Story & Photos By Jeanie Summerville
Whatz up babies?
On Sunday night March 23, I was greatly anticipating 7 p.m. because at Link’s Wonderland, this wonderful event was going to take place and I’ve never attended such an event as this before. So, I’m excited to see what I was going to see and hear and bring it to you. That way, the next time such a competition of barber vs. barber and stylist vs. stylist happens in our fair city of Fort Wayne, we’ll all know what to expect and we’ll want to be a part of it.
It’s time now and out the door I go.
I’m here now and all I can do is smile because of the happiness I am feeling, due to the fact, that the parking lot is totally full, all nearby streets are full and I even see tons of cars parked in the grass at a business behind Link’s. This event is taking place where the roller rink was because it’s large enough to accommodate such a large crowd. And, I’m so very proud and pleased to see so many people here supporting this event.
Now I’m going inside and the room looks so cute because it’s actually set up like a boxing ring and there’s people everywhere. Since it’s the beginning of this battle, I take it upon myself to visit the vendors area so I can let you know who is also a part of this event, talk with them and take some photos of them along with some photos from the competition (Click here to view the full photo gallery). So here and now, all we want you to do is sit back, relax and enjoy. Or, stand, jump and shout if you want to! You can do that because Frost Illustrated is gonna take you there and this is what the people there had to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. I’m Veronica Townes—beauty specialist and owner of Nu Freedom Productions and along with Trey Cato of T2KTight Promotions, we brought to you on Sunday March 23, 2014, the Velvet Rope Beauty & Barber Battle and Community Exposition. He had a total of $2,000 cash give away and we had four first-place winners each one got $500 cash, a trophy, a one year subscription to Frost Illustrated and a coupon for a four-piece combo dinner from Popeye’s. Trey and I were the producers and he’s one of the visionaries, if you will.
“All of this came about because a long time ago I thought about doing a hair show but something with a twist to it. Instead of people coming to the event with their hair already done, I wanted the audience, the stylist and barbers in the house to see it basically being performed. So, me and Trey got together and talked, tossed some ideas and it kind of went from there and it manifested into the battle. The exposition part came up, as far as, the community segment, because we wanted the community to have the opportunity to present themselves and their businesses in their best way because they weren’t getting their marketing forum on radio, TV or through any advertising. But, they needed people to be aware of what they’re doing and what they’re offering the community and so I thought that this would be a good way to bring this to the forefront and it was very successful.
“The turnout was excellent and awesome but there was a fear factor due to last minute ticket sales. If people in Fort Wayne knew that they’re going to get that support, then other people would do more and bring more events here—but we need to know that from the beginning. When we don’t know that, we have to go into so much prayer work to get a great turnout and it shouldn’t be that way. Fort Wayne is a small city but we’re the second largest in Indiana so, we should have a sense of supporting our community no matter what. So with that fear factor, I warn people to keep that thought in mind when they want to have something here because people will hold off and buy a ticket like three days before the event. I don’t know if people know this or not, but when we start locking in these venues, we have to pay for them upfront and so we anticipate, in high hope that we’re going to get a good turn out. I’m glad for this show because it’s the first show since my mother passed and it gave me the opportunity to work with a partner and Trey was an excellent partner.
“We had this event at Link’s because it was for the community and I was thinking about some of the negatives that people have been projecting against the south side. Some are honestly true and you can’t get around all of the violence that we’ve been experiencing this past year, so we understand that. But, everything on the south side is not negative and is not violent. So, we needed the community to remember that that is not the case. For those of us that are thinking positive, we need to bring that forward and we need to support whatever is positive so it can continue. I believe over a period of time, the negative is going to be resolved and it will be like, remember when? We’ll be able to look back at that and say, look where we are now. More together, more love, more expressing of support for one another and I think that’s where we’re headed. But, it’s going to take some people that are strong enough to withstand the pressure and push through. So, I’d like to believe that Nu Freedom Productions is one of them and some of my events have been the Three Day Beauty Boot Camp when I had the kids back to school show, Who Dunn It, that was for hair stylist only, Bring the Drama and other hair shows. This was the first show that I actually did that was a collaboration of barbers and beauty and it was a double hitter. And, I’d like to thank Dr. Theresa Link for all of her encouragement.
“I don’t think that I’m going to do another show, such as this, anytime soon because I want to give someone else the opportunity to do what they have on their hearts to do. A lot of times when I do an event, it triggers somebody else’s vision and creativity, so I have people calling me and asking me about different things and I always say, ‘Why don’t you do it and let me come and support it.’ But after a while, if nobody has done anything, then I come back with another event because I’m sitting on at least six different hair shows right now. I feel that here in Fort Wayne, we blend in enough, that we should have a hair show every year because there’s enough of us but not necessarily, sponsored by Nu Freedom Productions. My next event, brought to you from Nu Freedom Productions, will be the Crystal Ball Beauty Pageant for young ladies five to 13 years of age. It’s coming soon, date and location to be announced and so for more information, stay tuned to Frost Illustrated, social media or call me at (260) 348-4855. Mothers and grandmothers, you heard it and you heard it right here. That’s sure to be so much fun and so exciting.”
On that note, we bring Trey to you and this is what he has to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Trey Cato and I’m the owner of 2K Tight Barber Shop that’s located at 3205 Lafayette St., and the owner of T2K Tight Productions and I’m also an instructor at Ravenscroft Barber College. This was my first time promoting a production such as this and I was very pleased with the participation and the outcome from the community that came out and supported us. The fact that Veronica and I did something together for the community was good and we had six judges—three barbers and three hair stylist. Our first place Hair Stylist winner was KiKi Hood and she won both categories of the Mohawk and Wild Out competition. First place Barbers were Joey Rodriquez in the Wild Out division and he’s a senior barber student at Ravenscroft Barber College and Mark Vachon won first place for the Mohawk division and he’s also a senior student at Ravenscroft Barber College.
“As far as my future plans, I’m looking to have a Barber and Beauty Appreciation Ball and it will be a formal event honoring and appreciating local barbers and hair stylist. It will come late summer and will be held at the Grand Wayne Center. So, come out and continue to support the hair industry because it’s not all about the money, it’s about the fellowship and supporting one another. And, that’s another reason we chose Link’s for this event because Link was a very big part of the community and we wanted to honor him, as far as, reflecting on the community and what he did.”
I’m having so much fun and now we bring to you a great something, something from some others that attended the event. This is what they have to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Dr. Theresa Link and I’m the owner of Chosen Christian Beauty and Barber Colleges and we’re the first Bible college of it’s kind in Fort Wayne. We’re located at 6422 Georgetown North Blvd. I really thank and commend Veronica Townes for putting this hair competition on because it gave the professionals a chance to display their gifts, as well as, the students. Several of my students we’re in the contest competition and we took two places for the school and one place for Up Top Barber Shop and it was awesome. I want you to know, Veronica, that being in this competition really motivated these students to move forward in the beauty industry and when they came back here, they really starting practicing. Because now we’re getting ready for the big shows in Chicago and Atlanta. I think something such as this should be done more often here in the city and I thought it was just great.”
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. I’m Jerrell Davenport owner of Jerrell’s Barber Shop and Strutables Hair and Nail Salon that’s located at 2104 S. Clinton St. I’m one of the vendors here and I thought the event was wonderful, it was dynamite and it was really nice to see so many professionals in one place. I had available a lot of barber and beauty supplies, earrings, purses, sunglasses, human hair and etc., which are also available at my shop. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Our phone number is (260) 456-8994, so stop on in we have a variety of things that you will love.”
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Diana Beachum and this is my fourth beauty and barber expo that I’ve attended here in Fort Wayne and I really loved this one. The turnout was great and I loved seeing people supporting people and it’s set up beautifully because the people can have their booths on the outside and you can see everything in the center and I really like that. As far as, the competition, I really enjoyed watching them but to me it would be hard to pick because these people are really wonderful. And, overall, we really needed something like this in the community because it’s very positive and it’s all about the people and it I love it. It makes me feel really good because of everything else that’s going on in the community, now a days, that people can come together and have a good time. I also love the fact that they had it here at Link’s because Link was a legend and it’s makes me so glad that people are still contributing to his legacy.”
Now in closing, I say, Great job, Veronica and Trey, I’m so proud of you.” And, to everybody else, congratulations on a job well done. Also, to everybody else that was there, it felt absolutely wonderful to be in your presence and feel all of the love. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye, bye babies.
P.S. If you or someone you know are in the Arts & Entertainment Industry and would light the SPOTLIGHT on “YOU” so that we can have some more fun, joy and happiness send me an e-mail to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo. com. I’d love to hear from ya.
P.P.S. I’d like to thank all of you who have been sending me e-mails to give me some feedback on our journey. Keep up the good work and to those who haven’t please feel free to do so because I’d love to hear from you too.