In Dallas, the weekend is all about brunch, which is usually filled with eggs, bottomless booze and bacon. Then you have the other Saturday/Sunday staple, women’s empowerment events, which, for better or worse, have taken on a life of their own. Sydney Chandler is mixing the two in an effort to create an environment for working women to gather, laugh and network in an unassuming space with a side of inspiration, hold the cliché. Insert: the Baddie Brunch.
First things first, what makes a woman a baddie?
“Baddie, to me, is the way you connect with other women,” Chandler says. “As black women, we can be protective of spaces and be very loyal to our own circles. But being able to mesh well with other groups is an important part of being a baddie.
"Being a baddie also means wanting to thrive in whatever space you want to thrive in," she says. "Like, if I’m going to have one job, I’m going to be the shit at that job, and that job better be very serious about my career development. If I’m going to have a 9-5 and a 5-9, I’ve got multi-tabs open at work. To me, being a baddie is juggling multiple things. It’s being a sister, a mom, a friend and being able to really enjoy yourself.”
Hence the laid-back, yet festive atmosphere Chandler — who works in the corporate buying office at Neiman Marcus by day — strives to create. Each event is themed, and the inspiration behind them can come from just about anywhere.
“It can stem from a song that I heard, or venue I visited, or whatever’s happening in fashion and music,” Chandler says.
Much like the theme, the food is also an important element — and scouting a location with a menu that matches the aesthetic is imperative.
“I typically have a Baddie Brunch at a location I’ve eaten at before,” Chandler says. “A Baddie Brunch accommodates 50 to 150 people. It’s important to have a vegetarian option, a seafood option and a chicken option. Staples like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, catfish and grits are important.”
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Like snowflakes, no two are the same, but as of late, many women spend their time sifting through flyers and Eventbrite links trying to figure out which women’s empowerment events and brunches are sincere and which lack substance. The Baddie Brunch recently celebrated its three-year anniversary.
“In the beginning, I was the first brunch series in Dallas that I know of,” Chandler says. "So when I started and saw other women’s empowerment brunch series almost identical to mine popping up, I was very confused. The immaturity in me was like, ‘I thought I had this on lock.’ Now, I don’t get mixed in other people’s lanes. I try and focus on Baddies building organic relationships, and helping navigate their social experiences in Dallas. That’s my shit.”
Growth and remaining true to self seem to be the recipe for the success of the Baddie Brunch, which has since incorporated everything from local mixers to Baddie Bingo to retreats in Mexico into the brand.