by Nahlah Abdur-Rahman
As the third season of Belle Collective boils to the surface, a few of the ladies from the OWN reality show made their way to Atlanta for a High Tea event at the Ginger Room on June 1.
Southern Belles Lateshia Pearson and Marie Hamilton-Abston, stars from the show and self-proclaimed “proud” Southern Belles, met with a group of professional women in the media to discuss what etiquette means to them.
The co-stars hosted this event in Georgia’s capital to engage with fellow ladies that are “ready to level up to be even more powerful, elegant, and the epitome of class.”
The event also included formality training for High Tea led by Carol Rey, who owns The School of Etiquette founded in Atlanta.
In the etiquette class, attendees, donning attire of upscale dresses with matching hats fit for the eloquent tea party, were informed on the history of High Tea, a traditional British custom upheld as a social gathering for societal members.
In bringing High Tea to ATL, the Belles were taught alongside attendees on the formal manners of stirring sugar, napkin folding, and addressing the hostess and table guests while dining.
The soirée was located in one of the oldest houses in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, and adorned with British Flag decor surrounding trays of scones, finger sandwiches, and bite-size desserts to accompany the main staple, the porcelain tea sets.
During the discussion, the television personalities spoke with guests about their presence interacting with viewers and accomplished women in another Southern City outside their show’s setting of Jackson, Mississippi.
“What I enjoy is inspiring other women,” spoke Hamilton-Abston. “Being relatable with the things I have going on in my life. A lot of people can witness, especially as it relates to being a single mom and being recently divorced, while also balancing entrepreneurship and helping raise my grandson. That’s a lot of work.”
Pearson also chimed in with how interacting with Atlanta-based media and supporters was a method of thanking them for continuous support.
“We appreciate you guys for writing about us, being engaged, and being interested in what we have going on. That means a lot, you know? So to put this together, I thought it was a way for us to give back and mingle in person.”
Belle Collective follows a group of six successful women in Jackson as they balance entrepreneurship with family, romance, and friendship. Hamilton-Abston, also known as Marie Monroe, is a multi-brand owner, whose advocacy in combating the opiate epidemic led to her becoming the first Black woman to create an Opioid Treatment Center in her hometown. Her co-host for their Atlanta gathering, Lateshia Pearson, is an author, motivational speaker, and CEO of her eponymous marketing and branding company as well as non-profit Women Brunch Mississippi.
Dani Canada, a media personality and attendee at the exclusive event, touched on what the show means to this demographic by showing successful businesswoman in a more intimate way, “I think Belle Collective, now in its third season, is just continuing to show representation of Black women in the south who are entrepreneurs.”
She continued in her praise, “They are those who work for themselves, and who come together. They do brunches, and they focus on sisterhood. It’s just a real depiction of what it is for women in the south, who are in a girl group.”
As the ladies become more prominent faces in television, season three dives deeper into the current state of their lives. As Pearson wrestles with redefining her strained relationship with partner Glen while juggling her multiple businesses, her fellow Jackson native navigates life post-divorce on top of managing her mental health empire.
However, their stop through the Peach state prompted the question of a future crossover with Atlanta’s very own reality TV stars, such as the Real Housewives.
Of the potential collaboration, Hamilton-Abston believes the chances are slim, sharing that she has “never watched” reality television prior to her becoming a part of it,
“I’m just becoming familiar with the names of the housewives and the franchises. I’m learning all this. Anything I would say that is positive, especially from a business standpoint, I’m always on board with. Anything that I can do to help other women fulfill their dreams, I’m down for it.“
While the Belles continue on the tour to connect with their growing supporters, Atlanta remains a staple city on their list through its vast network of Black, female trailblazers. To catch up with every lady of Belle Collective, all three seasons are available to watch on OWN now.
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