Honestly I don't know where to start. This expo was awesome. There was so much to experience. From the early morning Speed Networking Breakfast to the multitude of vendors offering varied products and services, this expo was phenomenal. Perhaps that is to be expected considering the founder of this event, Sister Leola Anifowoshe, is also the founder of the Nzuri Natural Hair Festival. I wasn't familiar with her prior to this event because Im more of a street festival kinda chick. Lol. I did hear about the festivals on the radio and from word-of-mouth. Since Ive started hosting my own gatherings, I was very interested in participating in this event- from behind the scenes. And y'all, I so impressed. (I have a picture of Sis on my #BossLady Vision Board.) Sister Leola's mission to promote Black businesses and Black beauty... Yassssss Honeys!!! She said her vision is for Texas Black Women's Expo (TBWE) to be comparable to the Essence Festival. Do it BIG Sis!
Her team was professional and friendly. It was obvious they shared the same vision. At the Meet & Greet they were welcoming and reached out to the other Sisters in attendance and asked us to help as volunteers. Of course I was on board. It ended up that I was too busy snapping photos to 'volunteer'.. I was really helpful directing folks to the restroom... if that counts.
The Speakers were informative and inspirational. One Sis told the story of how her perseverance in her passion, turned into her creating the life she envisioned. She was stressed at work to the point of health concerns, so she quit and started her own business. That wasn't making major money but she convinced her husband to trust her through the process. She said she was asked to speak on her experiences as an entrepreneur and although the audience was only 25 people, she gave them herself.. Fast forward a year and one of the women in that small room connected her with a speaking engagement that had 2500 people in the room and paid her over $5000 to speak. From that point she has travelled the world and makes a living sharing herself.... Selah. "Grow where you are planted." There was another Sister speaking on How to Trade Money on Forex. #TBWE did not come to play. They came to what? #Slay.
And the Fashion Show and the Children Pageant simply gave me life! I know Im past my daily limit of exclamation points, I know. Im just expressing how superb this expo was. The clothes these designers showcased were fly (and available for purchase). And the little girls were cutie pies. So much self-esteem and self-care; Life. My daughter was so inspired by the models and the catwalk that she ran to the stage when they asked if anybody wanted to model their own attire. The DJ played "I Flip My Hair" by Willow Smith and my Mini-Me rocked the crowd. I am a proud mother. #werk
Did I mention the vendors? We often speak of 'Black Economics' and 'Buy Black' and 'Black Businesses.' Take a glimpse at the posts linked to #blackeconomicsmatter. For small businesses that do not have storefronts, or are traveling vendors and online businesses, expos are one of the best ways to connect with target markets. As we walked the aises window shopping and making purchases, plenty of products we use on the daily were available: toothpaste to tennis, feminine products to farming. (Ok. Not really farming per se. There were women there with fresh produce delivery services.) BONUS: Black- & Women-Owned and Operated products and services were apart of this event from beginning to end. The Sisters made sure to express that they were empowering and enfranchising other Sisters.
Im emotionally connected to this event. I so proud of the Ladies for this experience. And Im thankful I was trusted to be apart of the Media Team! If you haven't already, listen to the archived *Circle Sisters Podcast* from August 07: "Texas Black Women's Expo 2017: Little Miss Happy Head Pageant w/ Astoria Stubbs."
Enjoy the captured moments: