Fashion. Style. Beauty Within You. Plussize. Caribbean Blogger. St.Maarten

My Recap Of Girls Night Out: 5th Anniversary

June 3rd. 2017 was certainly a night that you should not have missed! It was the long-awaited night of Girls’ Night Out 5th Anniversary. Girls Night Out has seen a n increase in attendees and vendors in the past 5 years, that was one of the reason for having this new, dynamic venue: The West Indies Shopping Mall in the heart of Marigot.

 

This year the organizers were excited to partner up with new high end vendors, giving the event some additional diversity and also the opportunity to continue reaching out to the Anguillian and French Side market. This shopping night brought together different brands and products for us to engage our senses in. I was able to gain insight on certain products that I have never seen or heard of before on our island. We were given great detail and good demonstrations at almost every product stall. Being able to see, touch and smell always makes a consumer’s purchasing decision a lot easier. 

The highlight of the evening for me was the fashion show by Plush Boutique, The Black Up Makeup Mini Make Over Stand & The Queen Bosses Panel (of which I was honored to have been a panelist as well). The Queen Bosses Panel involved women that were locally / regionally and internationally dominating their industry. There was a demo stage where products were demonstrated, as well as a platform for the clients/audience to ask direct questions to the companies supplying the products to gain better insight. In addition to this, there were different door prizes during the evening, where attendees could win various sponsored prizes. 



This time though, I participated as a vendor and not as an attendee. This only helps build your overall image of the event. Throughout the night women were busy visiting the different stands and acquiring information. The famous “passport” is a great idea to ensure that all vendors are visited. With every visit you will get stamp, if your shopping passport is completed then you are eligible to participate for great prizes.

The 30 seconds Vendors highlight, was also a way to practice your bestselling pitch in a very short time span. We all know how difficult it is to keep women engaged for a long period of time, and our consumers on St.Maarten certainly put your Marketing Mix Model theory to the test.

Vegan to go; Vanity First; Best Lasers; Melange Grill, La Beauty Room, Nelly’s Luxury Boutique, FredericM, Black Up Makeup, Lacoste….just to name a few.  This event  is geared towards women entrepreneurs that want to get their brand out there or those that needs to expand their network and current clientele.  

Being a vendor however gives you a different insight, the vending aspect is not new to me, but yes the industry that I was promoting which was the Blogging industry on the island, specifically my blog www.keraikreativestyle.com . I enjoyed browsing and learning about new products and gaining knowledge on what’s out there and what is required for certain things and would definitely return next year to purchase / be part of some of the amazing products that were on display that evening. 

Kerai Kreative Style & The Dynamic Julie - Julie...A Real Power House Straight Out Of Aruba

Her name is Julissa Rodulfo, but everyone knows her as Julie-Julie. She’s been a radio presenter for over 15 years and in her morning program she coaxes you into starting your day “in complete serenity, happiness, joy and excitement.” Morning Power is a melting pot of entertainment news, current social affairs, inspirational information to get your day started on a positive note, savvy commentary, intriguing discussion topics and stories. It’s where you stay on top of everything that happens in life in Aruba and the rest of planet earth. Julie-Julie combines this with Top-40 music from all over the world as well as the local Arubian flavor.

The icing on the cake is her voice, pronunciation and intonation. Her voice is crisp and sweet, while her pronunciation is very sharp. I love how she rolls those "R's". Her intonation blends everything together on a wave of calmness and audible joy. 

Julie-Julie is not only a radio presenter. She is a wife, a mother and the Arubian Social Media Queen. She is a successful entrepreneur owning a production company, a wedding planning company and a sports and weight loss center especially for women. My experience on her radio show was more than I could ever expect. A very candid and down to earth person, Julie-Julie welcomed me into the studio and made me feel completely at home. We did the interview in Papiamento, the native language of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. While I was worried about sounding a bit rickety, Julie-Julie made that feeling of unease disappear with her warmth and the positive vibes she emulated.

She’s planning a girl’s getaway for her birthday together with her friends. Who knows, we might be able to welcome her to our beautiful St. Maarten! Are you curious to get to know Julie-Julie? Tune in to het program on Power FM 101.7 from 8.00 to 10.00 AM. As a true social media queen, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

https://www.facebook.com/JulieJulieAruba/

Just search for Julie-Julie. It’s not only a name, it’s a brand!

 

June 3rd, 2017: Girl's night Out 5th Anniversary...Bigger & Better!

SXM Girl's Night Out has been "The Premier One - Stop Shopping & Networking Event since 2013! It all started with an idea that came to life by making women collaborate together while supporting each other's businesses, skills and the many talents on the island. In 2013 they were humbled and appreciative for the 250 women that supported their vision...But in 2016 it was taken over the top when a total of 1500 women passed through the event.

I had the pleasure to have an exclusive Blogger's interview with one of the brain child behind this project, Ms. Ijeoma Anyanwu. Ijeoma was elated to share some of the components that the attendees can expect during this year edition of GNO (Girl's Night Out). There was no better place to hold this interview than the waterfront!

It is with this background that for their 5th anniversary, some changes had to be made in terms of venue and setting that would be able to accommodate the mass of women that would come out on this night, June 3rd, 2017. This year's venue is none other than the West indies Shopping Mall, located in the heart of Marigot, looking over our wonderful waterfront! The 1st and 2nd floor will be used to display a variety of almost 50 vendors...an astronomical growth from the initial 17 that they started with. To say that this The Girl's Night Out organization, dominated by women is beyond proud is an understatement! This French venue will also facilitate the logistics for our Anguilla Trade & Vendors, while expanding the current Dutch / French as well.

We talked about some of the signature components that make GNO so unique:

  1. Panel of ladies: for the weekend there will be an assigned group of ladies that will provide their feedback on the overall experience of the event. Next year however will be the GNO International edition and they are looking at having the ladies stay more days and explore our beautiful island in its full GLORY.
  2. Sexiest Red High Heel Contest (Back by Popular demand)
  3. Their Famous Swag Bags!
  4. Group reservations for Swag Bags. Once you are a group of 10 or more ladies, you can contact any of the organizers and reserve your Swag Bags. There are only 600 Swag Bags ladies, so make sure that you come early!
  5. GNO Ambassadors. A dedicated team of ladies that are equipped to brand and fulfill the GNO experience for everyone that attends.
  6. Vendor's Spotlight - Vendors will get a few minutes to promote their businesses in creative / dynamic ways

Important to know is that the Vendors selections process has become more exclusive. Giving every business the fair opportunity to expose their brands. This is one of the feedback that keeps coming back every year and that they have worked hard to tailor it in a way that would be beneficial for everyone. By doing this, they have ensured that the same type of vendors / products do not saturate the event. Ultimately this is the perfect opportunity for vendors to advertise via a platform that has an incredible reach. And Although it would be great to be sold out on that evening, the real idea behind this concept is to get your business / service out there!

NEW:

  • New this year, will be the makeup brand "Black UP", as they have that major spotlight. They will be of course conducting little makeover looks and providing customers with professional advice.
  • There will also be Live Streaming available out of the event
  • Live Interviews with the various Vendors
  • The Panel (Queen Bosses Panel)
  • New Vendors that they are excited about to showcase: All of the vendors in the Shopping Mall will be participating, which is something very rare (brands like Lacoste, Vanity First, L'occitane, Pelican Shades etc). We have this year a variety in high end Vendors on board. The famous $10 dollars store is back, together with Mamacita as a sponsor and Clarence Spa.

What can we expect on the entertainment side? As you know entertainment is an important component of any major event. This year you can once again expect the Fashion Show, Our MC Ms. Malaika Maxwell will also grace us with a performance, in addition to this there is also a "surprise performance" scheduled. As if this was not enough there will be the raffling of 3 grand prizes:

  1. A Cruise for 2
  2. Weekend Stay at a surprise hotel
  3. Three Hundred Dollars Visa Gift Card

With just a few hours until the event, the pressure and the excitement is certainly palpable as we prepare to put forward a great production. If you feel that you have a product / service that needs to be exposed, you might still have time to join the GNO team last minute and I would really advice you to make use of this exceptional marketing strategy.

Stay Tuned as Kerai Kreative Style Will bring You Some More Girl's Night Out Highlights & The Grand Finale on June 3rd, 2017!!

Kerai Kreative Style & SHE Caribbean Magazine

Today I am finally able to share this editorial piece with my readers. In January I decided to just contact different regional magazines and see what possible collaborations could take place. A very enthusiastic Kayra Williams (editor SHE Caribbean) welcomed me on board and once I told her what I wanted to write about, it was a green light.

This blog is relatively young, but believes in the POWER of networking. Collaborating with individuals is how you build a powerhouse NETWORK. I have always been in favor of assisting my peers in whatever way I can, your success is a reflection of me as well and it is reason enough to celebrate it TOGETHER.

With this particular project, as it is expected, deadlines had to be made and guidelines had to be followed. Not that I consider this the most difficult part. My challenge was getting a team together that would work with me and understand my vision and that of SHE Caribbean.

After 2 months of preparation and picking out the topic that I wanted to write about, there was also the fact that I had to submit a few pictures, as this was part of the selection procedure. Most naturally this involved: Hair, Makeup, Styling! I was able to get assistance from wonderful dynamic young entrepreneurs, that gave it their all to ensure that this editorial piece was a success. Is that vanity? No it is ensuring that the quality of this blog is high and professional. SHE Caribbean is a top Magazine and it needs to be treated as such!  My aim is to slowly but surely cover different regions / countries while being my own brand ambassador. Branding & visuals go together, it was imperative for my branding for this piece to be impeccable. As a marketer I think that too many times we forget the power of a picture....it truly says MORE than 1000 words!

I was more than elated when everything was approved, and although I had to wait a few weeks before sharing it with the world, I was willing to wait the excitement out. The editorial piece was everything that I expected & more. Hard t believe that it is MY story,  that same story will be read by thousands of people in the Caribbean alone. The chance that it also covers international ground is very big and I am totally excited about that part.

Many have asked how do I approach this industry? I approach it head on, while remaining focus but yet humble. Letting my potential partners that I am only there to enhance their already established names. I certainly think that in order to sell yourself , you need to be bold and daring, the passive approach does not always work. This was my first...but as I keep pushing and erasing limitations, this will not be the last!

For the full Magazine / Article you can purchase it via www.pocketmags.com

Like SHE Caribbean on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SheCaribbeanMag/

Special Credits Goes Out To:

MUA: Falana Alexander Makeup by Falana
Hair Stylist: Nelly's Luxury Boutique Retenella Breedy
Photography / Editing: Artistic Drive Loic Bryan
Stylist: Kerai Kreative Style Kerai Lichtenberg
Wardrobe & Accessories: T's Closet SXM Tamara Lloyd Mercedes Fleming Leandra Reymoundt

Thank You For Jumping On Board & Supporting This When I Approached You & For Your Unconditional Support.

 

Wigs & Weaves: Your Option To Protective Styles or NOT??

I transitioned to natural a few years back. And although I did not experience the "big chop" like some of my Naturalistas sisters, I did undergo a process of transition. What helped me during the process was that I wore lots of weaves. But did you know there is a great debate going on about protective styling? What is a protective style to you? There is actually an argument out in the natural hair universe that if you wear weaves and wigs YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Guess what, there is even an arguments that suggests, if you have color, use certain products, or straighten your hair YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Before we move on let's dissect the meaning of a PROTECTIVE STYLE. We of course are going to use the definition from CurlyNikki's website:

"...protective styling is basically putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage..."

More traditional protective styles include braids, twists, cornrows, roll, tuck & pin, buns (debatable also LOL); as well as low manipulation styles such as twist outs, braid outs, and wash n gos. Here recently naturalistas have also been rocking natural hair inspired protective styles such as poetic justice braids, box braid, Marley twists, Havana twists, faux locs, wigs, and weaves. Once these styles started trending is when the great debate really went full force. 

Remember the documentary with Chris Rock, "Good Hair"? Someone (clears throat, Nikki Walton) really needs to have a follow up interview with him because I remember him making fun of beauty supply stores not selling African textured weaves. And look at us now! There are so many natural textured extension companies out there taking over the hair industry. Companies like Private Stock Hair, Kinky Curly Yaki, Heat Free Hair, Curlkalon, and so many more. 

 During this shoot, this was one of the things that I was a bit worried about, although I am not per se a Naturalista advocate, I have gained knowledge on how to care for my hair. But before that I had the journey of accepting back my natural curls. I was and still am a BIG weaving fan. Like the average woman, I like diversity in my life. when it comes to hair I like to challenge my hairdressers and myself with new trends and out of the box concepts.

This look was sponsored by a young entrepreneur that has invested time and money into obtaining the skills that you need in order to become a weaves and wigs connoisseur. So much so that she has started her own line of hair: You can get more information by visiting her Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/Nellys-Luxury-Boutique-1588895021365486/?hc_ref=SEARCH

I am known for always doing non traditional things to my hair and I LOVE color. Which means I cannot tell you the last time I saw my actual hair color (and yes this is while being natural). many ask about the bleaching element, the truth is that once you have the proper post bleach care routine, your coils will be just fine! It is a fact that your natural hair has longer endurance and is more resistance to colors, bleach, heat etc than when your hair is permed.

Below is a YouTube link that will take you through the process of me dying my hair pink / purple last year December. once again I have an excellent hair dresser and I always make sure to follow her advice when it comes to post care of whatever hair style I decide to rock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXp3jVgzfYQ&t=10s 

In conclusion, those of us that like wearing weaves, wigs, faux locs, box braids, etc. it is OK to rock such styles and explore the diversity within you. What you are actually doing is promoting our versatility and the ability that we as BLACK women have so many options, and none of them have to replace the other. It would only become a problem is if you are not comfortable going back to your true natural state. It  is only problematic when you are not comfortable going back to your true natural state. If the feeling of beauty only shows up when you are wearing an alternative style, then there might be the chance that your hair is only PART of a rooted problem and that you might have to dig deeper to find your true self.  Important is to admit and seek help with professionals or a support group, should this be the issue.  We have undergo a long  journey in arriving towards the destination of loving our natural hair (it took me some time for SURE). We have so many things that as black women we need to embrace, that hair should really not be that much of a challenge....

 

Celebrate Your WomanHood During The Month Of March!

Gone are the days when men had the upper hand. Today, women from different walks of life has stood up and created a niche for themselves hereby proving that it no more just a man’s world! From Bollywood actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Kalki Koechlin promoting feminism strongly to 18-year-old social activist Malala Yousafzai striving real hard to promote girls education, strong female personalities have stood up for their rights and rightly so, are continuing to establish a status equal to the men.

In the plus size industry, designers, models, bloggers, consumers, instructors etc. are showing the world and screaming that "YES WE CAN" and they are breaking the barrier of what is society's normal standards. 

It is with this background that we will celebrate our collective achievements as women, during the month of March 2017. Kerai Kreative Style has been able to partner up with different local entrepreneurs and organization throughout the island that will enhance this celebration.

The idea is to be active on different Social Media platforms and promote this year’s International Women’s Day “BeBoldForChange.

It will surely be exciting to celebrate with my sisters, we have many prizes to give away this month and we hope that it is an interactive campaign for everyone involved.

It is very easy, all you have to do is share / like / invite any of our pages: Kerai Kreative Style (Facebook) & Kerai Kreative Style 2016 (Instagram). The more you share the bigger your chances to become one of the lucky winners.

Kerai Kreative Style is known for community involvement but also for thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing strategies. We are continuously growing and thinking on ways that will help boost our position in the blogging industry, which is why this campaign is super exciting! Stay tuned as we present you the winners during the month of March!

https://www.facebook.com/keraikreativestyle/

IG: Kerai Kreative Style 2016

Remember That as Women We “Fix Each Other’s Crown”! This blog is a medium to emphasize on women empowerment and self – love...... Self-empowerment starts with YOU!

Hats And Heels: Women Empowering Women!

 

Women’s Empowerment Principles Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.

The private sector is a key partner in efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. Current research demonstrating that gender diversity helps businesses perform better signals that self-interest and common interest can come together. Yet, ensuring the inclusion of women’s talents, skills and energies—from executive offices to the factory floor and the supply chain—requires intentional actions and deliberate policies.

This will be a few of the topics you will be able to be part during this amazing event!

 

Press & Events

This Wednesday, Feb 8th, on The Legacy, it's all about female domination!
Join me, Ife Badejo and Kerai Lichtenberg as we discuss the topic:
How to receive and to give constructive criticism!
Make sure to tune in live as i will sharing some of your views and comments on the topic!
We will also be giving you some info on women empowerment projects that you don't want to miss!
Lock in tonight from 8pm to 9pm on Radio Lavoix Sxm 101.5 fm and on facebook live!
The Legacy, your Weekly dose of inspiration!