Meet Our Founders
The “It’s a Curl Thing: Natural Hair Conference” started in a sunny Gardens apartment in the fall of 2016 at McDaniel College, Westminster Md.
Natural-Haired Junior students, Kylah Chadwick (Social Work Major) and Khadijah Poston (Psychology & Film Double Major) were feeling a lack of a Natural Hair Community presence on this PWI college campus. There were amazing black clubs on campus, like Africa’s Legacy & the Black Student Union, and even some black Fraternities & Sororities beginning to start up. However, these clubs/groups lacked an emphasis on the importance of Natural Hair & Self-Love.
Kylah & Khadijah also went to a Natural Hair Event off-campus in August of 2016, called the Annual “Naturalista Hair Show” in Silver Spring, Maryland. This event was full of thousands beautiful Naturals who were allowed the opportunity to network, share tips and Natural Hair products, as well as feel welcome in their own community. From this point on, we wanted to re-create this experience on our own college campus. We desperately needed a place for our community to feel welcome and accepted, so the McDaniel College | Curlfriends Club was born (@mcdaniel_curlfriends on IG).
With Curlfriends, we were finally allowed the opportunity to host events on campus. As individual students we were not allowed that opportunity. So the planning began.
We knew by this point that we wanted to plan an event, and in order to do so we needed a club, money, and people to help us do that. Starting in the Fall as a club was late to the budgeting committee for our school. So we had no choice but to start out with a $0 budget. But we had big plans so, Cookie Fundraisers, and partnerships with Chipotle were not going to raise enough money to start our event.
So we had to get creative and partnered with one of the only Black Women professors on campus (shoutout to Dr. Erin Watley) and one of the only Hispanic Directors on campus (shoutout to Jose Moreno, the Director of Student Diversity on Campus). These two advisors helped us stay focused on our journey to bring the first annual “It’s a Curl Thing: Natural Hair Conference” to life.
We were able to use our connections on campus to acquire monetary sponsorships from the following departments on campus for the first event:
Communications & Cinema
Office of Student Engagement
Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion
These donations totaled over $1,000 to start with our budget for planning the event! Thank you so much again to these departments for supporting our vision and helping us bring it to light!
Being college students, we know it would hard to convince people to buy a ticket for at least $20 to an event they’ve never heard of or even believe in.
So, we decided to stretch each dollar, so that each ticket included: event access, food, a t-shirt, raffle ticket for giveaway, and a free gift bag with Natural Hair goodies (full-size and sample products). How did we do that? It would take too long to explain but feel free to reach out to us directly if you’re looking for advice 💯💪🏽
So because our tickets included a lot in them, we also had volunteers who had the opportunity to get free or discounted tickets, depending on what they brought to the table. With the help of our volunteers and internal marketing, we were able to get 76 people to invest in a $20+ ticket to our first event.
Unfortunately, the first year around, Kylah and I were too hectic to even think about hiring a photographer to take pictures for the event. However, we fixed that the second time around.
For our second annual “It’s a Curl Thing: Natural Hair Conference” with the support of our volunteers, Influencers (@_kaicealea, @iamtraeh, @nae2curly, & @kandidkinks) we were able to get almost 200 people to invest in a $20+ ticket to our second event! Check out these pictures:
With you all’s support, the 3rd annual It’s a Curl Thing: Natural Hair Conference” will be able to triple if not quadruple our previous successes. So in the meantime, during this #quarantineseason check out our T-shirts and Face Masks to support the funding of our 3rd Annual Natural Hair event and opportunity, check out our Brand Ambassador program for more information!!!
Former Natural Hair Brand Sponsors:
Camille Rose Naturals
Eden Body Works
Uncle Funky's Daughter
Thank God It's Natural (T.G.I.N.)
Hot Head - Thermal Haircare
Girl + Hair
Tropic Isle Living
Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils
Chocolate Kinks and Kurls
Jane Carter Solutions
As I Am
Urban Skin RX