.”

Nicole Chapman – Executive Assistant 

“This is my second time here and I’ll be coming every time because being in this room gives me the confidence to push forward. It’s such a beautiful synergy that just gives me a feeling of fellowship that I hope to bring into corporate life.”

Kay Cozier – HR Generalist at Etsy

“I’m finally at a company where I have the benefits I’m looking for as well as the ability to work with people who support me and give me the tools I need to be successful. I jumped on the opportunity to act as a recruiter today because I believe it will help my company bring on more women of color. It’s amazing to see how powerful we are and it is an honor to be here.”

 Brittany S. S. Hardin – CEO & Founder of Life’s a Pitch

“I’m motivated in my personal profession by the fact that there is a lack of females leads of sales in the tech industry. With more exposure, I believe they will flood the gates ad change the landscape of the tech industry. I’m inspired by the fact that the image in this room is so different than the one pushed by the media. The women in here have their careers on lock and want to aide in the hustle. It lets me know that I am on the right tracks.”

Each of these amazing bronze and beautiful women brought completely different styles, backgrounds, and experiences to the table, yet all sported the same enthusiastic response to the event. Attending The Bougie Brunch is truly a priceless opportunity that you can experience by checking when they will be organizing in your city. The next brunch is on October 7th in Washington D.C. Feel free to contact the organizers on their personal accounts listed below if you would like to attend as a recruiter for your company as they were fortunate enough to have reps from Google, Etsy, and Loreal in this NYC event. Don’t miss out on your chance to be in a room full of pride, love, and bronze beauties!

Accounts –

Lyndsay Christian: @lynzchristiantv
Joi Adams: @joijoi22
Erika Hatfield: @theerikahatfield
Shawanda Green: @cali_green76
@_thebougiebrunch_

 

2 Responses
  • sadfa fseaf
    August 28, 2017

    Great article! Lots of good insight from all the people who attended

    • Bronze Mag
      August 30, 2017

      Thank you! We highly encourage you to follow The Bougie Bunch and attend any events you are able to!

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