#BBWCON Founders Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Brown Launched Their First Annual Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference


( ENSPIRE Feature ) Best Friends Sha’Ravine and D’Shonda Brown Created #BBWCON To Be a Safe Space To Discuss The Importance of Wellness and Beauty Among W.O.C.

ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker

Best friends and Spelman alumna Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Browm created The Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference to be a safe space to fellowship and discuss the impact and space that WOC takes up in the beauty and wellness industries, as well as learn how to improve our beauty and self-care routines. 

“A space exists where wellness and beauty collide and that is #BBWCON. The beauty and wellness industries have always coincided and it is my mission to curate the necessary conversations that give space to our entire beings as women of color navigating these industries,” founder Sha Ravine said to Sheen Magazine.

Through storytelling, Sha Ravine and D’Shonda are set on sparking conversation, bridging gaps, sharing resources, and impacting women globally. As Sha Ravine shared on her Instagram, the idea for The Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference came to her while working Full-time at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. She wrote it down, pushed it to the side, but the idea kept flooding her thoughts. “I’ve always wanted to create something of my own, a way to bring people together to fellowship and learn something and spread love!” she said in her Instagram caption.

On May 24, the conference premiered LIVE on Youtube, with an itinerary sectioned into topics on skincare, self-care, WOC’s space in the beauty industry, nutrition, and mental and physical wellness. The virtual event featured 14 panelists, with 4 panels each sparking conversation on a featured topic, a special 10 minute guided meditation intermission led by certified yoga instructor Kelley Green, and fireside chat with the founders discussing their vision, purpose, and passion for Bridging Beauty and Wellness.

The first panel focused on “#SkinGoals: Upping Our Self Care During Quarantine”, with panelists Dr. Karen Kagha, a Physician and Dermatology Resident, Lauren Napier, founder of Lauren Napier Beauty, and Dr. Elyse Love, a board-certified Dermatologist. They discussed the importance of a skincare routine, how to care for your skin during quarantine, and skincare products and ingredients. “Beauty and wellness are two areas that have been woven into my everyday life and where I have devoted much of my time over the years,” says Dr. Karen Kagha, “I’m passionate about redefining the standards and creating a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable to thrive in their own skin.”

Photo: Instagram at @drkarenk

The following panels were focused on “Black Women, Self-Love, and Mental Health During COVID-19”, “W.O.C in Beauty: Consume, Create, Cultivate”, and “Mental Health, Nutrition and Physical Wellness”, featuring beauty editors, nutritionists, entrepreneurs, and mental health advocates.

One of the panelists for “Black Women, Self-Love and Mental Heath During COVID-19” OlanikeeOsi, owner of two powerful brands, Goddess Detox, and SelfishBabe, shared some helpful tips on how to spiritually cleanse yourself, how to detox via vaginal steams, and advice on how to incorporate holistic health into your lifestyle. 

“In terms of managing anxiety during this time, one thing I think is super, super important is that women get back into their spiritual baths and using herbs. And what I mean is that, for me, everything is energy, and especially when managing anxiety and stress, a lot of times we’re watching the news (which I really don’t suggest every day), and we’re getting a lot of fear coming through, but not only within ourselves but from the rest of the collective,” says OlanikeeOsi. “For me, spiritual baths have been very important in my self-love development, because I understand the power of my words, I know I’m speaking something that’s energy, but also the herbs, specific herbs have the properties to cleanse you, to cleanse negative emotions, to cleanse stress, to cleanse some anxiety.”

She goes on to suggest a spiritual bath using basil, which she describes basil as a wonderful energetic cleanser. Using fresh basic, cold spring water, and a bowl, she suggests you move the herbs around in the water with your hands until it starts to turn green. “As you are doing this, I want you to think what do you want the spiritual bath to do for you? You wanna start saying your affirmations, you wanna say “I am peace, I am feeling safe, I am calm, I am relaxed. I wanna wash away any of the fear and anxiety that does come up. You wanna speak the things you wish to see. Because the words you are speaking are going energetically in the spiritual wash that you are preparing for yourself.” After your shower or bath, take the water into your hands or a washcloth, and wash it over yourself, including over your head, while thinking good, positive thoughts, while speaking your affirmations. More of this can be heard through this link.

Photo: The Line Up of 14 Panelists via Instagram at @sha.ravine

The following sessions were led by Khalea Underwood, beauty editor for The Zoe Report, Yasmine Jameelah, CEO and Founder of Transparent & Black, a community wellness organization, and Shontay Lundy, Founder of Black Girl Sunscreen (BGS).

Over 600 people watched and showed up to the first annual Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference. The replay of the conference already has over 1,000 views on YouTube. Founders Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Brown hope to keep BBWCON going for many years to come. “We specifically put on that conference so that we can spread all this information that’s needed for anybody. All of this information is applicable. Pass on this information to not just keep BBWCon alive, because Sha and I are going to do it regardless, but to keep the information alive. All of this information is meant to be given out.” said D’Shonda in a post-conference interview with ENSPIRE.

To watch the conference, you can find it on YouTube here, and to keep up with the founders, panelists, and viewers, join the private BBWCon Facebook Group created after the conference here.

You can also find #BBWCON Creators Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Brown on Instagram at @Sha.Ravine and @SignedShonda, and on Facebook at Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Brown. To view more about the conference and the panelists, please visit bbwcon.eventbrite.com.