Over 30 years ago, Lillian Jackson and Melissa Mason met in the second grade at Blackwell Elementary School located in Richmond, VA. The two became inseparable and built a lifelong friendship that would face its first challenge when Lillian moved away for a job opportunity. It was through that distance that the pair realized that finding genuine friendships during adulthood was not an easy feat, and thus Brown Skin Brunchin’ was born.Brown Skin Brunchin’ is a founder-funded global technology and social group founded in 2018 around a simple idea – brunch.
Brown Skin Brunchin’ created a space for minority women to come together over a good meal & drink, meet other amazing minority women, and expand their personal and professional circles. The company has grown into a market leader for brunch groups, connecting thousands of women monthly via social media and in real life.
Brown Skin Brunchin’s founders wanted to create a community of professional minority women who desired to expand their personal and professional circles, minus the awkwardness of traditional networking events. With that idea in mind, they created Brown Skin Brunchin’ to bring together women in a casual setting, which made making a new connection organic, simple, and, most of all, fun! Brown Skin Brunchin’ is the go-to crew for minority women who brunch and are in search of ideas of how to brunch, where to brunch, and who to brunch with.
We had the amazing opportunity of sitting down with one half of the dynamic duo behind the Brown Skin Brunchin Brand.
What inspired you to start Brown Skin Brunchin?
Lillian and Melissa met in the second grade, and the two became inseparable, building a lifelong friendship that would face its first challenge when Lillian moved away for a job opportunity. It was through that distance that we realized we needed to expand our circles but that finding genuine friendships during adulthood was not an easy feat. To ease into the process, we created a group around a simple idea – brunch.
What was your ideal vision for this organization?
Brown Skin Brunchin’ was born to create a space for minority women to come together over a good meal & drink, to meet other amazing minority women, and expand their personal and professional circles. We wanted to create organic connections and change the narrative around friendships among women of color.
Whom would you say is your target audience?
Brown Skin Brunchin’ is geared towards women of color, ages 21 and up.
You have now grown to over 40,000 members worldwide; what can you say you hope women take away from their experience in this community?
We sincerely hope women leave an event with a new connection, whether it be personal or professional so that they expand their circle in whatever way is needed for them. We hope they leave our events feeling confident in themselves because, for most, stepping into a room full of people they don’t know to share a meal is completely out of the box for them. We also want them to feel empowered because they have shared their experiences, challenges, and successes with people who understand who they are and where they are coming from. We want them to gather support in ways they didn’t have before.
Take us through a brunch experience from beginning to end.
When a member arrives at the designated location for the month, they will check in with their local ambassador and take a seat at the reserved table. As members filter in, they begin a light conversation with one another to break the ice, with facilitation by their ambassador as needed. Within minutes, there is a full-on conversation amongst the group as women start to find commonalities in interests. It’s brunch, so of course, there are mimosas and other brunch drink favorites flowing and meals being ordered. From then on, there’s storytelling, laughter, words of encouragement and support, and overall fun being had. Ladies are exchanging information, taking pics with one another, sharing their experience on social media, downloading the app if they haven’t done so already, looking for the next event, and so on. At the end of the meal, group photos are taken and shared. Oftentimes, the experience doesn’t end at the end of the event, and ladies will head to another location to keep the fun going.
Is running a business with friends really possible? What has it been like to run a successful brand as best friends?
Running a business with friends is definitely possible. We have found that we’ve learned more about each other and ourselves running this business. We’ve learned what our business style looks like, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and how to complement one another, as well as how to develop ourselves professionally. We’ve faced multiple challenges and have had disagreements, but we have learned how to communicate better in order to navigate through whatever challenges we face. It’s been interesting and fun to witness each other’s growth.
How does your organization promote self-care?
Our group is the epitome of self-care. This is the one space where women can take time for themselves…no significant others, no children, no expectations, just a moment to step out and do something fun for themselves. They enter a safe space where they can be themselves, free of judgment. They leave feeling uplifted and empowered, with the courage to take on other new experiences.
What can we expect next from the Brown Skin Brunchin Community?
Expect expansion into more cities, nationally and internationally, as we move towards our goal of 100+ cities by the end of the year. We want our community to be accessible to all of the women who need and want to be a part of it. We also have goals of supporting women in their entrepreneurial journeys and creating scholarships and opportunities for young women of color. We see the Brown Skin Brunchin’ movement changing the lives of millions of women across the globe.
How can women reading this become members?
Women may connect with us via our website, https://www.brownskinbrunchin.com, and via our app Brown Skin Brunchin’ in the App and Google Play stores. They can create a profile and join their local city group, as well as join other city groups of interest. They may also connect with us via social media at Brown Skin Brunchin’ on Facebook, @brownskinbrunchin on IG, and @brownskinbrunchin on Tik Tok.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A woman who is confident in herself and all about handling her business. A woman who is ready for a challenge and knows how to pivot when necessary. A woman who will stop at nothing to reach, then exceed the goals she has set for herself. That woman is beautiful inside and out and is ready to take on the world.
This has been a conversation topic among many; what time is brunch really?
Brunch can start whenever you want it to! We typically aim for the hours between 11 am – 2 pm.
What is the proper brunch attire?
BSB doesn’t have a dress code, though many groups post optional themes. We always say aim for something that says “Brunch Vibes Only” when you enter the room, whatever that means to you.
What is on the menu at brunch?
Anything from waffles to burgers, as long as there are Mimosas involved!
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