Urban Girl Magazine had the opportunity to attend BRUNCH N’ GRIND’S 1st Year ALL WHITE ANNIVERSARY BRUNCH. The lush Mister East space in Roselle, NJ housed the Sunday, August 14th event that was attended by over 100 of NJ’s most promising young professionals–a beautiful sea of crisp white fabrics brought to life by melanin bodies possessed by the sounds of DJMpure. A true blend of hip hop and sophistication.
Shanea Phillips, founder of BRUNCH N’ GRIND, had just enough colorful flower detail in her white, halter dress to make you “point her out”. You would never know that the busy grad student planned the entire event herself while maintaining a full-time job.
Urban Girl Magazine ambassador Brianna Horne sat down with Shanea during the event to reflect on her journey to BRUNCH N’ GRIND’S first anniversary.
BRIANNA: What prompted you to create BRUNCH N’ GRIND?
SHANEA: It actually started after my 24th birthday. I threw a brunch. And I had only RSVP’d for 10 people and 20 people showed up. As I looked around the table I noticed the different backgrounds: finance,engineers, some people that were unable to start their career yet but were in school. And I realized that I should bring this to a bigger scale because there are a lot of young black professionals that are looking for other opportunities in their careers or to start a business. So I wanted to connect those people because its all about who you know.
BRIANNA: Why did you decide to keep this brunch going?
SHANEA: I thought it would be great to bring young, black professionals together…especially in New Jersey. There’s not many social opportunities for young black professionals to get together and network and have a good time. Because that’s really what it’s about.
BRIANNA: What initial hardships did you encounter while creating BRUNCH N’ GRIND? Was it an easy process?
SHANEA: OH NO! It’s never easy. I’m a grad student, and I work full-time so having a business on top of that makes it hard to manage my time and I do it all on my own but I do have some great friends that help me out. It’s hard for me to ask for help. I feel like a lot of black people are prideful and struggle with asking for help ad my friends know that about me so they’l be like “Shan, what do you need help with–I got you”
BRIANNA: Where do you see BRUNCH N’ GRIND in a year from now?
SHANEA: Success for me is never about money. It’s about bringing young black people together. My first brunch I only had 40 people. And this one we have over 100. I just want somebody to walk up to me and say they went to BRUNCH N’ GRIND and I was able to get a job. I was able to start a business. I want people to make those connections. I also want more social life in New Jersey. Everybody always travels to New York. There’s no need. There’s tons of great resources out here in New Jersey…and I want people to realize that.
FOR MORE INFO ON BRUNCH N’ GRIND VISIT: WWW.BRUNCHNGRINDNJ.COM