We are back with another All Worked Up blog post, this time featuring someone from our very own community. Brandi is a digital marketing expert, inspirational speaker, and mom to two. We loved hearing about how she navigates her world as she champions for people of color and invests in Black-owned businesses. We are so thankful to Brandi for taking the time to give us such thoughtful responses and allowing us to share her story.
Do you know someone we should feature on All Worked Up? Please send them our way! We want to share more stories of the incredible women in the Rebecca Allen community.
Read on for a glimpse into Brandi's day!
Where do you reside and what is your favorite local spot close to home?
I am a native of Kansas City, Missouri (Go Chiefs). I currently reside in McKinney, Texas, a Dallas suburb, with my husband, two sons, and fur boy Bailey. Favorite local spot close to home is Juice Bar. I will drive far for cold pressed juice, but luckily there is a location 90 seconds from the home we just purchased.
What is your current go-to meal?
Pesto pasta with sun dried tomato and garlic bread. It is quick and yummy. I add black olives and artichoke for my portion and shredded chicken for the rest of the family.
As the world opens back up, what activities are you most looking forward to?
Networking events. I LOVE to network and meet fascinating people, regardless of industry. When the outside world opens back up that is what I most look forward to. And travel. I traveled a lot for work; my last work event before the world shut down was to the iconic Apollo Theater with my favorite group of colleagues. My husband and I also love to give our boys experiences vs things so they can see the world while they are young to set a solid foundation for culture and diversity. We just got back from an epic road trip to White Sands, New Mexico where we did yoga poses at sunset. Just the four of us in a plush RV exploring caverns, the Sitting Bull Waterfall, and hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains! They will never forget that.
Describe your workwear style.
My go to is ASOS for super cute, functional dresses or pencil skirts. New York & Co. is good for the perfect wrap dress and Nicole Miller is my go to for a cute sheath. Yes, I am a dress and heels daily type of woman and prefer formal over casual. For me, form and function can co-exist. It is about knowing what you are most comfortable in, what is most flattering for your shape. Often when I show up, you know I mean business. I am very intentional about my presence and the perception of my personal brand. I walk out of my house and pull back up in the heels I plan. Fun fact: heels are more comfortable for me than tennis shoes and I 👏🏾 Can 👏🏾 Not 👏🏾 Do 👏🏾 Flats 👏🏾. They hurt. Some find it odd, but I have run into a handful who feel similarly, my tribe. #HeelsOverFlats
Do you have a favorite workwear item that you can't live without?
I love pencil skirts. I have three or four black ones; they can go with any top for a quick, put together look.
What are the top three hair/beauty products you can't live without?
I am a natural girl and have been on my natural hair journey since July 2018. I believe in Black women being able to wear their hair how it naturally grows out of their heads if they choose. (So much so, that I moderated a conversation on natural hair in the workplace at the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Conference that centered on the C.R.O.W.N. Act that banned discrimination on natural hairstyles like afros, braids, and locs.) As for hair products, OrganiGrow is a game changer for me. For skin, Black Girl Sunscreen under my go-to, IL MAKIAGE foundation.
You're about to give a big presentation/have a big meeting, what are you wearing:
Virtual: A cute blouse or dress with personality -- not BLACK. A pop of color or non-jarring pattern. In person: midi dress, statement earrings and...wait for it. Heels. I was 6 months pregnant in heels and a midi dress for my last in-person speaking engagement at the Hue Tech Summit in Philly -- and couldn't have been more comfy.
How do you prepare for said big presentation or meeting?
This really depends on the meeting. I have signature talks crafted for speaking engagements on things like Personal Branding, Networking, and Social Media. Other presentations I prep for. I like to have fun with the audience and ad lib during the meeting -- I am BIG on reading the room and adding levity or a quote from a hip hop song if necessary to shift the energy. The only way to do that is to know the info! My pump up song also depends. If I worked hard to pitch or get selected: Goapele’s Closer to my Dreams or Nikki Minaj’s Moment for Life. If I am about to just shut it down with content I’ve presented before, I get in my zone with Kelis’ Handful, Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, or Pastor Troy’s We Ready. Yes, sis has musical range.
What constitutes a good day at work?
A day with a break for meditation to center, a walk to ground myself and recharge in the sun, or pilates to bend so I don’t break. I have never been one to take having employment for granted. During the pandemic, my work picked up. However, I’ve seen first hand the struggles many families, especially women, went through. So for me, all days with the confirmed ability to earn a living for my family are good days.
How do you unwind and turn work off?
I used to have a 45 min to 70 min drive each way for work depending on the time of day. Often when I got home I’d sit in my driveway and decompress (from the day and the haul) before going in to greet my sons and husband. I have a meditation corner that is my sacred space. I make it a point to use this space in the mornings. My husband gifted me a crystal singing bowl in the note of C so I can ground myself, specifically my root chakra, at my whim. I also have an acupressure mat I lay on after I get the boys to bed on which I literally decompress.
Regardless of whether your work is your passion or your path to the weekend, what is your favorite thing to allocate time to outside of “the office?”
I allocate my time investing. I am an investor in a few Black female-owned companies (Backstage Capital, Steamlytics to name a few). I invest in my advertising community by serving as the co-chair of DEI with the American Advertising Federation Dallas chapter and mentor newbies in the field. Most importantly, I invest in quality time with my three favorite men; my husband of 7 years, Michael, and our two sons who are 5 and under and the joys of my world.