I felt anxious & super excited! My sister & I got there early, but the space quickly filled up with “naturals”.
Afros, twist outs, braid outs, wash & wear styles, updo’s, and various other hair styles (& colors) were present; every where you turned there was a lady with pretty hair! My sis said it best when she said, “This is exciting…I can’t believe we’re all here…for hair!” It was kinda odd to think about, but in a way, very cool.
The event was sponsored by Miss Jessie’s, and was held at the Zhou B Arts Center, in Chicago. From 1-6 pm. RSVP tickets were $10 (we RSVP’d). $15 at the door.
There was vendors, food, music, a fashion show, and by 2:30 the place was packed with local naturals!
Here are my thoughts on the event:
• Space. The venue, though a neat idea, was too small for the turnout. The narrow sets of stairs leading up to the event room especially felt unsafe, as people were waiting in line on them to go down/go up.
• Bad lighting. It was hard to take good photos & see what the vendors had to offer.
• Muffled speakers. If you weren’t close to the stage, it was very hard to hear what was being said over the microphone.
• The program wasn’t clear. I think a print out outlining event happenings & times would’ve been helpful (or, at least having someone come on stage at the start to say “Welcome”), because the general expectation was that someone, or a presentation would take the stage at 1:00. When that didn’t happen, attendees were waiting/asking each other what time things would start; and, the initial feelings of excitement began to melt down into impatience.
I don’t think the event coordinators expected so many people to show. I can only imagine the amount of work (& stressors as a result) it takes to put an event like this together, so hat’s off to the coordinators & everyone who was involved in making the expo happen!
Cons aside, me & my sis had a great time
• For me, hanging with my younger sister! We’re planning more “dates” together. LOL
• Meeting a MM reader! Still smiling about this…it was very cool.
• Seeing so many women, in one place, with awesome hair!!! I’m kinda sad I didn’t get to meet you: Miss Pari from Youtube, and the girlie with the golden-blonde fro. Your hair looked fabulous!
• Feelings of U-N-I-T-Y! (…Very cool beans if you sang it & then heard the horn! Ha!)
• The MC! While everyone was waiting for the first presentation, he got the crowd going & involved.
• The fashion show! The models worked the stage with tons of sass…Loved it!
• Meeting the women behind Miss Jessie’s, Miko & Titi! Eek!
• & of course, Going home with a super cute “swag bag”! 2 full-size Miss Jessie’s products, and a couple neat little product guides explaining how to use them. I’m especially excited about trying the Super Slip shampoo!!!
I’m sad I couldn’t stay until the end of the expo & meet more local naturals, but the spacing issue was a deterrent. I understand it costs to book a bigger venue, so I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more on the ticket price, for feelings of spaciousness & safety.
I look forward to the next one!!!