Lauren Purnell aka El Zilla aka The Plug, has a thing for DM’s. They seem to be her modus operandi of choice for networking and building relationships. And it works. Now usually I’m not too keen on social media solicitations but when Lauren slid into my dm’s late this summer talmbout “Queens see Queens” I was intrigued. I mean how could someone possibly know me so well based off an Instagram feed? I digress. Included in the direct message was an invitation to what needs to be an annual if not semi-annual, (ok monthly) thing. The invite itself was eye catching. A single pale pink long stemmed rose posted up against white space with the words Goddess Brunch.
The Goddess Brunch is where Lauren and I would officially connect. Those were the intentions behind the creation of The Goddess Brunch. A celebration of women’s various contributions to the world and the sharing of those experiences or as Lauren would say “ultra light beams”. Unimpressed with what she calls the wack ass networking vibe amongst millennial women, Lauren set out to create a space where real connections could be made in a less pretentious setting.
The Goddess Brunch is the offspring of Lauren’s feel good newsletters and her blog of the same name, in-spē. In-spē is described as the art of getting your life, which is is exactly what happens after being visually stimulated by well-curated images and memes tackling life’s conundrums. A story told through pictures. A story that includes a chance meeting with her Not Your Momma’s Podcast cohost Stefanie Fuentes via another dm solicitation.
On a balmy Indian summer Sunday in early September I interview Lauren and her creative crimey Stefanie Fuentes-Kumnipa aka Coach Stef of Better Life Choices NY . Stefanie is a tell it like it is, no hair on her tongue, tough love Brolem girl. When I ask her what the hell that means, Stef tells me it’s a fusion of the two boro’s that raised her, the Bronx and Harlem. Coach Stef exudes a maternalness I found to be comforting. An old soul, round the way, cool Tiá vibe. The aunt we turn to after heartbreak so we don’t have to hear a te lo dije from mami. It is this exact expressiveness and self-assuredness that enticed Lauren into dm’ing Stefanie and sharing with her a business proposal in the form of a podcast. It would be the perfect mix of Lauren’s celestial goddess hippie spirit vibe and Stefanie’s brazen, afro-latina, taking up space, fearlessness. It was because of her life experiences and self-imposed poor life choices that Coach Stef decided to forge a different path by heeding some of her own advice. Thus creating her life coaching, personal development, and empowerment brand BLCNY.
I wanted to create a space where there were fewer routines, with raw, real, conversations, that turn into even more action. A place where women pass down their wisdom and young women toss up their knowledge. A place where girls and women don’t feel they need permission to be great.
By midsummer, things were on and popping. Initially, settling for a 3 episode run the burgeoning media personalities quickly gained a following that allowed for them to add on more shows. Not Your Momma’s Podcast is available on Souncloud and iTunes with new uncensored episodes airing every Tuesday. Touted as a blend between ratchet and righteous the dynamic duo can be found discussing subjects anywhere from seasonal cuffin’ to spitting Lil Kim’s bars on All About the Benjamins.
You wanna bumble with the bee huh? After a quick introduction to the healing benefits of bee pollen from Lauren the plug, I implore you to get stung by the ingenuity, funny, authentic personalities of Lauren Purnell, Stefanie Fuentes-Kumnipa, and Not Your Mommas Podcast. It just might be the soul crunk healing your body needs.