Amber Grimes, an Atlanta native, got her early start by becoming one of the top female club promoters in the city. After making a name for herself on the party scene, she furthered her interest in entertainment by managing artists and DJs. Her independent grind quickly led to an executive assistant position at Def Jam Records with the former vice president, Bu Thiam, as well as a brand ambassador position with Reebok. It was always her goal to blaze her on trail in the male-dominated entertainment industry, and Grimes did just that when she took her hands-on experience with high level executives, top brands, and major artists to found her own full-service marketing company, The Cardi Brand Agency. By bridging the gap between corporate and cool, Grimes has become one of the most sought after secret weapons in brand curation. Grimes went on to use her passion for fitness and women’s empowerment to curate the all-female health initiative, #PowerWomenSweat, that promotes healthy living and offers women of all ages free fitness classes and networking opportunities. Grimes makes it a point to use her influence to give back to the community and inspire other young women to follow their dreams.
How did you select the women you chose to attend your brunch?
I wanted the brunch attendees to be very diverse, Diversity is important when setting up any type of networking event that you organize … I chose women at different levels of business ownership, women with just a dream, women with start ups, and women very seasoned in the game. I made sure to also keep the ethnicities, professional fields and ages diverse because we all have things that we can learn from each other and it never helps for everyone to be clones in the room.
You had a super successful multigenerational brunch. Highlight five of your guests with a short profile, including their social media info.
Sabrina of Glam University – @TheGlamUniversity
Sabrina is a huge advocate for women’s empowerment. She not only talks the talk but she walks it by providing fun networking opportunities and business coaching for women of all ages.
Dina Marto of Twelve Studios – @MissMarto
Dina has strong roots in the Atlanta music scene, coming up with mentors like LA Reid and Shakir Stewart. She recently opened the doors to her very own recording studio and publishing company which she co-owns with Rick Ross, and last year received a proclamation from the City of Atlanta for her community service.
Dayy and Sabrina – @Dayybella and @SassyMitchellHair
Dayy and Sabrina, two separate business owners, have come together to start a women’s networking initiative titled “Ladies Who Brunch.” I applaud their teamwork and the growth of their project. They have turned one brunch into an entire series of events and conferences.
Justina McKee – @Shopflynation
Justina has been in the fashion industry for over 9 years and has truly made her mark nationally with her online women’s clothing boutique “Shop Fly Nation.” Justina provides jobs for young girls that aspire to be apart of the fashion world and has provided the business model she uses for success to several other female startups.
When brands like Ciroc and Variety celebrate women, how does this translate into increased brand value?
It’s very valuable to know brands that you support, support you in return and in a positive way. There could be a very negative stigma about women and liquor but Ciroc and Variety turned that around. Now when women think Ciroc they should think of a company that has their back recognizes their struggle to push through in male dominated industries.
What does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment is literally giving power but like that of a candle. Meaning ones light doesn’t have to blow out in order to give light to another. We can all shine together but we have to help each other because when we do we shine brighter, as a gender, as a race, and as a community.
Describe your networking style and give two tips for growing your business network.
My networking style is no discrimination. I have found that I have something to gain and to give to whomever I may meet no matter how old they are, what they believe in, or what they do for a living. When you network properly you can always meet a person somewhere whether it be personal or professional because we’re more alike than we tend to think.
Two tips: When you go to any event make a point to meet three people. You want to treat it like a game that you have to win before the night is over, meet three strangers and find out how you all can help each other.
Always follow up. When you meet someone and exchange contact always open the lines of communication via email or just a courtesy call to let that person know you’re interested in building with them.
Two famous business owners you would take to lunch if they said yes and why.
I would love to take the owners of Uber to lunch. The creativity of their business model is phenomenal. And, of course, Oprah, she’s a professional multi-tasker, a self-starter and has never taken no for an answer.
Two business quotes you use to keep you motivated to face all odds?
“If you have to cry, go outside.”
“Never take a ‘No’ from someone who doesn’t have the power to say ‘Yes.’ “