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My Black Girl Fest Experience!

My Black Girl Fest Experience!

Read all about my Black Girl Fest 2019 experience…

Last year, I took part in the third annual Black Girl Festival. Displaying and selling my work in the marketplace alongside other amazingly talented creatives, designers and makers. It was my first major exhibition, with a footfall of around 3,000 at the Business Design Centre, London. 

It was a great chance for me to celebrate my heritage and my culture with so many other inspiring black women. With my fashion inspiration coming from the Caribbean and Black British culture, this event was particularly special to me as a young black woman in London trying to find my space and others like me.

As well as a place to share my work it was also a great opportunity to network and meet other people. Hearing their stories and advice and feeling a sense of empowerment. 


Black Girl Fest is the UK’s first festival celebrating Black British women & girls. The theme for Black Girl Festival 2019 was 'Taking Up Space’. Exploring the opportunities for black women and black girls to break down barriers and create new seats at the table, challenging what this could mean for various industries and advocating inclusivity across them all.

It's founders Paula Akpan and Nicole Crentsil are truly inspirational as they continue to strive to ‘break down the barriers that prevent black British women & girls from achieving to their highest potential. From tech, literature to hair and beauty, [they] want to help other black women, like themselves, take up space across the board.’

The Black Girl Festival is jammed packed with masterclasses, workshops, exhibitions, live performances and a marketplace.

Tihara Smith at black girl festival 2019
Tihara Smith at Black Girl Festival 2019 stall
Close up of Tihara Smiths stall at Black Girl Festival 2019
Black Girl Festival 2019 - Tihara Smith's stall


I have to say, with this being my first major event, I left feeling very proud of myself. I had so much positive feedback from visitors to the event and other stallholders. People commented that my stand made them feel happy and positive - which is always a goal of mine, so I was very pleased I was able to brighten people’s day! As part of my stand, I also displayed the hand-embroidered raffia coat from my Windrush Collection that was shown at Graduate Fashion Week 2018.


It was so exciting to display all my products at the event, especially the new hand crafted bags and statement slogan pieces, which proved to be very popular!


The organisers decided to put a pause on Black Girl Festival 2020, so the event will not be running this year. However, they have so many other exciting projects happening at the moment including the Black Girl Fest Academy. They have also assured us that they are taking the time to plan and reflect on previous festivals so that they can implement everything they can to meet the needs of the community for Black Girl Fest 2021! Make sure to follow them on Instagram for all the latest news on BGF 2021.

I can not wait to see what they create and hope to be there again as an exhibitor or as a visitor. It's a definite one for your calendar, so hopefully, I will see you there!

Find out more about the Black Girl Festival here.