ATLANTA – The lobby of the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) was filled with the clamor of excited women early Saturday before most would get up for their morning coffee. So what brought the early risers out on April 2nd? The long anticipated Bovanti Beauty Star Women’s Conference. The conference promised (and delivered) inspiration, motivation, empowerment and education from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. While women waited for the conference doors to open, they networked and browsed the expansive row of vendors setup in the lobby.
The day’s speakers and activities were cultivated by CEO of Bovanti Cosmetics, Anita H. Bohannon, and included businesswomen of industry and some of Atlanta’s notable women.. Enthusiastic greetings from Bohannon and her daughters Marquel Javontei and Marquis welcomed guests. Armed with laughter, inspiration and a mutual feelings of sisterhood, the attendees started their journey to “Release Their Star Power”;the conference’s theme.
Radio One Atlanta’s Director of Marketing, Lori Flowers, kicked off the day’s workshops imparting ways to develop leadership strategies. She took participants through how to build, lead, and most importantly relate to their business teams and members. Reminding current and aspiring business owners and managers to always view those that answer to them as teammates, and to be mindful to put themselves in their shoes.
Co-Owner and President of Bovanti Cosmetics and Spa (Retail), Marquis Bohannon, coached the women on the importance of branding themselves first and how to do it the right way. Conference members shared stories and questions with Marquis on topics from pitfalls, to what platforms to use and successful implementation. Business owners and entrepreneurs-in-training all took a “Marquis-Diamond” (part of her branding) carat of information to aid them as they consider brand management. Her session ended with a raffle for one-on-one branding sessions with the beauty mogul.
Guests were able to network, learn and receive makeovers by Bovanti Cosmetics’ Beauty Stars team during the “Star Power” luncheon and fashion show segment. Ladies feasted on the tasty spread catered by the GICC. During the luncheon, participants heard from dynamic keynote speaker, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, former 24th national president of sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Butler-McIntyre gave an invigorating, inspiring and what some women said was a life-changing address.
Later, attendees watched as models strutted the catwalk wearing Bovanti Cosmetics and stunning couture outfits by Atlanta’s Lisa Nicole Cloud; designer of The Lisa Nicole Collection and one of the stars on Bravo TV’s “Married to Medicine.”
The women resumed their learning journey with topics on creating career strategies presented by Debra Bunkley, CEO of The Network; a collaborative think-tank focused on women and minority owned businesses. As the most interactive session of the day, attendees participated in several exercises, including having to choose whether they were timid or bold when it came to business. The room filled with chatter and laughing as the self-identified shy conference goers were made to pitch themselves and their (current or prospective) businesses to the self-proclaimed daring go-getters. By the end of this workshop, women were helped to overcome their self doubts and create a plan for starting or redirecting their careers.
Next, women learned beauty secrets of the stars from Celebrity Makeup Artist, Marquel Javontei Bohannon, more commonly known as just Marquel Javontei. During this mastery class, several techniques were shown including contouring and highlighting the face, and setting makeup by “baking.” Guests excitedly crowded around Javontei and her model to see up-close how their favorite stars are made beautiful. Questions flew from the audience ranging from how to properly apply eyeshadow to if the same looks and trends could work on even the darkest skin tone. Those interested in other tricks and styles were able to learn at their own pace through Javontei’s “Day to Night Makeup Tutorial” DVD.
The VP of Upscale Magazine and the founder of Whole 4 You, Sheila Bronner spoke next. Bronner enlightened guests on why health is the greatest wealth. Finding ways to incorporate exercise and better food choices in everyday life is critical. Bronner heralded that we must take care of ourselves because attaining wealth is made that much harder if you’re sick; being ill costs money; doctors bills, prescriptions, treatments, etc. aren’t cheap.
Concluding the day of workshops was author, coach and co-founder of Bovanti Cosmetics, Anita H. Bohannon. Bohannon spoke on why it takes purpose and passion to attain your full potential in whatever you set out to do. To “Release the Star Power in You,” you must identify and proclaim your gifts and talents.
“Pray about your purpose;” imparted Bohannon, “then use that purpose to help uplift the community.” “Sow seeds of empowerment by spotting talent, especially in those that are starving for knowledge.”
Spirited clapping filled the conference hall at the day’s end. Some women could be overheard expressing to others how they felt energized; some ready to take charge of certain areas of their lives; some were moved to tears; but all found a way to release their star power.