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The Blogalicious Top 5 Moments of 2016

2016 has been a year to remember for the Blogalicious team and brand. If we say so ourselves, we’ve done some pretty cool things! Here’s a shortlist of our 5 greatest moments this year. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.

The Blogalicious Top 5 Moments of 2016

Number 5

For the past 7 years, “she” was just the girl in our logo. But, because she was an important part of our company, we had to give her a name. We launched a contest and the best name won: Lady B! It’s so fitting and elegant; just like the slight sway of her hip in the Blogalicious logo. Thanks to Sommar Winfield for picking her name. We gifted Sommar a two-night stay at the Blogalicious Conference hotel in Atlanta back in October.

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Number 4

Blogalicious in the news! The word continues to spread about our brand and we have been in great company! In past years, we have been featured in Essence, EBONY, and on NPR to name a few. This year, Chief Curator Stacey Ferguson had the amazing opportunity to share the Blogalicious mission with Inc.com and FastCompany.com as well as on CBS Atlanta, AJC.com and Rolling Out! Next on our bucket list? Our own reality TV show (ha ha)!

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Number 3

The bLink Marketing Network, our multicultural influencer network for sponsored campaigns, has been busy! We fostered amazing partnerships with the American Heart Association, Dove, Disney Dreamers Academy, Lifetime Movie Network, and Geneva Naturals.

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Number 2

We had finally outgrown our space. What space you ask? Our living rooms! This year we moved into an official office space that we affectionally refer to as “Blogalicious HQ.” After spending an entire weekend decorating, peeling and re-peeling wallpaper, we finally opened our office to the community to visit. Our HQ party was lit and the bubbly was flowing. Our DC-based team loves coming to this space to create Blogalicious magic.

 

Number 1

Some days we have to pinch ourselves at the thought! This October we hosted the 8th annual Blogalicious Weekend conference. We headed back to Atlanta, which we affectionately call our “sweet spot.” (You know Atlanta + Georgia peaches, and peaches are usually sweet. Our sweet spot! But, we digress.)

Back in 2009, Blogalicious Weekend was supposed to be a one-time event because we saw a void in the blogging space of an intimate place for social media influencers of color to connect and collaborate. The response has been overwhelming and we are so, so proud to still be going strong 8 years later. Most importantly, we announced the venue and city for Blogalicious Weekend 2017: Miami, Florida!

 

Register for #B9 HERE!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for your continued support and for bringing your magic to our corner of the world.

We wish you a successful and prosperous 2017! If there is anything we can do to help your business or blog grow, do send us a shoutout!

Happy New Year!

xo,

Team Blogalicious

Get Ready With Geneva Naturals #client
Photo credit: Ria Michelle

Photo credit: Ria Michelle

Do you find yourself changing your skincare routine during the winter months? Do you question whether you’ve spent enough time on self-care by the end of the year? Do you wonder how you can combine the two without sacrificing time for other things that are important? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, our solution to you would be our client Geneva Naturals!

What is Geneva Naturals?

Geneva Naturals creates natural skincare products using only the highest formulation standards and all of our products are 100% made in the USA. The company was created with the belief that self-care shouldn’t be limited to vacations.

We created Geneva Naturals for the woman who never takes a break — whether that be in motherhood, her career, or anything that she endeavors. We became aware that as a consequence of you changing the world, sleepless nights and long days can take a toll on your skin. This could mean a dull complexion, tired eyes, and premature signs of aging.
 
We empathize with this problem deeply. More often than not, we put ourselves second to move our passions in life forward. And while our life’s dedications are what make for the most beautiful moments, we disregard self-care as a form of self-respect.  With the same fire underneath us that we’ve seen in the women that inspire us, we created Geneva Naturals to take you away on an overdue vacation, without having to take any of your time.
Geneva Naturals makes it easy to treat yourself! We love that they’ve taken into account that their customers are already busy with their range of harmless products. New skin care and beauty companies are conveniently at our fingertips, which makes it hard to select the right one for your needs. In a recent campaign, we selected an amazing group of busy bloggers to work with Geneva Naturals who’ve since blogged about their experience.

Bloggers Love Geneva Naturals

Danielle, a 35-year-old stay at home mom of 2 says, “Makeup and fussy routines are not for me. You’ll never see me with a million-step facial routine, or a makeup routine that requires half an hour every morning. I just can’t. I love that Geneva Naturals has an easy routine to follow, but is packed with so many good ingredients that it does a lot for your skin. I need to stay looking young and fresh without it taking too much time.”
Ria Michelle enjoyed herself at the Geneva Naturals blogger’s brunch in Miami. She was impressed with their serums. “I’m really into serums at the moment in my skincare journey. I got super excited to try theirs and immediately rubbed some on my arm to test. Their serum features 20% Vitamin C and Edelweiss. Edelweiss is a special anti-aging plant that grows in the Swiss Alps. The serum helps with firmness and lines and wrinkles. So I’m sold.” Check out her beautiful photos of the event here.
Talk about the right place at the right time! Z had been looking for harmless skincare when the blogger’s brunch rolled into town. Here’s her favorite product so far: “Between traveling often and spending most of my time outside in the heat it’s no secret that my skin has been needing some extra TLC for quite some time. I’ve been using the Advance Vitamin C+E serum along with the Advanced Anti-Aging Moisturizer Cream with SPF and I can’t tell you enough how much I love these products. Just four days after using the new line both in the morning and at night before bed, I noticed that my skin (especially around my eyes) started to feel a bit more firm.” Read more.
Tiffany Gonzalez named her favorite product! “So far my favorite of the bunch has been the Vitamin C+E Oil. It smells so good and goes on the skin smoothly without leaving any type of residue behind. I see my skin brighter and more hydrated after using it for a week! Must try if you ask me.” Read more.
Claudia, a 30-year-old beauty feels like she started on her skincare journey too late. We can totally relate. Here’s what she started doing after the brunch, “I‘ve been trying to give my face as much TLC as I can and I can’t think of a better way than with natural products. I have been using the Advanced Vitamin C+ E Serum every night this week followed by the Advanced Anti-Aging RetinolCream. I only use them at night before I go to sleep for now, and I am so happy with the results so far! Seriously I started feeling the results right away. Oh, and another plus, the products smell amazing!” Read more.
More recaps and rave reviews by #BloggersWhoBrunch
Busy, short on time and on-the-go career women and mothers (and men) now have an ally in the skincare and self-care departments! We’re thankful to have partnered with Geneva Naturals and these amazing bloggers for the #BloggersWhoBrunch event in Miami. Now that you’ve heard rave reviews about Geneva Naturals, take a moment to shop their collection of fine products here.

Will you try these Geneva Naturals?

On Freedom, Injustice & Power of Speaking Out

We prepared ourselves for a three-day weekend last week with glee and excitement. Cookouts, fireworks, family time, lazy beach days, no emails and sound sleep congregated on the minds of many. This, and being able to celebrate that we’re healthy and free on Independence Day, is what moved us along. Tuesday morning, we returned refreshed and ready to pick up where we left off at work. Except this didn’t happen for Alton Sterling, 37-year-old Baton Rouge man who was killed by police in front of Triple S Food Mart.

Sterling was a family man like many of our loved ones. Known around town as the “CD Man”, Sterling sold CDs to provide for his wife and three children. On July 5, police officers responded to an anonymous tip about Sterling waving a gun in the process of selling those CDs. It seems that without much conversation or explanation from the now slain Sterling, the two police officers reacted to his size, skin color and gun possession as a means to shoot him four or five times in the back. Within minutes, Sterling was dead and his family now dismantled.

The next day, July 6, a 32-year-old Minnesota man by the name of Philando Castile was shot to death for gun possession, too. Castile was the passenger in his girlfriend’s car when police pulled them over for a busted taillight. Like many of us are taught to do in these times, Castile complied with the officers and told them that he had a gun. He, too, was shot four times within minutes by police as his four-year-old daughter watched in the backseat.

 

 

Sterling and Castile were armed citizens with gun permits in open carry states. The fact that they were senselessly and violently killed in a country that just celebrated freedom and liberty three days ago is a problem.

Our mission at Blogalicious is “to grow a supportive and vibrant community of influencers that celebrates digital diversity.” Our 3-fold objective is:

  • to be THE go-to destination and resource for influential multicultural women social media enthusiasts from all over the world to collaborate, connect and uplift one another;
  • to showcase the value of the demographic in today’s marketplace to marketers; and
  • to serve as a think tank and mouthpiece for causes, policies and issues affecting the multicultural digital space.

We’ve achieved those things and would be totally remiss not to speak up about the racial injustice and violence happening all over our country. Sterling and Castile reminds us of the work we all must do to prevent these kind of tragedies and to truly obtain freedom for minorities in America. If one or two of us are not free, none of us are.

Our hearts are broken for these men, their families and Black people in America. The unfortunate murders of two innocent men (and those before them) cannot be undone, but we can act towards change. Now, we’re asking for your help, too.

 

 

Today, we encourage you to mobilize and connect and uplift each other. Use your platform to bravely share your thoughts, frustrations, and condolences to those who cannot speak for themselves. Don’t be afraid to talk about racial injustice and police brutality! Get involved in your local communities — ask questions, provide insight, listen to and empathize with others. Stand up for who and what you believe in fearlessly and unapologetically. Educate your families on what’s happening and write down ways you can collectively help. Lastly and most importantly, be smart and kind in all you are doing!

Let us leave you with these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

Speak Out injustice

 

Will you join us and speak out against police brutality and racial injustice today?

#BlogHer16 & Blogalicious: A Partnership
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In case you missed it, Blogalicious has partnered with BlogHer on their upcoming summer conference #BlogHer16: Experts Among Us. #BlogHer16: Experts Among Us, the world’s largest conference for women content creators, will hit the red carpet in downtown Los Angeles, August 4-6th. Take a break from your blog and join us for an amazing lineup of educational programming, networking, and high-profile keynote speakers including Mayim Bialik and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

With their Blogger/Social Media Influencer’s full conference pass, attendees receive:

Admission to all conference programming, meals, breaks, sponsor areas, parties and expo floor on Friday and Saturday. Blogger/Social Media Influencer rate is intended for content creators who can neither tax deduct not expense their trip. This is a subsidized rate.
Sales end August 6, 2016. For $399, bloggers will learn excessive “how-tos” from experts like Erika Nicole Kendall, Ashley Parrish and Kandee Johnson to name a few.

Who should attend #BlogHer16: Experts Among Us?
#BlogHer16 is open to anyone and everyone who considers themselves part of the social media and online content creator space. #BlogHer16 is particularly focused on highlighting the skills and talents of women who are rising their voices and creating content online. All genders, ages, ethnicities, interests and levels of blogging experience are encouraged to attend!  We promise there’s something for everyone.  (And in case you’re curious, about 10-15% of attendees are men.)

Learn more about BlogHer, the Experts Among Us conference and speakers at BlogHer.com.

Important Notes about #BlogHer16

When: August 4-6, 2016

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Hotel: JW Marriot Los Angeles

Tickets: Ranging from $99-999, register here

 

Will you be at #BlogHer16?

 

Information source: Blogher.com.

Happy Holidays :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

We chose to send you this week’s “round up” today (jnstead of yesterday) in celebration of Christmas Eve and the remainder of the holiday season. To say the least, 2015 was a tremendously epic year for our company, community and for several of you, too. #BYOE15 was successful (we kicked off the inception of our first annual VIP Mastermind Day) and we’re looking forward to duplicating that success for next year’s conference, too. Thank you for sharing feedback with us, asking and answering questions and being the amazing community of supporters you are.

So, in case your eCard landed in your Spam folder, or you’re excited about it as we are and don’t mind seeing it twice, here’s a special Happy Holidays greeting from Team Blogalicious to you and your families! Be merry and enjoy yourselves. See ya next year!

 

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Happy Holidays | Be Blogalicious

Serena, Holiday Ideas & More

Serena Williams, marketing, social media and holiday decor ideas made their way into our weekly round up! See what tools and hacks you can apply to your business and creativity. Then, take a moment to share your thoughts (or results) with us.

 

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26 ways to save time on social media

We’ve found the holy grail of saving time on social media, thanks to Small Biz Trendz. We’ll share 3 tips we plan to implement quickly:

  • Schedule updates in advance
  • Be consistent and persistent
  • Set up weekly reports from Google Analytics
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Time Image via Shutterstock

 

355+ Power Words for Your Marketing

Marketing, as twisted and corrupt as it often seems, can turn your business from crickets to profits. The good thing is that there are several ways to market, starting with the words you use. SumoMe created a spreadshirt filled with over 350 words to populate your headlines, copy and social media updates. It’s pretty awesome!

Read the full article + download your spreadsheet here.

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SumoMe

 

Serena Williams is not a Horse!

So, we’ll say it: Serena Williams, the super heroic, record breaking, history making, continuous champion winning American tennis player, is not a horse! But if you read the response of Sports Illustrated fans for naming her Sportsperson of the Year instead of American Pharoah, “a.k.a. the horse that won the first Triple Crown in 37 years“, you’d think it absurd that she has two legs instead of a tail.

Since the controversy, Williams, 34, arrived at Tuesday night’s Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year ceremony looking confident and fierce! The powerhouse danced around in a lingerie inspired gown that reminded us that she’s indeed a beautiful, playful woman with class and grace. USA Today wrote about her arrival, acceptance speech and every piece of fabulosity we missed on the red carpet. Go, Serena!

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USA Today via FilmMagic

 

Last Minute Festive, Holiday Ideas

Christmas is next week — have you adorned your house or office with holiday decor? In case you haven’t (because you’re a busy entrepreneur whose managing multiple things at once), we found 30 simple, festive holiday decor ideas from Real Simple, like this electrifying wall wreath! These ideas are fun, easy to assemble and can be a fun family event if you’re in need of that holiday closeness and cheer.

Have you decorated your space yet? Plan on using one of these holiday ideas? Share your plans and pictures with us!

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Real Simple

 

Serena, Holiday Ideas & More | Be Blogalicious

Service Beyond :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Service. Community. Support. Engagement.

Some would say those tenants are the cornerstones of Blogalicious, and we’d say they were correct. Like every week, we’re bringing you news that might support or enhance endeavors close to your heart. We’re also sharing a story, close to ours, that is in need of your support, engagement and a little service, too.

 

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SEO Rules for 2016

The American Marketing Association shared six SEO rules for 2016 and how you can use them to maximize your investment in content. We’ll share the rules here, but be sure to visit their website for the full, informative article.

Rules:

1. Intention is everything.

2. Keywords aren’t everything.

3. Focus on the user experience.

4. Size does matter!

5. Optimize for mobile.

6. Use unique images.

Even without full details, these six rules have the wheels of our brain in motion for next year’s content! Which new rule sticks out to you?

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ama.org.

 

But is it legal, though?

Internet sensation Nicole Walters, founder of Monetize Thyself, is hosting a free livecast offering tips and resources on how to legally protect yourself and your brand. The workshop will allow for those in need to ask questions and have them answered in real time! Talk about service! There is limited seating available so if you’d like to attend, register here.

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Facebook.

 

All You Need to Know About The Printful

What’s trending now? Apparel and accessory shops!

The good thing is that the ability to generate additional income for your online stores is virtually endless. Fulfillment companies across the country are making it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to sell products, like t-shirts, pillows and coffee mugs, in a few hours or less. The complicated part is that there are so many fulfillment companies to choose from. We know, first world problems!

Thankfully, Arsha Jones, owner of Tees in the Trap and Capital City Co., has vetted The Printful, a popular fulfillment service simplifying online shopping, and blogged about her experience with them. Want to know her pros and cons of using the company and what it actually means to use that kind of service? Read her blog post, chock full of advice and insight.

brand. build. sell.

brand. build. sell.

 

Service Beyond: Jewel Figueras

Our very own Jewel Figueras needs your help fighting her insurance company. Jewel took to social media to share that while she is losing her battle to cancer, she’s also struggling to have her expensive medical needs fully covered by her insurance provider. Instead of sitting idly by, Jewel is fighting to change how cancer patients are treated by their providers at large. What she needs is your signature on her Change petition, so that her provider can see how important it is for her (and others) to receive the medications they need at affordable rates.

Here are Jewel’s own words:

“I am literally in a fight for my life.  And, I’m not alone in this.  Many others in the battle against cancer have been refused medicine by their insurance company and have just given up.  My social media streams are full of folks fighting for all kinds of things.  I’m choosing to carry the flag for my fellow cancer patients, and those yet to be diagnosed.

This.has.to.change.

I’ve reached out to my Congresswoman, my Senators, my Governor, mmedia, etc.  Now I’m reaching out to you.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Sign my petition at Change.org.  Push it out to your social media networks.  Us the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED. This will take less 30 seconds and a couple clicks.
  • Participate in my Twitter Chat this Monday night, Dec 7th, at 9pm est.  The hashtag is #JEWELvsAVMED.  Invite your networks to participate, as well.  This will take less than 1 hour.  (If you need quick instruction on how do participate, let me know.)
  • Share this post with others, using the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED.
  • Tell me about how cancer has affected your life.  Include the hashtag and tag me your social media posts.  I’d love to read your stories, as they give me strength and resolve.
  • Talk about my situation on your social networks.  Include the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED.  This lets me track the conversation.
  • Keep me (and all cancer survivors) in your prayers.”

We’re in need of 872 signatures! Sign the petition now!

Service Beyond | Be Blogalicious

Friday Fun: Gush Over The Wiz

Last night, we simultaneously gushed and tweeted while watching NBC’s The Wiz live! Everything about the show was extraordinary — the cast, music, costumes, choreography, stage design, and makeup artistry. To add to that, there were many motivational gems and life lessons coursing through the play that still have us inspired today.

3 Life Lessons We Learned From The Wiz

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IMDB.com

1. Don’t let people tell you who you are

Scarecrow convinced himself that he didn’t have a brain. Every day, he lived in fear of those nasty crows who tormented him and stole whatever money he had. They badgered him, leaving him feeling hopeless and miserable about himself. It wasn’t until Dorothy came along and helped him realize that he was someone who mattered and had potential to change the world. She saw things for him that he didn’t see for himself — that freedom was literally a step down from his post; that he did have a fully functioning brain; and that he didn’t owe those crows an ounce of his hospitality. Sometimes, we need a Dorothy in our lives to remind us of the warriors we are to finish strong!

2. You need people to succeed

Tin Man’s time spent alone caused him to rust! When your hinges need oiling — confidence, support and encouragement — who in your corner has your back? Those people are your tribe and you must love on them for as long as they’re in your life.

3. Venturing out is necessary!

By the end of The Wiz, Dorothy desperately wanted to get back home to Aunt Em and her sweet dog, To To. She’d had a long journey and deserved to slumber a bit afterwards. But the importance of her journey required venturing out. Like many of ours, her beginning was tough, uncomfortable and unimaginable. However, midway through she began to realize her strength and resilience, which gave her confidence in knowing that she could (and should) do anything!

Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something that could be amazing for your life or business because you were afraid of venturing out of your box? We all have…just like we’ve also kicked ourselves in the butt a year later for having not done it! In order for your business, blog, or personal life to get to where you need it to be, you must do the uncomfortable work. By the end of it, you’d wish you had done it sooner.

What were your top 3 takeaways from NBC’s The Wiz?

Friday Fun: Gush Over The Wiz

Gifts & Guides :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Because we’re obsessed social influencers, today’s round up is about (more) gifts and guides! We’ve compiled four ways for you to give a little, learn a little and get a little. Get ready for our weekly round up.

 

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The Self-Publishing Blueprint

Tara Pringle Jefferson, author and founder of Precisely Editing Group, has the ultimate course for aspiring authors and writers called The Self-Publishing Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Book on Shelves. We know that this webinar will be amazing and we want you to get in fast! Here’s her personal testimony:

For the past four years, I have worked with hundreds of authors to smooth their book’s rough spots and return to them a work of art. I am a former CreateSpace editor, where I worked as the primary editor on books being published through Amazon’s self-publishing platform. I’ve been living and breathing self-publishing for the past five years.

The webinar goes live on December 15 at 5pm Pacific and 8pm Eastern. Register here!

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Gift Your Empire Gift Guide

In case you missed it, we compiled an amazing list of products from entrepreneurs within our community for Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). The sales may have ended, but the products are plenty and ready for purchasing. Take a look at who made the cut and stock your holiday stuffers!

Gift Your Empire Gift Guide

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Gift Your Empire…for December?

What better way to prep for 2016 than a little housekeeping? For 31 days, we’re sharing actionable tips and hacks on how to continuously build your empire, whatever it may be. Yesterday’s tip was to create a mastermind with like-minded individuals who’ll motivate you to kick butt harder. Masterminds are a great way to build relationships, confidence and develop ideas for your business that you may not have considered on your own. Earlier this year, we shared 3 reasons why masterminds are important during conference time. While that time has passed, those reasons are still relevant and should be explored. Read them here.

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A Guide: 40 Things to Know Before You Start A Blog

Matt Banner at On Blast Blog wrote a phenomenal post called 40 Things to Know Before You Start A Blog: A Day-to-Day Guide and we couldn’t be happier! This information is written for the novice blogger, but we have to admit that there were a few tips that made us recommit to blogging better, like:

  • Your competition is NOT your enemy!
  • Remember to use the tools you have
  • Don’t be scared to reach out to other bloggers and
  • Follow the structure

Jot down notes while reading the rest of Matt’s post here.

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On Blast Blog

 

Gifts & Guides | Be Blogalicious

4 Dove #LoveYourCurls Posts We’re Obsessed With! #ad

Last month, we handpicked a few curly haired bloggers to share personal stories about how they love their curls for Dove’s #LoveYourCurls campaign. Their collection of stories were heart felt and encouraged the rest of us to show our curls and appearance a little more kindness. See what they had to say below.

 

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I’esha Hornes of Gap Tooth Diva says:

I remember being a little girl and watching my mother struggle to run a comb through my hair, almost daily. Listening to her mumble under her breath about the effort she has to put into getting my hair to “act right” and “behave”. It was stressful on her and on me, to hear her describe my hair as some chore that needed to be tamed. It wasn’t long before she submitted to temptation and I was forced to get my hair straightened or permed to limit the time it took to get it done.

It wasn’t until I got older, more mature that I learned that my naturally curly hair was something to be proud of. I vowed that if I was ever blessed with a daughter of my own, that I would learn to develop patience with her hair, and I would show her how to #LoveYourCurls by using myself as an example. Hair styling doesn’t have to be a chore, when you’re not constantly trying to manipulate your hair to look and feel like someone else’s. The idea is to enhance what you already have, the curls and texture that belong to you.

 

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Stacey Taylor of The Sistah Cafe says:

There are 3 reasons why it is important to embrace who you are:

1) Embracing your hair texture is part of loving your self

2) When you love yourself you spread love

3) When we love ourselves we give our daughters permission to love themselves

 

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Bernetta Knighten of Bernetta Style shared 3 things she learned about herself since deciding to love her curls. Here’s our favorite reason:

Our hair is an extension of our beauty, not our only beauty attribute. | As an African American woman, I know we LOVE our hair! We think about our next hair style as much as we think about what we are going to wear. It’s awesome how creative we get with our style, but we need to remember that it’s just an extension of who we are. We are not our hair! With it or without it – we are still beautiful!

 

Want more Dove #LoveYourCurls content? Read these beautiful stories below.

3 Ways I Teach My Daughter to Love Her Natural Beauty by Bernetta Knighten

How I Find Time to Bond With My Daughter Every Week by Tara Pringle Jefferson

3 Ways to #LoveYourCurls After the Big Chop by Vashti Patrick-Joseph

5 Hair Tools All Naturally Curly Girls Should Have by Zoe Zeigler

Beauty in Expression: #LoveYourCurls Natural Hair Emojis by Sisters With Beauty

Natural Hair | Dove Hair #LoveYourCurls by Ashley Ellis

 

Thank you, Dove, for allowing us to participate in this campaign! We loved learning that so many women have grown to love themselves even more by simply loving their hair. How do you #LoveYourCurls?

4 Dove #LoveYourCurls Posts We’re Obsessed With! #ad

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