Whoever said that work and play don’t mix was obviously not at the Helen Mills Space in Chelsea on Saturday, August 24. The occasion was the first Women’s Expo presented by the New York Urban League Young Professionals (NYULYP) which effortlessly combined business and fun. Stylish young professional women took part in product demonstrations, industry consultations, confections, clothing and manicures provided by local female business owners. It was an afternoon of networking to support the female community and NYULYP.
The atmosphere was electric. The hall rang with an infectious DJ set as the 250 or so attendees made their way from table to table where 25 vendors displayed their wares, ranging from fashion and beauty products, to fitness and health, to business consultations and services. J. Aubrey Designs and Urban Mondays were doing brisk business, selling graphic tees and a wide selection of accessories and clothing. Nearby, The Lip Bar, the Manicure Station, and Miranda Brown Makeup, enticed ladies to try out beauty trends and get their makeup done. Elsewhere, Dyva D’Lights and Pink Princess Pastry dished out cake slices and delicious sweets. At the State Farm and Brand Excitement tables, representatives offered financial and professional consultations. Business cards were exchanged as a first step towards building relationships.
Red goodie bags filled with trinkets from the event’s sponsors State Farm®, Miss Jessie’s and Macy’s dotted the venue. Similarly, red tickets for raffle prizes like $250 gift card from Macy’s and handbags courtesy of TJX Companies were in everyone’s hand.
Jasmine Humphrey, NYULYP Communications Chair and event organizer, and Michelle Hare, State Farm®’s Multicultural Business Development representative, agree that this platform can strengthen the black female community, from entrepreneurs to supporters. Humphrey emphasized that this first expo was to “celebrate female empowerment” and to “start the conversation” while creating a space for “women to engage with like-minded women” in many forms. Hare, also a member of NYULYP, hopes events like these can help to nurture a “budding entrepreneurial spirit” and “economic empowerment.” Humphrey also noted that proceeds from the expo go toward future NYULYP scholarships and community programs.
The goals of Saturday’s expo are aligned with the mission of the National Urban League and its Young Professional affiliates across the country. The League strives to give voices to those who go unheard in business, housing, government and education. These networks work, as the event’s brochure states, to “eradicate social and economic inequalities through the local of implementation of the National Urban League’s empowerment agenda” while training the next generation of leaders.
To learn more about the New York Urban League Young Professionals, please visit nyul.org/nyulyp.