1cfc4074 14e3 41fd bf0e 0b0aff4d8ae9

Well, well, well….another year of Essence Fest is in the books! I have to say I was honestly excited to be back after over 2 years in this pandemic. Being with people IRL (safely) and being with our team again in-person was the most magical vibes. When you see the major recaps of Essence, you’ll mainly see the big celebrity names and concert moments, but it’s the meaningful moments that matter. I wanted to share the behind-the-scenes moments with you that made this trip so epic, and you HAVE to read to the end!

Myavana returned for a 4th year of partnership in the VIP Beauty Bungalow for the Beauty Carnival and it’s been a God-sent relationship from the very beginning. I remember sitting in our office in 2017 during a very challenging year of growth wondering what to do next and a woman by the name of Tanya Gunther messaged me on LinkedIn to learn more about our beauty tech business and invite us to Essence Fest. I was like WHAT?!! God, is that you? Woowwwwwww

Patti Labelle Thank You GIF – Patti Labelle Thank You God GIFs

5 years later, we rounded up the Myavana Team once again to descend into New Orleans for another magical Essence experience! I knew the #EssenceEffect was growing because as we boarded our flight and looked around to a plane filled with beautiful Black women, my husband said, “So people are coming from all across the country for this?! I said yes, it’s MAJOR. And this year we had a dual purpose. We also did a proof of concept for Nordstrom to imagine our technology in their stores, gather some market insights, and elevate the customer experience! *pinch me* God I’m so grateful for every opportunity you provide to us….

The weekend kicked off with a Welcome Dinner @ Justine’s with our new partners Shea Moisture! Their shift to community building is inspiring and their new Head of Marketing Taydra Mitchell-Jackson is leading the charge! She shared the brand’s vision for this new era, acknowledging their teams, awarding more grants, and hosting The House of Shea experience for the weekend. She acknowledged our 10 year company anniversary which was such a full circle moment to be in the room with people who’ve seen us from the very beginning. I’m so grateful for the relationships we’ve made along the way on this path of perseverance.

Day 1 was AMAZING 🙌🏽

We debuted our Myavana Hair Genius Bar, displaying our AI technology that analyzes your hair and provides personalized product recommendations according to your true texture and type combination. The guests were in awe and loved the experience, leading to more hair consultations and new customers!! 🙌🏽

Then my sis Gail Bean came through! You may know her now by her biggest roles as Wanda on Snowfall and Roulette on P-Valley, but this amazing woman is a real sister to me who’s been there from the beginning as well (legit moved me into my college dorm at Georgia Tech) and our journeys have been intertwined as we’ve elevated to tv screens and tech screens! We give God all the Glory!

Then my brother Free The Vision on the left pulled up and as he saw the experience and the magnitude of what we’ve created, he confirmed a vision I’ve had for a long time as a modern-day Madame CJ Walker and encouraged me to keep documenting the journey – it’s manifesting! Then later that night, he meets Janet Jackson, a lifelong dream for him!!! We touched and agreed – we’re manifesting ok?!!

We concluded the day with a beautiful dinner with our marketing partners Fayetteville Rd., the National Beauty Director for Nordstrom, and served by an amazing chef who flew down to help us celebrate this meaningful milestone and show appreciation to our team!!

Day 2 was a family affair 😬😬 the twins made their grand appearance with my hubby and our nanny (because it takes a village to be a boss mom!) and my husband has literally helped me significantly during critical growth phases of the business so I was just happy that he could see this all live and in-person after talking about it so much over the years!

And as you can see, we’re rocking our new uniforms (this day the white lab blazers!) and it literally feels like we’re putting on a cape every time we throw it on! Out here saving strands, scalps, and edges! 😬💕👑

I could honestly go on & on about the magical moments we had….

I saw crews of girlfriends in matching t-shirts with drinks in hand having the time of their lives. One woman walked by us and said “there’s a whole lotta hair on this block!” Yes ma’am!! The Healthy Hair Experts are on deck!!

I saw the most confident woman with her thighs out mid section out, the most jiggly squishy body type, and she was rocking it, dismissing every ignorant comment about what big girls can and cannot wear or dare to expose. The confidence inspired me so much as a new twin mom with more body to love!!

Watch Out For The Big Girls Lizzo GIF – Watch Out For The Big Girls Lizzo Lizzos Watch Out For The Big Grrrls GIFs

I saw Pinky Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan, get engaged to her foodie lover.

I saw Black businesses being honored and uplifted on the Marketplace stage, and of course Dr. Key Hallmon, Founder of Village Market Retail was the force behind this curated experience. I ran into more amazing fellow business owners like Young King Hair Care as we’re all out here on a mission for business growth. And that includes all of my entrepreneur friends growing and thriving in many different ways #SupportIsAVerb

And the team eventually did make it to the concert on the last night to jam out to New Edition!! I honestly saw the best moments on the concert stage from the comfort of my bed because Miss Candy V is retired from these streets after 10pm as long as I have kids under the age of 5 because the energy limit is REAL ok?! 🤣🤣

I watched the world swoon over Method Man, heard Nicki share some choice words over wardrobe and drama, admired Ashanti and her amazing comeback musically and physically (sis is in shape ok?!), and loved seeing the legendary Lauryn Hill making her comeback to the stage (on time) and when I looked at her, I just saw redemption in her eyes (I love this for her), and of course the incomparable Janet Jackson killin it as usual as if it’s nothing. You can’t deny the talented genius in her DNA and bloodline. It felt so, so good to see her get her flowers continuously 💐💐💐 (put all the respects on her name ok?!)

Janet Jackson 2001in Music GIF – Janet Jackson 2001in Music Samantha Mumba GIFs

But THIS. This was the moment y’all…… you ready?

I stepped out to take a breather and I asked God a very specific question:

are there any doors already opened for me that I need to walk through?

These particular doors I was asking about were for resources because as a CEO I’m doing real-time calculations of what we need, expense reporting all in my head, forecasting because of everything we’re executing at once, budgeting, and planning out the next major partners we’re preparing to onboard in Q3! Yikes….😬🥴🤔

When I stepped out in the Beauty Carnival area, I hear Caroline Wanga, the new CEO of ESSENCE speaking. Now if you haven’t met or heard Caroline before, I have to tell you now that I believe she is the most dynamic, purpose-driven, transformational leader for this new era of culture (mark my words!). She said something earlier this year at the ESSENCE Hollywood House that truly stuck with me which was “The Revolution must be Financed” and proceeded to thank the sponsors here in the room who made the event possible, and she re-affirmed it on the Beauty Carnival stage, taking it to a whole new level in her remarks. She pointed around and said everything you see here is wealth. The surrounding brands and businesses were New Voices Fund (producing millionaires through their funding to Black women-owned businesses) AfroPunk & NaturallyCurly which ESSENCE recently acquired, and emphasizing the generational wealth that the Dennis Family has been able to create through the growth and acquisition of Shea Moisture and positioning ESSENCE Ventures, parent company of ESSENCE, to further grow their portfolio as the No. 1 media, technology, and commerce company dedicated to Black women and communities. Major, legendary moves.

But this is what she said that answered my question:

“Everything that ESSENCE does, the destination is wealth. Everything you see here and experience is so that you can come and build wealth. So yes come to ESSENCE Festival and have fun, but go get your wealth as well. Use all the sponsors here on the floor, the people here in the rooms, and start the path to your personal destination of wealth.

And that personifies what really happened at Essence Fest – having doors of new customers opened to us, and experiencing alignment with a company that is on the same revolutionary, unapologetic mission of creating a valuable, enriching experience for our people. Because we deserve that! And we’re all filled with a creative genius that just needs an opportunity to be unleashed – a platform to reach people and a support system that loves and encourages you as you grow, fail, stretch, produce, and reveal. This is what really takes place at this joy-filled celebration of culture that we call the Essence Festival. And they are poised with the right courageous leadership and execution teams who set out to elevate what we can have and what we can experience, if we just walk through those doors for ourselves.

So again, most of the recaps you’ll see focus on the big names and celebrities, but it’s the meaningful connections that matter and have made a difference for me. And what was that door that was already opened to me? It was you! Our customers. Many of you all we have first met at Essence Fest over the years! And you’ve made this journey possible. Customers are the most sustainable funding strategy. And that was the answer to the question I asked God. And I am SO grateful for you. Through Myavana, I desire to create a world of beauty without bounds and life more abundantly. Healthy hair and a healthy life for the masses filled with peace, prosperity, and happiness….

So continue on the journey of wealth building with us! I want to invite you to get a 2nd hair analysis with us if it’s been a long time since your first one (we have to see the transformation and update your hair care plan ok?!) Or purchase another one for a friend, a sister, your mother, a co-worker, someone you know that is healthy hair conscious and looking for solutions. You are the ones that help make this all possible and are helping to build the next billion dollar business in beauty led by Black women! 😬💕🔬👩🏽‍🔬📱And you can still get 20% off with discount code ESSENCE

Now go ahead and share this with your friends and fam! The journey is real and I want this to encourage other people’s dreams as well! We normally spread gossip but let’s spread positivity instead. Just make it sound like real tea, cuz it is! 🍵 just forward it and say: girl you gotta read this. Let’s go next year


Let’s make this a Magical Monday everyone!!! 💕💕💕

Lots of Love,


MYAVANA Co-Founder & CEO

Subscribe To The DOTS Newsletter

Subscribe To The DOTS Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest DOTS Newsletter.

You Have Successfully Subscribed to The DOTS Newsletter !!