If you missed the Curly Girl Collective’s, second annual Curlfest event August 30 in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, you missed what some would probably say was one of (if not) the best events of the 2015 summer. While the cost of attending was absolutely free, what attendees walked away with absolutely priceless, inclusive of the giveaways, swag bags and socializing!
Although Saturday was the rain date after the June weather dictated a rescheduling, it was well worth the wait. Curlfest really has something for everybody; men, children and women alike, lined up even before the 1pm scheduled event start-time to score an opportune spot for the participating vendors and festivities. Curlfest left no stone unturned and was so well executed that the collective of women outdid themselves by topping last year’s event.
Curlfest is one of those events that prove to be a great example of the very mission of Womeneur. As Black women are trailblazing in entrepreneurship all of the country, here in New York and particularly Brooklyn, I honestly believe that we’ve realized just how much we can achieve when we support one another. No longer waiting for opportunities but creating not our own but platforms for other like-minded black women as well.
Emerging from the natural hair community has been networks of women that have created and leveraged platforms for all sorts of business opportunities that can no-longer go unnoticed and written off as a “black thing”. Saturday’s Curlfest was an event opportunity for content creators, brands and followers to connect in a personal way that social media doesn’t allow. Local businesses lined the parks’ lawn with quality products and a genuine appreciation for the community that has helped make many of them a major brand.
Whether it was a favorite YouTube sensation, beauty product owner, or lifestyle brand experts, the Curlfest chats were that rare chance to get up close and personal with some of the most influential entrepreneurs. I’ve learned that there are no secrets to success; they have been able to achieve their accomplishments and want you to succeed as well. The interactive chats were full of great business information and take away nuggets that the speakers were more than willing to share. That’s the thing about the black community and Curlfest; we have so many experts among us that the event provided one heck of a networking opportunity and access to the best of the best of the best as well as some local giants. Tapping into them has proved invaluable, as black women have been able to turn their passions into big profits.
I’m reminded of how blessed we are as black women when I think about how our hair has catapulted us into this new territory. It has not only created lucrative revenue streams but most importantly, it has given us our power back. Our hair, the very thing that that we were once shamed about and made to feel as not good according to beauty standards, is the very thing that has created us so many opportunities. Yes, self-care is so much more than hair but from childhood we are taught that black woman’s hair is well… her crown. It’s the one outward expression that represents our uniqueness and vastness of who we are.
Curlfest in this one event provides a day of celebration of our multifaceted culture that encompasses so many great aspects that began with hair. It’s an experience that I shared with m 13-year-old daughter and from the turnout; many other mothers did the same. An event where black men support black women and black women support one another and brands that care about us support our community. Curlfest is so much more than hair or a picnic, it’s what I like to tag as an inter-generational movement, day of fun that’s total win!