A Recap From Style, Beauty & Empowerment Event
Didn't make it to our sold-out event on Saturday? Don’t worry! We have gathered some highlights from the day, where inspiring women came together to share their passions and insights to empower women and teenage girls to feel confident, motivated and delighted to be who they are.
Style, Beauty and Empowerment was one of those rare events where each and every aspect felt authentic and real.
Last Saturday, August 11, The Soulfuls in collaboration with Kulturhuset Islands Brygge hosted a unique event for teenage girls and young women in the heart of Copenhagen. With the stage looking like a stylish living room in SALEN, surrounded by workshop stations and a table stocked full of unique treats, we were incredibly excited to welcome our guests and speakers. All from exciting finger foods to mouthwatering fudges served by Winterspring, to super daring and healthy treats from Wholi Foods, delicious organic ice cream, organic zingy LemonAids to Truely refreshing gums.
Even-though it was the first time for The Soulfuls hosting this type of event, the tickets were sold out 3 days prior to the event, there were girls and women from different ages and backgrounds filed into the room. Among them our special guests from the Jelling asylum center, in Jutland, and also from Sandholm Asylum center. This was particularly important for Aram, as she wanted to ensure that these girls felt valued and equal and could really feel included in Danish society.
The founder of The Soulfuls, Aram Ostadian-Binai kickstarted the day with an introduction and an honest insight into the birth and inspiration behind The Soulfuls, setting an uplifting mood that was continued throughout the day. The feeling that you can achieve anything you want, no matter where you come from or where you start off, was particularly apparent.
'We grow up learning to love others and we forget to love ourselves. I have now learned to love myself first, and feel home wherever I go, by being strong enough to be vulnerable and me.'
The above quote summarises a recurrent sentiment expressed throughout the day; by speakers and guests alike. It is also the main piece of advice all speakers shared in one way or another: love yourself fully and be vulnerable, that is the key to empowerment.
Beauty: Defining Beauty in Culture
First, Saskia Beazley, our Soulful volunteer hosted the BEAUTY panel, where we got to ask important questions to international makeup artist Nicci Welsh, curly-hair expert Carriene Rendbo and the extremely knowledgeable beauty therapist Stella Nisreen Kanaan. We are so pleased with how informative and inspirational the discussion was. It was refreshing to hear an honest perspective from professionals working within the beauty industry, which often has the reputation of being superficial.
Each speaker gave valuable, practical advice for teenage girls on how to start loving yourselves. By giving examples of times when these women have doubted themselves, and by showing their vulnerability, they proved how even though you might look at someone else and think they are perfect and in control, that is not necessarily the case. Everybody has self-doubt, everybody makes mistakes and truly nobody is perfect, but that is completely OK.
Aram joined in at the end for an impromptu debate about social media, a tool which both Nicci and Aram find an empowering outlet for them to connect with people, grow their brands and learn. What was the hot topic was the etiquette of using social media, when & where to use it, whom to follow and to not make it a platform to constantly compare yourself with others.
Empowerment: Inner Strength, Beauty and Potential
Next up, Ali Zimmer Sanders took the stage with the EMPOWERMENT panel, consisting of power-women and life-coaches Fie Sommer, Jasmin Søe and Aram. Guests were captivated by their success stories, which started from a place of uncertainty and doubt and ended with where they are today: empowered, confident women with great life advice. Each speaker revealed their different motivating factors in their life, for example, having a solid support system of friends and family.
Jasmin highlighted she practices 'protecting her own energy' and stated that 'if you find yourself surrounded by negative people, just move away from them'. However, all three speakers agreed that true strength comes from within and you can start working on this right away.
'I used to think my thoughts were my reality but the moment I realised that actually I could see my thoughts for what they were, just thoughts, it was so life changing. Try to observe when you talk to yourself in a bad way; observe it and then change it. Have supporting things you can say instead'
- Fie Sommer.
It was such a highlight to see three different women, with such different backgrounds unite on how other girls can support each other and overcome that inner-voice which sometimes tells us that we are not good enough.
Style: Shaking Up the Fashion Industry
Finally, Saskia returned to round off the discussions with our STYLE panel. Jewellery designer Maysoun Kanaan joined fashion influencer and DJ Fiona Jane, alongside creative director of Spread Studio Sidsel Solmer Erikson. The audience of girls found it very useful to learn how each woman got to where they are today, especially from the perspective of a foreign person moving to Denmark and the struggles that this can bring with it.
In tandem with practical business advice, each speaker echoed the advice of previous panels. Maysoun advised to 'really trust in your unique power, whatever that power may be'. Fiona agreed that you should follow your own personal journey and Sidsel echoed this, saying 'you will never find the "perfect mentor", as YOU are the perfect mentor, it is all inside of you already'.
Last Gloss: Workshops & Mentorship hub
But that wasn't the end of the fun! After the discussions, we were treated to a hands-on workshop from expert women in their field. One audience member was given a practical, step-by-step demonstration on how to properly cleanse your face by founder of Beauty Avenue and beautician Stella Nisreen Kanaan. There were also a personal stylist, Helene Panninguaq next to skin-care experts from Be You Skin care, offering product testers. Girls got the chance to ask Carriene Rendbo questions about how to care for their individual hair, purchase super-trendy products from Up To Style and beautiful jewellery from Kinz Kanaan. Those girls looking for more empowerment could speak to lifecouch Fie Sommer as well as education couch and creative director Sidsel Solmer Eriksen, our fab speakers.
Finally, as a leaving gift, girls were treated to a Soulful goodie bag, with exclusive Glossier beauty products and discount codes for Copenhagen fashion-stores.
A huge thank you to ALL of our panelists, sponsors and volunteers. Our audience were so inspired and the day went above and beyond our expectations.
Everyone at The Soulfuls is humbled by the response and the kindness expressed by all the fabulous women and girls who attended and donated their time to further our cause.
I will leave you with a quote from Aram, 'I have dedicated my time over the last few months to make you feel worthy and loved. We love to love you, and encourage you to love others and also yourselves'.
PHOTO CREDIT: Naomi Axinte, Gabrielė Gabu, Constanze Neubert
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