This past weekend I spent a day in what I would consider the definition of real black girl magic! The Girlprenuer Expo hosted by CEO of The Broke Black Girl, Dasha Kennedy, was beyond one of the best experiences I have encountered. Living in the St. Louis, MO area sometimes it is hard to feel as a business owner that the area isn’t a crab in a barrel type of environment. But, it is trailblazers like Dasha Kennedy who just won’t allow THAT mentality to stay.
Dasha Kennedy, CEO of The Broke Black Girl, (pictured above) has become one of the most influential women not only in her surrounding areas but also on an international level. Dasha gathered all of her experiences in life when it came to financial hardships and financial literacy and turned pain into purpose. Purpose so great that it has spilled over into so many lives rather than just her own creating a platform dedicated to black women.
The Broke Black Girl is a powerful platform that has played a very big hand in not only providing non judgmental advice on finances but offering genuine support by providing black women free education on topics such as financial literacy, credit repair, and monthly budgeting just to scratch the surface. Dasha tirelessly shines her light on many in hopes that her purpose will ignite a village of black women who BOSS UP and WIN. Well, some members of that 61,000 members of the village via Facebook came together and simply put, it was EVERYTHING.
The Girlpreneur Expo, hosted in St. Louis, MO, at Vashon High School was a breath of fresh air. This was my first encounter with the Girlpreneur Expo but somehow I knew from being a member of The Broke Black Girl group on Facebook, this was an event I knew I couldn’t miss. I didn’t know what I was in for but I knew if nothing else I had to play my part in supporting Dasha and her mission.
What do they say when someone of importance to the culture could be at risk? “Protect them at all cost.” Not that Dasha is in any danger but when you have a servant’s heart it sometimes can become overwhelming or even discouraging at times. Having people to show up and support means so much to entrepreneurs and I don’t think she is exempt from that. Dasha is one to be protected by supporting her events because she has a positive impact on the culture, not only the culture but the sisterhood that is trying to be rebuilt with black women.
I’m here for all of this. So I made my way to Vashon High School excited to see what was in store.
I walked in and it was almost immediate I knew why something told me to keep at least one credit card at home. This expo was overflowing with so many creative and inspiring black women building brands and businesses that I couldn’t do anything but smile. Like I said previously, sometimes the St. Louis area can feel very uninviting when it comes to building a personal business but on this day that mentality was effortlessly overpowered by support so overwhelming that it blew my mind.
There were over 40 vendors ranging from vegan make up, to credit repair, to life coaching, to swimwear, and literally everything in between. The energy is the room was unmatched! I attempted to stop at every single table to connect with these women in the building exuding black girl magic and although I was unable to talk to each and every one, there were more than few women that I did speak with.
Photo Cred: Ashley Salazar/The NorthSider
The very first table that I encountered was the table of Talent Building Associates. Talent Building Associates is a firm constructed of three women by the names of Sheila Austin, Teri Bethea, and Dawn Beasley (pictured below) who all play their role effectively and efficiently in providing services to individuals who either reconstructing an already existing company, entrepreneurial journeys, or helping one get the maximum impact in their careers.
What I loved the most from experiencing this encounter with Talent Building Associates is learning the back story behind the brand. TBA has been in business for the past two years dedicating their passions to fueling the passions in others. Speaking with Sheila Austin, CVO of TBA, she was very transparent in speaking of the WHY behind the passion.
It’s been said that having a WHY is vital to an entrepreneur in business to keep going when you have moments you don’t necessarily feel like it. Sheila states in her personal experience of doors being closed and being told NO throughout her own business endeavors, it has equipped her to be able to be in the position to make sure others can elevate. If you are in the market for an elevation in your business no matter what that might be, contact Talent Building Associates.
You can find them on Facebook and Instagram @TalentBuilidingAssociates or at Talent Building Associates Website
As I ended my time with TBA, my next stop was at table that sat Ms. Shaneal Clayborne,(pictured below) CEO of Glitzing, Glamming, and Going For It, a goals and life coaching business. Shaneal states that her business was created through necessity. She had multiple business clients that she coached that seemed as though they were becoming stagnant in their journey.
Realizing this, she decided to take her coaching a step forward introducing life and goals coaching as well. Along with her table of business cards and different merchandise representing her brand, there was one affirmation that caught my eye and spoke volumes.
An effective strategy Shaneal likes to incorporate is magnifying the topic of changing our thoughts and being intentional with them accordingly. The affirmation stated “I will always be enough, I have everything that I need to succeed, I walk in my divine power, I AM POWERFUL!”. Shaneal stated that affirmations are essential to everyday life and putting them everywhere if need be is perfectly fine.
Keeping a positive intentional mindset when the mind wanders off into worse case scenarios sometimes at first can seem very hard. Mastering the mind takes time but Shaneal states having affirmations any and everywhere helps in this process especially in the moments where the mind ventures into negative spaces.
Having a goals and life coach can very well be just what you need to getting unstuck and living your best life! You can connect with Shaneal for more detailed information on all the services she offers here: Glitzing, Glamming, & Going For It!
Michelle Robinson’s table was my next stop in the GirlPreneur Expo. Michelle Robinson (pictured below) is CEO of Demi Blue, a vegan nail polish line.
Demi Blue was created after experiencing an emotional let down for her mother. Michelle spoke to me regarding her mother and being the WHY behind the brand, Michelle’s mother is a breast cancer survivor who after “fighting like a girl” was given many restrictions. One of the restrictions given was not being able to go enjoy what most women do which is patronizing the nail shop.
Due to so many chemicals, toxins, fish scales, etc. used in nail polish, it was understood why the restriction was present to stay away from the salons and their products. Although Michelle understood this, she still wanted her mother to be able to still do whatever her heart desired. Demi Blue was then created and one year later in business, Demi Blue has 22 colors and offers natural manicure services!
Michelle is walking in her purpose and taking YES WE CAN to a whole new level! You can follow Demi Blue for the latest news and products on Facebook and Instagram @OrganicsNBB.
I couldn’t help but see this beautiful blinged out headpiece glistening from afar while speaking to Michelle Robinson. I knew that my very next stop would be Chauna Payne (pictured below), CEO of Heavenly Hair Ever After.
Heavenly Hair Ever After is all about empowerment to those experiencing hair loss because of cancer, alopecia, stress, or medication. Chauna has devoted her life to bringing smiles to not only women but little girls as well. Chauna has always been a fan of wigs since childhood because of her grandmother who is now a 35 year breast cancer survivor.
Gliding through the hallways of hospitals and schools in her angel wings and blinged out headpieces, she provides hope to those who may have lost the light in their eyes due to hair loss. Heavenly Hair Ever After not only supplies moral support but also provides beautiful wigs to women and children.
Chauna has been in business for over 20+ years building confidence, supplying smiles, providing hope, and increasing empowerment to all of those affected by hair loss. Although it seems Chauna does not get much sleep she states that she wouldn’t change it for the world.
Being such a powerful impact especially on young girls is so vital to know that hair doesn’t make you, beauty is within, hair is optional. You can connect with Chauna for the latest information on what’s next for Heavenly Hair Ever After on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter, and Pintrest @HeavenlyHairEverAfter or at Heavenly Hair Ever After.
All in all after encountering all the black girl magic in the building, the vision Dasha Kennedy not only envisioned but executed flawlessly, and the support of black owned business I couldn’t help but feel honored to be in the building.
Although I was not able to interview and connect with all the vendors in the room, I encourage you to take the time out to follow these brands and businesses via social media.
Dasha Kennedy I want to say to you once again… Keep shining, keep striving, and keep making the IMPACT that only you can!! I can not wait for the details for your next event full of Black Excellence.