Wednesday, 29 August 2018 16:43

Gathering the Girl Gang: Boss Babe Expo celebrates women and local businesses with a party

Written by  Missy Black
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Wind + James. Wind + James. courtesy photos

What started as a cheeky Instagram photo has turned into a large casting call for all badass babes. If you’re not on board, kindly move out of the way. 

Windy Clark sounds a little breathless over the phone. She’s in complete girl mode and it’s got her all up in her feelings. 

She’s the owner and creator of Wind + James, a modern event space in Schoolcraft whose next big event, the free Boss Babe Expo, has a strong following born from a small, unassuming photo posted on social media. The enormous response and interest led to the theme for her first vendor event that puts females first. 

“This is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to connect and get to know each other,” said Clark. “When they walk in, it’s going to be a girl’s day out party here.” 

Guests of the event can expect women-focused crafters, bakers and artists alongside wellness, fitness and fashion experts. 

Female faces include Amy Amy Bo Bamy, a lettering artist and design director at Maestro, the gals of Bliss Salon, and Pink Lemonade Boutique — a store the Wind + James crew “loves and feels encompasses everything we are striving for with this event.” Another boss babe business, Skylar Yoo, is selling its brand of bold and empowering graphic tees made for the modern feminist. There are surprises too, with a visit from electronics company Norman Camera. 

“Most people don’t know the owners Kelly and Shannon that run the business,” said Clark, mentioning the women behind the scenes. Businesses like Norman Camera changed the way she looked at vendor participation. 

“When you walk into the store, you only see men, but two very strong women are the backbone of this business,” Clark said. “So we might have a man on hand at the camera station where people can test out their photography skills.” 

It’s the perfect example of the women-first movement taking a different approach. But don’t think you have to own a business to get involved.

“Through the planning of this event, originally our focus was women who started their own business,” said Clark who, after meeting and talking to people, has changed course. “It’s made us think moms are boss babes too. We had a group of nurses who don’t own anything and work for a hospital asking what they can do to participate.” 

Guests are treated to 10,000 square feet of stark white modern event space with pops of color everywhere. There’s even a courtyard to stroll filled with artificial turf, a popular color wall and an area with huge shipping containers ready to transform into bandshells, seating areas for food service and a pink shuffleboard court. 

Clark hopes this area will be the site of a barre lesson from Kalamazoo Barre. The physical fitness center will be offering barre demonstrations while other attractions, including Traveling Tutus Inc., host a pointe shoe paint party where hundreds of pointe shoes can be used as canvas and decorated, with proceeds benefiting the organization. 

The expo also is partnering with Excel Dance Centre, leading a dance routine to inspire young girls to work together, get along and do away with bullying.

“Dance is inspiring and it’s a great way to get the young kids in and excited,” Clark said.

Speakers will be on hand with a message for the community of women to work together, grow their businesses and make connections while motivating the younger generation, passing on wisdom and advice.

“Boss babes support each other and build each other up,” Clark said. “They don’t compare themselves to others, or miss this event!”

Wind + James
555 E. Eliza St., Schoolcraft
Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free
windandjames.com

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