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Monday, July 20, 2015

Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend 2015 RECAP ||Part 2|| Expo Day

Hopefully you are reading these recaps in order (you should) so that I don't have to start each part from the very beginning (I won't LOL).  Expo Day was the main event of the weekend for many of the attendees.  Hence, why there was a Pre-Party and After Party for it!  It was held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center directly adjacent to the host hotel (I was winning all weekend) and was pretty much an all day event, 10AM-5PM with a 2 hour hair show to follow.  I did not attend every single workshop and panel but rather picked options most suited to provide ME with valuable information.

Amber and I arrived at the Expo at about 10:30 AM and you would have thought it had been going for hours already.  The place was FILLED and the event was well on it's way to being successful just 30 minutes after opening its doors.  At arrival I noticed Dark & Lovely was already on stage presenting their L.O.C Method Workshop with their Director of Education, Mezei Jefferson.  If you haven't heard about their L.O.C product line yet, you're missing out.  You can find a FULL review over on my YouTube channel here.  I took this opportunity to make my first round through the Expo and see all the Vendors.  You know, take all my pictures and do my Blogger thang.  My first stop was the Frizz Free CURLS booth and they had a showstopper for sure.  The theme of their booth was "The Candy Shop"... COME ON!  I was way too hype for 'MyCandiShoppe' to be in the CURLS 'Candy Shop' booth.  Needless, to say I was obsessed and on top of that Mahisha herself was there!  This was one thing I really loved about the Expo, meeting the actual owners of these brands.

Next up was the Dark & Lovely booth since we all know how hard I ride for them! LOL. Their booth was large and in charge!  They not only had the largest Vending space but they had the largest crowd around their booth.  It wasn't a surprise to me at all.  They were they selling products for the low low while also conducting on site hair demonstrations with models.  Their booth was like an mini expo inside of the expo.  LOL.

Photo Courtesy of @officialdarkandlovely IG

After we left the Dark & Lovely booth, we sat in on the Blogger panel moderated by Imani Dawson from Tribe Called Curl.  The Bloggers/Personalities on this panel were all prominent and well known and included Vaughn (@msvaughntv), Nicole (@napturalnicole), Mildred (NaturalSilverSista), Courtney (@manechoice), and Deanna (@naturallycreole).  They discussed everything from Branding 101 to issues facing the Black Community and how they should be addressed from a Blogger standpoint.

From this panel, we ran over and stopped by a few of the workshops being held in smaller/separate spaces.  First up was Nicole's Workshop "How to start your Blog/Business with Ask a Lawyer" which gave some amazing insight on how to cover your as$ when starting any business.  Held in the same room following Nicole's workshop was a "Make-Up Demonstration" hosted by Stephanie (@beautybylee).  Of course, I stayed here for a minute to pick up some tricks on how to BEAT. THAT. FACE.  (I'm real dramatic when I say this)  My last workshop of the day was the Blogger Panel moderated by Nicole (@napturalnicole).  My boo, Amber (@amberjanielle) was on this panel so I was front and center.  Also she needed me to be her personal photographer and videographer.  LOL.  I found this workshop/panel to be the most insightful as a Blogger because the women were the most transparent.  Included on this panel was Stephanie (@beautybylee), Amber (@amberjanielle), Eugenia (@eugeniasays), Jonna (@naturallyglam), Adeea (@trendysocialite), Kim (@naturallyfashionable), and Tiana (@naturally_allure).  So, as you can see there were various Bloggers on various levels in this workshop but I took home valuable information from each and every one of them.
@napturalnicole and @thehubbin


@beautybylee, @amberjanielle, @eugeniasays, @naturally_allure, @naturallyfashionable, @naturallyglam

This concluded my day at the Expo which was followed by photos, networking and Chipotle (of course).  Oh wait, but not before running into Vincenzo (@vincenzo_stylist, @beautybelee's beau) doing an impromptu cut underneath the Convention Center stairs.  I mean, there was just fabulousness everywhere!!  Although, this was a super long day my spirit was high off of all the information I gained. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an Event like this, I highly recommend taking advantage.  Even if your funds are low, budget to buy the ticket and just skip on purchasing products (as hard as that may be).  The workshops and panels alone will give you an amazing ROI for that $20 ticket.  Didn't mean to hold you hostage for this super long post but it was necessary for me to touch on the items that stood out to me.  Check back for the final recap, Part 3: The Blogger Branding Brunch...


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