I first met Catie about three years ago. We happened to be sitting next to each other at the same, small, neighborhood bar. Her with a friend and me with Brandon (my husband). She is the type of person who can strike up a conversation with just about everyone and is easy to talk to. So we chatted at the bar for a while, exchanged numbers, hung out one other time and then that was really it. Until earlier this year when she reached out about this idea she had.
She explained to me that she wanted to start hosting brunches as a place to network and promote self-love. That she wanted to have an interview section where she would talk one on one with someone as well as open it up to the other women attending.
I attended and spoke at her first Phoenix networking brunch, have hung out with Catie several times since we reconnected and I am so inspired by all that she has done/is doing. She is creative, open-minded, supportive and just wants women to be their best. Because of those things, I thought she would be a great woman to feature on The Middle Edit and share all about her vision and the way she is empowering other women.
Name: Catie Menke, Graphic Designer/Founder of Brunch
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Explain to us, what exactly is Brunch?
Brunch is a combination of a networking event mixed with female empowerment and self-improvement. It’s a place for women to gather, learn, get to know each other, cultivate self-awareness and spread good vibes.
Why did you want to start Brunch?
After retiring from dancing professionally for an NFL team (Arizona Cardinals), I really missed having that space of being with a large group of women who were all going through the same thing, I missed that connection. I wanted to be with a group of women where we could be together, hang out, but have something deeper as well. I had been to book clubs and things of the like, but I wanted something more than that. Brunch was something that I enjoyed and I know it’s something other women liked, so getting together, enjoying each others company, but than also learning and growing from each other. I knew it would be the perfect combination.
What made you take the plunge and finally host your first Brunch?
Creatively, I went through different ideas, but they would always fall short. I never committed to the next step. However I just knew something was there. There was something that I was supposed to be doing. I felt that I was supposed to cultivate a group of women. And then I had the “ah-ha” moment, that this was something I needed to host. After that, I found the right group of people and all the stars really aligned.
Then it came time to send out a text message to my closest friends and family to tell them about my idea. Eventually it was time to start inviting people. I work well with having accountability, so as soon as those texts went out, I knew I had to do it. I had to follow through.
It is hard though. To have this idea that could epically flop in front of your closest friends and family. It took me a hot second to really let myself make it what I knew it could be. I knew it might not work, people might not show up, but I decided I was going to design it and prepare for it as if it was going to be amazing. I knew I had to just try.
What are you hoping women, who attend Brunch, will takeaway?
Personally, I’ve been able to grow so much through my own self-awareness and going to therapy. Mental health has always been something that is very important to me. So I want women to walk away with that sense of self-awareness that I have. As well as a sense of self-love and encouragement. It is a networking event where women can meet new people, get to know each other and grow in that way as well.
What are your goals with Brunch, where do you see it in 5 years from now?
The goal is to have Brunch become more like an annual conference. Where we would have different speakers and multiple topics. I see it as a large event within the next few years. I also see other women, in different states, hosting their own Brunches, but under a certain curriculum where we could all come together afterwards. Again, just as a place where we can all connect, network and learn from each other.
Being in my 30s, I feel like I am the most confident I have ever been in my life. I feel like I know myself a lot better than I did in my 20s. I know what makes me happy, I know how to take care of myself. I’m important and I know that I need to do things for myself. I know me.
Catie’s next Phoenix networking Brunch is scheduled for Monday, November 5th, from 7pm-9pm. If you are in Phoenix and interested in attending, you can reach out to us via email, or Catie directly via her website, www.catiemenke.com.