Entrepreneurs

Turning brunch into a career: This former banker literally parties for a living

While many people love to party, not everyone gets to do it for a living.

Just a few short years ago, Irvin Benitez was a mortgage banker who, like most other professionals, had fun on the weekends after a long work-week. At a time when weekend daytime parties were prominent in New York City's social scene, Benitez noticed that the trend had yet to infiltrate his neighborhood in upper Manhattan.

Disappointed in the lack of options, Benitez decided to start Brunch Bounce in 2012: a daytime party, but without bottle service and VIP sections.

"We add variety to the party scene with off center offerings in a non-pretentious, fun environment. The parties are roving and the music is curated, but relatively broad," -Irvin Benitez, founder, Brunch Bounce

Initially, for Benitez and friends the new venture meant an alternative to nightlife and something to do on weekend afternoons. At the time, the group was hardly raking in the cash: Brunch Bounce's first party generated $97 in profit.

By 2013, however, the events started gaining traction. That was the year Brunch Bounce saw 2,000 revelers surge into New York City's La Marina for a party. That turning point that proved Brunch Bounce had potential to become something bigger, Benitez told CNBC in a recent interview.

Soon, the banker began to notice that his passion began where his weekdays ended. So armed with $50,000 in savings, he used that money as a parachute out of his cubicle into a life as a professional brunch party organizer. The group has now led groups to Miami, Atlantic City and, this fall, a party is planned in the Dominican Republic.

"You have to try; life is short and you owe it to yourself to try to create the life that you want to live," Benitez said.

Brunch Bounce dance party
Source: Brunch Bounce
Brunch Bounce dance party

"We add variety to the party scene with off center offerings in a non-pretentious, fun environment," Benitez told CNBC.

"The parties are roving and the music is curated, but relatively broad. "So in one way or another we're looking to introduce you to something new or different, whether it's partying in a place you've never been to, or dancing to a great song you've maybe never heard," he added.

In a four-year span, Brunch Bounce's production budget has skyrocketed from $150 up to $250,000, the company told CNBC. Still, as the company scaled, money matters remained a hurdle.

"We had million dollar ideas, but not a million dollars to execute them," Benitez said.

Brunch Bounce event at Verboten in Brooklyn, New York
Source: Brunch Bounce
Brunch Bounce event at Verboten in Brooklyn, New York
"The last thing you want to do is look back fifteen years down the line, and know that you never went for what you were most passionate about." -Irvin Benitez, Brunch Bounce founder

That said, challenges did not seem to stop Brunch Bounce from testing its limitations. In 2014, Benitez partnered with other powerhouses to organize "The Greatest Day Ever!", a cross-genre music festival. The event sold out 7,000 tickets and in 2015 sold 6,000 tickets, due to the addition of a Ferris Wheel and other attractions.

So what's his secret? The Brunch Bounce founder thinks that the key to succeeding is having a great team.

"You don't have to know how to do everything, but connecting with talented people that understand your vision—who you can learn from and trust—is important," he said.

Brunch Bounce dance party
Source: Brunch Bounce
Brunch Bounce dance party

Today, the former banker urges aspiring entrepreneurs to take the plunge and turn their dreams into reality.

"The last thing you want to do is look back fifteen years down the line, and know that you never went for what you were most passionate about," Benitez said.