Monday, March 31, 2014

#MsLawandaBham - Hair Expo Recap

Birmingham, Alabama was the place to be this weekend for the 3rd annual Visions Natural Hair & Health Expo. My assistant, Precious and I hopped in her new car and hit the road to check out the show.  The BJCC was the location and thanks to Brainchild Associates, the line had nothing to do with us.  Everywhere you looked there was beautiful natural hair ladies! Locs, twists outs, hues of color and personality everywhere.  After checking in as press we began  to explore the expo and it's vendors.  Design Essentials the title sponsor offered a variety of classes, specials on their products and was an amazing MC of the main stage.  The main attraction for me was the Curls & Conversation with panel guests Mahogany Knots-vlogger, Mahogany Curls- vlogger, Evelyn Ngugi -Naturallycurly.com and Deshonica Kerrie -Master Stylist Design Essentials. The ladies looked amazing with Mahogany Knots & Evelyn showcasing that color is nothing to be afraid of with their beautiful green & purple highlights. The panel discussed topics from "Is natural hair a trend" to "Is natural hair acceptable in Corporate America". The crowd was very engaged as they interacted with the panel and the host Birmingham Radio Personality Tasha Simone.

After the discussion I had the opportunity to take a few private moments with YouTube Vlogger Mahogany Knots & NaturallyCurly.com's Social Media Manager Evelyn.  Although Kiki (MahoganyKnots) has a fab channel discussing natural hair among other things, I wanted to talk with her about our shared interest in Geneaology. Recently she participated in a 23andme project and I had to ask her how she viewed the experience. We discussed how it was great to find the general area your ancestors originated but she like me needed to know more. We shared a few tips on getting past the "stuck phase" and I hope to reconnect with her again to share my large family tree.

NaturallyCurly.com is a great resource for us kinky curly ladies and I was grateful to ask Evelyn a few questions.  I wanted to know how the site was able to balance the information.  Basically how do you have enough content for women with more kinky than curly hair and vice versa. Evelyn shared that the company is made of women of many different ethnic backgrounds and the editors understand that women of color may be unaware that curly hair is shared amongst many races and that the information can be the same. They work very hard to spread the word and make it a informative place for all us Curly Girls.  As Social Media Manager, Evelyn is very aware of the balance and has a practice of sharing content that is shared with her as her guide for balance.  Unknown by most, me included, NaturallyCurly.com is a small business with a big empact. The company is located in Austin,Texas.....Yes Texas and a warehouse of about 20 people is where this powerhouse of insight is located.

After my interviews with those inspiring ladies it was time to enjoy some of the artistry and creativity by the Design Essential stylists. A parade of tresses grace the stage....there was Curly to straight , sew-ins and weaves and traffic stopping colors and cuts.  The last event I attended was the Celebrity Love & Relationship panel with actors, Lamman Rucker & Tanya Wright, Demetria Lucas - author and star of Bravo's Blood Sweat & Heels and Mahogany Curls Jessica Bailey also joined to share their advice on Love & Relationships.  Essence Magazine's beautiful Relationship Editor, Charreah Jackson was the moderator for this candid and fun conversation. I expected to have a one on one with Demetria Lucas. It with such a high demand for her, this one would have to wait for another time.

This was my first time attending the Birmingham expo. It is definitely smaller than the World Hair show I've attended in the past in Atlanta but it was a great way to spend an afternoon.  Surprisingly the expo was shared with larger and known companies liked Miss Jessie's, Camille Rose & Coco Curls but the local companies had a great opportunity to find new customers and share their products.

Heres a few more pictures from the expo:


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