The First Annual Cocktail Conversations!
Can we just raise a glass and toast to the success that became of Cocktail Conversations? The food and drinks were great, but the conversation was indeed the icing on the cake! Though this event took a lot of planning and preparation, the turnout by far exceeded my expectations! (I really didn’t intend for this to rhyme)
I want to give a special thanks to all of the panelists and moderator. Genesis Tramaine – Thee Urban Expressionist, Eugenia Brandy of Bricks & Brownstones, I’Asia Gee of Empowering Her and last but definitely not least, Nai + Honey of The Confessional! I’d also like to thank my parents (because who else took the brunt of my attitude, meltdowns, and drove with me to every store and helped me sort through every detail). My big sister Nana of New Beginnings International Family Center and our sponsor Dena of Allure Body Scentuals for helping me to handle last minute details the day of the event. I also have to thank my DJ, Shy Money and photographer Gordito of Devi Desire Photography for their amazing work as well. My sponsors, Empress Collections, Laced N Luxe, P. Fitts the Artist, The Natural Antidote and EBO Beard Butter. I also would like to thank Khaalia of K’s Kreations for the banana pudding cupcakes (my fave) and the strawberry shortcake cupcakes that we had for dessert. Last but not least, much love and appreciation to my baby sister Renee for being my right hand woman and taking care of details, holding my phone (because I thought I’d lost it twice) and introducing me to some of the ladies in attendance.
Those of you that attended may have noticed that our day of panelists weren’t all on the original flyer. Due to several unforeseen circumstances, we had to switch things up a bit. Genesis Tramaine came on board just a few weeks before the event to take the place of one of our panelists who had issues attending. Nai came on board the day of to fill in for another panelist who had gotten sick the day of, and Honey jumped on board, also the day of, and took over as moderator. Asia and Eugenia, both of the original panel, calmed my spirit as I don’t always to well with change, especially last minute change.
There were so many things that “went wrong” that had my emotions all over the place and I cried at least a dozen times between setting up and breaking down the event. BUT one very important thing that I learned on October 7th was that the people who are truly there for you will somehow always help you to make a way when you think there is none. This was an amazing event and I’m so grateful to have had such a great turnout. Cocktail Conversations started off as just an idea that I shared with Nai one day in July and it turned out to be so much more. From this event, I’ve met some amazing individuals such as Genesis Tramaine, Fly of Hold The Chaser Podcast, Ayesha Gallion of Distinguished Archives and just so many dope women of color! It was indeed a breath of fresh air to watch this all come together and to have so many inspiring women and men in attendance!
Concluding the panel, I gave a speech that went something like this: “Sisterhood is more than just this. It’s more than Cocktail Conversations. More than group chat check-ins, Instagram likes and Facebook comments. Sisterhood takes real life work and real life effort. With special regard to women of color, we have an obligation to support, encourage, and uplift one another, and that doesn’t end here.”
Again, I just wanted to thank all who helped to make this dream of mine a reality. I’m looking forward to working with some of you in the future and I’m excited for all that’s to come of Cocktail Conversations in the year ahead.
– Yolanda Danae’