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Event Recap: The Black Women’s Expo Celebrates 25 Years #SHEMATTERS

The Girl Much Squad was officially in the building at The Black Women’s Expo in Chicago last week. Let me just say that this year’s expo was the best one yet in my humble opinion. This epic event was sponsored by Luster’s Pink, Mielle Organics, The Mane Choice, the DuSable Museum, WGCI, BET Her, Bronzeville Life, Chicago Defender, ABC Chicago, Social Works, Inspiration 1390 AM, T Mobile, Colgate, Jewel Osco, Ford and many others. The BWe experience overall was super lit, educational, and inspirational to say the least! The theme of this years expo was #SHEMATTERS.

 

Girl Much COO Donnel Perry and CEO/Founder Briea Chanel
Girl Much COO Donnel Perry and CEO/Founder Briea Chanel

 

What you’ll see in the recap video is footage from 3 panel discussions, small business interviews, and the Luster’s Pink Hair Show.

 

On the first day of the Expo Prophet Amen Ra (Girl Much COO), Ajay (Girl Much photographer) and I ran into 3 young ladies with their own fashion & beauty business so we were thrilled when they agreed to do a quick interview! You can check them out at House of Allure, Kiss Me By Kellz, and Island Touch Beauty.

 

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Briea Chanel and Amber Thorne (Owner of Island Touch Beauty)

 

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Briea Chanel and Kareema Hill (Owner of House of Allure)

 

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Briea Chanel and Kelly Chatman (Owner of Kiss Me By Kellz)

 

We then attended Fabulously Ageless, a conversation with comedian, actress, and author Kim Coles moderated by comedian Erica Watson. The panel was sponsored by AARP and Sisters Letter. This discussion was truly unique because Ms. Coles has a way of making you feel accepted and loved for being YOU.

 

Kim Coles, Briea Chanel and Donnel Perry
Kim Coles, Briea Chanel and Donnel Perry

 

The next day award winning actress Kimberly Elise gave us a glimpse into the vision behind her natural hair care business Kimberly Elise Naturals. She is a plant based eater like myself and honestly that intrigued me the most about her more than anything else! She is a sweetheart truly practicing what she preaches and we appreciate her giving back to the community in a major way!

 

Kimberly Elise and Briea Chanel
Kimberly Elise and Briea Chanel

 

Prophet Amen Ra captured the Luster’s Pink Hair Show and babyyy those models were killing it on stage! After that was the Millennial Boss Meet-Up also presented by Luster’s Pink, featuring 7 prominent women in Chicago who are the Beyonce in their industry.

 

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Millennial Boss Meet-Up

 

Moderating the discussion was Portia King (Portia King Media) and on the panel was Kesha Levy (Owner of Keystylist Salon), Rikaleigh Johnson (Intellectual Property Law Attorney), Brooke Mackie (Owner of Mackie Firm), Essence Smith (Director of Communications @ Social Works), Shayna Barfield Jones (Owner of Mimi’s Tots Closet) and Jacqui Crittle (Owner of Bronze Beauty Chicago). These amazing women stressed the importance of building a brand and being passionate about what you do!

 

Portia King and Girl Much Media Correspondent Asjhra Harper
Portia King and Girl Much Media Correspondent Asjhra Harper

 

Later that evening, Kendra G (Chicago Morning Host WGCI) presents Chicago Black Women in Media featuring Tia Ewing (FOX Reporter), Charmaine (Black Ink Crew Chicago), Courtney Gousman (Anchor/Reporter WGN News), Bionce Foxx (V103 Radio Personality), and Felicia Lawrence (Host @ “The Jam” WCIU). This discussion was the most engaging for me personally being a brown girl in media and all. It was so inspiring to hear these women speak because they are literally at the top of their game right now. Charmaine also broke the news that she and longtime boyfriend Neek Bey are now officially married! Girl Much media correspondent Asjhra Harper was able to chat with the ladies a little about their journey in an on-camera interview shortly after the panel ended.

 

Ajshra Harper and Kendra G
Ajshra Harper and Kendra G

 

Felicia Lawrence and Ajshra Harper
Felicia Lawrence and Ajshra Harper

 

Tia Ewing and Ajshra Harper
Tia Ewing and Ajshra Harper

 

Charmaine and Ajshra Harper
Charmaine and Ajshra Harper

 

Saving the best for last we were so fortunate to talk more with the Creator and Founder of The Black Women’s Expo, Ms. Merry Green. She is also the President of MGPG Events, Inc. Stay tuned for the release of that exclusive interview and others soon! Special thanks to Ms. Green for allowing us the opportunity to cover such an iconic event for the city!

 

Donnel Perry, Ajshra Harper, Merry Green, Briea Chanel and Minister Israel Azaiah
Donnel Perry, Ajshra Harper, Merry Green, Briea Chanel and Minister Israel Azaiah

 

Recap video edited by Atlantic Visions. All photos courtesy of Visionography Inc.

 

 

Meet Briea Chanel, the Editor-in-Chief of GirlMuch.com. She is also a tech savvy, online entrepreneur who develops digital assets.