Behind Bmore Babes - The Road to Babes & Brunch
On Sunday August 26, 2018 - 100 women came to Bmore Babes & Brunch...
I am still in complete shock and awe of Sunday. Honestly, I don't even know where to start - so I will start by saying thank you.
Firstly, thank you to all of my friends who took my late night text messages and annoying "omg the world is ending because ________" texts leading up to this event. I'm looking at you - CF, JR and anyone else I've forgotten who sent me words of encouragement. Throwing a party for 100 women is no joke. When I started Bmore Babes, it was really just an Instagram that I never in a million years thought would resonate with so many women - and to have found my closest group of confidantes from this page has truly been one of its greatest gifts.
Thank you to all of the sponsors who helped make this event what it was. Without The Sagamore Pendry, The Sentimental Fools, Full Circle Artisan Palace, Charm City Pops, and Beauty Kissed Nails, Babes & Brunch would not have been as successful as it was. Thank you to the lovely staff of The Sagamore for working with us leading up to the event and for providing us with such an exquisite space. Thank you to The Sentimental Fools for helping us create a such a beautiful atmosphere for the event. Thank you to Full Circle & Charm City Pops for donating the most perfect sweet treats for our Sunday Brunch! If these incredible Babes don't know branding, then I don't know who does.
A deep and heartfelt thank you to Alysha of Discover Charm City. Jess from The Sentimental Fools introduced us - and without hesitation Alysha agreed to be a part of Sunday's event. When initially approached, we had asked her to speak about social media and building an authentic following. And while she covered these topics and educated us, Alysha spoke of so much more. She explained what it is like being a voice for a crowd who has long been unfairly quieted. She told every woman in that room that they were beautiful, valuable and that they had a voice. She proved to each of us that our authentic voice was the best voice to have. But most importantly, this powerful Babe stood strong and reminded us that "when Black and Brown woman have the mic - every woman has the mic." That sentence certainly stood true on Sunday. Thank you for your beautiful and moving words, Alysha. I am so honored to know you and call you a friend. Baltimore is SO lucky to have you as its charm.
On Sunday I spoke to all the women at the Babes and Brunch.
here is everything that I didn't say...
When I was younger, I was NEVER the cool girl and I certainly wasn't the girl with a lot of friends. Instead, I was the quiet, nerdy girl with the crazy hair... that overachieving yearbook editor who skipped class to spend time on graphic design, all the while yearning for a place to fit in. I was the girl who went with her only girlfriend to Senior Prom. In short, I was the girl who NEEDED this space.
When we were younger - Mean Girls came out. The idea of being exclusive and mean to other girls was sold to us in a hot pink "plastic" movie box, and we ate it up. The "you can't sit with us" phrase became so common amongst all groups of women and before you knew it, we all had begun putting walls up against one another. Everyone wanted to be Regina George. In the Burn Book, next to my name it probably would have said "great hair - total nerd".
Today, I am a woman just like you. I work really hard to pay the bills and build a social media following for my bbq restaurant. I have a side hustle where I do social media for some friends in the industry. I have this passion project, that is turning into a movement. And ladies, I am a woman with anxieties and fears of what others think - JUST LIKE YOU.
The Girlboss Rally, for those of you who don't know, is a day of networking, career building, keynote speeches and celebrity panels. They only host these rally's once a year in NY and LA, and the tickets start at $400. (This is $200 lower than last years starting price of $600.) Going to this rally became a mindset. I just had to work hard enough to get there.
When I first invested into Smoke, I put my everything into it. My future. My past. My present. Everything. It left me with no extra money to make it to the Girlboss Rally I had dreamt of attending. So, I listened to all of the podcasts while I sat on the floor of a hundred-year-old market in Federal Hill sanding away hundred-year-old paint. I daydreamed of networking breakfasts followed by a speaking panel complete with Sophia Amoruso and Gwenyth alike. I liked the Girlboss pics on Instagram, I entered their giveaways and I kept on sanding the paint. Then it happened. I won a ticket. WHAT?!?! ME?!?!?! Girlboss slid into my DM's and told me they had exciting news. I was literally covered in paint when I found out. The dream I had dreamt was happening! I printed the ticket immediately. I put it on my refrigerator. I stared at it. I told everyone I knew that I had won the fucking proverbial, millennial, girl boss version of the golden ticket. Saturday, November 11, 2017. Brooklyn, NY. The day I had always dreamt of having.
That was, until we ran into some issues with our hundred-year-old-renovation and I had to choose my livelihood, my future and our business, over my golden ticket.
I still have that ticket sitting on the side of my refrigerator. I look at it almost every day. That ticket is the reason why Bmore Babes was to be more. That ticket is the reason for the Babes & Brunch. That ticket is the reason I called you all there on Sunday…
To tell you that on Saturday March 9, 2019, I will be holding a Be More Boss Babe Rally in Baltimore. I want to personally invite 300 of you to join me for a day of keynote speeches, discussion panels, interactive workshops (including copyright help, on site legal help, resume assistance, what to wear to a job interview, etc) roundtables, and so much more. If I couldn't make it to a Girlboss Rally, I will make my own - Bmore style. I want to invite to you sit in a room with three hundred other Bmore Boss Babes who want to be there with you. I want to invite you to spend the day with me, and some seriously hard working women who are doing some seriously earth shattering things. I want to invite you to invest in yourself, and your brand, and your business, and your future - and I want you to spend a day enriching yourself.
It is my firm belief that equality, entrepreneurship, network building and success do not have to cost you an arm and a leg. So this ticket price point will be attainable for everyone. The ticket price will include hands-on workshops, interactive panels, intimate one-on-one advice from industry professionals, and so much more.
I created Bmore Babes - while I was sitting on my couch. I didn't tell anyone what I was doing (in the event that I only ever got 50 followers so I could pretend like it never existed) and I silently launched what would become Baltimore's Premiere Boss Babe Community. I sat in my office, listened to Girlboss Radio and dreamed of a day that I could lead the charge, like Sophia Amoruso. I wasn't supposed to be the girl leading the charge. I wasn't supposed to be the woman standing in front of a hundred women and asking them to be in a community with her.
Or was I? The fact that I have women sending me messages every single day telling me that they love what I'm doing, that this place has changed them for the better, that this community is exactly what they needed - shocks me. No matter how many I read, these messages always catch me off guard. I still carry around this feeling of "when is the floor going to fall out from under me" and "why would these women ever want to hear what I have to say?" When Bmore Boss Babes ask me to lunch because they genuinely are interested in what I am doing and because they want to collaborate - I am still dumbfounded. When did my voice start counting? What makes anyone want to listen to my voice? The day I believed it counted. The day that I said I have something to say. That's when. But isn't that the point of this place? Stepping outside of your comfort zone, knowing that you belong in this community even if it feels like shattering a glass ceiling at first. Saying "hi" to that girl who has a cute purse and becoming best friends with her. Saying "yes" to that collaboration that is a little out of your comfort zone. Becoming your brand, owning your successes and cheering on your girlfriends for theirs. Bmore Babes is for all of us. I want to be the Regina George at the end of Mean Girls who hands pieces of her crown to everyone in the room.
Bmore Babes is the safest space for all women in Baltimore to come, and have the opportunity to Be More. Be More Bossy. Be More Financially Fluent. Be More Business Saavy. Be More kind to themselves. Be More in control of your energy. Be More Kind to others. Be More involved with your community. Be More of the Best Babe you can be. Bmore Babes is a one stop shop if you are a babepreneur. Are you starting a business? Are you a successful business owner? Are you in school still and are looking for inspiration? Are you a nine to fiver who is looking to network? YOU BELONG HERE. We all do.
So, thank you all for joining me for Babes & Brunch. But even more so, thank you for being a part of this fierce movement of Bmore Boss Babes. I literally couldn't do this without you.
If you want to see photos from the August 26 Bmore Babes & Brunch event - click the link below! If you have any questions about my jouney to founding Bmore Babes, or anything else...leave a comment below.