Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 TCFStyle Expo: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Wow! I cannot believe it is a wrap! Welcome to the 2017 TCFStyle Expo Recap where I am dishing all the good, the bad, and the ugly. This year's event can best be described as electrifying! I have so much to say, but for the sake of time, I won't bombard you with ALL the minor details however, I will share a fare amount of information just in case you were hospitalized, traveling out of the country, or just not in the know about the whose where in the plus industry world and when!

First, let's talk about how I have coined the TCFStyle Expo as "THE PREMIER FASHION EVENT OF THE SOUTH." I could not think of another phrase that was befitting for such an event, so there goes. Now, drum roll please (hear the drum's).. this year's Expo was Ahmazing!. Gasp, Yikes, Eeek, OMG, Yass, and Wow were just a few of my expressions. Ready to dive inside of this weekends events? Leggo.
This Vaseline Body Care came at the perfect time

THE GOOD
Earlier this year I was invited by Marie and her team to be a part of the #TCFStyleSquad which was coordinated by the HBC (Head Blogger Coordinator.. lol) Pepper Martin. I worked along with Farah Estrella, Shakerah Ferguson, Amber McCullough, and Marv Neal. These four powerful Influencer's were a pleasure to work with and each helped to make this event a social media success.

The Style Squad minus Estrella Fashion Report
MVP Collections 
Our first event prior to the official start of the Expo was Thursday at Destination XL. There was an Influencer Meet and Greet with Maurice Samuel or as many of you know him Mo Vaughn the "The Hit Dog" a former major league baseball player. Mo former athlete turned CEO showcased his clothing brand, MVP Collections. The brand was created for the stylish Big and Tall man. Mo said, "For years I struggled to find clothes that fit and this collection is the result." According to Mo, the USA made collection can now be found in at least 20 locations throughout the United States and abroad. I cannot wait for the collection to arrive at Destination XL in my city! Double yes to a handsome and stylish big and tall man dressed in this collection. Oh and thanks to the City of Atlanta for the early Christmas gift (a freaking parking ticket).

Expo Day 1
Ahh day 1 finally arrived! I was super excited to see what year 3 of the this event would bring. This marked the first year that the shopping event was a full two days and there was a venue change. I knew we were in for a special treat and I am happy to report that this event was all I expected it to be an more. Day 1 included a VIP Blogger's brunch, more meet and greets, workshops, fashion shows, and of course what we all really came for .. shopping! This was the first year that the expo was a full two days of shopping which was such a smart business move, but I have to be honest. Even with a second day, I still could not pull myself away to visit everyone on vendor row! I have to create a strategy for shopping and networking with brands next year (growth in progress).

We began with the blogger brunch where we were introduced to the stage sponsor Cheverolet and let's just say I am totally digging their new Equinox. I can't wait to take it for a drive. Cheverolet call me maybe?

We also heard from Natasha Eubanks as she shared all things business and the growing pains of creating a lasting brand. We need to be business savvy if we want to be entrepreneurs. Oh and hey soror hey! Oo-oop.

The session was informative and to the point. Natasha brought up some great things we all need to take heed to as business minded individuals.. RETAIN A LAWYER and Marie hit the ball out of the park when she said invest in yourself!
Blogger brunch with Marie and Natasha Eubanks
Throughout the weekend there was so much happening, but I really enjoyed the panels! One panel that resonated heavily with me was Style Has No Age of Size. This panel was presented by Lane Bryant and the conversation was everything. Each lady contributed to the conversation from their unique experiences. The one thing that we all have in common is that we can change our size for the most part at any time we choose, but none of us can change the fact that we are getting older. Yes, we can be beautiful and look ever so youthful, but we are still aging no matter what we do. This conversation included all things age and size related that we often think about, but we don't really talk about out loud. We are not having these conversations about size and age discrimination or exclusion. We mention it occasionally, but we are not really chatting it up about how we can effect change. This is one conversation that I honestly wish we had a tad bit longer to keep discussing. The panelist were a variety of sizes and ages and let me tell you, none of them looked even remotely close to ages the gave! They were all so fabulous and classy.
Style Has No Age of SizeAlison, Darlene, Shakera, Jeniese, and Georgette
Influencers gaining valuable information from the workshops
Name it, Claim it, Walk in it
Sarah, Chauncea, Shainna
The Rise of Big & Tall Fashion
Bruce, Rob, Mo, and Daniel
Of course throughout the day there were a variety of things that you could choose from such as shopping, fashion shows, and networking! As I browsed, I especially loved the energy at the Creme of Nature Booth! The merchandiser on hand was so attentive and friendly. I enjoyed speaking with her about the products and the Argan Line.
CON Merchandiser
Day 1 ended with another meet and greet with Mo Vaughn as well as a VIP Networking Mixer presented by Ashley Stewart. I'll be honest, I missed quite a bit of the mixer because was not feeling well, but Ashley Stewart always does a fantastic job with the mixer. When I arrived people were still on the dance floor having a ball!
This was the 90's crowd 😁

THE BAD

There is no bad! Stop being messy. The only bad thing is that we all can't live in the same city and win LMBO. North Carolina is a great place to live, work, and play! (hint hint) 

Expo Day 2
Day 2 was a mirrored image of Day 1. We started out with brunch, attended some new panels, fashion shows, and of course lots of shopping. Here is a photo recap of Day 2.
Selfie moments before brunch

VIP, Blogger/Influencer Brunch w/ Dia & Co
Ashby and Marie
Playing This, That, Neither or Both Game
Big Impact Beyond the Runway
Nickee, Monica, and De'Shundra
Style for Life  & Morning Coffee
Maui & Shaina and Kim McCarter
Lot's of Laughs

THE UGLY
Post Expo
Picture this, 6:30 Saturday evening and I just finished shopping the Expo! Yes, I left ate lunch and came back to shop. You know how we sometimes close down the club or stay at church until everyone is gone? Welllllllll, I shopped while vendors were shutting things down. When all was said and done, I sat at a table and teared up just a little because I realized that my magical TCFStyle Expo weekend was over and back to reality I had to go! I truly cannot wait for next year's event and I am so happy that I was chosen to be a part of all these super magical moments. I had such an amazing time, but wait. I have so much more to share about this weekend so don't be a stranger, this won't be the last that you hear from me about the TCFStyle Expo. Thanks for reading the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I'm still siked about the event so I will be posting via Social Media and the blog for a while! Stay tuned for more!
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