Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
Photos compliments of Nicolette Stanton Photography
This past Saturday BGLH held its first meetup of the year! The hope is that we can do one a month until August/September, and then go back on hiatus until Spring 2012.
At final count more than 500 people came out, including women from Detroit and Milwaukee. We also had Latina, white and Indian women attend and even a few guys.
We started with a haircare discussion led by natural hair stylist Alecia Tucker, who was recommended to me by Afrobella. She spoke of how naturals' fear of the stylist's chair can sometimes be to our detriment when we encounter hair issues that cannot be solved at home. But she also confessed that black stylists are partially to blame for not investing in research of natural hair. She answered questions about hair coloring, scalp health and henna among other things and, after her talk, conducted Nioxin scalp analyses at her booth.
Okay… so here's where things get interesting. Admittedly, I did not expect the crowd to swell as it did. Between noon and 1:30 there was a constant stream of people coming through and the staff at Little Black Pearl freaked out and locked the doors. As in, there were women waiting in lines — outside in the cold & rain — to get inside. I. was. PISSED!
After some, um, heated discussions with the staff, they agreed to let people in whenever people left. So, as a few people trickled out, a few people trickled in.
At around 1:45 the crowd subsided, there was no more line at the door, and things were great. There were 34 vendors (all local, 95% black women) selling everything from candles to jewelry to hair products to knit hats to shoes (yes… there was a shoe vendor, lol.)
All in all it was a positive, slightly hectic, start to our meetup season. Afrobella and celebrity stylist Tia Dantzler came out, which was great, and the meetup even got coverage in Chicago TimeOut magazine!
I'm planning the May event now… which, despite all I just said, will probably happen at the Little Black Pearl again, since I am having a real hard time finding a meeting space for 500 people on the South Side of Chicago. If you have any ideas, please send them my way!
Lovely photographs in this post are compliments of Nicolette Stanton Photography.
If you were at the event, feel free to share your photos, videos and/or re-cap in the comment box!