Okay so I’ve been talking and talking about the conference and here we go! So I drove to New York on Wednesday September 18th! I was a little nervous because the last time I went to New York I took a Mega Bus. It was easy on the Mega Bus. Anywho since I didn’t really know how long it would take me to be done on Thursday of the conference I elected to drive.
Traffic wasn’t an issue not even when I got closer to New York. It was congested but no different than Philadelphia. I only had to slam on my brakes once! So for me that was a win. I checked into Pod Brooklyn and the process was seemingly easy. They had rooms available so I didn’t have to wait and I wasn’t charged an early check in fee. See my full review here! FYI the below recap is simply a recap there were so many speakers and panels! Trust me if you are thinking about going next year please do and make sure you bring pen and paper, use your notes function in your phone like I did or bring your laptop which many did!
After checking in I was going to wear what I traveled in since it started at around 2 and it was really like a meet and greet day. However I decided against it and changed! Hunger had set in since the only thing I had that morning was coffee and a pumpkin bagel! Thankfully Pod Brooklyn has a restaurant: Clinton Hall New York! The food was great. I had a veggie burger and fries and some red wine. I knew that since I had parked my car I wasn’t about to move it. I would be in an Uber for the duration of my stay! So I definitely had room to wine!!
As soon as you walk in and get checked in they have your swag bag ready! Listen these bags had amazing products! All of the products represented were amazing. I had to dump all of the items into a bigger bag to pack it day one!
I loved the fact that Fuji Film was present to take amazing pictures of us! I really have to get my hand on their new Instax mini lilplay! It prints and it’s like an upgraded Polaroid picture from back in the day!
This is from day 2 by the way
It was time to network before we heard from our amazing speakers! So many wonderful brands were represented. Let me highlight a few!
This is from Water Wipes who’s mission is to normalize the real side of parenting. They also had an encouragement board which above all things was the most important to me. Being a mom myself knowing that often times parenting can feel like you’re alone and like my friend @cocoamommy says taking care of your “broke best friends” can be challenging!
Another brand I would love to highlight is Vagisil! We ladies know who Vagisil is! They have so amazing new products that help us ladies to feel confident and healthy with our vaginal health! We should #showourshameless and take the sting out of caring for our vaginas! They have products that we can use for traditional cleansing as well as on the go maintenance that will not mess with our PHs!
Can I highlight Tawanna? She’s an amazing product rep and guru who has thee best attitude. Have you ever met anyone who was just amazing from first word to last? No? You’re missing out! Tawanna just has that IT factor and her personality is like a magnet of good!
Tawanna is pictured in the middle
Of course got to show major love to Dunkin Donuts! America runs on Dunkin and they were present to keep our pumpkin requests flowing! From the Dunkin backdrops to the Dunkin Trucks-our donuts, muffins, and cold brew were always fully stocked! Also they gave a Sausage less sandwich. It was amazing! Everyone is getting on the plant base train and now I can add Dunkin to the mix. Before I would just get their coffee and keep it moving! Now I can indulge in a breakfast sandwich without guilt or messing with my healthy eating plan!
There were panels of beautiful women who either paved or are continuing to path the way for all of us creators! The big names of the evening were of course Sarah Jessica Parker and Keke Palmer! I enjoyed them both! Keke is literally the same way that we see her all the time. She really reminds me more of a young Angela Bassett. I know she gets that often but up close she’s stunning, funny, and I loved her advice. We have so much in the world going on but we gave to find a way to smile and live!!!
I enjoyed Sarah Jessica Parker who reminded us with all the fabolousness that we see in here and the characters she has played she is always championing for others. Someone asked her how does she balance it all and I absolutely had to stand up on her response! “It’s not how I’m managing but how is the everyday woman who is balancing 2-3 jobs to keep afloat is managing?!” I found not one lie!
FYI my pics get much better as I pushed from the back to the front and make new friends
She also premiered her new wine; Invivo X! It was delicious!! Oh and it was the sponsor for the happy hour for the evening!
As much as we all wanted to just be in the presence of greatness it was time to make sure we learned! I felt like Day One was all about renewal of your why! At least that’s what I took from it!
The next set of ladies were phenomenal! Seeing these young and upcoming Hollywood superstars shared their experiences about being young and what challenges they are faced with. It was great perspective!
I made this it’s own separate section because it was an important conversation. In order for companies to talk the talk of inclusion it goes well above having shades of makeup swatches. We need people of color to be paid the same rate as their counterparts. We need to see inclusion on company’s social media pages. It’s hurtful to see companies pushing inclusion as a means of propaganda but not mean it by having full representation! Shout out to Nikki Brown Stylecaster senior beauty editor, Yaminah Mayo, writer and model who you might have recently seen in Traces Ross’s new campaign for Pattern Beauty and Ofunne Amaka CEO of Cocoa Swatches! Real and raw talk about what it means to be black in arenas of fashion and beauty who are marketing off of what it means to be black and beautiful but may not necessarily stand behind it fully!
By the time we were done (FYI there’s a few speakers I didn’t mention-it’s a lot) I was tired! I had learned so much. My wheels was spinning! I already had a mental reset! I felt empowered to visit with more brands and make more connections!
Like Sarah Jessica Parker, why not me? If I don’t throw my hand into the competition I only do myself a disjustice! Hearing no hurts! It stings but it stings a lot longer than simply not pushing past the initial fear!