Every year The African Festival of the arts puts on a amazing mix of fashion, food and live music during the weekend of Labor Day and it holds a special place in my heart as a summertime Chicago staple.
I go to find unique pieces for my closet and I love supporting the local artists from all over. Some of the best items to get at the fest, Art Work ( Mind Blowing) and Accessories ( I always grab earrings).
With foods from all over you can try lots of amazing traditional foods and also some cool new options. I’ve been going to the African Festival of the Arts for years and I always opt for trying something new, that didn’t change this year.
Along with seeing the culture, seeing the look and enjoying the #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy energy you can always count on a dope musical lineup.
This year had headliners Wale and Rotimi (If you follow my Instagram you know Rotimi and I go together. Just Kidding.🤪
Connect with The African Festival of the arts and head out next year!
Finding a good dress is hard and making sure the fit is right is also important! For me, a Bardot style dress shows off just enough without being too much! I found this cute red dress from River Island and paired it with a fun pearl detailed black pump.
You can always swap out a red dress for another dress in another bold color like yellow, royal blue and add a cool heel to make it stand out!
Here are a few alternative dresses that you can still achieve my look for a very affordable remix. Also, let’s give a shoutout to the beautiful Kenwood Neighborhood for the beautiful background, located in Hyde Park this is one of my favorite places in the city!
On November 24th,2017 my family and friends came together to surprise me for my 30th birthday! My actual birthday wasn’t until December 7th, but they still managed to get me! EVERYONE knows that I’ve always wanted a surprise party and I never got it. My family didn’t know that I was in the research process of putting it together myself! (When I want something, I do it)
My sister was the one who got me to the venue by telling me that I was helping her with a photo job and that I needed to dress up? I was like why do I have to dress up if it’s your event? I was lowkey pissed that I really had to dress up. We get to the venue, and all my family and friends were there, and my mom had put this thing altogether! (Mommy is the real MVP) I was shocked, overwhelmed and full of Joy!
I had the honor of being invited to The Monique Rodriguez Experience launch event, and it let me just say it was another life-changing event experience. I know, I can be dramatic at times, but I’m so SERIOUS! I was invited as an attendee, and I was so excited to listen to all the speakers on the Power Panel. Some of the panelists I knew from social media and networking around Chicago, so it was cool to see everyone again!
The launch was at the Loft Lucia event space in the loop area. It was a beautiful and chic space. The event focused on networking and empowering all attendees, and it did that. Instead of having the usual letting people sit and talk to their friend,s there were activities that encouraged meeting new people, exchanging social media information.
This made everyone get up and get moving. In my experience to drive results, you have to get out of your comfort zone, no matter how hard it is. I meet a lot of great people who are working towards their dreams and have fabulous ideas!
If you are not familiar with Monique Rodriguez, she is the owner of the brand, Mielle Organics and has turned her love for beauty and health into a health-conscious and glam beauty brand. Mielle, hast the cutest brand packaging and presence and the products, are excellent. (Ya girl is a sucker for all things pink)
After all of the networking activities the power panel started! Right before the panel began, I got introduced to everyone in the Mielle team, and they were all very nice. In that process, I was invited to join the speakers on the Couch for the Power Panel!! I was shocked because I hadn’t done a panel discussion since college and I hadn’t really prepared to speak that day, AND I was getting over a cold and not to mention that all the women on the panel I look up too !(in my head I was freaking out, yall )
God saw it fit for me at the moment with no preparation to take part in the panel and it ended up being such an excellent experience! I shared my journey on blogging, fashion and how it’s hard to be creative when no one else understands you. All of the questions we were asked dealt with moving forward when things are hard, and when your passion is not ideal. After the panel, we took part in a poll about how people typically view networking events and how it can affect what they get out of events similar to this one.
It was fascinating because a lot of the feedback was talking about how scary it is to put yourself out there and while that is true, you never know when that will work in your favor. Imagine if I hadn’t come to an event or if I would have refused that invitation to participate in the panel? I would have missed out on an essential development of myself and SweetHeartSwan. It all worked together in my favor!
Trust the process ( Enjoy the journey and everything that comes along with it)
Follow your heart (You know what you love, and do it)
While running your own race don’t look back at what others are doing
Listen to God (He will always guide you in the right direction)
Step out of your comfort zone!
Stay Ready(If I hadn’t been somewhat ready the panel could’ve been a disaster for me)
I am so blessed and happy I was able to experience the “Mielle” life and look forward to attending as well as participating in other events that are taking place in the future! If you are able to participate in any of Monique’s and Mielle’s events, please do, you will not be disappointed!
What I Wore:
Shirt: Vintage Shirt from my Grandpa (RIP) Similar