Thu | Oct 17, 2019

‘Jamerican’ Curlfest exec honoured at awards in Los Angeles

Published:Sunday | September 15, 2019 | 12:11 AMAnthony Turner - Gleaner Writer

New York:

Jamaica-born, New York-based Sephron Mair is today wearing an ear-to-ear smile. His daughter, Simone, was recently honoured with the Catalyst Award at the 13th Annual ADCOLOR awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The event honours the achievements of African-American, Native American, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ professionals. Actress Eva Longoria was among the honorees.

“I see the tenacity and undaunted drive in Simone that is derived from her Jamaican heritage,” said her proud dad, who serves as chairman-producer of the Jamaica Independence Gala in Rye, NY.

“She is literally changing how people of colour feel and have confidence in how they look. This award validates her work and encourages her to work even harder,” he stated.

Simone Mair, who performs with a West African dance troupe, is also involved with several community and humanitarian organisations and is a mentor for young girls interested in STEM, (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) -focused programmes.

Moments after being honoured, she took to Instagram to share her excitement.

“Just a few hours ago myself and my squad @curlygirlcollective were walking on stage in room full of VPs, CMO, President’s of major industry giants like @facebook @publicissapient @google @bbdony @linkedin accepting a Catalyst Award (still floored) from @adcolor - The most amazing platform created for persons of color in the ad space to be represented, celebrated and seen...Humbled is an understatement.”

Simone and four black, female, business partners – Gia Lowe, Charisse Higgins, Melody Henderson, and Tracey Coleman - are owners of CURLFEST®, the largest natural-beauty festival in America that is creating revenue stream and income for many small businesses.

“CURLFEST® was born to be the change ... to flip the false narrative around unruly brown beauty and create one that accurately showcases the glory of our crowns, the richness of our skin, and the joy of our culture,” the company’s website states.

In 2014, when the festival debuted at Randall’s Island in New York, it was attended by only 1,000 patrons. This year’s festival attracted over 35,000, and it is having an impact on the booming black hair-care industry and natural hair-care products, valued at over US$2.5 billion.

Pressed about the possibility of Simone and her team hosting an event in Jamaica, Sephron shared, “Plans are on the way to make Jamaica one of the first overseas hosts of Curlfest.”

Besides being the director of operations of Curlfest, Simone is an award-winning IT (information technology) professional who has successfully managed several multimillion-dollar IT projects within the utility and pharmaceutical industries.