If you didn't attend CurlFest this year, you missed something big and meaningful. From fluffed-out 'fros to delectable twist-outs and eccentric protective styles, Sunday made Prospect Park a hair crush haven with all of the proper fashion, music and refreshments to compliment. However, it didn't stop there."It's important for women of color in this industry to collaborate," says Director of Public Relations and founding member, Charisse Higgins. Since 2014, Higgins has been working with Creative Director Melody Henderson, Director of Events Tracey Coleman, Director of Strategic Partnerships Gia Lowe and Director of Business Strategy, Simone Mair, together known as Curly Girl Collective. Each founder brings to the table the amount of drive and passion necessary for organizing a platform that is successful in providing just the right amount of groundbreaking product information with entertainment. In recent years, the natural hair movement has made more waves than ever before. Curly Girl Collective's opening speech reminded us all how far we've come as a community.
"What I love most about the natural hair community is inclusion. When we first started, we had three sponsors. Last year, we doubled that. This year, we doubled that. Our clients have become almost like family. [We want everyone here to know] you are beautiful that way God made you. This is what CurlFest is all about." This year's sponsors included a list of core influential brands within the realm of hair and beauty: Centric was the event's media partner, with "curlfriend partners" SheaMoisture, Tropic Isle Living, ORS, "curl crush partners" Cantu, CURLS, Phyto Specific, The Mane Choice, Eden BodyWorks, Dark & Lovely Au Naturale and "curly girl partners" Made Beautiful, Dove and Ouidad.Each brand shared space on the park grounds to offer up free full-sized goodies for the crowd's product junkies, as well as summery photo opps and light refreshments made just for CurlFest. From cooling lemonade and chilly snow cones to sizzling sandwiches out near the entrance, all edible consumption bases were covered; festival attendees gathered underneath colorful umbrellas and spread out on cozy picnic blankets on the picturesque greenery. The party atmosphere carried no shortage of good vibes and energy from all whimsical walks of life. Clever graphic tees displaying bold statements of natural hair and Black pride bedazzled the crowd. Social media influencers stopped to mingle and take photos with fans, bloggers and entrepreneurs alike. And if the vibrantly colorful clothing and accessories didn't make it known that summer is officially here, bold patterns and eclectic jewelry adorned the temples of CurlFest attendees and everyone stood out in their own unique way.