Curls, afros, twists and various natural hairstyles were represented at the “Curls Gone Wild” event Saturday. Curls Gone Wild, hosted by bloggers Shanti Mayers and Antoinette Henry of “Around the Way Curls,” Andrea Lewis of duo from “Those Girls Are Wild” and Brooke Slade, the venue coordinator, aimed to provide an opportunity for women with natural dos to network, connect and inspire one another.
Curls Gone Wild, held at The Dreaming Building, located at Front and Spring Garden streets, consisted of various vendors ranging from painters, designers, skin, hair and cosmetic specialists, giving women opportunities to browse, shop, converse and learn tips on hair care. With giveaways, clothes, hair wraps and various accessories, attendees had a lot to indulge in.
Although Henry currently lives in Brooklyn, the Around the Way Curls duo are both Philadelphia natives and felt it was important to bring an event of this kind to their home city.
“Philly is home for me, I love Philly, Shanti loves Philly and it saddens me when I read the things I read about Philly — people really don’t know all that it has to offer,” Henry said. “I feel like celebrating that and highlighting the things people do.”
Henry and Mayers created Around the Way Curls a year ago and had no idea they would build such a following. Their online publication provides women with hair care and styling techniques and aims to inspire women to embrace their natural state of being.
Christina Evans traveled from Neptune, N.J., and was encouraged to attend by her daughter who is an avid follower of the blog and a self-described “YouTube junkie.”
“It’s exciting; I’ve never seen so many naturals in the same room,” Evans said. “When I walk around where I live, you don’t see a lot — I like it for my daughter to see a lot of other naturals.”
Mayers was in charge of getting the vendors to the event and Henry believes she did an excellent job since the vendors were happy with the crowd and overall turnout of the event.
“They sold a lot of items and a lot of people took cards,” Henry said. “She [Mayers] just did an awesome job staying true to our audience and who represent Around the Way Curl.”
Among the vendors were Amber Muhammad and Shekinah Flowers of Rasa Salon, located at 62 West Manheim St. The two were pleased they had the opportunity to sell their merchandise and educate women on their salon’s mission to provide quality natural hair care.
“The event has been going really great,” Muhammad said. “We are on the cutting edge of the natural hair care industry.”
As women filled their giveaway bags with giveaways, engaging in “hair talk,” and making purchases, Henry was most thrilled their mission to encourage young professionals to chase their dreams was accomplished.
“We intentionally want to highlight these small businesses and people. It’s not just the cupcake shop; it’s the thought behind it. The young girl who has the dream of making these cupcakes, counting her money — becoming an entrepreneur,” she said. “We wanted people to walk away with the deeper meaning.”