Over 200 salon professionals attended the 2014 Empowering Through Beauty Expo, at the Trumbull Marriott in Connecticut, which benefited the American Cancer Society and Empowering Through Beauty, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit that empowers people to live a vibrant future by restoring hope, dignity, and self confidence that create a pathway to well being, employ-ability and self sufficiency through beauty.
The event was powered by Lamik Beauty, Shea Moisture, Design Essentials, QB & Co., Brush Salon, Marquette Collection, Salon Lavoughn, and Empowering Through Beauty, Inc.
Guests were invited to stop by the glam beauty bar lead by beauty magician, Bethany "Queen B." Bell of QB & Co., and shop at 40 diverse vendors such as Traci Lynn Jewelry, Lolita Clutch Boutique, Beautie Brownie, It Works, Got Girlfriends, Ke'Chic Boutique, Intimate Healing, H&H Restaurant, and Mary Kay among others, with tunes spun by DJ Herman Ham.
The expo opened with a warm welcome from MC/actress/model, Trisha Mann Grant who kept the affair 'live' all night with her vivacious personality, followed by a dynamic prayer from Ena Moales of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Special honorees, Anthony Cymery "Joe the Barber" of Haircuts For Hugs and Carmen Nieves, were honored by Sadie Lovelson, Vice President of ETBINC., and founder, Tanisha Akinloye, for touching the lives of those in need. After the presentations, Shyheim Akinloye, lit up the stage with an impromptu rap performance, followed by Logan West, Miss Teen USA 2012, who candidly spoke about standing up for what you believe in through the illustration of her own experiences with bullying, which inspired her to take her own stand with the launch of her anti-bullying campaign.
Jen the Pen, formerly of Love and Hip Hop NY, shared her introspective insights on 'media vs. perception,' encouraging all women to not let outside influences define who we are. Award-winning news anchor, Kathryn Hauser, of News 12, introduced Grammy Nominated R&B Sensation, Jazmine Sullivan. After a long-awaited hiatus from the music industry, Jazmine Sullivan, extended her support to ETB Expo because she 'believed in the cause.' Jazmine took to the stage to introduce her mother, interior decorator/creative director, Pam Sullivan, who spoke passionately about beauty/self-confidence. Pam Sullivan shared her daughter's earlier struggles with self-esteem in an industry that 'often times demands unrealistic perfection,' and how she overcame, encouraging all women to find their inner 'beautiful.'
Actor/singer, Anthony "Tony" Grant, of Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married" and "Marriage Counselor" and Own Network's "Love thy Neighbor," captivated the audience with two stellar performances--"You're for Me," and "Beautiful Woman." Fashion stylist, Debbie Wright of Project Closet, revealed how all women can enhance and discover their own personal style, while Dr. Tiana Von Johnson used her power of influence to the fullest and challenged all of the women in the audience to be fearless! R&B singer, Lamone, amped the ladies in the crowd even more when he hit the stage with a fun and sultry performance of his breakout new single, "High Off You."
The finale featured woman of empowerment, success coach, Marge Piccini, admonished everyone to 'create your own success.' Guests were not disappointed with the finale of the fabulous expo--none other than celebrity designer, Ty'ron Perrin of the Marquette Collection, who presented a whimsical runway show in collaboration with hair/art sculpturer, Bethany "Queen B." Bell and Lamik Beauty, inspired by Hunger Games.
CEO/President and beauty expert, Tanisha Akinloye, created Empowering Through Beauty Expo (ETB Expo) 2014: A CELEBRATION OF BEAUTY., to celebrate the intelligence, strength, courage and determination of women and girls, and beauty professionals who inspire our communities. Tanisha thanked supporters at the end of the evening as host, Trisha Mann Grant, encouraged and reminded all guests that the inspiration behind the night was to 'give back to The American Cancer Society, and the continuation of Empowering Through Beauty Inc.’s God-given mandate to enrich lives through beauty.'
Following the close of the event, VIP ticket holders had the opportunity to an exclusive meet-in-greet with Jazmine Sullivan and others in the VIP room.
Photography: Will Pender, BKS Photography, Tom Ficklin, & Ernest Henderson.