Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the African Pride Beauty Blogger Brunch at The Madame Museum in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The afternoon was all about beauty, conversation, and paying homage to our past, present, and future as pretty girls of color.
As an Atlanta native I was pleased to learn about the existence of The Madame Museum located at 54 Hillard Street; a mere block away from historic Auburn Ave. The Madame Museum is an original Madame CJ Walker Beauty Shoppe from the 1950’s. The museum was the perfect backdrop for the yummy brunch, conversation, and history lesson led by Mr. Ricci de Forest the Madame Museum curator and owner.
As we sipped our mimosa and nibbled on our delicious brunch by Food Network’s Chef Nikki; we hung on Mr. Ricci’s every word. Mr. Ricci is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to hair care, beauty products, and history. Mr. Ricci shared that he stumbled upon the historic Madame CJ Walker Shoppe about ten years ago. He independently renovated and brought the thriving museum and fully functional salon back to life.
The Madame Museum celebrates the many African-American beauty pioneers of the early 1900’s. The vision and efforts of these beauty entrepreneurs laid the foundation for today’s beauty empires. It is really a magical trip down memory lane. The Madame Museum is full of original beauty artifacts to relics from the Civil Rights Movement.
I had a ball capturing pictures and playing with the vintage appliances (some) dating back to the 1800’s. I learned that many of the appliances that I use today had origins in Europe. Those products were reconstructed to work on kinky/curly hair. It’s truly been an evolutionary process in beauty innovation from the flat-iron to the blow dryer, to the press and curl!
I learned about Annie Turnbo Malone the very first millionaire hair-care pioneer. Madame CJ Walker was a student of Ms. Malone and learned many of her beauty business practices from this pretty pioneer. Annie Turnbo Malone was also the first American to hold a patent on the straightening comb.
I was shocked to learn that scientist Garret Morgan (he invented the stop light) held a patent on a hot comb; he is responsible for the modern curve shape that some still use today. Mr. Morgan also invented the relaxer by accident. Long story short he was playing around with this potent liquid that turned the curly hairs on his hands straight. Garret Morgan then tested the liquid on his curly-haired dog and it turned his hair straight too!
Mr. Ricci shared that beauty shops and beauty professionals played a pivotal role in the advancement of the American Civil Rights Movement. Patrons of Salons and Barber Shops would donate money to the Movement and in exchange would receive a card from the SCLC. I got one for my daddy!
In addition to the walk down memory lane we enjoyed an amazing conversation on beauty hosted by Strength Of Nature National Brand Manager, Camila Crews. We were introduced to African Pride Texture Manageability System as well as Olive Miracle and Shea Butter Miracle moisture rich products to get our hair ready for the Fall. It was truly a delightful afternoon!
Check out the fun we had below:
For more information visit African Pride website, and to join the conversation the social medial hashtag is #APbeautybrunch.