A Seat at the Table…

This past Sunday, April, 29th, 2018 I was honored to attend BROWN GIRL BRUNCH which was hosted by Shirin Eskandani & Shell Martinez in my Boro (borough) of BROOKLYN! Due to my lack of friends with common interest regarding Entrepreneurship, I figured this would be a good way to meet new women of color who were (or had goals of becoming) Business/Brand Owners. I was in search of ladies I could build with, support and continue to spread love.

The brunch was held at SHELL’s LOFT (13 Lexington Ave, Bklyn 11238). As I approached the address there were 4 other beautiful black women who were also heading in the same directions. We each asked one another if we were here for the same reason although we were really confirming what was obvious. Once we were buzzed in, we took the ride up in the elevator to the top floor and we utilized that time to introduced ourselves. As we stepped off, I was assured I was in for an amazing afternoon.

(L-R: Shell, Cyndie, me, Shirin, Mariyam)

Immediately we were greeted by Shirin (@WholeHeartedCoaching), who gave us a warm welcome and told us to come in and make ourselves at home. We were some of the 1st to arrive. The aroma coming from the kitchen area hit my nose and I almost Drooled. The ambiance was felt as soon as you stepped in. The Chefista, is what I want to call her, Mariyam, (@MariyamCooks) was fixing our meal right there on the spot which was very different and Dope all at the same time. It felt homely. But More so it felt like a page in a chapter from all of the good (black but not urban) fictions I read…

Like: I was just coming over a good girlfriends home to gather with our girls for some drAnks and some Convo! This ‘said’ Friend, Just so happens to be That Dope enough to have a live-in Chefista. She lived in a Loft in the Better section of Bklyn, Rooftop flow. She called us all together to regroup our goals and see what we could do to support one another with our dreams. She thought it best to have Cyndie, a “Brooklyn-based small business consultant, coach and speaker,,,” Seen in FORBES, GLAMOUR  HUFFPOST as well, come and kick it with us and teach us how to “ASK” for things. But 1st… Appetizers.

I’m telling you. I’d never seen such beautiful space. The decor was warm and each section made its own statement. The interior design was Bold!

During appetizers which I enjoyed with a nice glass of red wine, I was relaxed and ready to learn some things. We all gathered around in the livingroom area as Cyndie (@CyndieSpiegel) introduced herself and asked us if we knew how to “ASK” for things we wanted for ourselves in life. To be honest, up until that point, I had never really thought about it. Then she asked us, if we could ASK for Anything to Anyone what would it be. The responses were so truthful. We replied with things like, Time, More Money, Love, Support in our Dreams, Patience and *JASON! *Haha. That’s a funny Insider YOU HAD TO BE THERE FOR!*

Cyndie reminded us, “We teach people how to treat us.” As well as, “What we are lacking we often see in abundance in those around us.” She let us know we had to, “Respect ‘NO’ and don’t take it personal.” More helpful tips we learned were:

  • You are not seeking permission when Asking.
  • KNOW what you are asking for.
  • Communicate Clearly; be Direct.

By the end of the conversation I was inspired to ASK for what I want more often and not assume people know what I want. I have to be more clearer and not use so many words. I have to be confidant and understand the COST of what it is I am Asking for.

Finally, It was time to have A SEAT AT THE TABLE… We sat down for the main course (Red Pepper Galettes w/egg; Stewed Chickpeas w/Tomato; Lamb and Hibiscus Kofte, Yogurt sauce; Cucumber Herb Salad, Green Salad, Just to Brag) which was D’LISH!!! I’d savored the flavors that were going on in between each chew. This was also when we went around the table and introduced ourselves. I couldn’t wait to get to know more about these women I had already shared space and small talk with the last few hours. They were all amazing in their own unique ways. We varied in age and life experiences. Some were working regular jobs but wanted to pursue becoming their own BOSS. A few were Entrepreneurs but still worked a 9-5. There was a photographer. Some had been in business 10+ years, including the Loft owner (@ShellsLoft) but wanted to network and grow in their field by connecting with other positive black women. It was also interesting to learn our hostess, came to NYC to become a famous Opera singer and is now a life coach. Needless to say, I was inspired. We were/wanted to be, Talk Radio host, Event Planners, DJs, Non-Profit organizations like GENUINE FOODS (www.genuinefoods.com) an on-site restaurant company that provides quality meals to senior living facilities, universities, workplaces, etc, who had also been in business for some time. *Owner, Jennifer C is who took ‘food’shot above*

(picture taken by Shells Loft)

When it was my turn, I gave a long bio of who I was, of course warning them from the start that I was a Talker. By the time I had finished, I’d given out my business cards and ASKED the ladies to check my blog out and to stay in touch with me. I also offered my help with any of their goals. Especially since I know a lot of people who could assist them. We exchanged business cards, e-mails and telephone numbers. We promised to keep in touch. I am glad to say I have connected with a few of them already.

I am so glad I stepped out on faith and decided to attend this event. I’m still not sure how I came across the information but it was on Instagram which is where I find out about a lot of dope shyt! It was either posted by someone I follow or possibly on one of the hashtags I follow. Not sure. Doesn’t really matter because I follow great pages on social media.

TYETIP: If you are someone who wants to change career paths or meet new creative people who have common goals and dreams as you, and are tired of seeing ratchet nonsense down your social media timelines, I suggest you re-evaluate the folks you are following.

As with most brunches, we ended with Dessert: Poached Pears in White Wine and Cardamom and Plum & Thyme Crumble. Again, I’m telling you this just to brag. *innocent shrug* If I had to use one word to describe last Sunday afternoon, the word I would use is EMPOWERED, because we gathered, broke bread with one another, shared dreams and learned how to ASK for things important to us. We cheered each other on. We shared common experiences, fears and doubts but by the time we left we had a little more pep in our step. (And this wasn’t because of the tasteful beverages, lol) We were assured we were not alone in wanting to be better. We left confident enough to be willing to give more of ourselves and happy to know, moving forward we would now have a support system to be there to cheer us on along the journey. Best of all, we are continued proof that Black Women can come together and have a good time and build. Quiet as Kept, we don’t Always talk down or About one another in a negative way. Its more than enough out here for us all to Do Tha’Damn’Thang! How Wonderful is that!

I look forward to the next Brown Girl Brunch. If you want to attend the next one (June 2018) be sure to follow their page for information. (@BrownGirlBrunch). If you are in need of someone to help get your goals and life on track, productively, contact Shirin for a Life Coaching session (www.wholehearted-coaching.com). If you need a spot for you next event, be sure to contact Shell’s Loft (https://linktr.ee/shellsloft) for availability and other events she will have in the coming weeks.

Remember, “Life is what YOU Make It! So Make it Great!” That is a motto I hold true to my heart. We cannot complain about the way our lives turn out if we are not making an effort for greater things. Sometimes we must remove those who do not have our best interest at heart. Yes, sometimes we must charge family and friends to this game of life. Surround yourself with motivated and positive energized people. Those who cheer you on but also keep it real with you and tell you when you are going sideways because at times self doubt will slip in and cause us to forget our greatness. Support one another. Pray for your sisters (and brothers) who are trying to do good things in this crazy world. Show Up for them. And as Always,




2 thoughts on “A Seat at the Table…

  1. I love this! It always warms my heart to see our woman, be able to encourage and uplift each other. In today’s society we are shown to have attitudes and not able to get along. We have to be able to build each other up, and just like you said there’s enough out here for all of us. This read was so inspiring.

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