The 2nd Annual Gentlemen’s Brunch of South Florida
By Rochelle Davis-Cox
BROWARD COUNTY, FL – David Harrell, of Harrell’s Fine Fashions in Lauderhill, hosted his 2nd Annual Gentlemen’s Brunch in Coral Springs this past Saturday. The purpose of this event was to provide an intimate social gathering for men, indulging in candid conversations about empowerment, business, society, and of course Fashion and Style, all the while partaking in a delicious brunch!
The environment allows men to network from a variety of professional backgrounds that can spark innovation, create new business ventures, and hopefully bridge gaps between younger men and men of wisdom.
The enjoyable weather, with sunshine and a nice breeze, was the perfect atmosphere for pool-side seating, cooked-to-order omelets and more by Chef Ken Nixon.
DJ Robert Leverett’s array of music set the tone as he combined old and new school favorites, along with the complimentary cigars and libations, the stage was set.
The vendors, Cuffed Designs and Exquisite Ties & More, provided the men with attractive options adding to their already top notched haberdashery.
The guest speaker this year was retired State Representative, Wilbert “Tee” Holloway. Wilbert Tee’s words of inspiration and advice set the focus for conservation throughout the day. Holloway stated, “We have to reach back to our children and teach them about business”. This statement is necessary now more than ever. We have to hold everyone accountable to inspire and empower one another. We have most likely witnessed a young person on the wrong path, unattended, or unexposed to men, especially Black men in positions that could help them and educate them about every trade known.
Ray Martin, Candidate for Lauderhill Commissioner, was in attendance and shared that he wants to “set the example for young men. We need to groom our young men behind us, especially as politicians about how to be and how to impact communities. Youth may not pay attention to the power they have or tools they need until something tragic happens.”
Martin gave the example of President Obama versus Trump, stating, “Obama was a clear example that WE could win; unfortunately that was not the motivating force. It was not until Trump got in office that it became an eye opener”!
Patrick Jackson of Yes You Can Men concierge services, attended the 1st Annual Gentlemen’s Brunch. He mentioned that this year’s event was more intimate and relaxing due to the location and ambiance of décor (Provided by Leola Harrell and her sisters Veronica & Linda). When asked about the importance of the event, he replied, “my expectations were exceeded. It is vital that we come together as men of all ages, professional backgrounds, and religions so that we learn from one another. It is crucial that we bond and communicate for younger men to see that we can and will be there for them. Harrell is a Godsend for creating this platform for us to be able to come together and just bond.”
31 year -old Jeremy Baker complimented the event saying it made him comfortable to come out of his shell, welcoming him into the conversation.
Entrepreneur Darel Smith heard about the event last year and made sure not to miss it this year. Smith noted that this event is more important than people know. “This needs to be more frequent”, Smith stated. Unfortunately, we rarely hear of consistent events surrounding “men empowerment” or fashion, passion, inspire, comedic relief, and professional and spiritual development combined in one setting. That is, until now.
David Harrell encouraged his attendees and shared his story with these powerful words to his all mature audience: “If you have a dream, turn your passion into money. Everything you see in my store is paid for. I didn’t take out any loans. I did everything by faith. It was tough especially when an average customer is expecting a discount, before I can even offer one. People don’t do that to other retail stores or restaurants. They pay what they are charged… I’d rather people patronize my business, and not just “support” it. “Support” is what you do for charity or organizations. You don’t “support” other stores by going once; you patronize them. So as a Black Owned Business, I rather you patronize my business. We have to do better. There are many men in this county that require suits or shoes, and I have all types and accessories. But not enough of my community stops by and I would like to see that change.” Harrell looks forward to partnering with organizations that mentor young men in school, help them tie their ties, or help reform men into fashion sense. For years, Harrell has supported entrepreneurs, media platforms, help promote businesses, as well as being one of a few Black owned businesses to allow space in his place for other businesses to promote their products or business cards.
Harrell’s plan for the 3rd Annual Gentlemen’s Brunch is that it will be bigger, even better, and more action driven.