I’ll start out by saying this will be a super long blog post. :) My trip to Atlanta for Fro Fashion Week was so fun and so busy and I met so many awesome people, there’s no way to recap it concisely. So, yeah, go get a cup of tea or something. :) The upside is I have a TON of pictures to include as well. :) Here's one I took from my hotel room balcony on my first night in Atlanta.
My good buddy/awesome photographer Terrence McNally of Arcata Photo Studios was with me on the trip, so that just made it all even more fun and resulted in some amazing pictures. Ok, let’s do this recap! :)
I got to Atlanta Wednesday morning to participate in the I Love Me event put on by Julia Davis of Tru Chat Online. I LOVE participating in her events because they’re all about helping young curly girls learn to love and embrace their curls NOW, so they don’t have to go through the years of hair hatred that some of us did. As usual, the girls were adorable and we all had a really great time.
Here's me and Julia, the organizer of the event. She is one of my favorite people on the planet. :-)
The girls and their Jessicurl temporary tattoos. :) (And me with my real one, of course. :) )
You can see a whole bunch more pictures in this album on the TruChatOnline Facebook page if you'd like to check them out. :)
Friday night we had a model call in the lobby of the hotel. Part of the reason Terrence was with me was so we could do a photo shoot and get some new pictures for Jessicurl.com, so Friday's model call is how we met some of the lovely ladies who participated in the shoot. Also, my awesome cousin Jen drove in from Tallahassee to help me out, so THAT was super cool too. She's a lot of fun to have around and it doesn't hurt that she has awesome curly hair! :)
Here's our table during the model call-turned-party Friday night in the hotel lobby. :)
The lobby band was playing some great salsa tunes and I have a VERY hard time not being a total dork and dancing no matter where I am. Friday night was no exception. (And yeah, I was the only one...) Before I knew what was happening, Trevor the hotel concierge swooped over and was dancing me around the lobby bar. :) ADORABLE. Trevor was for sure a highlight of the weekend AND, I found out later, has been an avid Jessicurl user since he got samples at the last Fro Fashion Week! :) Love that!! :) Here are some super cute pics that Terrence took of us dancing. :)
When we got done with that and I had given everyone instructions on how to use the products for the photo shoot on Sunday, it was still pretty early, so Terrence and Jen and I hit the town to take some fun pictures! :) Where Terrence and I live, up here in Northern California, it is BEAUTIFUL, but it's not all hip and urban like Atlanta. :) I don't often to get dressed up and Terrence takes a lot of pictures of people in front of redwood trees and the ocean. :) NOT like there's anything wrong with that, just, photographers like to branch out sometimes. Downtown Atlanta on a Friday night is a great place to do just that!
I changed into a different dress and we went out on a photgraphy adventure! :) We had a blast! Terrence has a great eye, so we'd stop every few blocks or so and he'd pose us for different shots. There are FAR too many to post here, but I'll share this cool one from a parking garage we were walking by. :)
Now this next part of the story is by far the least awesome part of my trip and the only reason why I’m including it in this blog is that so many of you know about it and would probably be like, “Uh…Jess? Remember that other really huge thing that happened???” I’ll keep it short and move back on to the good stuff. We were having a blast, traipsing around down town Atlanta, getting GREAT pictures. We were walking across the street on a green light, with a walk signal. A car was turning left, not paying very good attention, and hit Terrence. Yes. With his CAR. I fell down with Terrence and since we saw it coming, we managed to have eye contact with each other AS we hit the ground. That’s a crazy thing, my friends. To have eye lock with your friend as he gets hit by a car and you are falling to the ground with him. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you everybody is FINE. (Including the guy who was driving who is lucky *I* didn’t hit HIM, I was so mad right then.) He turned out to be a really nice guy who … had an accident. People have accidents. In fact, after all the police had come and gone and such, we were quite friendly with him and I took this picture of him and Terrence. (That’s Terrence on the right, as if to say, “Who’d of thought I’d come to Atlanta and get hit by a car?!”) In all seriousness though, I’m SOOOOO glad Terrence is ok. That is putting it about as mildly as I’ve ever put anything ever.
Saturday brought several awesome events, starting with the Bloggers and Brands Brunch. That’s always a favorite of mine as it brings dozens of bloggers together and we can all talk about how we can better work together. This year the featured speaker was Mattie of www.mattieologie.com and she was awesome. She’s a very engaging speaker and gave the other bloggers in the room some great tips on how to make their voice more authentic and personalized. I really enjoyed her talk and I know everybody else did too. :)
After that, Fro Fashion Week creator and founder Tarin Boone and I headed downstairs to host a really awesome, candid chat with the curlies about our shared struggles with our hair. It was a great discussion largely because everybody was really open to talking and sharing their stories. I loved being able to share in the hosting of it with Tarin. :)
After the discussion, the cutest, dorkiest thing happened. :) This beautiful woman Jess came up to say hi and take a picture, and in my typical blunt fashion, I blurted out, "You're beautiful - what are you doing tomorrow morning at 10:00?" :-) See, we needed a few more ladies for our photo shoot and that was my not-smooth way of asking her if she'd like to be in it. She excitedly agreed and, well, rather than try to explain what happened next, I'll just let the pictures demonstrate it...
And then...our attempt at being serious for a second. :)
I seriously love Jess and am SO glad I met her and that she was a part of our photo shoot on Sunday! Expect to see her beautiful self on Jessicurl.com SOON! :) In the meantime check out her awesome blog at HairGetsKinky.com
Later that night was... the PENTHOUSE PARTY!! :) That is always a highlight of Fro Fashion Week but THIS year they renamed it Jessicurl 10 and it was our official 10 year anniversary party!! :) It was a BLAST. :) I did get thrown into the fire a bit with the dancing though... :) I LOVE to dance but I don't know all the steps they were throwing at me! :) I did my best to keep up but I know that I looked ridiculous several times. Oh well, I don't care. It was FUN! :-)
And one more just to make you laugh.
Sunday was our big photo shoot!! :) Terrence and I met the ladies in the hotel lobby and then headed out on our big adventure! We had SUCH a great time and it was awesome how supportive everyone was of each other. When it was someone’s turn to get her pictures taken, the rest of us just hung out and cheered the model on. It was awesome. :)
Terrence is not only a great photographer in a technical sense, but he has a wonderful ability to make people feel really comfortable while getting their picture taken. Clearly that shows in the end result! I’m not going to post THOSE pictures here because they’re not done with final editing but we’ll be putting them up on Jessicurl.com just as soon as they are. :) In the meantime, here are some “behind the scenes” pics that were taking throughout the course of our superhappyfuntimes photo shoot. :) I feel so lucky to have made so many new and wonderful friends that I know I’ll stay in touch with forever! :)
The grand finale of Fro Fashion Week is the fashion show! I don’t actually have any pictures of it because I was on the edge of my seat WATCHING it, but this blog has some great shots. :) THe models in the fashion show are just STUNNING and I look forward to it each Fro Fashion Week.
Remember how I said I love to dance and will just do it, well, anywhere? Well, the music playing in the room after the fashion show was awesome and Nicole and I had a hard time keeping still so we just decided, ah, what the heck, and got up on the runway for an impromptu dance party. Terrence snapped some great shots of it. :)
Whew! That's a lot, eh? :) What a week! As usual, I met SO many awesome people and loved the discussions we had about our hair and our experiences with it. Keep your eyes out for a slew of new pictures on the site from our photoshoot featuring our beautiful models. :) Thanks again to everyone at Fro Fashion Week for, as usual, making me feel so at home and such a part of the family. I truly love you guys!! And thank you TERRENCE for being such a great dude to have on the trip!
One last picture to show you because it's adorable. :) This is how my awesome friend Rachel picked me up at the airport when I got home. :) How cute is she?!?!? Love that girl. :-)