How it Started
After oohing and ahhing at the 80th “mixed” child waiting in line for coffee at Bittersweet in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, I realized that being half-black and half-white has informed my life more than anything else. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be something other than Me. Then after much living, accepting and sitting still, I've found comfort in my own skin. I've realized that not only am I not inferior but being interracial is one of my greatest assets. And ultimately anything I see as a “flaw” could be seen as pure perfection. So this past summer, in an effort to share what I've uncovered on my path and give voice to the multi-racial experience, I decided to create Perfectly Mixed, a forum for conversation on the interracial life that's real, raw, sexy, and doesn’t read like an anthropological study. It's a space where all of us called by our hearts and courage to be who we are and live outside color lines and conventional constructs can come together and know we are not alone and where everyone everywhere can gain insight into our world, the joys and heartache. In a stroke of good fortune, New York’s new first lady and one of my idols, Chirlane McCray, let me interview her and her son Dante DeBlasio for a feature because she loved the idea. Then in August life knocked me flat on my back. I couldn’t stand up straight or walk for weeks despite my best efforts to pretend the pain wasn’t real. It was real and barely dissipated after 2 epidurals. I had to surrender and wait. Thankfully, as tends to happen in times like these, I had an epiphany; an out of brain, deep in my core experience of the fragility of my body and my life. I thought, “WTF are you doing? What are you running around, never stopping for exactly? Is it making you happy? What is it that you really want to do?” And just like that the Perfectly Mixed cross-country expedition was born. I decided to leave the first week of October 2013 on an adventure documenting the interracial experience across America through interviews and photographs. And that’s the story. I’m on a journey capturing, exploring, documenting and living the fluidity of identity through the lens of the interracial experience in America, up close and personal---a celebration of and for everyone. Me. We. U.S.!
Give a voice to the complex, label-defying, interracial experience in America and show those who dare to defy conventional constructs and blur the color lines that they are not alone.PM will inspire those of every color by celebrating the heartache, joy and courage that ensues when individuals transcend racial constructs, look beyond artificial barriers and become family.
The project will take its initial form as this blog featuring photos, interviews and commentary from interracial couples and mixed race individuals across the country. It will also include stories from my own life. Along with continuing to compile narratives, conduct additional interviews and build awareness for this project, I would like to take a film crew back around the country and capturing these stories in action. My dream is that it this will all culminate in a Perfectly Mixed “Tales of Transcendence,” multi-media exhibition in galleries, public spaces, and educational institutions across the country.
Founder, Neon Butterfly, Branding & Marketing, among other things
A native NewYorker, storyteller, yoga teacher and Buddhist practitioner, I have worked in the advertising and marketing industries for over 12 years on billion dollar brands like Olay, Listerine, L'Oreal and Aunt Jemima. I've launched countless campaigns across everything from print to social media and it's been a crazy, creative inspiring ride! Not too long ago I left my traditional advertising job to fall head first into serving the world by developing brand strategies, identities and marketing platforms for small businesses, companies, individuals and organizations that are “doing good." So Neon Butterfly was born--a branding and marketing company whose mission is to help further the visions of those who are helping people and the planet. I believe marketing matters as much for saving the world as it does for selling peanut butter, (which I love to eat in copious amounts). Perfectly Mixed is my passion project and has been kicking around in my heart for as long as I can remember. I'm just so grateful it's finally coming out.