We are living in extremely trying times. Between not knowing what blasphemous one-hundred and forty characters the president will tweet next or what company will knowingly appropriate our culture, we as Black women have more than enough to be weary about — just as we always have.
And in an age when it can feel like our sole obligation is to fight, call-out, and denounce unrelenting injustices, we can be left feeling drained, hopeless and joyless. Begging the question how and where do Black women find joy in 2017? Project Beauty Expo is one answer.
Project Beauty Expo is the world’s first beauty expo founded by and for women of color. Frustrated by how multicultural women were represented in the beauty industry, Brittany Brown founded PBE to provide a one-of-kind intimate experience for both Black consumers and retailers. “We want to provide a platform for women to connect with [Black] indie brand founders, network with bloggers, beauty enthusiasts, and give them an education in beauty, wellness and lifestyle,” she says.
An inexplicable thing happens when Black women come together to support, uplift and cheer on one another — magical even. The love was palpable during the event and evidenced by the “yass queen, work!” overheard at the photobooth and the countless “your curls are poppin” comments. Standing inside these four walls everything felt completely safe, giving no evidence that only 48 hours before one of the most heinous acts of terrorism against our own people had taken place in Charlottesville. This safe space gave a fatigued group of women the rare privilege, to check their heavy cares and worldly worries at the door, if only for a few hours.
“I am completely overjoyed and overwhelmed by all the love and support that I experienced at #PBE2017. I just wanted to provide a place for Black + brown women to discover indie beauty brands created with them in mind. It was amazing, and it’ only the beginning,” Brittany said of the event.
There’s no doubt that almost all of us feels uncertain about how to quell the heaviness of the world. Investing in the small businesses of our fellow brothers or sisters is one place to start. Here a few Black-owned brands from Project Beauty Expo worth supporting:
GOLDE, a wellness company, makes it easy to take advantage of turmeric’s healing properties with their unique turmeric powder; it’s the perfect addition to water or milk for a custom nourishing tonic or milk.
Girl+Hair, the first hair care line of its kind, is dedicated to properly cleansing and protecting the scalp and natural hair while in protective styles.
Founded on the premise of nurturing the body and mind, the apothecary brand Bloomsbury Sq. creates the finest body and face products for women of color.