Love, Food, Travel

Tag: festival

Queens-Fest

Queens-Fest

Blossom and Sol Natural Hair Festival at SXSW Festival (Austin)

I miss you all!! Ugghhhh, I miss writing, typing….talking while I’m writing and typing. *Please pray for your girl to get a laptop this year, thank you!* Sooo, I went back to Austin for SXSW (one of the biggest festival congregations of creatives in tech, film, photography, fashion, music, beauty….like you name it! It’s all there for one week. One week, but one important day when black creatives from different sectors come together. I went to the first annual festival last year under a different name “The Curly Girl Picnic” Check my post with that here!

It’s amazing to see how Coco Bates and her beautiful team came together again to make ANOTHER historic move. When you know you have purpose, it involves challenges and growth. If someone told you that living your purpose is easy, well….I don’t think you truly tapped into it yet.

The Coco Bates

Let ME (MUAH!! *points to self*) tell you all the greatness that happened! I did videos, check my Instagram here! Another thing I just couldn’t do last year, I was PREPARED for 2019. Ok…let’s go!

There was 2 separate events connected to the Blossom and Sol Fest, the intimate Noir Sisterhood Evening Affair *the night before the festival*, which is an interactive and intimate discussion on natural hair, beauty, and self empowerment with a live demonstration of Design Essentials product and style education. *PRAISE GOD FOR FREE FULL SIZE PRODUCTS!* Perks on being in media/press. *FYI! I just used my Design Essentials Natural Line Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-In Conditioner along with the Honey Curlforming Custard along with the styling tips the instructor gave me and…..baby!! My hair looks and FEELS SOOOO MUCH DIFFERENT! The number one advice I would give out (super important!) is start with a CLEAN SCALP. That’s it! Your shampoo routine should be LONGER than your style routine. I did 20 minutes *compared to my 9 minutes* with baking soda and apple cider vinegar due to my product buildup from my twists (separate application, not mixed in), cleansing shampoo with my shampoo brush and style. Then, boom!

I drove home that night and came back that morning for the festival (thankful that it’s 2 1/2 hours away….yes, I was bone tired). Thank you Bucees’ coffee, you are the real mvp next to my best friend.

We get to the beautiful, historical black college/university in the Austin area, Huston-Tillotson University, where the festival is held on the vast field on the hill looking over Austin’s downtown skyscrapers, just a couple of minutes away. Not only was I doing things for the UnconventionalShell website and moderating panel interviews, my best friend and I was being: asked to be a part of photographs, shot by photographers, interviewed by other bloggers and editorial contributors to websites and magazines….I was in AWE of it, …like me? Who am I to get this special attention? I’ve realized that is what I’ve been praying for…hmmmm. My favorite part was meeting all of the creatives. I can say that I am a people person, I love to meet people (most of the time) especially if we have a commonality in creativity. Creatives in the Austin area, people that I follow on social media planning to met at the festival, sharing our love of our craft….just awesomeness and love all around!!

Too many great things happened at the festival: dancing, FOOD, markets where you can buy local black products, live music from awesome musicians like DioMara, live hair workshops/tutorials, panel discussions about mental health, entrepreneurship, beauty (my panel!), and more!!

Alrighty, my awesome tips to close this post out:

  1. Get ready for 2020! If I can see progession from 2018 to 2019, I KNOW 2020 will be BOMB! This is not only for people of color, but for anyone open to appreciate diverse cultures. It was exciting to see other races present at the festival to take on the activities and markets. ALSO, I know that more EXPANSION will happen for 2020. That’s all that I will say for that matter. *smirking*
  2. Like I said last year, support your local businesses. Franchises and manufacturers are generally NOT about the quality OF THEIR BRANDS and community involvement. Big companies = the money and power. Local businesses = community leaders and innovators to the next generation.
  3. Show love. Bring a picnic blanket. Say ‘Hi’ to the person that came by themselves. Connect with people over food. That’s what this festival is all about. Loving the people.

Until next time!!! Love ya’ll!!! Share this post and leave a comment. Another blog post in the works now! Stay tuned!

Thank you Sam for my portraits!!! Instagram: Sammiedor.photography

Plus, my awesome best friend for taking pictures and video! My team member!!

The Melanin Reign is Here!: Curly Girl Picnic SXSW 2018

The Melanin Reign is Here!: Curly Girl Picnic SXSW 2018

2018 is THE YEAR OF WOMAN! Recently, I told you ladies in my last post (Click HERE!) that women are CRUSHING IT RIGHT NOW!! I’M SOOOOO GRATEFUL TO BE IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT (MORE THAN I HAVE EVER SEEN IN RECENT YEARS!) From support/interest groups, workshops, and special events, ‘women supporting women’ is becoming the norm in our society (Thank GOD!!)!

Coco!!

With this movement, I’m trying to catch as many opportunities to take part of in 2018. So far, one of my favorite events this year for female-driven empowered events is the first annual Curly Girl Picnic that was held on the beautiful campus of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas during SXSW* (*South by Southwest is a week-long festival/conference for creatives.*) I bumped into this event in one of my blogger groups on Instagram (yes, there is AWESOME-NESS IN SOCIAL MEDIA!) and I NEEDED TO HOP ON THIS!!

Ty!!

Distance is NOTHING to me, period. I didn’t think twice to contact the event organizers, Tybreun Moore and Coco Bates (sweet girls, by the way) from The Co Report (LINK HERE!), for more information to get in and ‘BAM’! The Unconventional Shell is in the gate!!

The Curly Girl Picnic is dedicated to connect and empower women of color to love our natural being, despite the negative worldly perspective of ‘what beauty is‘. There was a majority of Black-owned brands in cosmetics, accessories, natural hair care, skin care, food, and a variety of other goods and services.

Shop TailorMarie!!

There was no other day that was more perfect than that Saturday to host the event. The weather was cool, not chilly. The sky was cloudy, but just enough shine to not burn the skin. It’s like the world knew what was bound to happen……Greatness. Positivity and love was in the atmosphere. As I made my way throughout all of the vendor booths, I’ve met some great women that are doing great things in their respected lanes. A young, beautiful nineteen year old girl (Yes! 19 years old!) caught my attention because I admired her hustle to get that sale, hun! She sells artisan-based soaps and body creams made with natural oils and butters. The Instagram name is: @luvsonatural to get more information on her products and shipment! Art work, T-shirt customization, wigs, African face painting/garments, hair care tutorials…..you name it, it was there! Along with the great vending, I saw one of my college friends doing her thang with her accessories!!! Go Natalie!! Shop HERE!

Since I’m such a friendly person lol.

Ms. Suraiye!

Chioma!

It was a MUST to connect with other creatives that I was just drawn to and creatives that I follow on Instagram (I’m an Instagram addict! Can you tell??) I’ve had the pleasure to meet the beautiful, lovely Suraiye (@suraiye_the411)!!! She is highly-spirited (like I expected) and I was her first interview for the event!! Yay!! Also, I was drawn to the ultra-cool Chioma (@chiomasvisuals), a dope Austin photographer with a great eye! She WILL be doing my next big photoshoot!

 

TO CONCLUDE….you know I have to give some ‘tid bits’ for my fellow ladies that WILL BE coming out next year!

  1. GET THE ‘FULL EXPERIENCE’ OF THE CURLY GIRL PICNIC. If you are not an ‘early-bird’, you should actually want to get up for the

    Credit:@suraiye_the411

    yoga/flow meditation session at 8 a.m. It’s worth it!! We are supposed to start our day with positivity in mind and relaxation. I promise that I will take part of the experience than take pictures of it lol! Ms. India, the instructor, did call me out on that! Then, enjoy the rest of the activities during the event!

  2. Take in the scenery and support local businesses! Huston-Tillotson University is a historical black college/university! Take a quick look around to take in the culture! I can not stress this enough. Support local businesses! We have dreams and goals to achieve, but these businesses take in account of our culture and our needs that big franchises doesn’t supply! Come in ready to spend!
  3. TO MY CREATIVES: NETWORK….NETWORK….NETWORK! One of my favorites quotes is, “We are stronger in NUMBERS.” We have built our brand (some, of us) by ourselves. In order to elevate ourselves and expand our brand, we have to connect and build bridges with other creative minds! I’ve spent time and money on my brand, I’m grateful for where I’m at. Also, I know that it is hard doing everything on my own. Build your TEAM and why not start at an event like this!

You do not have to be in the creative field to network…ALL OF YOU CAN! This is the place to be comfortable with other like-minded women of color and build long-lasting relationships.

Take the time out of your schedule to be at the next Curly Girl Picnic 2019, I will see you there.

 

Special shoutout to my best friend, Neka!! She was my manager, tech support, photographer/videographer, etc. You just DON’T KNOW how important you are to me! That day was not POSSIBLE without you!

 

Much love and Blessings to My Loves!

Shellsy aka The Unconventional Shell

 

Women’s Travel Conference 2017!

Women’s Travel Conference 2017!

Some of you already know that I've started my traveling journey on November 4, 2016 with my first official solo trip to New Orleans (check out my first blog on that *wink*). On the brink of a total burnout of everything in my life (your girl was going through!), I was in dire need for some sort of outlet. I said to myself, "I need a vacation, I need a vacation...then, I will be refreshed and alright." Well...during my away time, I felt like I was in my element...an indescribable amount of peace and assurance filled my spirit like never before. Afterwards, I thought the feelings would shake off and I go back to my normal, but......I couldn't faze it out. I've become entranced by traveling.....the mere word gives me shivers. Yes, ice cold lol. This fascination turned from a quick trip into a possible career. Yes, A CAREER!

Now, how did I come across this conference? Well, let me tell you how 'cookies' work in technology. In my term, cookies are little trails that keep accounts of everything little thing you do online, especially what you search. Since I look up things related to travel, I will have ads on the side of the window that tells me about Expedia flight deals, Hilton Honors Rewards perks, etc. On Facebook, an ad popped up on my newsfeed for the Annual Women's Travel Fest hosted by Go! Girl Guides. Of course, I clicked it....duh lol! The fest is a travel event just for women that consists of travel tips and support from well-cultured travel vets! Not only is it a place where I would meet like-minded women (cuckoo crazy about travel!) but it was held in one of my favorite cities, NEW ORLEANS!!! Ahhh!!! Yes, I'm screaming!

I'm not going to lie...I was not sure about going there. Knowing me, I made a very, very last minute decision at 10:00 at night to leave around 3:30 A.M. to be there on time for registration at 10......I know, I'm crazy and I'm proud.

I was so inspired by all of the speakers, vendors, and my new travel sister community. There was great tips on traveling solo as a woman, building a business in travel, getting the editor's attention in travel writing, how to make money from Instagram, and so..much..more. I was like a kid in a candy store, cliche but true. I've met great speakers like Deidre Mathis (the first African American to have a hostel in the U.S. and it will be in HOUSTON!), Kelly Lewis (founder of the fest), Shannon Kaiser (international motivational coach and bestselling author), and many more. I've even connected with other travelers from all over the world....London, New York, you name it. They were there representing!

Yes....I took freebies *cheesing* and bought a book from Ms. Deidre (make sure you check out her hostel, Wanderlust, if you are in the Houston area. It should be open around summer time!).

I felt the need to share this because this is starting to become more than just a blog to share my experiences and my emotions. This is the beginning of something great and powerful in my life to fulfill my purpose in this world.

Enlightening women and men that you can achieve your dreams, only if you apply yourself and help others along the way. You can do this!

Thanks for reading, loves 🙂                                                                                          Spread love and travel well.