By Jannah Bolds
Sounds of music, laughter and network filled the air of a tucked-away, graffiti-covered corner of downtown Atlanta, as the Private Society Arts & Fashion Expose (P.S.A.F.E) kicked off its third annual event this weekend.
PSAFE was organized by four pals, Derek Hardge Jr., Patrick Russell, Corey Smith, and Jawaan Washington, all with congruent visions of bringing support and unity to their community.
Local artists, jewelers, fashion enthusiasts, musicians, and chefs packed their display tables with handmade creations. Just about anything under the umbrella of creativity, could be found at PSAFE.
Two of my most memorable encounters at PSAFE came from a seemingly-introverted hula hoop dancer and an overly-passionate nail boutique technician. Why did these two stick out to me? Both ladies caught my eye because, although their personalities were on opposite ends of the spectrum, they both had the exact same reasons for attending – personal growth.
Not only was PSAFE3 their first expo, but it was their first time talking to someone like me, a journalist interested in what made them special / standout.
(After all, this is The Bold Opinion, right?)
So sure, that itself was personally something special for me. I like to be social and when I get the opportunity to integrate that with my brand, I like to leave unique lasting impression.
Hula hooping Samone, despite her quiet nature, was dressed in a loud tribal two-piece with bright blue, feline-esk face paint, yellow clip-on cat ears, and a lime green streaked bob to top it all off. Not really having much to say wasn’t a bother, her vibe said it all when she grabbed her hoops and hit the stage!
Jazmine, owner of ‘My J Nailz’, embodied the characteristics of a “strong black woman”; neatly bunted dreadlocks, square bifocals, primped, enthusiastically passionate, and ‘bout her business. She educated me on what sets her apart from the other nail shops, because I genuinely had no idea of the difference. She emphasized that she ran a nail boutique with plans to mobilize! Creating personal, friendly, and therapeutic rapport with her clients is very important to keep that unique factor about herself.
These two women stood out the most to me, but that doesn’t even describe a quarter of the amount of talent that was in the building. Comedians, chefs, painters, dancers, designers, you name it! For a complete visual of PSAFE3, visit them at www.PSAFE-atl.com
The crowd at PSAFE3 was very supportive of everyone, I was happy to see everyone being open and lending support to businesses they had no familiarity with. I had the chance to confirm that with two middle-aged sisters, Dennice and Natalie Williams, who were both there to support a friend of the family.
“We love the arts, like theatre, museums, etc., so this is a little outside the box for us. We are enjoying ourselves, because it’s something different,” said Dennice. “It’s a good celebration of us without violence and negativity. It’s good to see our people come together
The vibe was definitely on! Conversations were flowing, handshakes were common, business cards were exchanged, and photographs were snapping for a strong four hours! This was the whole idea, of course!
“Our goals are to continue to grow into a household named event, deliver quality production, and provide our vendors, participants, and guests with three hours of nonstop entertainment and fun,” said Washington.
If happiness had a sound, I believe this is what it sounded like.