Rachel Estapa, founder of More to Love ® – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Keynote Speaker
Rachel Estapa, is a certified life coach and Kripalu Yoga teacher, writer, speaker and social entrepreneur who educates and supports plus size people on positive approaches to body image and wellness, enabling all bodies to lead more empowered lives. Rachel’s refreshing perspectives and commitment to body acceptance is recognized as a trusted and valued presence in the rising body-positive movement. In 2016, her work was featured on Boston Channel 5’s flagship program, Chronicle, and she was named Best of the New 2015 by Boston Globe Magazine. She has repeatedly appeared in Huffington Post, XOJane, The Boston Globe, YourTango, Daily Mail UK, Boston Innovation, Boston Magazine Online and many more. Partnered with Edison Optics, Rachel created the More to Love Eyewear Collection, designed to help women find their perfect style and fit. Currently, Rachel works at Harvard University in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband.
Katie Alexis of Kurvy Katie® – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Workshop Presenter
Katie Alexis is the Editor In Cheap of Kurvy Katie. She is the curvy girl’s connection to stylish fashion finds on an expert budget. Katie’s motto: paying retail price is just uncivilized. As a former United States Army Sergeant, Katie knows how to help you whip your wardrobe into shape. Her carefully curated style home, Kurvy Katie, is the go-to site for all the latest in trends, insider news, and discounts. This look-for-less, expert style blogger, specializes in spotting the hottest celebrity outfits and recreating similar styles that are economical for the everyday woman.
Chardline Chanel-Faiteau – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Panelist Moderator
Chardline Chanel- Faiteau is a Boston-based blogger who specializes in writing about the experience of plus-size women in the fashion industry. Graduating from Suffolk University, Suma Cum Laude, Chardline pursued a full time career in the Mayor’s Office of Fair Housing and Equity as an Education and Outreach Investigator. When she isn’t in the realm of being a public servant, Chardline is the Editor in Chief of her personal lifestyle blog: Plus Size Beausion. Chardline uses her online presence to inspire and empower these women, not only by giving amazing fashion advice, but also sharing her personal stories and advocating for the inclusion of plus-sized females in the industry.
Chardline is a strong voice in the fashion community and with her rich experience, she wants to change disenfranchised nature of plus size women in the fashion industry and finally give them a loud and clear voice!Through her political work and lifestyle blog, Chardline wants to create change and promote inclusion and self-confidence.
Essie Golden – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Panelist Speaker
Essie Golden is a model, body-positive advocate, and a trusted and respected voice in the plus size community. You’ve likely seen her modeling for brands like Monif C, RUE107, Nakimuli and Courtney Noelle or you’ve probably seen her around the Internet in features on Bustle, Buzzfeed(twice), Essence (three different times), Fashion Bomb Daily, Plus Size About, and Refinery 29. It’s Essie’s Golden Confidence that allows her to not only lift herself up, but the entire plus size community as well. What started as a hashtag celebrating plus size women in swimwear (#GoldenConfidence), has become a movement, allowing women all over the world to join together in a festival of loving themselves despite society’s unrealistic parameters of beauty. Essie’s used her confidence as well as the confidence she’s bestowed in countless other plus size women and launched the Monif C, Plus Model Magazine and Rue107 sponsored Golden Confidence Pool Party! The highly successful, highly attended and highly socialized event started in New York City and in a year’s time has launch a U.S. three-city tour (Los Angeles, Miami and New York City) in 2016. She’s spoken on many panels, including CurvyCon, Geek Chic at LMHQ and Power and Plus Speaking, offering insight on fashion, love and relationships and body-positivity.
Lena Andrade – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Panelist Speaker
Lena is a Brockton, MA native. She opened her own Zumba studio “The Z Spot” in 2011 and has been hitting the Boston fitness scene with a force. She has been a Zumba® Fitness instructor for 11 years. Her favorite part about Zumba is the creative freedom, and the joy she bring to her students. Lena teaches children to adults and her classes are for EVERYONE. Lena has an extensive background in both studio and competitive dance. From collegiate to the entertainment realm, Lena has graced the basketball courts and football fields of the NBA and the NFL! Besides running a busy fitness studio and working full-time, Lena believes in empowerment and serving social good, selflessly devoting her time and energy to a multitude of local causes.
Stavana Blackmon – BCFWeek Curvy Expo Panelist Speaker
Stavana L. Blackmon better known as “Vana Black” in the social media outlets is an upcoming rising star in the Plus Side fashion industry. Born and raised in Boston, MA she always had a passion for fashion and entertainment. At a very young age she started dancing, modeling and acting. This interest continued as she entered adulthood. Stavana’s outgoing personality and comedic way helps her stand out amongst the crowd even at her 5’1 height. Stavana’s passion is not only in fashion, she also is a voice on Weight Loss Surgery. As someone who had Gastric Bypass in 2010 she is helping educate society on the many options of Weight Loss Surgery. The surgery has changed her life in many ways. It has given her the confidence to take her modeling to the next level. Providing advice on fashion and embracing your body is something that brings joy to Stavana.
Elise Fletcher, BCFWeek Curvy Expo Panelist Speaker
Fitness instructor and Body Positive/Community Health Advocate
After losing 70lbs and transforming her life through health and fitness, Elise knew that it was her purpose to spread her passion and love of wellness with others. After overcoming childhood obesity, bulimia and low self-esteem, she is an advocate for positive body image and a healthy lifestyle.
Currently she is active in the community teaching for Baraka Wellness’ Healthy Mom Healthy Kids program and fitness mentoring youth in shelters with F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement. She is also on the board of Namastay Sober which provides free fitness memberships to help those in recovery stay sober.
You can also catch her teaching sculpt and yoga classes with Boston’s hottest workout TRILLfit that fuses hip hop and wellness together as well as pop-up classes with Athleta.