The Posh & Popular Fashion and Beauty Summit
This past weekend I attended the 2016 Fashion and Beauty Summit hosted by Posh and Popular founder Kimberly M. Dobine. It was a one-day conference that featured three keynote speakers and two panel discussions, all which were centered around the business of the fashion and beauty industries.
The keynote speakers for the day were Arian Simone, celebrity publicist and founder of the Fun Fly Fabulous Lifestyle Subscription Box, Nina Jackson, founder of Proper Girl, and Nicole Melton, founder of the Digital Beauty School. The Industry Style panelists included Kelly Kirkwood, owner of Pink Pump, C'Erra E., stylist and owner of the Anthony Neil Leather Lifestyle Brand, Latrice Delgado-Macon, fashion stylist, blogger and creator of The Styling Closet, Fashion Designer Terry-Ann Phillips, and Fashion Stylist and Designer Kristina Bowman-Smith. The Business of Blogging panelists consisted of Shareese Shorter and Jessica Hayes, co-founders of Skinphorea, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger Mia Ray of Confessions of a Glam-Aholic, YouTube Beauty Vlogger DeLaurian, and Beauty Blogger Janae Mason. The LipBar founder and CEO Melissa Butler made an appearance, too!
I've been to A LOT of different fashion conferences before, but I would always leave feeling like there was something missing. While the events I would go to were amazing and very educational, there were never a lot of speakers or presenters that looked like me. The Posh & Popular Fashion and Beauty Summit filled that void, as ALL of the individuals who spoke that day were Black women.
Hearing other women of color who are in the exact industry that I'm working to become a part of was inspiring beyond measure. Black women in fashion and beauty (as well as other industries) are often overlooked because we are not seen to fit the mold of the "normal beauty standard." It is unfair, frustrating, crazy, and annoying that we have to work twice as hard as our white counterparts just to even be considered for certain roles and opportunities. To be able to listen to all of these women talk about how they overcame their trials and tribulations to create lives of success showed me that it's okay for me to dream big, and that my aspirations are indeed attainable.
I took so many notes during the duration of the program. I went home with a notebook full of gems to start applying to my everyday (and professional) life! I enjoyed what everyone had to say, but of course there were some things that really hit home for me.
Nina Jackson's entire speech had me wanting to praise dance all up and through the venue. She came with A WORD, okay? I wish I had gotten it on video! Nina spoke to us about respecting your season — knowing how to respect and love the process of life, and not to disrespect where you are right now. I needed to hear this because as hard as I try not to, I struggle with not comparing my journey to someone else's. My journey is just that: my journey. What so-and-so is doing has nothing to do with what God has in store for me. All I can do is continue to work hard, and the rest of my blessings will happen accordingly.
She also talked about the importance of sowing well. We have all heard the saying, "You reap what you sow." It is so important to maintain your dignity, respectfulness and grace, even when someone is nasty toward you. Everything does not deserve a response. Accept the fact that some people are simply not worth your time (or energy for that matter), and keep it moving.
I also really enjoyed Nicole Melton's presentation. Nicole is an expert at digital branding and communication. She talked about knowing your audience. Like, reeeeeally knowing them. Who are you (fill in your profession here) for? Why do they need to hear your message? Why is your message important? Nicole encouraged us to know our audiences like they are friends in our heads. This piece of advice was extremely important to me. As a writer, I need to know who I'm writing for. I need to know who I'm targeting my articles toward so that I can continue to develop a consistent editorial voice. I'm definitely going to sit down this week and figure that out!
I changed outfits several times, of course. I knew everyone in the room was going to be super stylish, so I wanted to make sure my look was unique. I wore a black dress with long, sheer panels on the sides with my oversized camo jacket that I thrifted a few years ago. I also wore my trusty Sam & Libby black booties and a black velvet choker. This was actually my first time ever in life wearing a choker (my mom wouldn't allow me to growing up, haha), and they are not comfortable! I don't see how all of the girls are wearing them with everything. I liked how it looked, but I don't see myself wearing it that much. I'm not used to having something that tight on my neck like that.
Overall, I had a wonderful time. I learned a lot, enjoyed delicious food and desserts, got to check out the LipBar's mobile beauty truck, won a Fun Fly Fabulous subscription box (I never win anything, so I was geeked, lol), received a goody bag full of hair essentials from ORS Hair Care, and met some amazing and professional women.
The last line of Kimberly's welcome letter inside of the program booklet read, "I hope you enjoy the Fashion and Beauty Summit, because it was created for you!" I truly felt as if it was. I can't wait for next year!
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