We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittney Mejia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittney, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It was the quest for freedom. Today, our bodies may not be shackled, but our enslavement is bonded by mental and spiritual programming. Acquiring information allowed me to challenge American culture. For most of my life, as the daughter of immigrants, I hated the color of my skin. I hated my accent. I had no idea what my purpose on Earth was. I was forced to oscillate between the traditional Caribbean teachings of my mother and the ever-changing American values of personal liberty and materialism. I was lost for a long time.
It was not until I went to college where I studied black and indigenous histories that I understood myself, my people, and the pan-African struggle for liberation. Analyzing the intersectionality between the hypersexualization of melanated children, the violent relationship of the Christian colonization efforts, and the Willie Lynch mentality of “divide and conquer” made me angry – but it was righteous rage. It called me to action. Not only did I finally understand my natural question of authority and tradition, but I had to make everyone else around me question it too.
I dedicated my life to sharing the truths and origins of our condition. Every college essay, post on social media, and ultimately, my career as a school teacher was centered around the enlightenment and inspiration of the afro-indigenous diaspora.
Challenging Eurocentric history, values, and beauty standards has allowed me to love my body and find my value not in the shape of my curves but in the strength of my spirit. I have broken intergenerational chains for hundreds of children in my community – exposing them to collegiate research, challenging stereotypes, and dominating cultural discourses throughout the nation. I broke my chains and now I get to help others break theirs. Whether it be low self-worth, poverty, or alternative medicine – God gave us the ability to solve our own problems and teach others to do the same.
I had no idea what I was doing in college. I did not pursue this life. It chose me. I am grateful and pray that I can continue to educate and shift the consciousness of our people.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Today I run my own skincare company Mother of Many and offer online classes and mentorship.
I suffered from anxiety-induced acne and eczema working in corporate America after graduating college. This prompted me to experiment with natural alternatives to over-the-counter brands. I healed my own skin for about a year. My mother was suffering from cancer and at some point she was bedridden. I did not want to accept the fact that she was going to die, but I realized that I had to start a side-hustle to make ends meet. My job as a school teacher was not going to be enough to support our family’s mortgage. A week before her passing, I showed my mother the box of oils, measuring cups, and jars I ordered. I told her I was going to start a skincare business. She asked me to reach in her dresser drawer. She gave me her notes and journals from her aromatherapy and aesthetician classes back in the early 2000s. My last memory of my mother was her helping me mix the first set of serums I would give out to my friends for feedback. She lost consciousness later that night, after telling me she believed in my business, and passed the next day, my birthday, November 30th, 2018.
In January 2019, something pushed me to ship my testers out despite the pain. I had a small following on Instagram. I took orders via DM for a year. Eventually, I started vending in local events and created my own website.
I continuously studied herbal medicine and ancient beauty remedies. I centered my formulas around 3 main concepts: 1. each product has to be naturally antibacterial, 2. all products must moisturize/hydrate skin cells, 3. aromatherapy must play a key component in each product.
Universal law says “As within, so without”. I think a lot of the success of my company is the importance of mental health. Our skin is a physical representation of our internal struggles. I started off with two products (an acne-killing scrub and moisturizer) – now I have over 20 products, including skin masks that improve respiratory health, leakproof period underwear, and an array of goods that lighten hyperpigmentation, erase stretch marks, and improve mental function.
My products have garnered a loyal customer base. I have an entire community of people who trust me with their bodies and minds. The success with my business allowed me to quit my job as a school teacher. Although I miss my students, I am free to work as a please now and instead connect with women all over the world during my lectures.
I am extremely grateful for all the women, men, and families who have organically helped me promote my brand reach economic sovereignty.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I could take my best friend anywhere, I’m bringing them to Manabao, Dominican Republic.
We would fly into Santo Domingo, the capital in the A.M. before traffic gets hectic. We’d grab a box of beers on the way to my grandmother’s house. When we arrive, my family would have rice, beans, and plantain ready for us. We’d spend the night catching up with grandma and laughing with my cousins.
The next day, we’d head for the mountains. Manabao is centrally located on the island. One of the highest peaks in the Caribbean full of green foliage, farms, and rivers. Tia would make us sandwiches for the road as we wake up at 7 am. We’ll make it to my uncle’s cabin en el camp around 9 am. All the women would be in the wood-fired kitchen sharing stories while the men get the animals prepared for the fire while drinking Johnny Walker’s black label.
We’d sit under the shadiest tree, ground ourselves, do some breathwork and take a nap. Talk to the Oshun, who runs behind the cabin – tell her our desires and confessions.
By noon, we’ll have a feast prepared by all the elders. The women serve our plates as we sit around a large wooden table. Rice and peas, salads, arepas, an array of meats, and fish. We’ll feel like royalty by the way our uncles and aunts talk and take care of us.
After lunch, everyone changes into their bathing suits. We all pour a cup of our favorite juice, liquor, or soda and bath in another river nearby. We help each other across the river banks and wash our hair in the natural mountain water. We make jokes, share more family stories about our elders and ancestors and sip whatever is in our cup. We walk back to the cabin as the sun sets and a bonfire awaits us. We switch into our warmest clothes and sip hot chocolate.
The next day, we hit the mountain trail before we head back to the city.
The next couple of days would consist of lazy beach days, good books, and conversations with family about our Earth’s purpose and unity. We’d kiss family good bye and head back to the states.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Jade Lilly @ShootMeJade She is a Photographer, doula, and activist. Her mission is to create beautiful images of the diaspora, specifically black mothers! Her content is centered around showing the stories of Black people throughout the country in a way that is honest, natural, and uplifts the youth! She has worked with the Masaai Water Project to raise money for African communities, organized community events such as the Creative Color Project’s highlight of the Hampton House for Black History Month, and her images have been featured on Vogue (Internationally) multiple times.
Jade Lilly @ShootMeJade Courtney Morgan @courtney.m87 x @thehouseofmusemiami