Hospitality management has always been Shanae Bryant’s passion.
She was first introduced to the field in her teens while working at a Marriott hotel in Chapel Hill, N.C., but despite taking a detour into the banking and finance field, Bryant’s passion for serving others remained strong. She founded Madame B’s bakery in 2013, selling her signature cake-in-a-jar, door-to-door.
Following marriage, starting a family and even experiencing divorce, her business continued to grow, gaining notoriety at festivals and tradeshows. However, the urge to pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism administration remained heavy on Bryant’s heart and she turned to North Carolina Central University (NCCU) to fulfill her goal, first beginning as a part-time student in 2016, and then transitioning into fulltime study during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic hit my business hard and I had to learn how to pivot,” said Bryant. “NCCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Administration program provided me with key learnings and tools that inspired me to change the way I thought about operating my company.”
And, with those tools from NCCU, Bryant opened her first store front in Raleigh in March 2021 and established a partnership with PNC Arena, where she also sells her baked goods.
“Life is made up of micro-decisions that lead you to success,” she said. “My children are my driving factor and it is because of them I can’t give up.”
On May 6, 2022, Bryant will receive her bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism administration with plans to pursue her MBA and continue to grow and scale her business.
“Women’s empowerment is also important to me, and I want to encourage all women to evolve into a better version of themselves,” said Bryant.
As part of her business, she has created MBS Charities to help women tap into entrepreneurship, which includes a book club and annual SheEvolves symposium.
“I encourage all Eagles to find their passion and let that lead them to the finish line.”