Thank you so very much for making the FIRST Brown Girl Magic, Activating Your Inner MAGIC conference, sponsored by Curls an event to remember! Just wow!
Love, laughter, light, INSPIRATION and EMPOWERMENT! It was all there! The vision of Mikaela Sydney Smith, the Founder of Brown Girl Magic, was ACTIVATED on Sunday May 7, at Sutton Hall in Douglasville where at least 160 guests came together for a MAGICAL day to hear powerful speakers, an impressive kidpreneur panel, mingle with amazing vendors, create insightful vision boards and eat some finger-licking fare prepared by Chef Jonayia Gervin-Wise of Polished 2 Perfection. It was a day promoting positive self-awareness for girls of color while infusing their lives with purpose by learning how to serve their community and build a business at a young age.
The red carpet was popping and Mikaela took time to take pictures with all of her guests, because frankly, it is because of YOU that this event was a huge success!
Kicking off the event, Brown Girl Magic conference coordinator Kia Morgan Smith, spoke life into the crowd with an emotional discourse about the Brown Girl Magic mission and developing a “sisterhood of positivity” that extends into “the village” that we all should have in our lives in order to be a support system, and help us realize or dreams.
Mikaela soon after took the stage and thanked Mahisha Dellinger of Curls, a woman who rose from the projects and poverty to building a $15 million haircare empire, for sponsoring the event in such a significant way and reaching back to help young girls like Mikaela, live her dream out loud.
The spunky kidpreneur then wowed the crowd when she said:
“I started Brown Girl Magic because I wanted brown girls like me to feel empowered. I created this sisterhood of positivity because there were many times I didn’t feel confident about myself. I wanted brown girls like me to believe in their own beauty. But how can we do that when the world wants us to believe we are not enough. We are enough!”
She then talked about her “sisters” and how all the Brown Girl Magic Ambassadors are part of a sisterhood of positivity. Girls, she said, should embrace and love one another and not be “shady” and girls should allow each other to shine in their own light and cheer along the way.
New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, author of the new children’s book, Early Sunday Morning, moved the crowd by sharing a soul-stirring story about her childhood growing up in Long Island New York and the challenges her family faced by being the only black family there. Denene was a Girl Scout, a group that promotes sisterhood, but often felt left out of events with other girls outside of the meetups. One day she said she and her cousin drove through a neighboring street on their bikes and saw that there was a party going on with a fellow Girl Scout. One of them called out to her saying: “Hey, n-gger! “Want a watermelon!” And she was literally chased away. Denene said, “I tell you that story to tell you that, being in a space where there weren’t a whole bunch of girls that looked like me… and being around a bunch of girls who didn’t look like me and didn’t want me around, created a really odd space for me as a kid. I had to go and actively find places to connect with people who looked like me,” further reiterating the point that organizations such as Brown Girl Magic are vital in the positive development of girls of color.
The former NFL player and motivational speaker, Jay Barnett, moved the crowd with a masterful poem and dropped jewels to the young queens, telling them: “You have to protect your mind at all times… If the enemy can get control of your mind, he can direct your decisions.” Jay left the crowd breathless with a spoken word piece from his book: “Letters to a Young Queen,” that captivated the audience.
Every time I deliver this piece it’s magical and powerful. I performed my spoken word piece “Little Girl” for the young queens today at the Brown Girl Magic Conference. @browngirlmagic Thank you for having me to be apart of such a great event. #letterstoayoungqueen #kingjaybarnett #browngirlconference #browngirlsrock #ibuildqueens
Our Keynote speaker, Gabrielle Goodwin of GaBByBows, shared her story of success solving an age-old problem of hair barrettes slipping off the hair by creating GaBBYBows, the double-faced, double snap on barrette that doesn’t fall out. GaBBY now ships her barrettes to all 50 states and just recently secured a deal to sell them in Once Upon a Child stores. GaBBY was such a cutie giving her BIG presentation!
America’s Next Top model, Cycle 14 contestant Alasia Ballard spoke to the ladies about embracing their natural beauty. Confidence, she said, “is very tricky, and is not about walking in a room with your nose in the air thinking you’re better than anyone else. Confidence is walking in a room and knowing you don’t have to compare yourself in the first place!” Great advice Alasia!
Christopher B. Pearman
The former manager and dad of actress Raven Symone and author of Dream So Big: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Believe and Achieve, chronicled his journey of helping his daughter Raven Symone reach stardom.
Joyce Brewer from MommyTalkShow.com helped the girls make their dreams more tangible and their visions come to life through a vision board party.
Symone Cantey of the Don’t Be a Bully Foundation, offered up inspiration and advice about being diligent and ensuring that the girls in attendance do NOT become bullies!
Intro by Eleanor Jones, Moderated by Mikaela Smith. Panelists: Rose Genter of Chopped Junior, Zoe Turner of Little Miss Atlanta, Dai Time of DaiTime Magazine, and Bailee Knighten of Bailee’s Nailbox.
These little misses were NOT to miss! Poised and beautiful with keen business acumen, these young ladies intelligently discussed how they were able to dream BIG and live their dreams out loud by starting their own businesses. These young ladies were truly impressive!
Thank you to the following FABULOUS vendors:
Angilee’s Jewelry Box
Avante Garde Books
Bailee’s Nail Box
Beautiful Curly Me
Beautiful Kinks and Kurls
JJ Parties/ Paparazzi Jewelry
Little Miss Dancey Pants
The CURLS TEAM!
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler – BlackandMarriedWithKids.com
Rene Syler’s GoodEnoughMother.com
The Philadelphia Tribune
Free ticket sponsors
Didi St. Louis – HealthyMommyHappyBaby.com
Stacey Robinson – Curly Coily kids
Darlene Rosser Freeman
Desire Landers Miller
Ashalah CookMeUpa Notch (Cookies)
Africa James – Cards for gift bags – MyGirlsStudios.blogspot.com
Tosi U – HairYum.com
Vision Board Sponsors
Jamie Tillman, Chic Cheveu
Regina Coley – LeadingLadiesofLegacy.com
Jemimah Scarlett – UnlikelyMartha.com
Elite Scholars – Key Club
Jonayia Gervin-Wise – Polished 2 Perfection
Thank you so much to the social media team of Brittany & Leah!
Where can you find the speakers?
Mikaela Smith – BrownGirlMagic.com
Kia Smith – BrownGirlMagic.com
Denene Millner – MyBrownBaby.com
Christopher Pearman – Dream-so-big.com
Gabrielle Goodwin – GaBByBows.com
Alasia Ballard – @IAmAlasia on Instagram
Jay Barnett – @KingJayBarnett on IG
Dai Time – @OfficiallyDaiTime on IG
Joyce Brewer – MommyTalkShow.com
Kim & Symone Cantey – DontBeaBully.org
Zoe Turner – Facebook.com/YoungGirlBoss
All pictures can be downloaded HERE