Meet Queen ConnectHer, Stacey, of HunniPop!
Stacey is a woman who arrests the attention of everyone in the room when she enters it. Her smile, style, walk, and vibe are contagious. She never meets a stranger and you are not allowed to have a sad moment when she is around. Let’s not even begin to talk about how she will treat your life if you start doubting your skills and procrastinating! Hunni, the READ she will give you is enough to make you walk away afraid of what will come if you DO NOT get to work doing what you were called to do! These qualities are what create the breeding ground for her to be the ULTIMATE ConnectHer. And for this reason, we couldn’t miss a chance to connect with this #culturepusher (because EVERYTHING we do is for #theculture)!
Stacey understood early on the necessity of providing safe spaces and creating a sense of community for the young, Black millenial. It was out of this necessity that this Queen ConnectHer birthed HunniPop (pronounced honey)! Take a look below to see what makes this Queen, pop!
What gave you the push to create this AMAZING brand and begin curating these needed, unique events for Black Culture?
I have always naturally loved to host and entertain which made moving into the curating space make sense! I love bringing people together and I love being able to experience things that will be memorable. I have a background in working in spaces that have allowed me to see how events work. These opportunities have really allowed me to be inspired and see the need for us to have access to these events.
When considering an event and its success, what do you do to make sure the event will register with your target audience? Basically, how do you know it’ll be #LIT, #purposeful, and push #theculture forward?
I put myself in the attendees’ shoes and I think about how I want to feel attending the event and what I would want to experience. How would I want to be greeted? How should the space look? What is the intended vibe? These things matter to me and what I think about first. Next, I do my research on the kind of event I am curating; I have to get my creative juices flowing. You have to be inspired by something so research is key. Then, I work on securing a good space! I truly believe the location of the event sets the tone and can make or break the event.
What event are you most proud of and from where did the inspiration come?
Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji hosted an intimate kickback in 2017 in Atlanta for black professionals, creatives, entertainers,and more and not only did they kick it up down our timelines but I’m sure connections were made. From that, I was inspired to bring this kickback to Saint Louis. My desire is to create experiences that bring us together so we can connect on new levels. We need to know each other so we can support each other better, work together, put each other on, etc. Our culture has taken many hits lately, but we have also proven that we can win by being authentically us, extending support, and being intentional about pushing our culture forward. This event has everything from themed drinks served in red solo cups (because what kickback is complete without them?), a photo booth (because…memories), a DJ who keeps the crowd vibing all night (enough said), a live podcast from Shhh…The Podcast (dope beyond words), etc. It’s the epitome of Black excellence taking a break from the woes and pressures of the world to…. BREATHE, LAUGH, and KICKBACK! Be on the lookout for the next one in November.
Why is it imperative that Black Culture have settings that are created solely for us?
Well, honestly, if we look at the foundation and successes of our community, we got there by working together. It was this sense of community that kept businesses and families thriving. We must support each other and understand there is room for everyone at the top and we can all eat; WITH each other. Having a community rallying around me gives me the support necessary to continue pressing forward; it also challenges me to do better. Because I know how important it is to have that space/community, I want to be a ConnectHer for others to experience, and have access, to the same. I hope to be able to create this sense of community across the country.
What’s next for Hunnipop?
I plan to continue growing and connecting! I’m ready to take my brand to the next level and to make it a household name. I am also planning the next ConnectHer event. It’s an exclusive event where women who are bosses in their respective fields come together to celebrate, connect, collect ideas, etc. Additionally, I have forged a few new business partnerships that will be bringing some new, exciting things to continue pushing #theculture forward. Be on the lookout.
What are some nuggets of wisdom you’d like to leave with the Black Space Community?
The biggest lesson for me has been learning that the first, an biggest battle, is showing up and, once there, not being afraid to shoot my shot. Take a chance, enter rooms they’ve convinced you aren’t for you. Or, you can decide that you don’t want to enter their rooms and you can create your own rooms, with your own tables and chairs, and invite others to join you. It’s your world. You belong in it. Just make sure you remember to reach back as you grow.