The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017
The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017 hosted its 3rd annual event this year on Saturday and Sunday, October 7th and 8th, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Downtown St. Louis. As expected consumers lined-up and ready to attend.
Entering the grand ballroom of the Holiday Inn prompted the feelings of grandiose appeal and elegance. The lighting and atmosphere caused one to pause, compelling them to explore closer, revealing a myriad of vendors with opulent displays and booth space. African art, sculptures, and cloth patterns dazzled our visuals. Natural scents of Jasmine, Shea, Vanilla, Mango, and Lavender overwhelmed our senses and the sound of bargaining, laughter, music, and happiness filled our ears!
After being greeted and welcomed by our very own Maisha Simpson and Lori Hardy Warford, patrons proceeded into The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017. With the red carpet and Expo back-drop in place, Expo attendees took advantage by having their photo taken by none other Tyrone Price, owner and photographer of Magnum Photos.
One could become mesmerized by the many “goings-on” and that was the exact vision of Chris Simpson, STLNHBCE’s CEO. Looks like, mission accomplished…again! Expo 2017 co-hosts Belle Be and Desmond White, were dressed to impress and ready to greet our Expo attendees providing them with a layout of the day! These two talented souls kept the audience engaged and informed as well as made sure to “Shout-Out” each and every vendor. Brand CEO and Founder, Chris Simpson graciously thanked his Expo family, vendors, educators, and performers for their participation and support.
The STLNHBCE Models 2017 certainly did not disappoint with their elegant, beautiful, and stylish fashions, jewelry, and most noticeably their Natural Hairstyles! It was apparent to any observer that the Expo models came to SLAY. Thanks to Linda Clark they did just that. Clark spared nothing and took no prisoners when training and preparing the Expo models this year. The crowd roared with pure anticipation and excitement as the Expo models got into formation and hit the runway!
The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017 is not only entertaining but educational and an essential element of the Expo. Many of the expo’s patrons attended to obtain the most current information by way of styling tips, best products for specific hair types, coloring do’s and don’ts, transitioning techniques, etc.
Educators at this year’s Expo included, but were not limited to Ojimba Nichols with “What’s in Your Water?”; Erica Gayles of Curly Dew Products with “Type 4 Hair Care Regime”; Charla Saloane of Relax NO More with “Hair Loss Prevention 101”; Saidia Therapy Lady of Sairise Yoga with “Kemetic Yoga”; Ebony Trust “SLAY Queen” with “Everyday Makeup Look” and last, but not least, the Expo featured stylist, Tendai “The Hair Whisperer” Morris of Healthy Hair Solutions with “Texture Talk”.
The audience was mesmerized by the infamous Tendai Morris, the creator of Texture Talk. Texture Talk is a forum were Morris educates the truth about the maintenance and texture of natural hair. Tendai quickly became a crowd favorite leading the attendees in unison chiming a beautiful chorus, “My Natural is My Natural”.
One of Tendai’s many products Whisper Whip can be purchased online at Amazon. You can also find Tendai and her team traveling across the country promoting her forum Texture Talk, along with her products Whisper Whip and Healthy Hair Solutions.
One very pleased Expo 2017 attendee, Ms. Christi Brown shared, “This is Expo was just perfect! It was large but intimate enough for me to speak with an educator about my niece’s hair. She felt my niece’s texture and then gave me product advice and styling tips…just what I’ve been needing!”
The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017 (STLNHBCE) showcased an array of entertainment. A major shout out must be given to DJ Lee who was able to reach into the “crates” upon request and come up with great old school and new school tunes. An amazing group of poets such Isaiah Walker, Corey Black, InnerGy, and Daniella Monae gifted the audience with Spoken Word to the beats of African Drummer Boba Dhati. Dhati wowed us on the drum with his magical hands. His performance was soulful, cultured, and amazing!
Minister Tracy gave us life with her soulful rendition of“We Lift Your Name” accompanied by Lakesha Williams, CEO of FAB Essentials who signed the lyrics for the hearing impaired! The female dance team, Supreme Royalty ranging from ages 12 – 18 hit the stage giving us the step show to end all step shows! They came to “give it to us” and give it is exactly what they did. We also found ourselves laughing along with the comedy and shenanigans of comedians Willie C, Eric Rivers, and Princeton Dew.
The STLNHBCE Family believes in allowing our stylists, educators, consultants, and product brands to showcase their products and talents on stage for all to witness and experience. This is one way we’re able to achieve our goal “to provide a platform for small community-based businesses to market and sell their products and services to consumers”. The Expo also included God’s Girl Fashion, Amore Fashion, NAPPS Natural Hair Salon, Champion Beauty School, Hats OFF Alopecia featuring Pierre McCleary, and the STLNHBCE Models 2017.
A host of hairstylists and make-up artists contributed to making sure each Expo model was coiffed perfectly with hair, make-up, and clothing! This year’s stylists represented NAPPS Natural Hair Salon, Afrodeziac, and Nikki Eddins of Mane Expressions. Our models Queen-Ebony Trust, Mrs. Sylvia Graham, Shana Elana, and Ebony Harvey of Retail Therapy were all breath-taking and flawless.
The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017 (STLNHBCE) thrives on sponsorship. The media sponsor for Expo 2017 was none other than the St. Louis County Public Health with Dr. Fredrick L. Echols, M.D. Because of their generosity, the Expo was advertised on Radio-One, 104.1. STLNHBCE greatly appreciates Mrs. Christina Bailey for radio promotion, Fox 2 News with Kim Hudson and Elizabeth Donielle, Social Media Director, who was responsible for our appearance on FOX2 News, making it a great success.
Our title sponsor, MegaLux Photo Booth, was the real deal in photography! Stepping into the MegaLux Photo Booth took me back to my childhood when my friends and I used to get into the photo booth and take what would now be considered “selfies”. MegaLux provided crowns, sashes, sunglasses, and many other props to assist with making your photo booth session an experience all your own! The children loved it and the adults found their inner child.
Financial literacy is essential for the African American community. We thank Kathy Conley for coming out and presenting Taking Care of Business “Solutions to Plan and Protect Your Wealth” providing practical advice on planning and protecting your wealth. The Eta Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. provided swim awareness and water safety statistics of the African American community.
Expo 2017 also hosted a panel discussion, “Politics in the Community”. Panelists consisted of Senator Jamilah Nasheed – District 5, Rod Jennings – 3rd Ward Alderman, University City, and Jihad Khayyam – President of Better Family Life Membership Association. These heavy hitters offered practical advice on how to take back our community, block-by-block.
The black culture aspect of the Natural Hair Expo is important to the STLNHBCE Family. We want everyone to benefit from what we’re doing with the Expo and black culture.
Black culture is all-consuming, all informing and all-encompassing! With that said every aspect of our lives emanates from our culture and it is important that we provide this vessel for our consumers and participants. Fashion, style, hair, entertainment, and education is most certainly a part of our culture and so is politics, safety awareness, and financial development. As for black culture, The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017 left no corners unturned!
For pictures, videos, and to post comments about The St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo 2017, please visit @st.louisnaturalhairexpo on IG. Use #STLNHBCE2017 in your posts.
Reach out to
Chris Simpson CEO/Founder STLNHBCE Family
Chris Simpson on FB
Dr. G. Simpson Editor in-Chief STLNHBCE Family
GeNita Williams Simpson on FB
Guest columnist Dr. GeNita Williams is a writer, editor and consultant. Dr. GeNita Williams, “Dr.G” was born, raised, and educated in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr.G has been an educator for 18 years, with five years serving as an urban middle school, turnaround principal. Dr.G is an Educational Consultant and a Director of General Education Programs at Vatterott College. Today, Dr.G is the Writer/Editor/Consultant for the Expo family. Follow Dr. GeNita Williams on social media. GeNita Williams – Facebook and Dr.geniethefox – IG/Twitter