Naturally Kish

May 19, 2013

INTERNATIONAL NATURAL HAIR MEETUP DAY 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — naturallykish @ 11:46 pm
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I know I haven’t posted a blog in quite some time but I had to take this opportunity to share.

International Natural Hair Meetup Day (INHMD) is an annual one-day event. Its purpose is to allow the opportunity for women across the country to meet in their own communities while networking, sharing and meeting (virtually) other women across the country participating in meetups on the same day. Natural hair meetups are events designed to share information, techniques, inspiration and products to aid individuals in their natural hair journey.

Last year I attended the INHMD event in Alexandria VA hosted by Pam of Koils by Nature.  The event was awesome. The only drawback was the drive, driving thru DC on a sunny Saturday afternoon was NOT the business.  So, this year I decided I would attempt to host one in Baltimore. 

While I’ve been naturals for over 10 years and I believe I’m a wealth of information, I’ve never actually hosted a Natural Hair Meetup.  I’ve attended my share but never pulled one off myself.

OK, let’s fast forward. 

I apply, get accepted, get that revoked and then get re-accepted. The event was offered to another group in Baltimore and the rules are events must be at least 50 miles from one another.  After speaking with Adeea (INHMD founder) it was decided that I could still host the event.  Once that was all worked out it was time to plan our INHMD  event for our Baltimore Naturalistas.

I know what I like to see/receive from a meetup so I figured it would be easy enough to execute.  Hahaha. I can laugh now.  While it wasn’t all that difficult planning, the execution was just the opposite.  I’m a Libra and a scatterbrain and I have self-diagnosed ADD. Needless to say, its hard for me to stay focused. 

First thing was to secure a venue.  In Baltimore. On Preakness Day. I couldnt find a venue. Just when I thought all hope was lost The Living Well kinda fell in my lap.  What a blessing. That Space was perfect and set the tone for what would be a beautiful day.

Next up, secure vendors.  Not a problem. I had some people in mind and they were all willing to bless us with their goods.  That was easy.

Next, sell out the venue. Lawd. Lawd. LAWD!!!!!!!!! That was NOT easy.  I’m thinking all tickets would be sold by April 30th.  Think again! I sold my last ticket about an hour before ticket sales ended.  Lol. Gotta love it!! Because of how the tickets were going, I decided to scale back. Initially I was shooting for 80 people. Then I said 70. My final thought was to cap it at 50.  Best decision made.  We were busting at the seams at 50.  God stepped in again. His hands were all over this event. 

About 2 weeks before the event I was contacted by a photographer who wanted to DONATE her services. DONATE. And she was phenomenal. 

OK, event day. Finally. We get in and get set up and I see the people start to come in.  I was touched to say the least.  Our Hostess with the Mostess, Sista Tracy gets the party started.  We have food, this awesome tea (makes u wanna drink it straight out the container) and the most gorgeous cake!  The ladies eat, mingle and check out the vendors. 

The energy was high.  The ladies were enjoying themselves. Everything was going great. My vision for this event was to be a social/networking event.  No one wants people standing in front of them ALL the time.  Sometimes we get more from the new sister sitting right next to us.  I was worried because I didnt have a set program and I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  It actually was a good idea.  The day flowed. The energy stayed high. I would say to people when I was talking about my ticket sale struggle ‘whoever is supposed to be there will be there’. True statement!!

Now, while we’re having our Q&A session this guy comes in. Looks around. And then walks out.  And then comes back in.  I’m thinking he is casing the joint. I go over to talk to him and he actually came to offer us some free samples from a new line called Nene’s Secret.  WOW!!

Because the INHMD team workrd so hard we had TONS of giveaways. I like FREE STUFF. I also wanted to show my gratitude to those ladies that took a chance on this new girl on the block so to speak so i secured TONS of stuff to giveaway.  I also had some special thank you gifts for my volunteers and this one special gift that I presented to the first person to register. This was special to me because before this event I didn’t even know this sister.  While I was giving her the basket I BROKE DOWN!! Ugly cry and all!!! I’m such a cry baby.  Lol. But it was truly something to receive the support I received.  I am eternally grateful to Allah!!!

I met some beautiful women that encouraged me to continue to host events. They offered to help in many ways and were already talking about next year. 

I could not have done it without my sisters encouraging and motivating me, my mother for her support and help, my son who carried all the boxes, assisted with whatever I asked him to do, ran back and forth, was forced to be in a room of all women for over 3 hours (lol), my vendors – who went with the flow without a single complaint and most importantly to everyone who attended! When I say I do this because of you, I mean that honestly.  I love our world of natural hair and I want to share that love and appreciation with as many people as I can. 

Again I say THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!!!!!!

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