[quote style=”boxed”]We want to start promoting the idea of loving yourself, each other, and our culture starting at a young age.[/quote]
Christina Duren is the Founder of Beautiful The Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club (BBGBC), South Florida’s monthly brunch soiree for African American women to connect and build long lasting friendships in a relaxed environment. As the Founder Christina has spearheaded the mission of providing a unique monthly social opportunity for African American women to network together in a relaxed non-judgmental setting to create long lasting friendships, and build their sister circle. Beautiful Brown Girls also uses their platform to honor an affluent African American woman who has used their service, and work to uplift our community and make a difference in our culture.
Beautiful Brown Girls was recognized by Meetup.com as one of their top rated social clubs with the South Florida group growing to 600 members within their two year existence. With the success of the South Florida Chapter, BBGBC has branched out into several major cities including, Los Angeles, Raleigh/Durham and most recently Houston. With nearly 2000 members across each chapter that are professional, fun, outgoing women, BBGBC now utilizes their member resources to give back to our younger generation of Beautiful Brown Girls.
To nationally project the Beautiful Brown Girls core mission of women empowerment and fellowship in our culture, Christina created the BeautifulBrownGirls.com daily online magazine with a goal to engage African American women through entertainment, fashion, music and sisterhood. The Beautiful Brown Girls Online Magazine reaches over 10,000 readers monthly, and has been recognized by LinkedIn and added in as a contributor to LinkedIn’s Professional Women Daily Online e-zine updates.
Christina received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University in Communications. A native of Miami, Christina is a proud mother of her 3-year old daughter Simone.
What are you working on right now?
Right now Beautiful Brown Girls is working on integrating our mission into youth camps to give back to our younger generation of beautiful brown girls. We have a great resource pool amongst our BBG members, and would like to utilize that to teach our younger generation how we got to where we are, plus how to live healthier, happy and full lives. We want to start promoting the idea of loving yourself, each other, and our culture starting at a young age.
Where did the idea for Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club come from?
The idea for the brunch club came from wanting to meet new friends once I moved back to Miami. Even though I was born and raised in Miami I spent most of my adult life in New York City. When I made the move back to Miami I had a handful of friends and wanted to branch out to meet like minded, down to earth, and fun women. I decided to put together a brunch club because my friends and I in New York City regularly brunched weekly and thought it would be a great relaxing environment to meet new people in.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day with Beautiful Brown Girls can vary. Each morning we make sure all BeautifulBrownGirls.com posts are complete and scheduled. I handle editing each article submitted by our writers, edit the content and add in image as needed. Once each post is scheduled we also schedule each tweet and post for the day. Automating the process each morning frees up more time in the day to do several other project. Creating our monthly event is an ongoing process that includes updating our contact lists for our venues and those we plan on working with in the future. We also feature an affluent African American woman that is bettering our community at each brunch so our planning phase includes choosing the theme for each month’s brunch and who will we choose as the honoree for the month. Lastly we brainstorm events to happen outside of the brunches which include happy hours, dinners, festivals, etc.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am always open to ideas from my team on ways we can grow and what are next moves should be. Once we have a great idea on the table we work out a strategy in implementing it in terms of timeline, details and finding vendors if necessary.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
One trend that really excites me is how Facebook is growing as an excellent community building tool. With the introduction of its groups as well as how they are encouraging more real interaction from brands towards their fans helps to grow our network tremendously. Cities that don’t have a Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club in there area as of yet can still participate in the cause through our constant interaction/engagement with our members on our Facebook page.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I ever had was working in retail. It was not that bad, but it definitely was not the most ideal situation for me. However, I was able to learn how to come out of my shell working in retail. It forces you to learn proper interaction with other people, and how people connect with you.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I were to start again, I would put 100% into Beautiful Brown Girls from Day One. Not that I slacked in the beginning, Beautiful Brown Girls just mainly started as a past time for me. I wanted to meet new friends and started the group just to hang out. It wasn’t until we hit 300 members that I woke up and saw that this is actually a brand and a business that I can nurture and grow into something spectacular.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I constantly do is ask for feedback from my team and members. I have an open door policy with suggestions and comments and welcome them. I can admit to not knowing everything and like the guidance of other team members who may have more expertise in other areas.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea that I can give away is the idea of starting events specifically for singles. We have a large group of women, and a lot of the women are single and always running into the same issue not being able to find a significant other. A great idea we are starting to work into our brand are quality singles events for men and women promoted through our Beautiful Brown Girls group.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
One thing I would change is the mindset of close minded people. My biggest pet peeve are women or people in general who close there selves off to embracing something new in there lives.
Tell us a secret.
Hmmh, this is a hard one since i’m pretty much an open book amongst my group. However, I would say one secret I have is that I love watching cartoons just as much as my daughter. I’m a big kid at heart.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
1. Pinterest – I’m a very visual person so Pinterest always sucks me in.
2. Google – I google everything. During meetings I write down phrases and words I may not understand or know the definition to and google them immediately afterwards. Knowledge is power. It’s also a great resource in finding venues for possible brunches. We try to make sure we have our monthly brunch at a new restaurant each month and sometimes begin running out of ideas and google helps with finding new places for us.
3. LinkedIn – It’s a great with connection with other professionals in a relaxed environment.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. Great book to learn the art of networking and building your professional community in an efficient way.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
@EatThisNotThat – Great tips to stay healthy but still eat at your favorite restaurants.
@iyanlavanzant – Iyanla Vanzant. Love her motivating and inspirational tweets. Sometimes you need a good encouraging tweet here and there.
@angelonfire – Owner of Concreteloop.com. Angel built her blog from the ground up and made an awesome business just from her passion.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh constantly. I always try to stay in a happy space in life. The last time I laughed out loud was yesterday at my girls night in party. Great fun, girl talk, and good times with some of my girlfriends.
Who is your hero?
My mother. She and I so similar in terms of our work ethic. I watch her constantly in awe on how she works, runs her own businesses, and still be an awesome grandmother and mother too.
Where do you see Beautiful Brown Girls going in 3 years?
Three years from now I really want to see Beautiful Brown Girls seen as a top 10 resource for African American women. I would love to incorporate conferences and seminars by then also to continue women empowerment with discussion forums and guest speakers.
If you can live anywhere in the world where would live?
I’ve talked about this over and over with friends but I always see myself living in Washington D.C. I’ve visited several times and love the scenery, the people, and the nightlife. I can see D.C. being home for me.
Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club’s Website:
Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club on Meetup:
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Christina Duren on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/christinaduren
Beautiful Brown Girls on LinkedIn:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.