Spreading my Wings at the Seattle Naturals Extravaganza 2017

What an experience this past weekend!!  I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Seattle Naturals Extravaganza at the Red Lion Hotel &  Conference Center in Renton, Washington.

It all started with my fellow Curlfriend,

Sa’Korya Avery, of the Diamond in the Rough Hair Spa asking if I wanted to go to this expo. Of course I said yes! I have been wanting to attend a natural hair even for more than half my life!  But I haven’t always had the confidence to do so, or the money to attend.

You guys, I’m an introvert.  But I have been doing all this talking on Instagram about getting uncomfortable in order to grow as a person. So, it was time to practice what I had been preaching!  It was all or nothing!

Next, I ordered my first ever business cards!  If I wanted to grow as a Natural Hair Blogger and YouTuber, a business card was a must!  So, when my business cards arrived, I finally felt official!

I purchased my tickets, but honestly, I began to worry a little.  I started thinking about all the things that could go wrong.  But you know what drove me:   I needed to start somewhere.   Networking is a key part of entrepreneurship.  Yeah, I haven’t made any money yet, but you know what?  I plan to, so it was a must for me to pick my head up, and stomp out those pesky worries.

I started following the Host, Kariba Jack  on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.   I noticed how down to earth and hilarious she was just from her posts! Kariba is a celebrity to me in the natural hair community.  This Nigerian-American has a photography business- Kariba Photography, is a business consultant, a makeup artis,t and the creator of  the Seattle Naturals Extravaganza Expo! ? What took the cake, was when she told me she was looking forward to meeting me.  I was just in awe, and it warmed my heart.

Seattle Naturals Extravaganza was scheduled for April 21-23rd.  Since I ended up traveling with 3 other ladies it was agreed to attend the Seattle Naturals Extravaganza from April 22-23rd   instead.  I’m so thankful and grateful to Sonceria Jenkins for agreeing to drive us all from Portland, Oregon to Renton, Washington.

After getting settled in our hotel room and walking over to the Expo I was so thrilled to meet Kariba Jack live and in person! We took this wonderful picture together.Aren’t we cute!! ?

I was amazing to see how many vendors were there!  There was quite an assortment of entrepreneurs selling headwraps, dolls, African jewelry and clothing, hair for various textures, clipins, and wig-making.  Makeup was availabe, premade and custom. Lashes, specialty soaps and bath bombs. People were even getting their natural hair, and locs styled. I was surrounded by everything I loved.

I knew I had to step my game up and start networking and not just look.  So, I had a few conversations with some wonderful vendors like:

Mr. Naturalz of Mr. Naturalz Salon

Kay Moynihan of Simply Kay’s

Monica Baker of Facially Designed Makeup Artistry

Angela Fite of Kinkistry

Jaylin Harris of Creations by Jaylin 

Then there were Break Out Sessions I attended:

Olympia Edwards, Executive Director/Founder of Project Girl Mentoring Program with Appreciating Your Own Natural Beauty, From Within.  Y’all  I believe this breakout session was designed specifically for me.  I knew it wasn’t but I felt like it.  Let me tell you, every activity we did spoke directly to my heart!  In one activity we were instructed to look in mirror and to then to look beyond our outside beauty and tap into our inner beauty while listening to affirmations. 

Then we wrote uplifting letters to ourselves.  Ya’ll, I cried a couple of times in this session.  But they were cleansing tears.  The feeling of sisterhood around me was amazing!

Shalonda Perguero of Shalonda Peguero Makeup ArtistryMakeup Class – Enhancing Your Natural Beauty– I learned so much more about applying makeup. Dupes for expensive brands, and the best colors to use on Women of Color.

Since the theme of the Expo was ‘Back To Our Roots’, I just knew Africa Night was going to be fire!!! And it was! Kariba Jack and her niece, Kamsi Anthony kept smiles on our faces with fun facts about the continent of Africa, African landforms, and African animals. Little Miss Kamsi was just to cute!

Selam Misgano of Selam Creative set the mood with authentic Ethiopian dance, which was simply beautiful!   The young girls of Seattle Curly Q’s made us all proud with their energetic performance.  We all oohed and awed watching the Fashion Show featuring Africa Print Takeover by Nansare ConsolataThe Kouyate Arts –Drum & Dance Performance had us feeling the beat and dancing in our seats!

By the time I woke up the next morning I was ready for ‘Back to Our Roots‘ Empowerment Brunch.  The first segment was called ‘On The Couch with Kariba’ with Keisha Credit as her guest. Keisha has multiple businesses and  still makes time to see the world!   Keisha spoke of her trip to Ghana and the instant feeling of family.   Kariba and Keisha spoke of their adventures in Asia.  They also stressed the importance of getting back to our roots.  Knowing where you or your family came from is great feeling.  But also spreading our wings and traveling is a great way to learn about other cultures.

The keynote speaker was Jeremy Rubin of Face Consulting Group.   He spoke of the importance of recognizing how the below topics effect our lives:

Unhealthy Agreements

Self-Love

Relationships

Faith Mindset

Recongnizing Real Evil

A Heart to Serve

His motivational speech was so informative and inspiring that of course I shed more tears.  All  topics hit home with where I am in life, and the growth I am looking to achieve as a person.

I want to give special thanks to all the host Kariba Jack of Creative Events & Design LLC.  Also the sponsors who provided the wonderful swag we received in our wonder swag bags:

All in all, the Seattle Naturals Extravaganza of 2017 was one of the best experiences I have had in over 10 years! I now know that this introvert really is capable of networking face to face!  I also believe this is just the beginning for me.

So I am challenging you, my readers, to try something new!  Dig yourself out of your comfort zones.  Shake the dust off and get back to the person that’s been hidden, but now needs fresh air.  Start to enjoy your true self, not the mask we wear on a daily basis to survive this world.  Let me tell you, removing that mask, if just for 15 minutes, feels great!

Till next time ya’ll,

Olena

 

 

The Multi-Tasking Naturalista

These days being an adult means you are probably wearing way more hats in life than you were planning on wearing! Can I get an Amen?!   In between a career, bills, parenting, and education.  We also need to fit time in for overall health, friends, family, faith.  These are the facts of life!
Keeping a balance can be overwhelming.  Come on now, we are not machines, are we?  We are human.  We make mistakes, and if we are smart we learn to grow from our mistakes.  Part of growing is realizing that even though we want to put all our attention on one thing, and just concentrate on that; we’re capable of doing more than one thing at a time, and give ourselves credit for it.   Yes, it is possible to multi-task without going crazy! This is coming from a person who suffers from anxiety… so I know what I’m talking about!
For example, the other morning my anxiety was at an all-time high.  Being a mom of a child with special needs means I am ALWAYS multi-tasking!  But I don’t always give myself credit for it.  It’s so easy to get caught up in feeling stretched thin, and how it would be great to just do one thing at a time. But let me tell you, I thought about it a little differently later that day.
It was rough, getting my son out to his bus stop seemed like I was on trial for a crime I didn’t commit.  I was sad & angry at the same time.  Seeing red, with tears coming from my eyes.  But you know what, I took the energy I had left and decided to use it.  It was washday so I decided to wrap up my hair while pre-pooing.  Then of course I  was still irritated, so I decided to take it out on the air and work through a kick-boxing video.  What a great way to beat up the negative thoughts that were running through my head!
While I was punching, and kicking away like a mad woman, I looked over to my fish tank.  Looking at the beauty of my fish swimming around effortlessly, without a care in the world.  Listening to the calming sound of water flowing from the water pump, in the background of the kickboxing music.  I thought about how blessed I was to be alive and see this beautiful sight.   Appreciating the God given nature and serenity.
Can you picture what I just described?  I know you can!  Do you get what I mean?  Let me break it down.  In a matter of an hour, I just:
  1. Pre-poo’d my hair- adding body heat from exercising
  2. Exercised- Kickboxing video
  3. Self-Care – care of my hair, body, & mind
  4. Mindfullness – tuned out the kickboxing music & worries, and tuned in to the sound of the fish tank and the sight of my fish swimming.
  5. Faith –  Thought of God’s blessing of life and nature
  6. Calmed Down – The  serene sight of my fish tank and my cool down session at the end of video with deep breathing.
Now you see what I’m talking about? I just multi-tasked some very important things. It is possible!  No matter how big or small the items are, it doesn’t matter.Multi-tasking doesn’t always have mean stress.  It can also mean well-being.  Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you all.  How do you multi-task?  Do you have any suggestions?  Talk to me.  Leave a comment, like, and share this with your friends and family.  We are all in this thing called life together.  And hey, don’t forget to Subscribe.  Until next time!

 

 

Making Moves

So, I didn’t exactly plan on this blog post subject, but just go with it. Ok?  Since this is my blog I can do whatever I want, right? Right.

Most people have hopes and dreams that they want to achieve at some point in their lives.  For some, their hopes and dreams fall right out the sky into their waiting laps.  Yep, it’s just that easy.  For others, there is an uphill fight just to get to a point where there is a glimmer of a hope or dream being achieved.  I happen to be in the second group.

For various reasons, we all go thru different seasons in life. During these seasons, things like:

  • Self-Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Income
  • Friends
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Faith

Can play a huge part in making or breaking you.

Our own minds can pour out so much negativity onto our own spirit that we begin to question our own sanity.  

But there comes a point in life when we must be willing to admit a change must happen. It may seem like change is impossible.  It may seem like no one is on your side. But if you truly want to start making things happen in your life, the change must begin in YOU. It must happen in your OWN mind.   You must be your OWN cheerleader. 

You may see my pictures floating around the internet and think, “She has it all figured out!”  Trust me, looks can be deceiving.   I am tip-toeing up a hill of hurdles.  Some I share, some I don’t.   But you know what?  I’m working on re-training my brain to feed my spirit with positive thoughts. I am in the progress of learning.  Day by day, little by little.  Yes, it is hard. Yes, you will get discouraged at times.  But you know what for every bit of progress you make, it’s a step in the right direction, and even better, it’s a blessing. 

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:5 NIV  

Change WILL come, and I’m here to tell you: Don’t give up!

Maybe I decided to share this to get it off my chest.  But one things for sure I speak from personal experience.  It is therapeutic for me to share any knowledge I have.  This is one of the main reasons I started this blog and my YouTube Channel – OlenaRosanne.  To share what I know and what I have been good at my entire life. Yeah it may have taken 41 years to figure it out. But there is no shame in my game, it’s better late than never!

Do what makes you happy, but realize to make it to the top of your hill you must be willing to get uncomfortable and have uncomfortable conversations.  Find someone to talk to. Express your thoughts to a friend, family member, therapist, advocate, pastor or in prayer.   Everyone needs someone to bounce ideas off of and everyone wants to be listened to. 

Let me say this one more time: Don’t give up.

Let me know what you think.  Like, comment, and share this post. If you understand where I’m coming from or even if you don’t someone you know may get it, so make sure you Subscribe. 

Until next time,

Olena