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Friday, July 17, 2015

Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend 2015 RECAP ||Part 1||

Now that I've fully recovered it's time I share my experience from the Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend with you.  Seeing as full recovery has taken me a week, you can only imagine how much there is to talk about.  I attended every single event held that weekend from the Pre-Party to the Blogger Branding Brunch so I've decided to break this recap down into three parts so as not to overwhelm you.  As you read this I want you feeling like, wow I need to be there next year!  Not, wow this is too much to handle in life! I've done all the legwork for you so just sit back, relax and recap with me.

The Koils by Nature Pre-Party was to set the tone of the weekend.  The event was held Friday evening at the Embassy Suites Hampton Hotel which was the host hotel for the entire ROTC event.  I intentionally booked my room at the host hotel because I wasn't familiar with the area or the event.  So, as to limit any confusion or mishaps I thought it would be best to stay close to the action.  This decision proved to be the right choice from the very first day!  Traffic from the Northern Virginia area was crazy and I didn't arrive at the hotel until nearly 7:15 PM.  Mind you, the Koils and Kocktails Pre-Party was scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM.  Needless to say, staying in the same hotel was quite beneficial since I didn't have far to go.  Now, lets talk more about the actual event!  It was held in an intimate space perfect for the number of people that attended.  Immediately upon arrival, you felt like you had ARRIVED.  Jeff (@photog4naturals) was there snapping pictures as we walked through the door.  Pam Booker from Koils by Nature ran over almost immediately to greet and take pictures.  This was my first event of it's kind for me, so I'm sure I was a deer in headlights.  No worries though, this deer was born ready and it only took a few minutes to feel settled in and at home!  In every corner I was able to spot a familiar face!  Constance from @TeamNatural_ over there, Mildred from @NaturalSilverSista back there, Vaughn from @MsVaughnTV with her girls chilling over there!  If I had any anxiety about meeting everyone, it left my body within the first 5 minutes of being at this event.  No one treated me like the "little" Blogger I felt like, being in the room with such prominent and successful Bloggers and Business Owners.  In fact, it felt like I already knew these people!  Let's not get it twisted though, I didn't pretend to "really" know them but I certainly didn't feel like a complete stranger.  The night was filled with lots of introductions, pictures, giveaways and of course, swag.  I dragged myself back to my room barely able to even walk in my heels once the event was over and stayed up another two hours just talking about the event with Amber!  That's definitely a good sign of a great party.

@TeamNatural_ @NaturalSilverSista
@AmberJanielle, @NaturalSilverSista 

@KoilsbyNature and @NaturalSilverSista
@StyledbyKami, @MsVaughnTV, @NaturallyCreole

Tribe Called Curl hosted Kinks and Drinks as the Official After Party for the Return of the Curls Natural Hair Expo.  Let me just say, 'Round of Applause' (in my Waka Flaka Flame voice)!  THEY. DID. THAT.  We're going to start with the Swag Bags because those were given at arrival this time and man did they have some weight.  Shea Moisture doesn't play when it comes to Sponsoring I see!  I'm talking 3-4 FULL size products ranging from hair to body products. Then we walked into this super sleek room filled with candles, more products as center pieces and an event space that was clearly for the grown and sexy.  As the room filled up, Imani Dawson from Tribe Called Curl took a moment to introduce herself and get the party started.  The games presented were strategically created to draw you away from your 'clique' and have you get to know some new people.  Just genius.  One of the games was an Instagram Challenge and I was determined to win (what's new?!).  Again, this was another brilliant idea as it was able to grab the attention of people on Instagram who were not able to attend and allowed them a glimpse into our night.  Not to mention, I don't know if I would have snapped a picture with Stephanie (@beautybylee) if it weren't for this game/challenge and that picture turned out to be one of my favorites from the entire weekend.  The time flew and before I knew it, the party was over but we literally had to be ushered out by the staff because we truly were all having such a great time.  If there's one thing I learned that weekend, it's that Tribe Called Curl knows how to throw a party.

Stephanie @BeautybyLee and myself

Constance @Teamnatural_ and Amber @AmberJanielle

Tribe Called Curl
The photos provided here are just a glimpse into both of these events.  For more fun photos try searching the designated party hashtags provided by the party hosts.  The Koils by Nature Koils and Kocktails Instagram hashtag is #KNKHampton.  The Tribe Called Curl Kinks and Drinks Instagram hashtag is #KinksandDrinks.  Have fun scrolling through the pictures and don't forget to come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend 2015 Recap (Expo Day).


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