We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlene Herrera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marlene, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
One of my most amazing friends, Christy, recommended I read “The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship” by Don Miguel Ruiz – the same author who wrote the famed “The Four Agreements.” After my unique experiences of surviving breast cancer, I struggled with healing, acceptance, forgiveness and most importantly, self-love. I learned that the foundation of any relationship starts with myself. You are responsible for your own happiness, even in solitude. Plus, you have to be whole with yourself first, before sharing your love with anyone else. This book is a “must-read” for anyone who is trying to awaken their inner self.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
By day, I’m the social media director at Miami Dade College. With over 15 years of experience, I’m an accomplished professional with extensive background in project management, brand development, social media and special events planning. Year-round, I’m an award-winning photographer, avid traveler and adventurer with a passion for diverse cultures. I have amassed an impressive portfolio of images shot in over 50 countries. Initially, the focus of Brazen Bosom was face-to-face connections, sharing stories and participating in events geared toward breast cancer patients, survivors and supporters. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has shifted to a virtual platform, creating conversations and raising awareness online.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is so hard to answer as I have lived in Miami all my life and always discover something new. Plus, the social and hospitality landscape has changed so much since the start of Covid-19. The Jealous Fork Food Truck for pancakes anytime (or at least when they are open). On a hot summer day, a pint of Sweet Melody Crafted Ice Cream is perfect for to cool down and satisfy the sweet craving. Sweet Delights Bakery for some delish key lime pies from Miss Debbie. My faves are the passionfruit and white chocolate raspberry key lime pies. It’s worth the drive south to Homestead. Craft beer brewery visits: The Tank Brewing Co.; MIA Beer Co.; J. Wakefield; Lincoln’s Beard and Unbranded. There’s plenty more good ones yet these are my top hits. Bar Nancy for some live music and dancing. Love the local dive vibe. Order a “cortadito con leche evaporada” at the Versailles ventanita. It’s a five minute “touristy” visit that is always a hit. My popular scenic drive that never disappoints. It’s a lot of nature with banyans and tree canopies, old and modern architecture and artsy vibes – all into one experience. Start from Deering Estate, go north on Old Cutler to Coco Plum circle. Proceed through Coconut Grove and Coral Gables (with a drive by The Biltmore Hotel). Head east on Calle 8 to Brickell, then north on Biscayne passing the Miami Freedom Tower. Continue north through the Design District and end at Wynwood.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes. I’d like to give a shout out to Nadine Rosario who was our HONORARY BRAZEN BRAND AMBASSADOR & FIGHTER. Chance meetings always happen for a reason, this one happened at Cancer Survivorship. Nadine, a Puerto Rican badass in the midst of fighting Stage IV cancer, was seeking someone to take photos of her in pink boxing gloves, and I just happened to be a photographer. Inspiring images were taken as a gift and a beautiful friendship began. What’s more, Nadine’s off-the-rack girly cancer shirts adorned with butterflies and flowers lit a fire in my mind to create a merch worthy of Nadine’s kick-butt attitude. Sadly, she passed away in September yet she loved and wore our Brazen beanies everyday during her battle. Plus, we have so many amazing family and friends (too many to name) that helped us with the launch. We were able to raise enough funds via crowdsourcing to produce our first run of merch. Also, many are volunteering to help us with copywriting, spread the word and lots of love. A portion of Brazen Bosom’s proceeds will benefit local grassroots organization 305 Pink Pack, which provides cancer patients services such as meal trains, home cleaning, and transportation.