Shop N' Mingle & Najwa Moses Rock Harlem
Yesterday I attended Shop N' Mingle, an event produced by BK hotspot Harriet's Alter Ego. Usually held at Turning Heads Salon, this year Ngozi and crew moved their shopping bazaar to The National Black Theater and that made a hell of a difference (forget shop til you drop, last year was sweat til you're sopping wet). The new space was cool and gave vendors a real space in which to hawk their wares and for DJ Lynee Denise to spin. Folks were even able to get their 2-step, drop and bounce on when she played the JB's Girl I'll House You.
Unfortunately the snow definitely did a number on the numbers cause it wasn't packed like usual and I think this year they were expecting something like 600 people. And with all that they were offering-- an open bar, makeovers, complimentary desserts and a free gift bag with purchase I know they would have surely pulled at least that many folk, if not more. And talking about gift bags, I really feel like by now I'm an expert as I've scooped more than 200 or so bags in my ever enriched event hopping career and I must say the one distributes at this event is consistently in my Top 10 of best gift bags ever, up there with my Time Out and MTVN gift bags. There had to be at least $75 worth of goodies in the bag-- everything from Vitamin Water to Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment.
In line with stepping up their vending game, SNM was hosted by Najwa Moses, founder of the bold and eclectic Styleaholics. Miss Najwa was ready-set-go even at 5pm when I arrived, still looking fresh to def and totally excited about her new line of handmade leather earrings. I scooped up a beautiful pair with gold links and ice blue leather. She even has a fabulous style that she's named The Blogger, which come in either bronze, blue or black leather and feature tiny diamond and circular shaped cut-outs.
** As a way of showing her love for theHotness, Najwa is giving away a pair of the Blogger style earrings to the first person who posts below (in the comments section) the name of the major shopping event she launched in 2001 and in 2005 attracted over 1000 attendees (check her website for answer). **
Along with the earrings, I also nabbed a fresh Tuff Like Iron T-shirt that features a turquoise silhouetted image of a Rwandan woman and the flyest belt bag designed by Harriet's. And to think a year ago I was sweating that Gucci version which has been so bootlegged that now I see 9-year old girls rocking them with their Dora jeans and grandmama's using them to carry their laundry money and Bingo chips. Even though I still got a thang for Gucci, more often than not, I find that the most stylish ish is being produced by independent designers around the way.
And this leaves me with my only gripe, which is why SNM is billed as "Uptown's Premier Shopping Event," when in fact most of the designers and vendors are from Brooklyn? It just makes me curious as to why they don’t attract more vendors from Harlem. I know someone reading this has to have the answers so please post them below and let me know what's up. And don't think that I'm hatin on Brooklyn cause y'all know from posts like these that I have mad love and would really just hate to have to start trekking over the bridge to experience this event. I'm just trying to wrangle up that Uptown flava whenever and wherever I can before it's all gone.