Friday, May 25, 2012

Hard work pays off- NNHMD Huntsville Part 4

Sponsors were a huge part of the success of The Queen in Me meetup. I have attended a few natural hair events in the past and one of  my favorite things is discovering what will be in the "Swag Bags".  I was determined to get the kinky, coily & curly ladies of Huntsville a variety of amazing products to discover or re-discover for their hair.  I offered the attendees three forms of Swag Bags; The first was the NNHMD Swag Bag....this bag was filled with items provided by the National Natural Hair Meet-up Day committee, it had items from Hair Rules, Blue Magic, Black Queen, Shea Moisture, Eden Bodyworks, Beautiful Texture, Jane Carter & Nothing But...(I also included local sponsors JessiCurl, Mozeke, Curl Max, Goody & a hair wrap from Classy Beauty Supply)...

ATWB Swag Bag
            The 2nd choice was an As The Wind Blows (ATWB) local sponsored Swag Bag that contained amazing products from Naptural Roots Magazine, Full size & sample items from Shea Moisture, Ampro Gel, CoCo Curls, Mozeke Products, Curl Max, Miss Jessie's, Beautiful Textures, Goody, JessiCurl, The Vbar, Kynx Hair Care, Classy Beauty Supply & Eden Bodyworks.  The final choice was a mini Swag Bag and it contained an assortment of items from my local sponsors...about 7-9 items. These bags were overflowing in SWAG!

Another aspect to the NNHMD- Huntsville event was the GIVEAWAYS!  The Sponsors were amazing to us locally and nationally. We had a variety of great items  making the raffle tickets a hot commodity. Locally we were showered with items from The Style Bar ($20 Gift Card) & 2 hand crafted earrings from I'ME by J. Thomas as well as items from Curlkit, TGIN, Karens Body Beautiful, Curl Max, Shea Moisture, 4Naturals, Black Hair 101 & Nubien Heritage.  We had some special items from Afrodeliks Designs,  Ruby Redd Cheeks, ChariT's  Inspirations and an exclusive from Naptural Roots Magazine. The table was overflowing with goodies!

The Queen in Me NNHMD- Huntsville event was more than just giveaways and bags, it was a chance to socialize with other naturals in the community , learn something new and have a lot of fun.  We played games, watched hair demonstrations, enjoyed food & drinks, learned about African hair wraps, had our face painted, asked some amazing questions to our panel and we crowned our 1st 'Queen in Me" Queen! Actually 3 beautiful women received crowns but Dwaynia  won top honors. Four women were in the running but there were no losers...4th place won some great earrings from ChariT's Inspirations.

I enjoyed this event so much and although it was a lot of  work and I had the flu for 4 days after the event, I would do it all again!  Actually I will host this annual  event again next year as well as a special 2 year anniversary party for my blog Saturday February 23. So save the date, tell your friends and THANK YOU Huntsville Naturals, Sponsors, Guests, Family & Friends for making The Queen in Me - National Natural Hair Meet-up Day Huntsville an event to remember!

We missed a lot of the attendees but here's about half of us!
To view more pictures from the event please click here to be directed to Kimberly Michaels Photography, here for some coverage by Radar Magazine & some pics here from Tarika's FB page The Pursuit of Nappiness.  We are also featured on the blog of CurlPlease and in Saturday's May 26th edition of the Madison County Record Newspaper.

What was your favorite part of the event? What are your friends saying? Leave a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Without you no Queen in Me - Part 3 Recap

Dublin Park (meeting rooms) was the venue for my first natural hair event and it was great.  It was large enough to accommodate everyone but small enough to make the atmosphere feel cozy.  There were a few hiccups with the venue, chairs and tables not being set up and the space not being cool enough, but overall I am glad I chose it.  My panel of Q & A guests was another decision I am truly happy that I made.  The first person I added to my panel was Orlando to represent a stylist perspective but next I wanted someone with a Facebook presence and someone that had documented their own natural hair journey in a public way.  The first person that came to mind was Tarika from the Pursuit of Nappiness.  I had seen photos of her at many events and had the opportunity to meet her in Atlanta at Fro Fashion Week.  I learned she had a Huntsville past so I reached out and without hesitation she accepted.  Tarika helped get the word out about my event and made herself available to me for advise or any help needed to make the event happen.  I thank you Tarika for making time for The Queen in Me event and traveling to Alabama to let my attendees have a chance to learn from you and also see the beauty you have inside & out.  

The last piece of the panel puzzle was a YouTube representation. and this was the hardest for me.  My budget was very small so I couldn't afford travel accommodations or fees so I needed to have the prospective guest live within a few hours distance. I first reached out to one of my favorite bloggers/vlogger LexiWithTheCurls but she was unavailable.  I reached out to about five other talented women but no luck so just when I had decided I would just have to do double duty as host and panelist  my cousin Tawana answered my S.O.S. She suggested I add Ja'Lissa ,one half of the YouTube duo 4Mysisterz. Ja'lissa lived here in Huntsville and when I reached out she said Yes! She worked out well on the panel and the three of them did their best to provide the attendees with answers to their many questions.  A big thanks to you Ja'Lissa for agreeing to be on the panel, taking lots of pictures with everyone and bringing sunshine to the event with an amazing smile and personality.  

My vision of The Queen in Me natural hair event became complete when I was introduced to Daba.  She is the owner of Nissi Braids at 1305 Pulaski Pike in Huntsville and agreed to attend my event and share with the attendees about her country and how to create African Hair wraps.  She did an amazing job and we truly built a bond. I felt an authentic African presence was a must and she exceeded my expectations! A millions thank yous to you, Daba!

I must end this post with a thanks to my husband for dealing with me, attending the event and working hard to help me get everything in place.  I know that this consumed me and I appreciate your understanding and patience.  I want to thank my mother for not letting me quit and believing in me and this event from the beginning, my friends for not deleting me on Facebook and twitter for the months of updates about the event, my teenage wonderful volunteers; My daughter Tia and her friends Kortessa, Kashya & the unexpected bonus Jurney and my son Jalen for manning the Swap table and being a great sport!

Tomorrow I will conclude this 4 part post with the thanks to the Fabulous sponsors and the details of The Queen in Me - NNHMD Huntsville event!

It truly takes a village and I am grateful that mine is vast and strong! Leave your comments, I enjoy them all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Queen in Me Recap Part 2

Finding sponsors wasn't the only concern I had for making The Queen in Me a success, I needed a venue, a photographer, caterer, a stylist, a make-up artist , a panel and someone to teach the attendees to create African Hair wraps.  I have lived in Madison for only 5 years so I didn't have many connections but I did have friends on Facebook that did.  I sent out a rescue me call and life vests were thrown from everywhere.

The best referral was Kimberly Michaels. Kimberly and I had never met but she was a friend of a friend. I spoke with her originally about doing photography but she provided a lot more than pictures. I am a strong supporter of small business and Kimberly had two that would work perfectly for this event, Kimberly Michaels Photography & Alma's Grace. Over the course of three months, Kimberly would allow me to bounce planning ideas, rants of frustration and fear of failure with her.  She survived my numerous emails, changes of menus and attempts of total meltdown. I'm not thanking her just because she  became a friend but because she was also an amazing photographer and caterer.  Every photo that I wanted & needed she got without hesitation, her demeanor was amazing and the attendees wanted to mingle with her. The food was perfect and she balanced both jobs seamlessly.  I have found my event photographer and caterer, If you need one you should look her up too!

There are not enough words to describe how much Orlando Petty, my stylist has meant to me during the planning and execution of this event. I meet Orlando because he was a friend of my sons but I asked him to participate because I knew he had talent.  Orlando is an up & coming stylist with a passion for hair and  hunger to be creative and successful.  I harassed him throughout this planning adventure and although I tried to fire him he came to The Queen in Me event and knocked our socks off.  He was amazing as a demonstrator and as a guest on my Q&A panel. Orlando helped me get the word out, he knows everyone, and my ticket sells begin to soar! I thank you Orlando and I wish you amazing success!  I know the women of Huntsville will be reaching out to him to care for their hair and you should also. Find Orlando at MOD Salon...7095-b HWY 72 Huntsville, AL 35806 and check their website for prices and more info!

Finally for this post, I want to introduce and thank Sharetta Keith of R.D. Make-up Artistry for agreeing to attend my event and provide the ladies of Huntsville a taste of African tribal artwork on their faces. My friend Val was kind enough to share my need of a MUA on her facebook page and Sharetta answered the call.  She invited me to her home and we clicked right away. She created a beautiful design on my face & she shared her plans to do the same for my attendees. I left her home excited and ready to share the vision of The Queen in Me with everyone.  Sharetta is also a natural hair mixtress and was kind enough to share one of her creations with me, I will share that with you in the very near future. The designs Sharetta created for the ladies and gentlemen at the event were  beautiful! Each person  took turns getting  beautiful artwork displayed on their facial canvases. I thank you Sharetta for not just doing a service but creating a room full of masterpieces! Please check out R.D. Makeup Artistry for all you MUA services, you won't regret it!

Did you enjoy the hair demonstration & artwork? Let me know what you think of this aspect of the event! Please leave your comments below. I will continue with part 3 of The Queen in Me -NNHMD event recap tomorrow! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Queen in Me...And you!

There is one word to describe The Queen in Me Natural Hair Meet-up Day event and its WOW! I was so amazed and touched by all the beautiful kinky, coily and curly ladies that came out to support my first meet-up.  I had an amazing time and the love I felt from everyone that attended was even more astounding!  There were aspects of the event I wished I did better but overall I enjoyed every minute.  I am going to try and share the experience, thank a lot of people and showcase some companies & people that make networking within the natural hair community a pleasure.

The Queen in Me Natural Hair Event was part of the 1st Annual National Natural Hair Meet-up Day (NNHMD)...Huntsville was one of the 50 cities that participated and one of the 25 sponsored cities.  I contributed to NNHMD as a volunteer committee member and although it was a lot of work it brought a beautiful concept to my adopted home of Huntsville.  I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some beautiful and talented women on the committee which  lead to some friendships that will last forever.  The founder and creator of NNHMD, Adeea Rodgers, pulled together women from different areas of the country to collaborate on  ideas that would make the vision of a meet-up day across the country on one specific day a reality.  Although I won't continue as a committee member, I believe this concept is an amazing one and any chance to share the love of natural hair on a large scale is one that I wish much success. I thank NNHMD for the support and will watch as it grows.
Maris, Marcia, Haley, Myself & Holly

Renata, Adeea, Lydia, Darice & Marsha

Finding local sponsors was a scary prospect for me when I began planning this meet-up.  I wasn't sure if anyone would want to participate in helping me, if anyone would come and if I could pull it off.  I was blessed to stumble into A's Beauty Supply on University Dr in Huntsville...I thought i was at another (won't name) supply store but luckily the owner Daniel didn't hold it against me. I introduced myself as a natural hair blogger hosting my first event in Madison and that I felt working together to make this event a success would be equally beneficial.  I gave some details (the ones I had) and he said......"Wow, sure Im interested and will sponsor!"....I almost passed out right there. I was so pumped and excited and the sponsors started coming in!

126 University Drive Huntsville
I want to thank Daniel Suh for sponsoring my event, believing in the concept and working hard to support the Huntsville community.  A's will soon be Classy Beauty Supply at 126 University Drive in Huntsville and I ask that you bring your support to his store. The new location is amazing, its big and welcoming and Daniel and his staff care about providing us natural hair ladies with the products we want and need.  If you attended my event you received a hair wrap and a 15% off coupon provided by Classy Beauty Supply so use it and let him know that I sent you!

I will continue with my recap of The Queen in Me soon...Part 1 of 4

Did you participate in NNHMD in your area? How did you feel about the concept? Please leave your comments!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still Standing..Health journey continues

Healthy me, healthy hair... well my goal to have a healthy body has had many twists and turns, ups and downs and some complete epic failures.  I've started workout programs, diets and cleansers with each falling short of my ultimate goal of losing a lot of weight and improving the strength and health of my hair. However, I have learned some valuable lessons from each unsuccessful plan...I get back up when I'm knocked down! I have lost a total of 10 pounds so far and although its not where I expected to be at this point in the journey, I am proud of this accomplishment.  I recently tried the Master Cleanse, a cleanse with the  purpose of ridding the body of toxins and waste buildup. My goal was to cleanse for 14 days but 5 would be the outcome.  I surprised myself with the level of willpower I obtained during this process of fasting. I realize that the mind is truly a powerful tool and that if you separate and meditate you can push yourself further than you ever thought you could.

 I've decided to keep my eye on the prize and take one day at a time with my weight.  I want to set daily goals instead of weekly or monthly.  I will practice controlling aspects of my mine daily and challenge myself to gain more control of the things that occur in my life.  I am loving myself daily, protecting my tresses and showing my children through my perseverance that only I control my level of success or failure.

I am continuing to decrease my calorie intake, increase my consumption of fruits & vegetables, reduce fast foods, get the water in and move my body! I am going to resume my deep conditioning regimen and pamper by strands every chance I get. Stress is another area of concern but I planned to give myself relaxation and acceptance, the rest I will give to GOD!  

Thanks for sharing my journey and I will show my results from my trip to the local Indian import store on the next post.

How is your healthy life, strong hair & weight loss journey going? Please leave a comment so we can support and encourage each other! Thanks for reading

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