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 NCS. I heard about it because I went to the N Natural Hair Salon a few months back. I wanted my hair done for an event and I was tired of doing my hair for the moment. I just so happened to go by a recommendation and much research. 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 there about 45 minutes later. I took my daughter and one of her friends just to see what they had to offer. It was held at the Hotel in College Park. It was h to find a parking space but have a disability placard, will travel. We entered the event on the mezzanine levelevel of the Hotel. It was nice and bright and full of well dressed naturals. We checked in quickly and saw a pink carpet but wepassed that and went straight to the vendors.
I was already symptomatic and I wished I had a wheelwheelchair but I was distracted by the wide range of hair and body products offered by small business owners. I saw my oldie but goodie Oyin handmade and I saw Uncle Funkie's daughter but I gravitated totwards brands that I didn't know.
The first one I stopped at was Soapbox Soaps www.soapboxsoaps.com. 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 aand 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 shamppoo and 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 ilup)
I came across another great vendor, Addictive Apothecary www.addictiveapothecary.com. 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 hibiscus. 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.
I saw so many vendors and there were panelists and discussions. 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 couchexcited and let the ladies roam. The one other reason for attending this even was to mymeet one of my hair personalities from YouTube, Napptural85 aka Whitney. She was billed to be there and I was so excited I don't usually get all worked up 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 ciculating 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. 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. Everything looked professional and I loved it. My poor NCS hated it but I had to go but 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.