The 2019 Brand Like A Girl Conference

On April 20th, Campus Curlz held their third annual Brand Like A Girl Conference at Hampton University sponsored by Luster’s Pink, CURLS, Eden BodyWorks, and Design Essentials.

Campus Curlz, Inc. is a natural hair and service-based organization whose goals are to enhance, educate, and uplift those on campus and in the community through educational support and service. The organization was founded by Nia Wellman and Kiyanna Monroe in 2017. Since then, Campus Curlz, Inc. has spread to 13 college campuses including Hampton, Temple, San Diego State, FAMU, and more.

Hosted by Campus Curlz founder, Nia Wellman, the Brand Like A Girl Conference is a networking, professional development, and women empowerment conference open to all who wish to come and leave with something they can use throughout life.

“I started Brand Like A Girl (BLAG) the spring semester of my sophomore year which was the same semester Campus Curlz was founded because a huge amount of my peers online and in real life were asking how I built my brand and what tools they could use to do the same. BLAG was planned and executed by myself alongside a special committee of Campus Curlz members to complete the event, ” Wellman stated.

Saturday, April 20, doors opened at 4pm in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications where women came from schools in the nearby area like Hampton and Old Dominion University to learn all about the branding business.

The event was filled with a plethora of female entrepreneurs beginning with the vendors. Vendors included; Kemada Skincare, Owning Personal Beauty, The Loving Brickhouse, Prideful, Beautiful Black People, White L’ephant, Chance Beauty Bar and HBCU apparel. Women who attended were able to walk around, familiarize themselves with the brands and purchase products from vendors throughout the event.

The Conference kicked off with guest speaker, Resa B. Luster, a Brand Manager at Large at Luster Products, Inc. where she handles the development and launches of product collections. Luster sat down with Nia where she shared her role in her family business, her time here at Hampton, and lessons she learned being in the business. When asked for some advice as a black woman in the industry, she responded,

“Do not let anything make you feel defeated. We are black women. We are winning right now!” Luster exclaimed.

 

The conference continued with two other speakers, Sydni McCutchen, and Koby Lomax.

Sydni McCutchen is a graduating senior who is also a Creative Strategist and Campus Marketing Representative for NBCUniversal Media. Sydni is dedicated to elevating her brand creativity through culture and commitment. During the conference Sydni discussed what it means to have a brand, and what it means aesthetically through her presentation titled “Cutting through the cutter in a content-driven society.” She dropped a couple of gems about creating logos, brands, and brand messaging that you usually can’t get for free. “Brands are like a book, and they are going to get judged by their cover,” Sydney claimed.

The last speaker, Koby Lomax, is a millennial entrepreneur and emerging social media influencer. He has been featured on multiple magazine covers for the start of his own company, Ardent Candle Company. Koby talked from a presentation titled “Keeping it Together: Getting your business in order.” He discussed a number of tips when it comes to staying organized with your business.

Taking tips from the speakers, female entrepreneurs in the audience were able to participate in a pitch competition for who was the best budding brand on campus. The winner was Ariana from Arianas Canvas, a hairstyling service on Hampton’s campus.

On top of learning about branding, audience members were able to get some advice about starting businesses from a group of panelist. The panel included; Jonna Scott, a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger of Naturally-Glam. Llaran Turner, a Hampton youtuber. Jada George, a student film director, photographer and videographer as well as Nupol Kiazolu, president of Black Lives Matter Greater New York and founder/CEO of the Vote 2000 Campaign. The ladies discussed struggles of starting their businesses as well as advice to other female entrepreneurs.

The event ended with the reveal of this year’s Girl Boss. Leading up to the event, the public was able to vote for their favorite Girl Boss through social media from a number of talented Girl Bosses. The 2019 Girl Boss was awarded to Kelsii Robinson, a freshman who is the creator of HBCU apparel.

This year's Brand Like A Conference was one for the books, but next years will be an interesting one. After hosting for three years, founder, Nia Wellman's’ time has come to an end. The graduating senior has hosted her last Brand Like A Girl Conference as a student.

 

“I am proud. I feel like I’ve done my best these past three years and I have faith and pride in my chapter! I know they’ll continue to do great!” Wellman exclaimed.

Stay tuned for next year's fourth annual BLAG where Nia will possibly return as an alum.