Essence Festival 2019 Memories: NYDJ Family Festival at the Jane Club New Orleans Review

Last year the Essence Festival hosted several events to celebrate all things Blackness and Womanhood in New Orleans, and Essence Festival 2019 “do not owe me nothing” as the older generations would say!

Essence Festival 2019 “do not owe me nothing” as the older generations would say! It was a magnificent year for my brand and my life. I was home long enough to close my eyes, jump in the shower, throw some makeup and clothes on, and run out the door to the next VIP experience! I was so busy I didn’t get a chance to blog about all my experiences. But thanks to the great advice of my mentor I did snap lots of pictures and recorded for a rainy day, like today. Living out my best NOLA Life has gifted the opportunity to attend so many fabulous events, meet so many wonderful people and eat some of I attended so many fabulous events and met some amazing people, and as you can guess eat! But as I stated Essence 2019 was good to me and Coronavirus has sat me down to travel down memory lane and share with y’all.


Last year I was invited to attend one of many pop-up “Mother of All Member Club” themed events hosted by the Los Angeles-based Jane Club. The Jane Club was founded in 2016 as an effort to rewrite the role between women and work. With on-site childcare, impactful events, and “a village of amenities,” the club is a place where a working mother’s needs are met. Amenities include anything from car washes to nail appointments to doctor visits. I decided to “The NYDJ Family Festival” with my daughter, which was opened to the entire family that took place at a beautiful historic mansion on Esplanade Ave in New Orleans. The mansion made for the perfect venue and the area was the ideal backdrop as free women of color owned businesses in the early 20th century in this very neighborhood. Festival VIPs had access to The Jane Club’s community programming and was hosted by Lifestylist and TV Host Tai Beauchamp. The weekend was jammed pack with a variety of Essence Festival panel discussions, hosted conversations, a private dinner with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and a Sunday gospel brunch with chef Carla Hall. The vendors treated us to delicious bites, sweet goodies, and complimentary Ciroc cocktails. Tai assisted guests in selecting the perfect pair of jeans, blouses, and shoes all gifted to us by NYDJ. From swag bags stuffed with quality brand merchandise to the complimentary spa treatments and makeup sessions, onsite childcare, games, and crafts plus live music made for a fabulous event celebrating beautiful women from all walks of life.

“It was a full weekend of beautiful community, social action, women of color celebrating themselves, and just gathering,” says Jane Club co-founder Jess Zaino. 

From the moment I stepped in the doors at 919 Esplanade Ave, I felt at home. The musky, woodsy smell, the beautiful mahogany floors, the mantelpieces, staircases, and NOLA inspired hospitality were reminders of life in New Orleans before Katrina. The Jane Club gift of childcare was priceless. The staff kept Niyah engaged and entertained, allowing me to enjoy the women-centered themed event to the fullest. The Jane Club rolled out the red carpet and treated us to a weekend of Black Girl Magic and Sisterhood as we celebrated the empowerment of all women. We had ourselves a BALL and as our friends at ESSENCE say, “it’s a party with a purpose.” ! I can go on how fabulous the tot how much we enjoyed ourselves, but I’ll let my pictures do the talking. 



























Culture and Community: Inside the Jane Club’s Essence Festival Inspired Pop-Up

The Jane Club was invited to participate in the Essence Festival at SXSW, in Austin, where they had organized a similar onsite pop-up. “We didn’t need to be asked twice!” Zaino exclaimed. The space jumped at the chance to be part of the annual celebration, where around half-a-million women, and especially Black women, would be at the center of the festivities.

To honor the opportunity, Zaino and her crew “kept it New Orleans.” The Club opened its doors with a panel discussion featuring local female artists, and an art exhibition called King Woman curated by Mashonda Tifrere of ArtLeadHer. It closed with a Family Festival in partnership with NYDJ denim. Each day, brunch opportunities abounded—and feminist celebrities, creatives, and public figures collided.

“We played the drums with the Ashe Cultural Center,” Zaino remembered, “and enjoyed local music from the Andrews Family Brass Band, street violinist and busker Tanya Huang, local artist Caren Green and the legendary Zion Harmonizers, who launched jazz fest over 80 years ago.”
The Jane Club, a women-focused space that offers a kids playroom, beauty rooms, a kitchen, pool, backyard and meeting rooms (along with a variety of other treatments and experiences) My baby told a few guests who were there for the event that they were in her pretend house them followed around as if it was.

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