Hey, all! I'm back from Premiere.
First of all, it was a great show...then again, they all are. I was able to take lots of classes given by some fabulous industry leaders. It is pretty intense, but it is a great educational resource for beauty industry professionals and I am always happy with the quality of education given.
One of the highlights of my weekend was meeting Michelle and Gretchen from naturallycurly.com...two wonderful ladies with some rocking curls. They were there to formally launch CurlStylist.com and seemed to be making some good connections every time I passed their booth. I tried to say goodbye today, but they were busy and I didn't want to interrupt them...I hope to see them at Premiere again next year.
I am happy to say it seems some of my initial fears about the site were unfounded; perhaps, given all the overall industry "killing" of curls and my sensitivity to that, I saw ghosts where there really weren't any to be found. Yes, there is focus on the site on retexturizing, etc. for curls, but let's face facts...we aren't going to change things overnight. Michelle told me they are eager to have a place where more stylists can go to learn the real deal about curly hair and start effecting that change, and I have pledged my commitment to help them make that happen (and Michelle, if you are reading this, I have not forgotten my promise to you to submit a Stylist Spotlight form :) )
Unfortunately, there was one unpleasant incident, one that took me completely by surprise. I took Deva's class on Saturday morning, which was taught by Denis and Lorraine, just to see what was new at Deva. I stopped by their booth briefly to buy some products, but that was the extent of my contact with them...I was just too busy with other classes and meeting with other vendors/manufacturers to hang around long in any one place and I didn't speak to anyone there.
It's not a secret that I took the Deva class in 2007, but have kind of evolved into my own style since then and have started teaching curly hair education that differs a bit from what others, including Deva, teach and believe. And that's cool...never have I ever been less than positive or respectful about anyone else or started uncomplimentary rumors, etc. (and if anyone can find anything I've written that contradicts this, feel free to bring it out into the open). I think that as long as we are all devoting our attention to creating beautiful curls, it doesn't matter if we agree 100% on the method or products we use to get there. There is no reason we can't peacefully coexist.
Imagine my total shock, then, when I saw Lorraine Massey absolutely trashing me on Twitter this morning in several tweets...saying I said things that were "knot true" about her. It was so unbelievably ugly. At the end, she all but dared me to come to the Deva booth for a confrontation. To say I was completely stunned is an understatement. I have never said anything disrespectful or untruthful about Lorraine, ever...as a matter of fact, I refer to her as "the woman who started it all" to my clients and my other curly cohorts. If it wasn't for Curly Girl, there are thousands of women---ME included---that would still be trying to figure out what is best for our curls.
I wish I could tell you what precipitated this, but I am so mystified and in the dark myself, I couldn't even begin to speculate. I did Tweet her back to tell her I wasn't clear about what she meant, that I've never been negative about Deva and that I hope next time we can talk about the facts first...but she doesn't follow me anymore and I'm sure she won't see it. And I guess I wish she would have been professional enough to approach me privately if she heard or read something that upset her, and that we could have cleared the air between ourselves without such a nasty and uncalled-for public display.
C'est la vie, I suppose...but it was an upsetting end to such a wonderful show :( It is my hope we can resolve this someday so we can once again remember we are all a team dedicated to helping women to love and embrace their curly hair.
So, other than that, it was a great weekend, although I am really exhausted and I am glad this only happens once a year, lol...of course, staying out late last night didn't help the exhaustion any either ;) I had some great conversations with a lot of people which have pretty much determined my plans for the next year, including the direction I would like to take LCLF. I think I can definitely count on some exciting times in the next 12 months.
Time to take a nap and catch up on cuddling my four-year-old daughter for a while (who got a brand-new Disney Princess cutting cape of her very own from the show!)