The Black Girl Magic Event Of The Season
This past Saturday, Dec. 2nd, I had the pleasure of attending the In Her Shoes Black Women-Owned Holiday Bazaar in New York City. I got to meet dozens of black, female, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and people ready to support one another. They each came from a different background. Each woman had her own unique, "Why I started this business" story. All of them empowered one another.
Renae Bluitt was the mastermind behind this event that showcased the power of black female entrepreneurs. She is the founder and creator of the In Her Shoes Blog and Crush Media. She writes,
“I’ve always been intrigued by other women’s stories: their “a-ha” moments, successes, struggles, and most importantly, what inspires them to fight the good fight when times get tough” (source).
This passion for story sharing inspired her to create her documentary film She Did That. The film tells the stories of 5 black female businesswomen that are shattering their industries. She Did That centers on Luvvie Ajayi: best selling author of I’m Judging You, Lisa Price: the creator of the brand, Carol’s Daughter, Melissa Butler: the creator of The Lip Bar, Tonya Rapley: the creator of My Fab Finance, and finally on Renae Bluitt's In Her Shoes Blog story.
Renae is really out here fighting for women! She is an entrepreneur who is not just focused on her own success. Renae Bluitt is creating pathways that allow the grossly neglected population of black women to be seen, to be heard, and supported as business women!
Read more about how, in her own words, in Renae’s blog post, Walmart Supports “She Did That.” & Ramps Up Supplier Inclusion Initiatives (a must read!).
Watching the sneak peek of She Did That was exhilarating. The preview included part of the story of the creator of Carol’s Daughter, Lisa Price. It resonated with me. She shared about her experience of struggling in her undergraduate career. Price talked about her battle with depression; needing help but not having the courage to ask. From a vulnerable stage of her life, she found the strength to rise and eventually build a company whose products are easy to find.
The full documentary is set to release in 2018 and based on the short glimpse I saw, it is something that all goal setters must watch and study! These 5 driven women are an inspiration!
After the documentary preview and panel discussion, the Holiday Bazaar was open for business. Here are just a few of the things I found.
First, we have our very own Pepper B. doing demonstrations of how you can blend your skincare with your makeup for the ultimate healthy glow. She teamed up with Bloomsbury Square, a vegan skincare company, to give shoppers skin to envy.
Bloomsbury Square was founded by Niambi. “I delight in making products that let nature do what it does best: nurture the body and mind” (source). Using their Featherlight Cucumber SkinNectar with Clary Sage + Geranium, Pepper blended the lightweight oil with a loose pigment to give me the melted peachy highlight of my dreams. I was already wearing makeup and thought that applying an oil could disrupt my “I ain’t woke up like dis, I worked for dis” makeup. Girl. When she finished blending my highlight, I was ready to do some serious exploring at the In Her Shoes Black Women Owned Holiday Bazaar. And off I went!
"Vegan, pure, affordable products inspired by indigenous herbalism and healing." Bloomsbury sq
Find more of Bloomsbury Square here!
Very early in the day, I found myself being pulled in by the force of a sheet mask. A black lace sheet mask to be exact! Eve Milan is a skincare company founded by an esthetician who has 10 years of experience to draw from (source). Eden Gilliam designed these sheet masks to be hydrating without the use of oils. Most sheet masks make you look pretty creepy. Eve Milan’s The Lacial Masque will make you look mysterious.
"A 5-free skincare line designed to restore confidence back into your skin and give it a healthy glow without the use of harsh chemicals." Eve Milan NY
Next, I headed to our friends over at The Lip Bar. This company is the brainchild of Melissa Butler, one of the 5 featured entrepreneurs in the She Did That film. While there, I met a blogger who loves this company as much as I do. She asked me why I liked The Lip Bar so much. I pointed to this poster and said, “That image right there.” Loyal meetpepperb.com readers must remember back when I reviewed their signature shade, Bawse Lady. I basically fangirled. The imagery used by The Lip Bar is untethered.
On a wall covered in beauty campaigns, The Lip Bar’s vision is striking and magnetic. I was thrilled to see that their table was swarming all day with shoppers ready to drop coin on their lipsticks!
Read Pepper’s interview of Melissa Butler here.
There was another friend of meetpepperb.com who was a vendor at the In Her Shoes Black Women Owned Holiday Bazaar. LIT Brooklyn is a homemade candle company founded by Denequa Williams. These soy candles are a favorite of our website. The scents Joy and Home were quickly added to my mental wishlist. Citrus scents give me life!
Read Pepper’s Interveiw of Denequa Williams here.
Jasmine Lawrence sought to remedy her damaged hair dating back to when she was 11 years old! (source). She’s a healthy hair guru prodigy! Lawrence created Eden Bodyworks. They had one of the most extensive lines of product to be featured at the Holiday Bazaar. They even had a range of products for kids.
Eden Bodyworks distributed a bag of samples featuring a new product line scented with Almond + Marshmallow. Included in the bag was their Split End Repair Masque, Hydration Serum, and Therapy Leave-In Conditioner. I don’t know how Eden Bodyworks took two very sweet scents, almond and MARSHMALLOW, and somehow crafted something that doesn’t suffocate your nose. When I opened the products, I was very hesitant to give it a sniff test. I feared the worst. But I was very wrong. It smells amazing! Because I just have sample sizes, I am very hesitant to give our readers a review. I don’t think I can give an in-depth review the way I like to. However, if you are interested in hearing a ‘first impressions’ type of review, leave a comment saying so!
“EDEN BodyWorks™ provides natural products that integrate wellness and beauty inspired by nature to restore and maintain the hair and body’s original design.” Eden Bodyworks
FInally, we come to Limegreen. This skincare line prides itself on products that are multifunctional. Multi Oil, Multi Wash, Multi Spray, and even a Multi Candle - it’s bomb, too. Aromatherapy that melts into a massage oil so you can calm your nerves and soothe your muscles.
While speaking with one of it’s founders, I learned that this company was born from wanting to help a friend in need. Her friend was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer patients are restricted to what products they can use on their skin based on the treatment they could be receiving. She told me that one day after work, she decided to pop into Whole Foods to see what she can blend together to help her friend.
From there, giving relief to a friend, bloomed into a passion project that flourished into a business.
I took home with me a bottle of Limegreen’s Multi Oil scented with lotus. How great is this packaging! There is prideful showmanship in the way the box opens up like a door revealing what’s behind curtain number 1. While at the event, I tested the oil on my dry-growing out-bleached blonde hair focusing on my ends. Did this oil not make my hair look and feel like silk! I was impressed!
I have since tried it on my face, just once, though. You will get a full review in the future. It’s basically Winter, so my skin concern, along with the fading of my golden summer glow, is dry, flaky skin. Mostly on my forehead. When I applied the oil, I expected to have to add an extra drop to my forehead because it usually needs extra TLC. Not the case! My forehead did not feel tight or itchy and the best part is that my skin did not feel sticky or greasy from the oil! While the oil is marketed as a makeup remover, I don’t really see myself using it that way because the oil is kind of thick. Which is great for hydration, but I don’t love that for cleansing. I will test it out and write about it for a full review.
"Through natural, multi-use products, Limegreen aims to promote a lifestyle that is healthy for the body, sustainable for the environment, and unifying for people of all backgrounds." Limegreen
There were so many more brands at the In Her Shoes Black Women Owned Holiday Bazaar. This event was an exhibit of the entrepreneurship of black women. Renae Bluitt shared a statistic that black women-owned businesses “generate $52.6 billion” (source). There was music, wine, artists, and there was even a proposal at the end! Congrats! Make sure you check out In Her Shoe Blog and keep your eyes open for the release of She Did That. Thank you for having us!
It's holiday time! If you want to support more black women owned business, check out Renae's shopping guide.
In Her Shoes Shopping Guide: 75 Black Women-Owned Brands to Know, Love & Support here