Ebony Women Up Honors goes as far back as 2013 in New York and Chicago. Each brunch celebrates the success and breakthroughs of Black women across industries in beauty, media, corporate, and more.
Happening in Atlanta for the second time, a close friend invited me to this exclusive event and I was very excited to see what I would learn, who I would meet, and what we were eating! This brunch was sponsored by Hilton and Shea Moisture.
Upon entry off the escalator, guests were greeted with Raspberry Mimosas and a bustling group of women embracing one another. You didn’t know what to expect exactly but I definitely knew there would be several opportunities to learn more about all of the women in attendance.
Once we took our seats around 11:30, the admirable quadruple threat Egypt Sherrod (Author, Radio/TV Personality, Realtor, and Speaker) got the brunch started with good vibes and recognition of the many powerful Atlanta women in the room that we should connect with. I saw a few friends and mentors of my own so I definitely made my rounds.
The menu included a french toast and a frittata, both served with bacon and potatoes. As an event manager for the past 8 years, hotel and convention center food isn’t always the best; however, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty my selection of the frittata was. It was so delicious I couldn’t stop praising the cheesy flavor!
Following brunch and table hopping to network for over an hour, the panel of the 6 women being honored began. The panelists include (left to right): Kelechi Anyadiegwu (Zuvaa),Valerie Meraz (Turner Networks), Marilee F. Holmes (Wilhemina), Phillana Williams (The Phillana Factor), Myleik Teele (Curlbox, MYTaughtYou), and Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson (Sundial Brands). **Note: Kelechi A. (Zuvaa) couldn’t attend, so she had her Director of Business Development Adia Dightman take her place on the panel and accept her award for her. That was disappointing for me, I really wanted to meet Kelechi.
So – I won’t keep you too much longer, here were my 3 takeaways from the event!
1. JUST BEING IN THE ROOM ISN’T ENOUGH. ~ Egypt Sherrod
I’m an avid networker and I must admit, it can be draining at times to re-introduce yourself or have your spiel ready for execution when trying to meet the right person in the room BUT it must be done! This was an invite-only event that put budding Black career woman in a room full of the who’s who in almost any industry from legal to entertainment to fashion to real estate. The least you can do once you’re in the room is take advantage of this opportunity to get to partner or work for these women. The event host, Egypt Sherrod, took out several moments to point out women in the room you should get to know or at least google if you’re too scared to speak. If you’re not ready and still working on your spiel, just listen in on a conversation or introduce yourself and say it was a pleasure meeting you. No need to overdo it, you are in the room. It isn’t enough, but it’s a start. I met a great connection at Curlbox just by saying hi to a friend!
2. YOUR FAILURES ARE LESSONS. DASSIT. ~ Myleik Teele
The encouraging and straight forward Myleik Teele pointed out during the panel question “What challenges did you face and failures did you have when trying to build your career or business?” that she doesn’t recognize failures and you shouldn’t either. Ultimately, failures are lessons in the mistakes you have made and 1. Mistakes mean you are at least trying and 2. Failures mean that you have another chance to do it right. Basically, no excuses!
3. BE FEARLESS AND GO FAR. ~ Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson
I have to admit, I was very surprised at how much I learned from this Sundials executive considering she was bit long-winded but she had some major keys once she really got into her story. Her biggest piece of advice when it comes to travel and life as we know it was to “Be fearless and go far”. I found the quote to be fascinating and it almost like the Delta slogan “There is only GO” or the infamous P. Diddy hypeman lyric “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”. Many can describe me as a hustler because I never let up on my ideas and I do my best to not give in to the many challenges one can face with building something new. It is hard but with this added inspiration from Latraviette, I’d love to see where I can take the many dreams that fuel me on a daily.
Last but not least, take a look below at the amazing gift bag we received filled with Shea Moisture hair and beauty goodies, a Hilton on-the-go manicure set, and a recent issue of Ebony Magazine. I highly recommend this event if you get the chance to attend in the future.
Comment if you resonate with the takeaways or attended the event!