My Day Off: Nashid Braswell
The Agency Maison founder and Hyde Park resident walks us through a typical Sunday
by Madelyn Reiter
Photographs by Claire Schaper
Nashid Braswell settled in Austin in 2017 after moving between New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco as chief of staff to executives and celebrities (including Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z) and their families. After 15 years of working in the service industry, Braswell grew frustrated by staffing agencies’ operations, which he found lacking in due diligence and communication. “They would over promise and under deliver, “ explains Braswell. Clients in need of in-home help would be paired with come and go housekeepers.” He craved a more personal way of finding someone for what ends up being a very intimate role.
The New Jersey native decided to take matters into his own hands and started Agency Maison in order to meet the specific needs of his Austin clients. The founder and CEO now pairs qualified household staff with high ranked individuals through extensive screenings. “I represent both the client and the candidate in their truest form,” he says.
On Sundays Braswell makes time to enjoy the day off exploring his Hyde Park surroundings. He makes a point of ditching his car and walking or scootering as much as possible. The North Central Austin resident says he feels more connected with the energy and the vibe of the day when he walks the streets. Besides, after years of living in New York walking everywhere feels normal.
“In New York, as soon as you leave your apartment and hit the street, you feel the energy of everybody moving. I guess I’m sort of used to that feeling and matching that with my own personal goals for the day,” Braswell recalls.
Given the founder’s love of walking and exploring we were curious what a typical day looks like. Take it away Nashid.
Rise and shine. My alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. As a kid my mom would wake me up to say goodbye before heading off to nursing school or one of her two jobs. I don’t like to waste daytime hours. I like to be up with the sun.
A go-to breakfast is overnight oats with cinnamon, a bit of honey and coconut milk. It’s really filling and easy. I can definitely get to noon without feeling hungry. I also like to make a green tea matcha as a morning pick-me-up.
On to the grind. By 7 am I am off to Hyde Park Gym. I like to run on the treadmill or bike while listening to podcasts: Oprah and Eckhart Tolle are favorites or I jam out to Lizzo. All of those are motivating and I like to build my life around positivity.
Nothing beets this. Mueller Farmers Market is the best around. I’m always impressed by the variety. I look for strawberries and lemons – key ingredients in my homemade lemonade – vegetables, desserts and flowers. But the trip isn’t complete without hitting up Mum Foods. Their barbeque ranks in my top three! Their pastrami is so bomb and their brisket is pretty good as well but be careful because they often sell out by 11:30.
From there I’ll scoot to Picnik and meets friends for brunch – fish tacos or a vegan banana-nut muffin and another matcha latte do the trick.
Sunday spirits. Sabra, a bartender at Drink.Well, always greets me with a smile. My regular order is a Vodka Rambler, which is made with muddled blackberries and blackberry liqueur. I just love this place. Not a lot of people make Ramblers with vodka. It’s commonly made with gin and I’m not a gin fan.
A slice of home. Home Slice takes me back to my Jersey roots. It’s the closest to New York pizza you can get in Austin. The menu includes all my favorites: meatball parmesan sub, cannolis, just like the places back home.
No Sunday scaries here. By the evening I’m feeling good about the upcoming work week. I’ve drank, I’ve come home, I was able to chill a little bit, and then I’m refreshed, ready and geared up for the week.
I try to head to bed by 10:15 p.m., but before hopping into bed I’ll curl up on the couch with a good book. I’m currently reading the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass. I always read when I’m coming down from a big day. It’s probably the highlight of my day.