[Small Business Feature] Ladies Good Friday Brunch: Unbreakable Sisterhood

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Ladies Good Friday Brunch Founder Edith Shepard-Nolan

Arlington, TX –Let’s celebrate life! Edith Shepard had no idea that inviting a few friends over one morning for breakfast would turn into hundreds of sisters. The Ladies Good Friday Brunch is an annual community event. It gives space to spur conversations about overcoming tragedy to triumphs. And, leaves room for women to network their businesses and professional ideas.

Ladies Good Friday Brunch Owner & Founder, Edith Shepard

Edith Shepard-Nolan is the founder of the Ladies Good Friday Brunch. She’s a mother of one daughter and son-in-law. Edith also has three grandchildren. Serving in the family day care business for 29 years, she understands entrepreneurship. The meaning of community and family togetherness comes naturally to Edith.

Ladies Good Friday Brunch Beginnings

One sunny morning, over 20 years ago, two girlfriends, Michelle Walker and Bridgette Williams came to visit Edith for breakfast. “I’m gonna cook for you girls just to honor you and show how I love you,” says Edith. The menu was incredibly mouth-watering: salmon croquettes, sizzling bacon, and sausage, fluffy eggs, light biscuits, and her unique bundt-like croissant dish. But, don’t forget homemade hashbrown potatoes with onions, peppers and real butter, and fresh fruit all topped-off with mimosas.

Edith served these ladies with five-star quality. In her eloquent dining room setting, she used her best china set. The following year Edith extended the invite to more people including her mom–living at this time. During the next year, more people attended, and her daughter included more friends and their moms. Ms. Nolan wanted her daughter, Erica Williams, to learn more interacting skills.

As the brunch continued to grow, by year ten, she began using e-vites. Edith had no choice but to move the event to a larger location.

“Let’s bring the Good Friday brunch to my house,” offered Yousandra Holland. Edith continued to cook all of the food even as the numbers grew. At this time, she asked for Don Diego to play his soulful silky jazz sounds with his band. And, began to seek donations due to such massive expansion.

The event moved to various homes each year due to other close friends like Romonia Robinson, Fabiola Price, and Gale Martin, who wanted to show love. Don Diego came yearly to add flavor to the eloquent atmosphere with his alluring sounds. The menu kept its course for the ladies and helped spark more in-depth conversations.

Gale Martin adds to the ladies Good Friday Brunch conversation:

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Gale Martin. I’m currently the decorator for the annual Ladies Good Friday brunch. I gained that honor back in 2009. I’ve also held the event at my home several times when we couldn’t find an alternate venue. There are quite a few ladies that support the event through our different roles and responsibilities which help to relieve Edie’s stress level. I look forward to seeing all the women at this event every year.

How long have you known Edith and been apart of the Ladies Good Friday Brunch?

I met Edie in 2005, which is also when I started attending the event. At the time, there was a fair amount of women in an intimate setting. These women have always celebrated each other’s accomplishments, supported each other businesses, and prayed for each other in time of need.

What are some of the great memorable experiences you have about the Ladies Good Friday Brunch?

In December of 2010, my family purchased a new home; we were barely settled. Then, in March of 2011, we hosted the brunch in our home. It turned out to be one of the best events we had. That was also the year we realized we had grown and needed to find a larger venue.

How do you feel about this annual Ladies Good Friday Brunch overall growth? Do you see it expanding more soon?

The growth of this event has been phenomenal, each year we’ve seen new faces, young and old. We’ve gone from cooking the food ourselves to having a professional chef prepare the food; the host venue has gotten more massive, and vendors are calling asking to be apart of this event because of the success Edie has been able to achieve. We live by the creed “For with God Nothing Shall be Impossible,” Luke 1:37.

Ladies Good Friday Brunch Challenge

Around the 10th year, a pivotal turn came unexpectedly. Although Edith began to enter a time of divorce, a tremendous, reliable sister came through in an outstanding capacity. “We can’t have the brunch this year. It’s not in the budget,” Edith uttered heartbrokenly. This friend, Diedra Scott, came to the rescue for the ladies brunch. She affectionately said,    “Girl, just because you’re going through a divorce doesn’t mean we still can’t have our brunch. Life goes on! And, we’ve established a sisterhood! What do you need?”

Ladies Good Friday Brunch

Ladies Good Friday Brunch Overcomes The Test of Time

Edith adds that God told her to do this yearly and do not charge for it. She explained to Diedra $30 would help fund the event. All of the sisters came through with the requested amount to cover the expenses and to keep the event going.

Ms. Sonya Ashley donated water bottles with inspirational quote labels. Ms. Karen Mitchell also included candy bars with more water bottles, which each has a quote for all women to include in their daily lives. The labels include Edith’s picture and are waterproof.

Being that the sister began a new bond, they also received a fresh sound for live music. One of Ms. Noland’s friends added, “I got someone, Girl!” The robust sound from renowned RnB singer, Londee came in and rocked their worlds. She fly’s in every year for the ladies brunch.

Ms. Londee The Artist offers a remarkable response to the ladies Good Friday Brunch.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Londee the Artist, and I have provided entertainment for the GFB for the past seven years.

How long have you known Edith and been apart of the Ladies Good Friday Brunch?

I was introduced to Edie in 2010 because her regular performer was not available and a mutual friend of ours told her about me, and the rest was history. I have become a part of the family; God has gifted me with more sisters than I could ever hope or wish for that I feel genuinely have a love for me.

What are some of the great memorable experiences you have about the Ladies Good Friday Brunch?

I have many fond memories. But what touches me the most is the mere thought that this event started as a sisterly act of kindness. By one person whose heart is good as gold and as big as Texas, Edi shares friendships with like-minded sisters that has her back. They have opened their homes and embraced her vision which speaks volumes about her character.

This Event is a part of my ministry. I look forward to flying or driving in and celebrating with the women. To see them let their hair down and enjoy each other is a beautiful testament to the sisterhood. And a lot of times this does not add up financially for our host, but you see it in her heart to host a great event. And God has blessed her with more participants that she has expanded to a larger venue.

How do you feel about this annual Ladies Good Friday Brunch overall growth? Do you see it expanding more soon?

This event has grown by leaps and bounds, and I see it becoming more significant, not sure if it will be a worldwide tour or just more significant in DFW where more women are flying in but within the past seven years the demographics of women ranging teenagers to seniors. Everyone walks away with something. A new experience, a new sister, a new friend, rekindling friendships, etc. it’s a lot happening in that one room in a few hours, but it’s a great experience that every woman should experience. And it’s all thanks to Edith Shephard and The Ladies Good Friday Brunch.

Check out the smooth Londee here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRRaZsaDJRU

Once the ladies Good Friday brunch reached over 100 women, Ms. Nolan knew it was time to move to a larger venue. The first public site was the Norchasian in Cedar Hills. Next up, the event now gathers at B & H Lounge in Arlington, TX. Mr. Darryl Anderson graciously donated the place and time frame to the event because its free to the community.

Ladies Good Friday Brunch Inspiration to Many Women

The name of this effort used to be called “Ms. Edith’s Good Friday Brunch.” Then, they changed it to “The Ladies Good Friday Brunch” because this is an “our” cause for sisterhood and togetherness. This sisterhood occasion continues to grow beyond words. Edith now delegates and distributes various tasks to different ones for help. “It’s so large now I have to get the other women to help,” says Edith.

Not only does this annual event inspire women to gather over an exquisite brunch and listen to professional, soothing RnB sounds; James A. Robinson, a professional chef, ensures the best quality for these sisters.

Edith desires significantly for the ladies brunch to continue after living her abundant life. She uses this platform to be an example to other young women. Edith wants them to carry the torch and be an inspiration to others. She also desires for the flames always to ignite and spread in the lives of many other sisters.

The flame permeates in such a way that encourages, strengthens and promotes sisterhood. Testimonies birth out of this brunch every year. One year a lady cried. She didn’t feel pretty enough. The sisterhood nurtured her and said, “Yes You Are!” Edith’s niece received a beautiful ring from being proposed to by the DJ at the event one year. Londee testified about an overcoming story with her mom.

More flames touch this ladies Good Friday brunch through networking businesses, meeting old and new friends, praying for each other, discussing and celebrating each other’s success stories, embracing testimonials of overcoming various sicknesses, displaying of talents, massage therapy, just to name a few.

Conclusion

The Ladies Good Friday brunch is a space for all women to gather to form stronger bonds and a lasting sisterhood. The event will be held this year at B & H Lounge in Arlington on Friday, March 30 from 10 AM to 1 PM. For more info click here.

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