Connector. Vibe creator. Community builder. Just a few of the words that describe South Carolina native Trell Thomas and the work that he does with his global Black Excellence Brunch series. What started as his desire to recreate the Sunday dinners held by his own family have now evolved into a bigger brand that does the exact same thing with some of the most influential names in Black media and Hollywood.

"I was missing that feeling, and as the one to bring my friends together, I decided to bring together my most famous and influential friends under one roof," shares Thomas. "I remember looking around at that first event and just seeing everyone looking so happy, and I wanted to be able to give people that feeling all the time. We deserve a space where we can feel appreciated, loved on and celebrated. Creating this brunch was all about being intentional and creating a safe space where we could celebrate our individual and collective excellence."

Since its creation, we've seen everyone from Tina Knowles-Lawson, Jordin Sparks, Ashanti, Ty Hunter, Lance Gross, Terrence J and so many more in attendance. It takes a lot of planning and strategizing, but Trell Thomas pulls it off effortlessly.

Trell Thomas (center) poses with Black Excellence Brunch attendees including Lance Gross, Terrance J, singer Mario and more. Image: Kai Byrd.

"It's just so beautiful to see, and it warms my heart, because it all started with my mom and those Sunday dinners at home," says the Black Excellence Brunch series founder.

When he's not busy planning for and executing his latest event, the Los Angeles transplant enjoys shopping and putting together different looks within his wardrobe. He describes it as his creative outlet. He also enjoys being outside in nature, whether that means taking a hike on one of the city’s many trails or going to the beach.

"I also enjoy reading as well as trying new foods and restaurants. Every city that I've lived in, I've made my way through the different types of cuisine and eateries," shares Thomas.

EBONY tapped Thomas to get a look into some of the tech products and gadgets that keep him plugged. From his favorite steamer and bass-pumping speakers to a meditation trainer that keeps him centered, here are the items the Black Excellence Brunch founder can't live without.

Kasa Smart
2K HD Security Camera
"If there are any pet parents reading this then you know that those fur kids can get into all kinds of things when you aren't around. This smart camera allows me to check in on my little ones and even communicate with them," explains the busy pet owner.

Price: $50

Shop at Best Buy
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Roam Portable Speaker
"A common stress reliever for me is a good bath, so I take my speaker into the bathroom to play tunes as I decompress," explains Thomas.

Price: $179

Shop at Sonos
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18-inch Ring Light
"I invested in a few ring lights during the pandemic while the world was operating virtually and I haven't looked back since. My ring light keeps the melanin working magic whenever I connect to the camera," explains Thomas.

Price: $160

Shop at Neewer
Handheld Garment Steamer
"I use ithis every time I’m headed to my Black Excellence Brunches, a red carpet premiere or public affair. It's way better than ironing in my opinion because it's more reliable and takes half the maintenance," shares Thomas of his favorite steamer.

Price: $29

Shop at Walmart
iPhone 14 Pro
"My iPhone is a must in my life," shares the Black Excellence Brunch founder. "It truly keeps me on track. It's crucial to my daily scheduling, social updates, current news, and personal arrangements."

Price: $1000

Shop at Apple
14-inch MacBook Pro
"This gadget works as the engine for my business. From scheduled video conferences on any software to strategic planning, the MacBook Pro comes in handy every single time for any on-camera needs," shares the business entrepreneur.

Price: $2000

Shop at Apple
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Core meditation trainer
Over the last couple of years, meditation has become a customary duty of mine and the hyperice core truly brings a more intentional approach to meditation, allowing each day to become more centered and focused.

Price: $159

Shop at Hyperice
4-in-1 Air Purifier
"After being fed up with the same air filter, poor air quality, and picking up a few allergies, I invested in this gadget to help get rid of some of the allergens and the personal improvements have been incredible," says Thomas.

Price: $50

Shop at Amazon
USB External Hard Drive
"I have so much footage that I use for various projects and rough drafts. Concepts frequently take up a ton of space so I got the drive to help me stay organized and to ensure all footage is never lost," explains the Black Excellence Brunch founder.

Price: $150

Shop at Best Buy
Fire TV Stick
"I probably have every streaming app you can think of downloaded," spills Thomas. "I don't watch a lot of television during the week but on the weekends, I try to catch a few movies or catch up on a mini series."Thomas.

Price: $25

Shop at Amazon