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 Artistry – Makeup 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 Consolata. The 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:
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:
- Eden BodyWorks
- Curls & Potions
- Jane Carter Solutions
- Curl Keeper
- Hydratherma Naturals
- Moisture Love
- Taitu’s Bontanicals
- Uncle Funky’s Daughter
- Mielle Organics
- Emerald Dynasty Ent.
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,