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Out & About With Dysautonomia: The Naturalista Expo

It has been a slow summer for me, as it usually is with Dysautonomia. I had good intentions and meant to go out more but by the end of August I was done. However, I had one event planned for three months and that was to the Naturalista Expo in College Park, MD. Those who may not know, I've been natural for almost 10 years. I had locs for almost 8 years and I have been loose the last year and change. I had never been to a hair expo before and I really wanted to go, especially with it so close to my home. It was a win-win for my Neurocardiogenic Syncope. I heard about it because I went to the N Natural Hair Studio a few months back. I wanted my hair done for an event and I was tired of doing my hair for the moment. I love doing my hair but I since I get tired quickly I usually do bigger twists and things that are less intricate. I wanted something done that would last a long time AND is something I didn't want to do. After a recommendation and almost a year of research...and delay... I made an appointment. A young lady named Skye sent me and she was wonderful. I highly recommend her. It turned out well and I will highly recommend their services.

The expo started at 10am and was supposed to go through 5pm. I planned to arrive when it opened but I was there about 45 minutes later. I took my daughter and one of her friends just to see what they had to offer. I didn't kno if it would be a circus or something truly Instagram worthy...if I actual HAD instagram. It was held at the Hotel in College Park, MD. It was hard to find a parking space because people really showed up that early! Thankfully I had a disability placard and I was able to find one on the 7th floor!!!! We entered the event on the mezzanine level of the Hotel. It was nice and bright and full of well dressed naturals. We checked in quickly and saw a pink carpet but we passed that and went straight to the vendors. I was already symptomatic and I wished that I had a wheelchair but I was distracted by the wide range of hair and body products offered by small business owners. So I kept moving and I immediately spotted my oldie but goodie Oyin handmade. I have used that brand since I decided to go natural almost 10 years ago. Side note: if you need a great pomade try the Burnt Sugar Pomade and the Leave In of the year is the Hair sponsor I'm just saying, typing...etc. I also Uncle Funkie's daughter too but I gravitated towards brands that I didn't know. The first one I stopped at was Soapbox Soaps. I spoke with owner and founder, David Simnick, about his products and he told me and his mission. He is sort of like like the TOMS of hair and body products. With each bottle purchased one was donated to a shelter, a pantry or someone in need. The products were all natural and I decided to give it a try. There was a great deal on and I purchased a bamboo shampoo and conditoner, an argan oil shampoo and a citrus and peach rose body wash. So I helped give back 4 bottles with one purchase. (I tried the products and my daughter and I give a thumbs up)

I came across another great vendor, Addictive Apothecary. This booth was simple and had exactly what I needed. I have horribly dry skin and when summer wanes my skin suffers. I usually use shea butter but this place had something better, a body balm, actually several. The balm goes a bit deeper in the skin to me and Milicent, the owner, gave them a scent that is amazing. I love fruity and floral so I got papaya and mango and pink hibiscus. I tell you that whenever I wear these I am always asked about the products. From the picture you can see that I am wearing pink hibiscus OUT!!!They give a nice scent without the perfumes that my skin no longer likes. They are in heavy rotation and I share with anyone with dry skin like me. Update: I now partner with Addictive Apothecary and If you use the link above I am supported as well. Thanks for all you do!

I saw so many vendors and there were panelists and discussions held in separate rooms. I would recommend it highly but with me being symptomatic I had issues with the noise. I have become extremely sensitive to noise when I flare up and I so wanted to leave. Instead I found a nice comfy couch and let the ladies roam. The one other reason for attending this even was to my meet one of my hair personalities from YouTube, Naptural85 aka Whitney. She was billed to be there and I was so excited I don't usually get all worked up about meeting people but I admire her and her entrepreneurship. I felt like I watch her family grow up...awwww. I digress. When I texted my daughter she told me that Whitney showed up and I made a bee line from the couch to get in line. My poor veins were not circulating my blood but I so wanted to talk to her. After waiting patiently, sort of, I had a moment before she was whisked away for a panel discussion. That was the icing on the cake for me. It was barely 1pm and I was done. We got in line for serious swag and we left.

It was a great and well organized and all of the vendors were local too. Everything looked professional and I loved it. My poor NCS hated it but I had to go and wouldn't miss it again. I got yelled at for not telling people about Whitney bit it was worth it. One day at a time.

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