Brunch. It’s a word that brings out the Pre Russian Revolution Bourgeoisie in us all. A word that makes me forget that I make the salary of a gnat and a reminder that the entirety of said salary will be spent on mimosas and bourbon soaked waffles.
But who doesn’t live for an opportunity where they can get dolled up and trash talk their boss while hopped up on champagne and bacon? That’s exactly what I did this past weekend at Brunch On The Bay.
Marketed as a Female Empowerment event, Brunch On The Bay set its sights on women in Grand Bahama who were looking for an opportunity to support one another through networking, while in the presence of bottomless mimosas and amazing pop-up shops. I was down for all that entailed. I, for one, live for spaces where I don’t have to be cognizant of the male gaze.
To speak really candidly, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for women within my age bracket to network. Outside of a 40 days of purpose seminar (which I’m not knocking), you honestly never get the chance to meet people with the same interests as you. So, Sasha Pinder and Yamease Swain really did tap into a market that was honestly lacking, and they did a great job at it.
Brunch on The Bay transformed the Pelican Bay Resort into the ultimate Pop Up Shop. Featuring everything from microblading, makeup, dessert stands and even a look-and-learn Hair Braiding station by Donvarcia Duncombe. Yours truly ended up making her debut as an almighty hair model.
Between getting my hair braided and holding bacon and champagne in one fist, I had to find the time to speak to the two women behind the event itself.
“It came from frustration,” said Sasha, one of the event organizers. She and Yamease has spent the entire morning as a united front ensuring all of their guests were having an amazing time and the comradery that these two have honestly could not be forced.
In the high of the event, I’m honestly grounded because Sasha speaks nothing but the truth: “It was very difficult for me to collaborate with others because there is a division among our women and I’m the ‘new girl.’” I get that. Beyond anything, I know what it’s like to not be apart of the “In Crowd.” The crowd that offers jobs and event invites to only their friends and family. The crowd that isn’t willing to open their doors to women who weren’t fortunate enough to be born on the inside of them.
Like many places in the world, there is a big class disparity in Grand Bahama, so I can understand why people on the outside looking in would want to create more opportunities to bridge those gaps. Yamease mentions just that. “We really wanted to give female entrepreneurs, mostly the newer and smaller ones, an opportunity to expand their brands and reach clients that they either were struggling to reach or wouldn’t have come into contact with otherwise.”
An event like this was important not just because of champagne and fruit, but because of the informational session, they hosted right after the brunch. Miss Bombshell Fitness herself, Clarisse Pelanne, made an appearance and spoke to the room of motivated women about the importance of moments and seizing them for what they could be not necessarily what they present themselves as. Without sounding biased, she was a highlight of the day for me.
Female Empowerment events can sometimes be tricky to put on. Motives may not always be right and as such it can seep into the marketing of these events, showcasing just how disingenuous the organizers were. I lived for Brunch on The Bay though, because it didn’t fall into the traps that so many events in this genre can fall into. There was no pretense and there was no judgment. There were only a group of women hoping to form bonds both professional and personal and looking for ways to motivate themselves and get to the next level they believe they should be in at this point in their life.
Brunch on The Bay was the perfect opener for the Social Season and I think Sasha and Yamease are a duo that the island and country should look out for.