Natural Hair & Beauty Expo

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — The second annual Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Expo kicked off a weekend of activities at the Hilton in downtown St. Pete with the Black and White Party, a saluted to community hero Deborah Figgs-Sanders, fashion shows, workshops and live entertainment.

Sat., March 7, Figgs-Sanders was presented the 2015 Diamond Award for her outstanding character and achievements within the community.

A wife and mother of three, she has dedicated her life to serving others. She is the executive director of the Childs Park YMCA where she is instrumental in creating and maintaining services to help area children and families.

Another vehicle she has used to enrich the lives of many youth in the community is through the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She served as Basileus of the Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter from 2006 to 2010.

Figgs-Sanders emphasized towards the end of her speech that her life has been about providing quality service to the community and helping to open doors for others.

“I hope not to be all that but someone that, God can use,” she said.

Sun., March 8 paved the way for the all-day extravaganza that featured a variety of fashion shows, beauty workshops and hair care and beauty vendors all while the Shawn Brown Band made sure no one sat in their seats.

Designer Audrey Pat McGhee and Model Coordinator Omarra Gordon worked with young women who took turns as they modeled in three scenes entitled “Beautifully Textured Hair Showcases 1, 2, and 3.”

Vendors from as far as Charlotte, N.C., were on hand to provide the hundreds of patrons with information from eating healthy to accessorizing your healthy look with beautiful handcrafted jewelry. Many vendors offered products to keep your natural hair glowing, growing and colorful.

Some vendors included NutriSource, IE Accessories, D& M Custom Handmade Jewelry, The Black Swan Collection, Just-B-Beautiful, Anne’s Beauty Supply and Younique.

This year’s show left the crowds wondering what’s next from coordinator Marcina Dowdell Williams.

“We hope to venture out and expand our venue next year,” she said.

Owner of Loving My Hair Natural Hair Studio, Dowdell Williams painstakingly organized this year’s event along with businessman William Walker.  This dynamic duo could be nurturing a cultural goldmine that has potential to become St. Pete’s version of the touring Ebony Fashion Show that used to frequent the Mahaffey Theatre. After all, dreams begin from an idea — a concept turned reality.

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