CHICAGO, IL-Mark David Carter hosted his first natural hair event held at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza located at 350 North Orleans Street. This was one of Chicago’s biggest Natural Hair productions designed for Natural hair care all over the Mid-West! Over 400+ Natural hair enthusiastic flocked in to hear and learn more about Natural Hair. Natural hair is not a trend, but a phenomenon that is here to stay.
The premise of this event was to bring industry educators from the Midwest and beyond to share and educate consumers, students and educators alike about the world and live of natural hair care.
Natural Hair & Beauty Fest Chicago 2015 is a ground breaking event representative of the local, national and global Natural Hair Movement. This event specifically caters towards Naturals (Consumers), Natural Hair Care (Professionals) and (Students) interested in nurturing careers in a growing Natural Hair Care Industry, and individuals, who desire to adopt a Natural way of life.
This event included: Free Professional Classes, Free Consumer Classes, Panel Discussions, Main Stage Performances ALL DAY LONG, Fashion Presentations, and an Exhibit Hall with over 50 Exhibitors and Table Vendors. What was especially special about this event was the collection of vendors and presenters with their primary focus emphasizing natural hair care and beginning with inner beauty thus projecting outer beauty.
One of the key highlighted events that I would like to discuss is the “The Natural Hair Educators of Chicago” The panelist of educators discussed “The State of the Industry Address”. Featuring: Amazon Smiley, Chatto Wright, Donta Rice, Chris Nobles, Darya Johnson, Rene Beavers (Alabama), Reeta Baker, Deidre Evans Keller, Frances Simmons Ellis and Yonni Red (Atlanta).
Great take aways from the discussion included but was not limited to: “Natural hair is not a trend…it is here to stay!” Says 37-year industry veteran Amazon Smiley Natural Hair care has made as much as $774M, which is up by 2% since 2009, Relaxer sales have dropped by 29% since 2009, embracing nature hair care has helped in correcting the wrongs of self esteem and erasing feelings that natural hair is not beautiful, an array of extraordinary products have come on the scene such as products like: Ms. Jessie, Carol’s Daughter, OSSAT Naturals…just to name a few. Not to mention the various natural hairstyles created by rod sets, braids, locks, twists, Bantu knots, corn rolls, Goddess braids and puffy corkscrew braids.
Panelist, Chatto Wright-32 year industry veteran from Ghana West Africa spoke about how excessive heat and blowing can strip the hair from its natural oils, a salon owner of 26 years she has vowed provide products and services which will help the hair and keep it nourished.
Panelist, Donta Rice a legendary Barber and Educator spoke about how water is the #1 solvent and that 70 % of the body is water and how we must be mindful of homecare for the hair.
Panelist, Chris Nobles 12-year Professional of (North Carolina) teaches natural hair…he stated that natural hair is a lifestyle and eating healthy and exercise is part of the nature attributes which in turn can keep the hair healthy. He also touched on misleading marketing scams and claims about what products can do for the hair.
Panelist, Darya Johnson- a 20-year veteran got her start by working with Amazon Smiley and represents the new generation of natural hair care. She comes with a different perspective and approach, communication with the customer is important and you must now their daily regimens and life style in order to understand the client’s hair care needs. Her client base is 95% all natural and 5% of her clients receive relaxer treatments. Darya also demonstrated how to do Natural hair rod sets.
Fine arts exhibition by: Osei Agyeman – Badu of Art by Badu (www.artbybadu.com). Badu is the Artist that designer the artwork on our official flyer, entitled: “Shade”.
Live main stage entertainment had performances by PHENOM, Sherrie Yvette Withers (Whitney Houston), Thomas Stone (Michael Jackson), Cedric Nunley, Marcus East, The Original Sixty Fourth Street Beach Drummers and more.
Key Sponsors for the Natural Hair & Beauty Fest were WePrint4Less.net sponsored by Bronner Bros. makers of BB Products and African Royale, Ossat Naturals, OSSAT Naturals, Lisa App. this is a technology app designed to connect artists (professionals) with consumers in the Chicagoland area, Chatto’s Natural Hair & Skin Products, All Naturale Beauty From Inside Out, Art by Badu (Osei Agyeman-Badu), Carol Dunbar’s Queen Diva Productions and MetroSalonPro Chicago Resource Guide along with atombash.com where the Chicago Makeup Examiner represented Press coverage with photography by Chicago Imaging Solutions.
Vendors present at the event: HandBagsULike by Sarah Herring, Fanta Celah Creations, Tracie Jacob’s Tracie Lynn Jewelry, Stylelines by Akese, It Works Wraps by Laura Mathais, I’m Unique by Dorien Humphrey, Nubian Princess Products, Gordon Family Chiropractic, Amazon Natural Essentials, The Original Edge Stick, Natural Girl Hair Imports, Diva’s Beauty Essentials, Isagenix “World Leader in Nutritional Cleansing”, Younique Makeup, Elite Mind Management, Darya’s Natural Hair Care, Forever Cakes by Michelle James, Crysana Inc. Hair Extensions, Special K Consultants, Younique by Lash Lady Brodi, It’s Yours Hair Company, Regiment, LLC., Lock Journey, Inc., Everette’s Natural Hair & Beauty School, Nature’s SkinLuv Bath & Beauty Essentials, Lina Luve’ Beauty Essentials, Nicole Designs All, Organo Gold by Kadija Stallings, Chicago Matah Natural Products, Yonni’s Loctician Academy, Denise Americus Cosmetics and many more.
Metamorhosis: The Summer Festival of Fashions, the main event took place with the VIP Reception for general admission seating; Showtime was at 7pm on the Main Stage. Fashion designs by Yasika Mode (Mamie Kapend), Akese StyleLines (Jennifer Koranteng Akese), Debra Davis Fashion Designs (Deb Davis), Hidden Treasure’s Boutique (Bobbi Fisher), Zav’s Treasure Chest (Christian Fears), Fibre (Rae Hurst) and Afro Funk Wear (Aluna Faye).
MetroSalonPro, now headquartered in Chicago at 1647 South Blue Island Avenue in the Pilsen Community, was founded in 2010 by Mark David Carter while residing in the DMV area (Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia). Serving as the professional beauty and barber industry consumer resource guide, this hyper local publication is steadily gaining wider recognition in key markets across the country. Having set the spotlight on hair care, barbering, nail care, makeup and skincare as art and science, it is a concept which supplies true followers with remarkable photographic event coverage and highlights on topics of interest. Today, MetroSalonPro maintains its course towards a ten year nationwide vision Metropolis 2020, where distinct cities and states unify to construct one dynamic economic umbrella. With solid commitment towards continuing education and pushing creativity beyond limits, MetroSalonPro will nurture greater understanding of the boundless possibilities of professions within the global beauty industry.