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Rochelle Graham

Coined a “beauty pioneer” by Essence Magazine at the age of 26, Rochelle Graham-Campbell has felt a connection with nature since her early Jamaican countryside childhood with her herbalist grandmother. Earning YouTube’s prestigious Silver Play Button Award, there’s no question why Rochelle’s BlackOnyx77 channel gained notoriety as THE go to source for hair, fashion and makeup inspiration on the top-rated video-sharing platform. With over 104k+ subscribers and 15 million views on her YouTube channel, Rochelle offers a powerful platform that empowers women to define their own beauty and live a life without limits.

Nine years later after launching in late 2008, Alikay Naturals™ has flourished to become one of the fastest growing, multi-million dollar natural beauty brands. The award-winning products are currently available at select Target, Rite Aid, Kroger, Meijer, Face Values and CVS stores nationwide. The hair, skin & body care line can also be found at over 150 independent retail locations worldwide; including France, Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica and Bermuda. The line is also available on the Alikay Naturals™ website Alikaynaturals.com. Experiencing social media as an influencer and a brand owner gives Rochelle a unique perspective on the value of connecting directly with your target audience.

Taking a big chunk out of the $684+ million-dollar black hair care industry, Rochelle’s dedication to using education to debunk negative undertones associated with words like “kinky” or “coarse” has propelled her to the forefront of a natural beauty movement as a flourishing on-air personality and coily tress expert. In 2011, the same year that she received her BS in Business Marketing, Graham recorded and released a video launching the groundbreaking process called The L.O.C. Method™; a now coveted technique implemented by curly haired women around the world. She has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Black Enterprise, Forbes, Hype Hair, Inside Edition, Upscale, Sheen and Business Observer.

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Cimone Key

Cimone Key embodies the prestige and diversity that attracts the world to American business. Growing up from coast-to-coast and in between with roots extending back to Germany, has primed Cimone to be the Founder of CK Creative Studio. It was the passion of a young girl knowing in her heart she was born to utilize her perspective in a profound capacity that inspired Cimone’s unique journey. Her investment as a student at The Art Institute of Dallas was returned as the expertise that has elevated Cimone to an International Creative Director and Web Designer.

 

"Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself. When the mind, body, and spirit work together, I believe anything is possible."


While attending The Art Institute of Dallas, Cimone was recognized for her engaging style and elegance being awarded for the best portfolio of her graduating class. Cimone’s professional career advanced quickly in Corporate America. Within three years she has served three Fortune 500 advertising companies, designing for USAA, Chevrolet, AT&T, Frito-Lay, Udi’s, just to name a few. This ultimately paving the way to the exclusive service of the clientele of CK Creative Studio. Since October 2015, Cimone’s faith and action have brought to fruition a full-service boutique located in downtown Dallas, offering an array of professional business services to complement the vision of the client. Some of the companies she has worked with, within her business includes, Neiman Marcus, Live Nation, Sally Beauty, Capital One, Boys & Girls Club, The City of Dallas, Dhairboutique, Angela Means (Bye Felicia from the hit movie, “Friday”), Jay Ajayi (NFL Philadelphia Eagles Running Back) , adwoa beauty, Curls, Chimy's, and Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

Cimone is a member of AIGA and her work has been featured in France, London, ESPN (Keith Olbermann Show), Design Juices, Film Industry Network and Talenthouse.

Kimberly Wallace

is a Strategic Marketing & Category Management professional with over 25 years of category management, merchandising, global sourcing, forecasting, consumer insights, B2B and B2C marketing experience. Kimberly started out in retail working for Sam’s Club and has worked on both sides of the retail desk – buying and selling. In addition to Sam’s Club, Kimberly has worked with SuperValu, (leading national grocery wholesaler), L’Oreal (one of the world’s largest beauty care company), Cub Foods, and Tree of Life/KeHE Distrubitors (special food and natural products distributor) prior to joining Universal Beauty Products as Sr. Marketing Manager. Throughout her career, she has worked with and consulted several entrepreneurs to help ensure they were positioned to do business in the US retail arena.

 

Ken Burkeen

With his sight set on becoming a military lawyer,

the Allentown, PA native studied Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, he made the decision that would ultimately shape his career. He joined the military where he studied logistics – a direct reflection of his willingness to think outside of the box and his inclination to execute. Burkeen was the first African-American from his congressional district to attend and graduate from the Academy in 189 years.

As a result of a full fellowship awarded by the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, he later completed his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business in 2002. While in business school, he worked as an intern at Procter & Gamble and was offered a full-time position at the conclusion of the internship and business school. His drive and fresh ideas led Burkeen to a successful career at P&G, first as an assistant brand manager in Global Beauty Care. In 2004, his intuitive insights led him to become a recipient of a Cannes Gold Lion Award at the international Cannes Advertising Festival. Shortly after, he was promoted to Brand Manager in their Feminine Care division.

In 2009, Burkeen was working independently as a brand consultant for a Japanese-based hair care company. While consulting with the company, Burkeen found that there were substantial elements missing in caring for textured hair. He knew there had to be a solution. The Huetiful Hair Steamer was birthed from the vision to help women of many hues, with textured hair, to discover more effective solutions to healthy beautiful hair. Prior to focusing full-time on Huetiful, Ken was the Director of Marketing for the $10 billion a year Retail & Consumer Goods Segment of UPS.

Today, Burkeen oversees the strategic direction of Huetiful, which offers an array of innovative beauty care solutions for multi-ethnic women across the globe and includes a vertically integrated salon with four locations (in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Austin) and a network of Huetiful-certified stylists across the United States. When notleading Huetiful, he is consistently losing at fantasy baseball and practicing his trade as an at-home cocktail mixologist.

Melissa Butler

Melissa Butler

is a Detroit native who has skillfully and strategically launched start-up beauty brand, The Lip Bar, into a nationwide phenomenon. Melissa obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from Florida A & M University before going on to work on Wall Street as a licensed stock broker. Her journey from stocks and bonds  to beauty was created by her frustration with the beauty industry’s lack of diversity and excessive amounts of chemicals.

This frustration led Melissa to manufacture lipstick in her Brooklyn kitchen in effort to challenge the status quo and the industry’s linear take on beauty. 

“Everyone deserves to have representation. Without it, we are left seeking validation” – Melissa

Since launch, Melissa has taken The Lip Bar on Shark Tank, The Bethenny Show and it has graced the pages of Essence, Ebony and Cosmopolitan Magazines. The Lip Bar is headquartered in Detroit and can be found on TheLipBar.com as well in Target stores across the country. 


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Candera Thompson 

Bask & Bloom Essentials was created & founded by Bahamian native, Candera Thompson. While transitioning to natural hair shortly after having her first child, she experienced lots of dryness and breakage. As she engaged more with women in the natural hair community she noticed a need for products that solved both issues.  She decided to use her love for herbal teas and at-home remedies to solve this problem while utilizing her MBA to start her business.

 Over a period of two years, she began researching and developing her line with the goal of providing healthier ingredients and eliminating common toxins.  Her first two products, More Moisture Cream and Stimulating Herbal Oil were created in 2012 and today, a full line of hair and skin care products are offered.

 The name Bask & Bloom holds true to what Candera seeks to achieve with every customer using her products, radiant skin (Bask) and healthy, flourishing hair (Bloom).  Her products have caught the attention of many beauty bloggers and editors across social media, and have landed features on popular sites such as ESSENCE and NaturallyCurly.

 Now as a mother of three, she is passionate about inspiring other women through entrepreneurship,  beauty and self-care.

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Julian Addo

Julian Addo launched Bella Kinks Inc. in 2012 to fill a void in the natural hair movement. There seemed to be a lacking of community among those that had either did “the big chop” or that had made the decision to slowly start to embrace their natural curls.

Never one to sit idle, Julian seized the opportunity to create a lifestyle brand that would foster sisterhood among naturalistas. She desired for BellaKinks to provide resources and produce events for other women who wanted to fully explore the journey back to their natural roots.

Since forming Bella Kinks Inc., Julian has been able to create and facilitate over 100+ natural hair events all across the country.

The Bella Kinks Annual Expo has become the hallmark event for the brand.

Julian’s goal with the expo is to highlight the rich culture and the beautiful natural hair community that spreads all over North Texas and surrounding areas. Each year the lineup is pretty amazing but she promises to make the expo better with each passing year.

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Abena Palmore

is a Natural Hair Specialist, Aveda certified New York City based Licensed Cosmetologist, Deva Advanced Stylist, and Holistic Practitioner of Trichology. Owner of Embrace Natural Beauty Natural Hair Salon at 445 Hamilton Ave, Suite 31, White Plains, New York.

Abena did the big chop on 8/30/2011. During the early stages of her natural hair journey she searched for a professional who could help her establish the right foundation. Unable to find that person, she decided to become the professional natural hair care specialist she wanted for herself. She began cosmetology training in September 2011. Since then she acquired her cosmetology license, and certifications in other specialties to help address the needs of her core audience. Her entire natural hair journey has been dedicated to helping others reach their hair goals and embrace natural beauty of their own.

Since 2014 via YouTube channel, Embrace Natural Beauty, Abena shares simple tips and techniques that have been helpful to her in her own natural hair journey, that have helped to maintain her hair, keep it in good condition and retain length which was her goal. She wants you to maintain your own hair,  keep it in good condition and retain length, so that you enjoy your hair and embrace natural beauty of your own. Through videos and live broadcasts via Periscope and Facebook Live, Abena has educated and help others grow their natural hair to longer lengths by using low manipulation techniques and keeping a simple hair care regimen.

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Nicole "Cole Patrick"

created TheNaturalCole.com in 2013. TheNaturalCole.com is an online how-to resource for women with naturally textured hair to learn about hair care, hair products, and hairstyles through blog articles, videos, and online hair courses.

For the past three years, Nicole has studied the science behind natural while perfecting her famous TNC Flat Twist Method. From personal experience, Nicole understands that when a woman decides to return to her natural hair texture, the process
can be emotional and confusing. Because of the many challenges, Nicole faced in her natural hair journey in September of 2014 she created The Natural Cole How-To Workshop. The workshops are facilitated in a hands-on classroom environment
to educate women about the fundamentals of natural hair care, product usage, and teaches women how to master various styling techniques such as the TNC Flat Twist Method.

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, encouraging others to be their best, and learning everything she can about hair care. To learn more visit thenaturalcole.com

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Bridgett LaDawn Washington

is a celebrity make-up artist, creative director and business woman wears many hats.  In her 20+ years in the fashion and beauty industry she has a built an impressive resume as a celebrity makeup artist. Her artistry has been seen in TV, film, print, and on international tours. She is known for her gift of creating glamorous yet soft looks.  Considered a master makeup artist she teaches and develops other artists launching their careers through her Pro Makeup Academy. Bridgett has a broad clientele spanning from corporations, celebrities, socialites even to the Olympic Team USA.  Many of her commercial clients seek her vision as a creative director and stylist as well.  She has produced photo shoots for national ad campaigns, directed fashion shows and styled videos.  In 2010 Bridgett developed a cosmetics line Glamour Rx. She has over 200 sales reps and recently launched her retail division.

 

It’s hard to grasp the scope of her talents as she has also added writer and speaker to her repertoire. Landing a job as a freelance beauty journalist for Heart and Soul Magazine and various other publications.  Also standing as a speaker for God’s Leading Ladies at the Potters House Dallas. She serves in her community by speaking to women of all ages about realizing their dreams by sharing her personal story.

 With no formal training she has always been the “it girl” for fashion, beauty and style. Originally from Los Angeles she was also drawn to the international markets located there. She further developed her “big city” style after moving to Chicago where her professional career in beauty was born. Dallas where she currently resides, served as an incubator where her skills were honed. Today she is highly sought after in the industry and continues to broaden her horizons.

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Emerald Woodberry

is a young professional with a passion for making a difference in the retail space. She began her career at Target five years ago after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. As the Sr. Buyer at Target Corporation for Textured Haircare, she uses her platform to elevate emerging brands, craft localized merchandising strategies, chase trends, and develop relevant shopping experiences to ensure our assortment reflects the needs and meets the expectations of the African American guest shopping this space. When she’s not in the office, you can find Emerald decompressing on her yoga mat, sprinting through the airport to catch a flight somewhere fun, trying out new local bites, or enjoying endless laughs with family and friends.

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Psyche Terry

is a founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of UI Global Brands, an American worldwide manufacturer and marketer of consumer products featuring a keystone brand, Urban Hydration. The company’s products are sold every day in approximately 9,000 U.S. retail locations. Urban Hydration’s brand prides itself on offering a family of plant-based farm to market inspired products that make everyday life naturally better.   

Psyche Terry earned an MBA from UNLV in 2009 and is a 2016 alumnus of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business program. She has been interviewed on Steve Harvey, and profiled in Essence Magazine, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and on various nationally syndicated radio stations like ESPN and Fox News. After starting a youth mentorship program for her hometown, Benton Harbor, MI, she earned a Key to the City.  An advocate of education and youth, Psyche Terry heads up her company’s $50,000 College Scholarship Program for business students attending her alma mater, Western Michigan University, and sits on the school’s President’s Society. Psyche is also on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Collin County.

With products that can be found in stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Target, Urban Hydration is making a global impact by giving a percentage of every product it sells to charity. In 2017, as part of the company’s enhanced commitment to being socially-responsible, the company partnered with WATERisLIFE to give one gallon of water for every sale of its product to support areas stricken with water scarcity around the world, In July 2018, those contributions funded a well in Kenya, transforming the lives of 1 village and 300 children.

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Marrica Evans 

is the creator of the cheeky self acceptance phrase “Flaunt Your Fro”, which evolved into a popular natural hair platform that encompassed a blog, YouTube and various social media outlets in 2014. With two years under her belt of showcasing the best twist outs and wash and go's on her YouTube channel, she began to fall in love with being behind the camera as much as she loved being in front of it. Due to her increased popularity in the natural hair community, she mastered her craft by offering photography as media services at events and for other influencers. Marrica honed in on her skills and new found love for digital branding and launched Marrica Evans Media LLC!

 In 2017, she officially launched MarricaEvans.com, which offers high quality street and lifestyle photography catered to social media and digital branding. She also has built a strong online community by providing tips and tricks for other photographers, bloggers and business owners. Since then, Marrica has developed a unique photography style in Dallas Texas and is one of the most sought out photographers in her niche. Marrica has an eye for lifestyle shots perfect to take your digital branding to new heights.