All Articles Tagged "nightlife"
Urban professionals nationwide face a similar dilemma when they clock out after a day’s work – what to do with their few hours of freedom. Big cities offer plenty of options; but it can be hard for young, Black professionals to find the right fit.
This is especially true in Chicago, where the nightlife scene is marked by venues that shy away from encouraging diversity. One group of socialites decided to turn their weekend headache into a business opportunity. And they chose the biggest party night of the year to put their idea to the test.
Kisha Keeney, Diamond Ingram, Paris Tyler, and Lesley Martin met the way most young professionals working in the city do: through work, college, and mutual friends. They decided to try organizing events when they couldn’t find a personal, affordable party option to ring in 2012. They pooled their resources and respective networks. If their New Year’s Eve loft party was a success, it would be a sign to move forward with their business idea.
A success it was, and Posh Entertainment was born with Keeny as director of event coordination, Ingram as director of new business development, Tyler as director of operations, and Martin as creative director. The quartet hasn’t looked back since, planning events at top venues in the Chicago area that expose their clientele of African-American young professionals to new places, and show venues.
I caught up with the ladies to find out how year one of entrepreneurship was treating them, and what lessons they are learning along the way.
Madame Noire (MN): What made you take the risk of launching this business?
Lesley Martin (LM): So many times we let haters dominate the social scene. We are not open to supporting one another and building a foundation of positive interaction in our city, which leads people to have cliquish behavior. We really wanted to launch Posh because it was what Chicago was missing. We all believe Chicago is filled with a ton of amazing talented people and is an amazing city which so much our demographic has not discovered yet!
Kisha Keeney (KK): We all have a different reason for starting Posh, more than anything it’s the desire to work for ourselves that drives us. We each have our own individual goals and skills that really help us continue to evolve as a group.
MN: What is Posh’s current focus?
Diamond Ingram (DI): We focus more now on individual events and helping clients bring their ideas to life while creating a lifestyle and experience for all people.
KK: Our focus is to continue to get more clients; we want to gain enough profit so we can do this full time. The only way we’ll be able to do that is if we have enough clientele to support that goal.
MN: Where do you want to take Posh?
Paris Tyler (PT): We enjoy hosting our own events but want to work with businesses and individuals to make their ideas come to life. We currently have our website being built, which will include a blog where we will talk about Posh Picks around the city. We want native Chicagoans and even people who are new to the city or visiting the city to see this as the hub of what’s happening in Chicago. We also are planning a couple of events so that we can finish out 2012 strong.
We have an opportunity to expand into Atlanta next year. We’re making sure that we have home base in a good place so that we can move forward with expansion, but we want to also have hubs in NYC and LA.
KK: Long term, the sky is the limit. We definitely see this developing into a boutique agency that provides a variety of services to include but not limiting talent management, corporate event development, and media provisions.
DI: We would love to get more into corporate events, conferences, and fundraisers. We want to expand our philanthropic efforts and volunteerism.
MN: What separates you from your competition?
KK: We focus on our brand, and we don’t offer events on a weekly basis. Our goal is to keep it fresh and creative, and most of all keep our customers wanting more!
PT: We want to create the Posh lifestyle that we think that our peers are living or folks will want to live. We’re learning and researching new ways to stand out from the competition. Not just through the venue and the DJ, but what guests can walk away with or experience while there. The industry is so saturated and we want to have long-term success.
MN: How long did you plan before launching?
PT: We thought long and hard about the name and what it would mean. We made sure that it would be a reflection of our own personalities and the events that we wished to create. From there we began the LLC process, writing of the business plan, and implementing operations and procedures that we may have learned on our individual jobs to help with how we operated.
What surprised us was the number of resources we each bring to the table. We know so many people in different industries and fields that we knew we could tap to help our launch and growth. Their response was so positive, and it definitely reassured us that we were making the right move.
It was a Friday night in Detroit. (I know, just keep reading)
Me and the homie decided to take in a bit of the nightlife in ‘the D’. (I KNOW! Just stay with me on this one)
So, there I was. Standing in the middle of a packed “club” (in my head I just used 2-finger air quotes) wearing a simple ensemble: leggings, tall boots, a fitted top, and some fun accessories. I thought I wore my outfit well, but it was no competition for the attire surrounding me. Everywhere, in every color and in every size were women in what I like to call ‘don’t bend over’ dresses. Dresses so short that if she bends over…. yep, you know.
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com.
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By Makula Dunbar
In the business world, there are countless avenues that inquiring minds can travel down to both create establishments/hustles within and capitalize on. A plethora of industries including: public relations, marketing, advertising, retail and entertainment have proven to boast racial and gender diversity — many featured here on Madame Noire.
However, an industry that is in the least traveled by African-American businesswomen just happens to be one that the black community frequents most; nightlife. Though the owners, party throwers, managers and DJs in the 23 billion dollar industry are scattered, there are a few here and there making headway. Meet three African-American women working to narrow the gap; making it in the nightlife business.
The Life of the Party: Branding, building and overall business
It’s 1:00 p.m. in Los Angeles. DJ Asha is just waking up. On a pleasant Friday afternoon, it’s not easy to gather that she’s an unconventional early bird. Though for anyone whose job keeps them up until 7:00 a.m., it’s difficult to call if even 4:00 p.m. is a decent waking hour.
“I was DJing last night so I got in pretty late,” she said sounding far from drowsy. It’s kind of expected as she’s had her fair share of practice hyping up crowds.
“When you’re DJing you have the music in your headphones and the monitor speakers right next to you. There’s all this loud music in your face, people coming up to you taking pictures, conversations and stuff,” Asha explained. “You get home and your head is still going over the great mix that you played. By 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 in the morning you’re fairly hungry, so I may end up getting some food after the club or watching a movie. My brain is still buzzing so it takes a minute to unwind.”
Three years ago Asha packed up to pursue party-throwing full-time on the West coast leaving two radio gigs in her home country London. What started out as moral support for a nervous roommate learning to DJ evolved into a non-stop party once Asha decided to learn the turntable ropes as well. After graduating with a degree in biotechnology she began playing at clubs in locales like Dubai Bulgaria, Russia, Greece, Lithuania and Italy. It was in Ibiza, Spain that she ran into hip-hop’s self-proclaimed party king P. Diddy. Through party promoters in London, Asha earned an opportunity to play at one of Diddy’s parties. After hearing a set in Spain, he sent out a personal request.
“In Ibiza all they do is party. They go from one big club to the next from 6 p.m. to sometimes lunchtime. It’s pretty expensive and people save up all year; it’s a big deal. If you’re a DJ playing in Ibiza, it’s like playing at the World Cup,” she said.
For the most part, Asha says club owners love international DJs — especially ones from London who have an eclectic knowledge and taste in various music genres.
Club hopping is great for listening to new music and mingling with fresh faces, but if you spend enough time shaking booties and bumping uglies, you wonder if the nightlife offers anything substantial. Finding someone in a “meet” market is easy. Finding a guy with long-term potential in the night life circuit is a harder prospect altogether. The atmosphere of densely packed, alcohol-fueled bars, clubs and lounges promote superficial connections between people. The music is loud so verbal communication is kept to a minimum. Men jockey and posture to be seen many women. Ladies strut, bounce and flip hair to get noticed by guys, hoping that someone is her “type.” Not that you would necessarily know if he was.
In a club, everyone becomes a music video version of themselves making it nearly impossible to have an authentic connection. Mix in a few cocktails to lower your inhibitions (sometimes a good thing) — then comes the deteriorated reasoning capability, so you just end up feeling good about the bad decisions you’re making.
Don’t get me wrong — it’s a good time but not if you’re ending in the same tired ol’ scene for lack of a better option. The nightlife circuit emphasizes quantity over quality. But the latter is what you really want: Someone who understands you. A man intrigued by your mind and excited by your personal brand of cool. Someone worthy of your time and commitment and willing to share his own.Finding that kind of quality in a relationship is as much about who you are, and what you project, as it is about someone else. When you’re happy, confident and secure in who you are as an individual, you’re more likely to attract a man who matches your outlook and energy.
So pass on bars, clubs and lounges as a place to meet Mr. someone special and take that little light of yours and shine it in these special ways to find someone unique. Alcohol is optional.
(Entrepreneur) — First, you should consider the market for another bar in your area. Is there really a market for one, and if there is, how will yours be different that the competition? Do they offer food to their patrons? One way to do this is to find out how much people in your metro area spend on dining out, bar services and entertainment in your area, then see how many bars and restaurants are in your area — as you will be competing against them as well. Then, divide numbers. Say, for example, you see people spend $1 million per year in your area on these services and there are 10 bars and restaurants in your area. That means each bar and restaurant is grossing $100,000 per year.
(Washington Post) — It’s past last call at Sticky Rice DC in Northeast, but no one is going home. The crowd is downing shots of Smirnoff vodka, and the music is blasting. An obscure song by Sir Mix-A-Lot comes on. “This is my jam,” a girl in ripped black tights says. Outside the bar, the music escapes with a heavy thump, thump into the new heart of the H Street corridor. This is not what the city imagined. When the music finally fades, most of the partyers climb into cabs back to Northwest. They zip past blocks of buildings that tumble out of the darkness like discordant notes: a burned-out storefront; a bistro that serves craft beers; a Popeyes; a coming- soon sign for a New Orleans restaurant. The people disappear over the H Street Bridge, a physical barrier that has kept this neighborhood separate from the rest of the city for years.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Patrons of the 70 outdoor patios and rooftop gardens in downtown Chicago would be free to indulge until the witching hour, under a pilot program advanced Wednesday by a City Council committee. At the behest of downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), the License Committee agreed to push back until midnight the mandatory closing time for outdoor patios and rooftop gardens. Those establishments currently stop serving at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at midnight on Friday and Saturday. Reilly said the change was suggested by the Illinois Restaurant Association, the Illinois Hotel Lodging Association and others in the hospitality industry who “recognize that Chicago is becoming a global destination” and needs to change its dining ways to accommodate that popularity.
(Patch) — Southwest Atlanta is considered the least safe of six popular Atlanta communities for entertainment, according to an Atlanta Police Foundation crime perception poll of 600 Atlanta registered voters. The survey, conducted in January by the Schapiro Group, showed that only 5 percent felt “very safe” going to southwest Atlanta for entertainment; a total of 43 percent said the community was “somewhat safe” for entertainment, while 33 percent felt “not safe at all.” In contrast, Buckhead was considered the safest area for entertainment, with 29 percent describing the area as “very safe,” 49 percent as “somewhat safe,” and only 8 percent choosing “not safe at all,” according to the survey. Atlantic Station was considered the next safest area, with 28 percent considering it “very safe,” 46 percent “somewhat safe” and 14 percent not safe at all.
(Washington Examiner) — Businesses that thrive on the city’s nightlife are fighting a potential move to cut back Metro’s hours, saying a midnight closing on the weekends would overburden their late-night employees and cause financial hardship and reduced hours for workers. The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington is leading the charge against the cutback, which was floated last week at a Metro board meeting as a means of reducing the agency’s $72.5 million budget deficit and freeing up more time for track maintenance.
The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington is leading the charge against the cutback, which was floated last week at a Metro board meeting as a means of reducing the agency’s $72.5 million budget deficit and freeing up more time for track maintenance. According to Metro, closing three hours earlier on Friday and Saturday nights would save $5 million annually and create an extra day each week for maintenance.
(WNYC) — New York nightclubs dress codes that may disguise racial discrimination are under scrutiny. The New York City Commission on Human Rights is investigating an allegedly racist door policy at The Continental, an East Village bar popular with college students for its cheap drink specials. This past weekend, an anti-discrimination group picketed outside the bar in solidarity with an African-American woman named Thelecia Covington, who filed a complaint in December claiming that she was turned away from the bar because of her race.