Barbinc.com was attending Circle of Sisters 2014 for the first time and they wanted the perspective of a First Time attendee who was also a woman of color…. So they invited me and my cousin, Sasha to attend and give our views of the 2014 Circle of Sisters…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“Circle of Sisters 2014 – A first time Attendees Perspective”
New York, NY – October 4th-5th, 2014
By BARBinc.com Contributing writer – Antonia Allen
(Queens, NY)For numerous years, I have been listening to the exciting advertisements on WBLS-FM but have not had an opportunity to attend. This being my first Circle of Sisters experience, I really did not know what to expect. Based on the details shared on WBLS-FM, as the days count down, my excitement grew. I was eager to learn and celebrate with my people and of course…SHOP!
During my travel to the Jacob Javits Convention Center, my mind painted a picture of a place where SISTAS gathered and exhibited their businesses. I anticipated a room with booths and women talking about their businesses while handing out business cards and flyers. I soon learned it was nothing like what I envisioned. Entering the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was like walking into a HUGE indoor bazaar and I was in awe of the numerous women-owned businesses, especially the BLACK women!!! There was a buzz in the air created by enthusiastic business owners who were talking about their products/services and potential customers who was eager to learn about getting on the path of becoming business owner.
Present at the event were over 200 vendors which included businesses such as hair care, skin care, clothing, jewelry, artwork, health, fitness, insurance, authors, youth activities, a variety of speakers, tasty treats and many more. There was also music entertainment; a gospel concert and a live R&B show at Madison Square Garden. The event offers more than vendors exchanging/selling their services/goods. Circle of Sisters is an opportunity to network with established and new business owners, alike.
It is a place where ideas can be shared and stories are told of some of the possible trials and errors of venturing out on your own. Over the course of the weekend, there were main stage discussions that covered a variety of topics on Finances, Relationships, Beauty, Reality TV, Health, Disney, The State of Black America and more. We entered a main stage discussion already in progress that was being moderated by Lenny Green (The Quiet Storm – WBLS-FM) and co-moderator, Lance Gross (actor) who field questions from the audience. It was an informative and empowering seminar where the topic was Celebrity Couples Revealed. The panel included Tina Campbell (Mary, Mary), Tamela & David Mann, Niecy Nash & Jay Tucker, Rebecca & Terry Crews and Leon (Five Heartbeats). They spoke about the struggles they have faced over the years and how they work at maintaining healthy and strong relationships.
As we made our way around the center, we passed a fitness class in session, some classics from Funkmaster Flex’s (HOT 97) amazing car collection and arrived at the Mancave, a new addition to the event for men to hang out and pass the time while the females shopped. We decided to venture in and were asked to present our IDs, for age verification, due to the alcoholic beverages that were available for the men while they waited. The cozy red-carpeted space was decorated to resemble a lounge, with plush sofas and televisions that allowed guests to watch football games. The convenient hideaway also included video games and various game stations such as Cards, Connect Four, Checkers and Uno. Suffice it to say, the lounge was a welcomed addition to the ever-growing annual affair. After leaving the Mancave, we passed the Cafe where ladies were mostly resting from their spree with a few refueling their bodies with a light snack.
As we prepared to leave the event, we happened upon a dense crowd and soon discovered it was the overflow from the Culinary Corner. Bobby Brown (King of R&B) drew a huge crowd when he took the stage to demo his Famous Fried Chicken. We stayed a little while to watch Bobby Brown in action, then managed to burrow through the thick crowd, visited a few more vendors then called it a day. I walked away with a delicious slice of red velvet cake (from Make My Cake) in my tummy, an autographed copy of THE Bishop Hezekiah Walker’s CD, Azusa The Next Generation and a bag with purchases I made along with some business cards I collected. The experience left me feeling empowered and fed my desire of wanting to become a business owner. I will most definitely return to this amazing event next year and will encourage friends and family to experience the Circle of Sisters.
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About Circle of Sisters 2014
Circle of Sisters (COS) is the largest expo for women of color in New York City. Founded in 1998 and sponsored by WBLS-FM, HOT 97, WLIB – AM and Emmis
Communications, COS hosts a variety of panel discussions, seminars, inspirational services, R&B and gospel concerts and a fashion show in addition to over 200 vendors and small businesses selling unique items and services all weekend.
Circle of Sisters is back and promises to be bigger and better than ever before! Join us on October 4th and 5th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City for Circle of Sisters 2014.
WBLS (107.5 FM) is the premiere African American Radio Stations in the New York City area, hosting top rated shows such as The Steve Harvey Morning Show , Middays with Shaila, Quake’s House in the Afternoons with Comedian EarthQuake and Deja Vu, The Quiet Storm with Lenny Green and more.