Last summer,??award-winning author, writing coach and workshop facilitator, Annika Spalding and I collaborated on?Queens in Conversation. My first question during our challenging, Nevisian connection style WhatsApp call, from my veranda – whether the?Birmingham sisterhood exists??Naturally Crowned is proof that the answer is a big YES!
Updated January 2020.
Join us on Tuesday 21 January 2020 as we host IVY WILD (formerely Bonnie Lush hair) in Birmingham. You can get your free tickets here.
Best time to be a black woman
On Saturday 3 February, I headed to the Pentahotel?for Bonnie Lush Hair (rebranded as Ivy Wild) presents: Naturally Crowned. The best thing about this event was being surrounded by a room full of melanin women who support one another. In addition, the opportunity to buy from brands that include us.
I will reiterate what I said to writer, filmmaker and YouTuber – Remani Love. Now, is the best time to be a black woman. Female, black empowerment is paving the way for the future generations of women. Therefore, there is no time to be sitting on the fence ladies. Poetic artist, Amara Amaryah wooed us with her deep poem about self-love, self-celebration and black womanhood, definitely check out her work. The Birmingham Sisterhood Exists 🙂
Annika, who encourages people to use writing to heal their past – led the self-love workshop. She asked the audience to write a letter to our inner child, to go back in time, look through the window and tell them something they needed to know. Those who bravely shared their testimonies told their inner child that they are loved and they are good enough. Here is a letter to my inner self at a dark time.?What would you say to your inner child? Please share your messages in the comments box below.
Self-care is self-love
Founder of Bonnie Lush Hair (rebranded as Ivy Wild) and the event organiser, Sherine Walrond hosted a panel discussion with melanin queens. On the panel included Jenaitre, founder of My Ebony Box?(pictured below) a monthly subscription box for black women. The confident Keyla, Manager of Freedom Edge Hair and Beauty salon, who is knowledgeable, about hair education. So, look out for an interview with her soon. Also on the panel, was natural hair guru Khembe Clarke.?It was nice to meet Khembe, who shared plans for a weekend festival celebrating everything natural. This is going to be embracing natural hair, beauty, health and wellness. Return to your Roots will be in Birmingham in May. Click here for more UK Hair Related Events. Mobile hairdresser Fifi – from Hairstress by Fifi; Rachel, the owner of Dashelle’s Hair & Beauty; and Olivia Hinds, transformational speaker and personal tutor, also joined the panel.
As black women ? we live in a world that tells us our hair is wrong.
The panel discussed what age young women, be allowed to wear a wig or a weave. The audience had mixed views. My thoughts were 18 years old, although I see young women in school uniforms, with Pocahontas length weaves. But who am I to judge?
However, someone answered, that girls should be allowed to wear their first wig or weave, once they understand their own hair first.?As black women ? we live in a world that tells us our hair is wrong. With many of us re-learning our natural hair as adults when we return to natural. Therefore, education is more important than age when it comes to young women, wearing wigs and weaves.?What age do you think is appropriate? Leave a comment below.
Let this year be the year of – I can do it. The year of accepting
What does womanhood mean?
Here are three top things from the panel on what womanhood means to them.
- Female entrepreneurs are rising and women are owning there time. Let this year be the year of?- I can do it. The year of accepting. Rather than always seeking clarity from others, decide that you are good enough.
- Find a balance. Only take on what resonates with you and ask yourself ?am I happy??
- In the past, we saw other women as the competition ? this is the year of sisterhood.
Birmingham got brands
As well as hearing from the panel, Kadian the founder of Bourn Beautiful Naturals showed the audience how to make a homemade conditioner. Kadian, filled the room with education on the history of the beauty perception of black women’s hair, during Jenaitre’s workshop on perception.
Founder of Zillion Haire, Zita Okeke?s is a medical student by day. By night she is connecting students with hair stylists located in Birmingham. She noticed a Birmingham-London hair divide, where the perception is that salon standards are better in London than Birmingham. Zilion Haire allows student customers to upload a picture of a hairstyle and Birmingham stylists bid at affordable prices. Comment below and let me know your thoughts on whether London salons provide better hair care than Birmingham?
From London, Lily Sana HairCare – has a brand new hair care company, with a range of hair straighteners designed to help transform your hair into salon quality on a daily basis.
Birmingham sisterhood exists
In sum, this hair event was big and the melanin was poppin! During the panel discussion, I didn’t see who was talking because the speakers were on ground level with the audience, instead of on raised stools or platform. Therefore, during the networking, it was difficult to find the speakers because I couldn?t see who was answering the questions. Finally, I?m sad I didn?t get a goodie bag. As a result of tickets being sold offline as well as on Eventbrite, more people attended. However, this is a bonus for Sherine.
On the whole, the event was a great success. It is always inspiring to surround yourself with a tribe of go-getters. The UK black sisterhood is important now, more than ever. So, get your Ivy Wild hair products right here) and check out our events page for future events. Self-care is self-love, Birmingham sisterhood exists and we are Naturally Crowned.
What does sisterhood mean to you? Comment below.
Updated January 2020.