Unless you have been living under a rock these last few months, you must have heard about Shades of Beauty LIVE (SoBL), the upcoming two-day beauty exhibition for women of colour, taking place on 24-25 August 2018. We’re thrilled to be supporting this must-attend event as media partners and took the opportunity to sit down with one of the co-founders, Christine Adesina, to find out what SoBL is all about and why you can’t afford to miss it.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into the beauty industry?
My career background is in corporate events, having worked for international organizations and organized events for oil and gas, pharmaceutical and defense sectors before starting my own events marketing agency. My introduction to the beauty sector was sparked by my passion about standardization and unfair practices, especially products aimed at the black consumer.
What inspired you to launch Shades of Beauty LIVE?
I started a company called Fair Hair Care which promoted standardization and quality in the hair extensions sector. The hair industry is highly unregulated and bad practices meant customers do not get value for money. When I started to build awareness about the campaign I quickly realized most current shows centred around natural hair and there was a gap for those who braid or wear wigs and weaves or are just into makeup and skincare. There was little in the UK to cater for this audience and that’s how Shades of Beauty LIVE was born.
What is the SoBL unique selling point?
SoBL is a celebration of individual expression. We’re creating a safe space that celebrates women of colour, particularly black women, because there is too much divisiveness in the community. There’ll be no #teamlightskin or #teamdarkskin – we are all beautiful whether you wear your hair natural, rock a wig or your beautiful polished head! SoBL celebrates the diversity of looks and beauty within the black community because, as we know, there’s no one way to be black! We aim to bring the old skool vibe of big shows with a fresh twist whilst reflecting all the changes that have taken place online. The internet and social media are great, but it’s about connecting the online with the offline for that personal human connection. We’ll also be showcasing some brands which are only available online.
How important is it to have such a platform?
The beauty industry still has a long way to go with regards to diversity and inclusion. Many mainstream brands have started to make changes but still fail to connect with our community offline and this is evident by the lack of experiential events supported by the mainstream brands. So, for us, it’s about filling this void and creating a platform that is needed.
Can you liken it to any event on the mainstream sphere?
We’d very much like to be seen as the Stylist LIVE for women of colour.
What support have you had in setting it up?
We are a completely independent, family-run business. It’s just my sister Grace and me. We’ve not had any external financial support and are completely self-funded. The support has mainly come from our team and the likes of platforms like Melan Magazine (thank you J ) and our other media partners who believe in our vision. Where we lack resources compared to more established events, our small dedicated team compensates this by going above and beyond, working around the clock to bring the show together. They too believe in the bigger vision and without that support it wouldn’t be possible.
Melan is a magazine focusing on beauty, achievements and talents for WOC within the community. Check out @melanmagazine for inspiration screen shot worthy BTS pics and interesting articles 👌🏾👌🏾 . #companiesthatcare #missacs#mracs#greenwich #londonmetacs#blackinlondon#blackgirlmagic#blackbusiness #girlstalk#sisterhoodblackbristish#cosmeticbusiness#cosmeticscience#africanbeauty #shadesofbeautylive #blackbeauty #blackskincare #blackownedbrands #blackhairandskin #blackskindirectory
What can visitors expect during the event? And why should they come?
Well firstly, we’d like to think of them as special guests within our home for the weekend – putting the ‘sister’ back into sisterhood. This is an event where we want new connections and collaborations to be made, friendships to be formed, and for everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed and to just be themselves. Our guests are in for a treat with a star-studded line-up of who’s who within the beauty and hair industry from the UK and abroad – anyone wanting to learn about the latest hair tips, make-up, discover and support new brands and visit their favourite brands should come! Our agenda is jammed-packed with influential women and men talking all things hair and beauty-related, plus real hard-hitting topical discussions that are rarely spoken about in public, but that particularly affect black women (and men). All guests will also be given free goody bags with quality products and other freebies. There’ll also be delicious food and drink to whet your appetite plus some entertainment to warm up to carnival.
Who are some of the influencers/personalities involved?
There are so many, but to mention a few there’s Slumflower, Mariam Musa, Shantania Beckford, the Curlture and Slay in Your Lane ladies …I’m personally looking forward to hearing from Dalia Dias who has worked with the likes of Chris Brown and Stormzy and is in a very male dominated space #winning! and Atah Jewel. Please check out the full line-up at www.shadesofbeautylive.com
What brands are supporting?
We have had massive support from Palmer’s who are our platinum sponsor. They definitely understand the Shades of Beauty vision and love supporting the community. We are also proud to have independent brands who are exhibiting and supporting the show such as Primal Beauty (Xsandy’s Hair & Beauty) Root2Tip, Kol Cosmetics, Kushty Cosmetics, Jacque Mgido Cosmetics from the USA and many more.
Can you share some expected highlights?
I am very entrepreneurial, so I am looking forward to the Beauty in Business panel. I think the highlight for visitors will be definitely meeting with the awesome brands and their favourite influencers.
How long have you been planning the event, and what are some of the considerations you’ve had to negotiate?
We have been in planning mode since October 2017. There has been loads of enthusiasm and promises from mainstream brands to support but it was all lip service and that was a hard pill to swallow. As we are launching the event for the first time a lot of brands did not want to speak with us and so proving our credibility and experience with no history was a mighty obstacle.
What has been the most challenging part of organizing?
There are never enough hours in the day.
And the most rewarding?
Working with a great team and meeting and hearing the stories of all our fabulous speakers, exhibitors and media partners, most of whom are women just like us – passionate, determined and committed to serving women of colour.
What do you want visitors to say / feel as they leave the event?
I want them to feel proud and uplifted that this is a UK event for black women by black women, where they felt catered for in a professional yet welcoming manner. Oh, and that they’ll definitely be coming back next year!
For more information about SoBL and to buy tickets, visit the website: www.shadesofbeautylive.com
When: 24-25 August 2018
Where: Royal Horticultural Halls, The Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, London, SW1P 2QW