Sunday, October 31, 2010

Natural beauty blessing

Yesterday I went to the Orlando Natural Hair and Beauty Expo, a new one-day event celebrating natural hair. I heard about it on Facebook, I think and, once I saw that Felicia Leatherwood of Loving Your Hair with Natural Care was giving a workshop, I put it on my calendar.

I heard about Felicia Leatherwood earlier this year from a post by Afrobella about Felicia's natural hair workshops. The workshop sounded so great and like just what I needed. Of course the workshops were in Chicago and New York, not here in Florida. *cue internal whining* I am always a little homesick for Atlanta, too, a city where I know I could get a little natural hair instruction.

Until now. Thanks to Chase Ford Productions, Orlando has its own natural hair expo to look forward to each year.

I decided to take my daughter to the event with me. Even though I worried she would become bored and fidget too much, I really wanted her to see all the women I knew would be there. I knew we'd see women with TWAs, twists, twist outs, starter dreds, long locks, afros, and Bantu knots.

I was right.

But I didn't make a big deal about it. I just said it was a hair and beauty expo and let it flow from there. She was very interested in the fashion show and, even though she's too old and a little big for it, I picked her up and had her on my hip so she could see.

By the way, my daughter had asked for Afro puffs the morning of the expo - so she was representing in her own way as well.

And she liked sampling the different body butters and sniffing them. She told me, "Mommy, it smells good in here." Of course - the expo center was filled with tropical fruit and herbal scents for hair and body.

When Felicia Leatherwood's workshop began, I realized I'd made a big mistake. The room was standing room only. I definitely should have sat down inside as soon as we arrived. Fortunately two other little girls were standing near us and eventually the girls all sat down, shared books and paper and had their own thing going, quietly, while we listened to Felicia.

And, if you can't tell from my comments above, I will say it straight - if you have a chance to hear Felicia give a workshop and you love your hair - go. Register in advance, get there early, and go. I learned things from her in an hour that I haven't heard in my 20+ years of adult natural hair.

Other things I loved about the expo:
Seeing some old friends and acquaintances.
Lovely hair styles.
Great vendors with hair products, accessories, body products.
A DJ who knew just what our vibe was and is.
Sakile / Peace and Beauty project kids activities

We didn't stay for the entire expo, but my daughter asked me at one point if she could have her hand painted. I hadn't even noticed the henna artist as we walked around. So we stopped for her henna art. And it was a wonderful way to wrap up a mother daughter beauty adventure.


lyre said...

I enjoyed it too! I saw people that I havent seen since my childhood that I was happy to see likeminded and natural. but the best feeling I received from the expo was the supportive atmosphere. Being natural is hard in a processed world. But here, at the expo, I felt a support group and came away empowered.

Ms. Whitfield said...

I had a similar experience, except I was the daughter who took her mother to the expo. It really was a great daughter/mother outing.
My mom is now embracing her natural, two-strand twists vs pony tail (yeah!).
After the show, mom went home and looked everyone up on the internet - bookmarking pages, making!

La Warishe said...

Hi! I was the henna artist at the event. I'm glad you and your daughter had a wonderful time, thank you for mentioning me in your blog!