The 3rd Annual Natural Hair Industry Convention: Baltimore 2016

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The Third Annual Natural Hair Industry Convention took place in Baltimore, Maryland. It was hosted by founders Susan Peterkin-Bishop and Angela Walker. It was an experience I will not forget.

The goal of the Natural Hair Industry Convention was to bring together current and future leaders of the natural hair industry.  We spent the day learning trade secrets and networking to increase the overall standards of our industry.

These are the 4 main areas that were addressed.

The Town Hall Meeting

Black Beauty Professionals gathered together in one place to partake in the discussion about the state of The Natural Hair Industry. The purpose of this meeting was to provide a safe place for real conversations to happen respectfully amongst all key players in our industry.  In attendance were: Industry Leaders, Educators, Hair Professional, Barbers, Photographers, Product Makers, Authors, Journalist & Bloggers. Six of the industries top influencers were on the panel discussing ways to save the integrity of our business.  They also talked about building  meaningful partnerships between hair professionals and bloggers. The reality is that the sector can not grow successfully without one another. The panelists:

Diana C. Bailey, E.M.E.R.G.E.: NBIA: The Natural Hair Authority

Dayna Bolden, Co-founder of ChicNaturalistas

Michelle Breyer, CEO of NaturallyCurly.com

Jane Carter, CEO of Jane Carter Solutions

Paula Chishon, Owner Tendrils and Curls

Stacey Ciceron, Celebrity & Textured Hair Stylist.

The most powerful takeaway for me was when, Keynote Speaker, Tulani Kinard asked everyone to join hands forming a huge circle in the room while she prayed a powerful prayer of unity and success for everyone. The energy from Tulani Kinard’s prayer was felt throughout the room. The vibe was like church on Sunday morning. Many members had tears flowing from their eyes. No, I didn’t shed any tears, but I had to keep my composure. I didn’t want to break out in a praise dance and possibly knock over all that beautiful fine china from the table. That would have been awkward. So I only squeezed my neighbor’s hands and kept my head down.

Quality Education

The Natural Hair Industry Convention provided top notch courses taught by Senior Educators. The instructors were prepared to teach innovative hair styling techniques. There were mannequins in every conference room for hands on training. I loved how the instructors walked around the room to help those who struggled to execute particular hairstyles.  We were able to practice until we mastered those skills.

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I enjoyed all the instructors. I loved Stasha Harris of Magic Finger Studio, she taught: Learning The Stitch Braid. I enjoyed Dr. Kari Williams, who is a Certified Trichologist, her course was: How To Create The Original Goddess Locs we also learned the inspiration behind the creation of that style. (an homage to actress Lisa Bonet)

Thando Kafele, Senior Stylist of Locks N Chops NYC, gave an awe-inspiring lesson on The Culture and Principles of Loc Styling. Last but not least, Aziza Yasmine, CEO of Paradise Naturals, taught us how to professionally Master The Ghana, Goddess, and French Braids.

Community Building

Strong communities are built upon solid relationships. Angela & Susan allowed us all time to do just that during “The Speed Networking Session”. The concept was the same as speed dating, but with a twist which was cleverly done. I had a pleasant conversation with Amber Muhammad, Owner/Stylist of RASA Salon, during speed networking. I hope to travel to Philadelphia soon to attend one of Amber’s workshops.

Empowerment

The Natural Hair Industry Convention rejuvenated and empowered its attendees. I know so because the conference was nowhere near over and everyone was sharing throughout the day how pleased they were with their investment.  I left the meeting feeling energetic. I’ve gained knowledge of innovative techniques that will continue to make the quality of my business grow. Attending this event was well worth the investment.

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Kudos to Susan Peterkin-Bishop and Angela Walker for pulling together a well-organized event. These ladies brought the fire. Their high standards is an accurate representation of what our industry represents: Standards, Professionalism and Quality.  Shout Out to The Natural Hair Industry Convention event sponsors Curlkalon Hair, JaHa Hair Studio, N Natural Hair Studio. This is exactly kind of education that I appreciate.  I will definitely be back next year!

To learn more about the Natural Hair Industry Convention visit them on Facebook

Does your city offer educational events that represent The Natural Hair Industry?  If so, list the name of the event in the commenst so that we can be sure to send a representative!

Keianna Johnson aka “KeeKeeAllNatural” is a certified Natural Hair Care, Braiding and Lock Technician. She was certified through Madam Walker’s Braids, Lockery & School. She is also the owner of Chi Chi Sophistication Natural Hair Care Studio which specializing in natural hair care and braiding for children. She currently holds the position as Local Coordinator for the DMV Area for Ebraiding.net an organization geared towards uplifting the standards and professionalism of certified professionals in the braiding & natural hair Industry. KeeKee is a TRUE natural hair care advocate and she is also a blogger. You can find her beautiful work with children’s hairstyles featured in SANATA International Hair Braiding Magazine, MidWest Black Hair Magazine and Encore HD Hair Magazine.

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