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What is a lifestyle brand, you ask? A lifestyle brand is a company that markets its products or services in a way that embodies a particular lifestyle or image. Rather than focusing solely on the features or functions of its products, lifestyle brands emphasize the values, aspirations, and identities associated with them. They often create a sense of belonging or community around their brand, appealing to consumers who identify with the lifestyle it represents. Enjoi Lux does just that with their events. 

HerStory Brunch is a networking and community-building event that honors women for their achievements and contributions to their respective industries. On this day, Enjoi Lux recognizes three influential women in the fashion and beauty industry at the very posh 5th&Mad restaurant in New York City—the go-to destination for locals and visitors. The restaurant has fully renovated, unique spaces, offering a unique experience, two full-service bars, and bespoke event areas. It's very classy.

I walk into 5th&Mad and am greeted by the event hostess. I show her my phone with my ticket information, and I'm immediately registered. I walk upstairs to the second floor, where the other guests are gathered, and I listen to Thembisa Mshaka, founder of Mshaka Media, speak on her career in the entertainment industry. Thembisa Mshaka has a 30-year career in entertainment, conceiving award-winning and world-class campaigns. Her career spans the areas of touring, management, magazine publishing, recorded music and technology, advertising, and music supervision for film, voice-over, and television. Thembisa has had the great privilege of putting words into the mouths of auteurs, luminaries, world leaders, and megastar recording artists such as Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Jamie Foxx, Wu-Tang Clan, Queen Latifah, Nas, Will Smith, Prince, and Spike Lee. Her discussion wrapped with a Q&A, and guests were instructed to return downstairs for brunch. 

Brunch consisted of a range of goodies, from chicken and waffles to steak and eggs and more. And, of course, the girlies had to wash it down with bottomless Mimosas and Bellini. The actual brunch was our time to loosen up and network. We exchanged business cards and discussed the pros and cons of instate vs. out-of-state living and business. Once brunch ended, we were guided to the area of the actual award ceremony. The 2024 Enjoi Lux HerStory Award recipients are Daniella Gray, Liris Crosse, and Shaina Rainford.

Daniella Gray

She began as the predecessor of The Style and Beauty Doctor on the web in 2005, with beauty tips on AOL message boards. Then, she eventually started a blog in 2007, which became what The Style and Beauty Doctor is today. Today, she's a freelance fashion and beauty writer and has written for outlets such as ESSENCE, StyleBlazer, and more!

Liris Crosse

Known as a pioneering force in the fashion industry, supermodel Liris Crosse is a voice of inspiration and change. Liris is the first full-figured model to win Project Runway's modeling competition and the author of Make the World Your Runway: Top Model Secrets for Everyday Confidence and Success. She gained prominence for being one of the first plus-size models to compete in the reality television series "Project Runway" in its 16th season. She has worked with various brands and designers throughout her career, breaking barriers and advocating for inclusivity and representation of all body types in fashion and media. 

Shaina Rainford

Caring, strong-willed, and determined, it is no surprise that Shaina Rainford has built a million-dollar hair brand from scratch. She is an accomplished CEO who runs the multi-million-dollar brand Bask & Lather. Several years ago, Shaina's younger sister lost all of her hair to a rampant ringworm infection, and medical professionals painted a bleak picture of her hair ever regrowing. This left their mother in a desperate state, and soon Shaina used her training as a Nurse Practitioner to help perfect what is now the company's #1 best seller and a viral sensation, the Scalp Stimulator. Today, Shaina runs a prosperous 8-figure company and juggles multiple roles as a mother, real estate investor, and CEO. Her story is a testament to her resilience and determination to succeed against all odds.

Once the ceremony concluded, all guests walked away with a gift bag from the Enjoi Lux gift sponsors. My takeaway is this: these women, from Enjoi Lux to Thembisa Mshaka and the Honorees, epitomize excellence, strength, and resiliency. Enjoi Lux created an inspirational space that I was proud to be in. I was angry that it took me four years to attend another one of their events, but I knew I would experience greatness while present. That's a feeling I can't afford to miss ever again. I am now a forever Enjoi Lux Girlie. 


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