The 2nd Annual Northwest Ohio Natural Hair & Beauty Expo was held October 13, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio! The New Life Center on the campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church was the venue for this natural hair affair! Nearly 300 visitors attended this year’s event from Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Meadville, Pennsylvania, Detroit, and various cities in Ohio.
From 11am until 6pm, guests could enjoy workshops, performances, hot food, activities and music from the DJ! In many ways, it was like a family reunion! The local media covered the event including The Toledo Journal, WTOL News 11 Your Day, The Sojourner’s Truth, Fox Toledo Day Break, and The Toledo Free Press. Photography was provided by Shieva Photography and Jurry Taalib Deen.
Sponsors for this year’s event included Sigma Gamma Rho’s Toledo Alumnae Chapter and Friends of the Mott Branch Library where free monthly natural hair programs are held on the 4th Monday.
Kids were able to enjoy themselves, if not dancing on or around the stage to the sounds of DJ Dre Wills, then at the craft table also sponsored by SGRho.. They created Shakers with beans, rice and paper cups or plates then decorated them with colorful paper and their own markings! The bonus was that they could use them when JP Dynasty, the African Drummers performed on the stage!
Poets took the stage mid day and included pieces by Harmony, Huntor Prey, Nikyle Fitzgerald, Miss T, CC, and performers throughout the day included Elevated Thinkin’ (emcee); The Gregory Girls (F.A.M.E.D Studios); Audrey Williams, and poetry features were Columbus, Ohio’s Searius Add and Racquel Lovelene! They all rocked their naturals and the microphone!
The Everyday Naturals hair show featured local beauties who represented different lifestyle profiles such as Fitness, Fashion Model, Artist, Chef, Diva, Performer and Kids. Each model shared their hair routine, favorite products and the style/fashion they wore for the show! It was a winning moment as this displayed natural hair, beauty and fashion to the natural hair community as a whole.
Each workshop provided a more intimate look into different areas of health & beauty including Alicia Mells’ skin care clinic where she demonstrated proper skin care techniques on a live model and provided a make over for guests to witness first hand.
The next workshop was conducted by Pastor Mark Smaw who went into depth about having a positive self image, recognizing that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Guests lined up along the hall waiting for their up close and personal workshop with The Knotty Truth Author Michele George! Her lively presentation, slide show and ability to break down questions and answer them piece by piece was a great moment to learn and become inspired.
Thanks to the Frugalicious Diva Latisha Williams and Extreme Couponer Tasha Davis, guests went home with some freebies including Diabetic Testing monitors and food items. This workshop taught some basics in couponing as well as how to shop on a budget and get free deals.
The workshops were complete with a Fitness Circle conducted by Mr. Darius Hall, certified fitness instructor/coach. He gave practical information about developing a workout plan from planning a diet to implementing simple exercises, debunking common myths about working out. Each guest had the opportunity to get hands on training on various exercises and tips.
Miss Jessie’s natural hair care products made the Expo worth it all with their great gift bags that included samples of their curly hair products. In the bags also included samples from Koils by Nature, Entwine Naturals, Lustrasilk, Shea Moisture and others.
Cousins provided delicious hot meals, baked goods, cold beverages and home made sops for the guests who attended, so everything was in one place! There was even plenty of room for some dancing in the aisles and by the stage for the steppers and ball room dancers!
The Expo collected books for Books 4 Buddies and also had a Product Swap where guests could trade products for something they never tried before. At the close of the day, there were many smiles and positive words looking forward to next year.