A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet and speak with Brittany Pogue Muhammed Acosta; a business owner, mother and full time career woman. We had an amazing conversation on race, motherhood and of course, feminism. I am thrilled to be sharing such an inspiring woman with you all today.
Brittany is from New York, she was born and raised in the Bronx. She went to Brooklyn College where she earned her degree in English Literature. She has worked in higher education publishing for the last 16 years. While maintaining her full time job Brittany recently started her own business Mosaic the Label, a brand dedicated to inclusivity for all persons of mixed races.
Being as though Brittany has worked in both corporate America and runs her own business, we spoke about the vast difference of each world she has experienced as a woman, and more specifically a woman of color. Brittany explained how in corporate America there is always a ladder to climb or a ceiling to break, but it becomes increasingly harder and harder depending on the color of your skin, whether you're male or female, and what your family life looks like (married, have kids). However, in your own business you get to create your own ladder to climb and there isn’t anyone above you to hold you back or prohibit you from progressing in your career. While Brittany does love her job, she expressed that she realized she wasn’t comfortable with the idea of someone else controlling her future and that she felt it was time to see how far she could go if she called the shots for herself.
Feminism has come a very long way from where it began, however there are still many blatant inequalities we see happening day after day. Brittany’s daughter has such an amazing woman to look up to because her mother is creating paths where there aren’t any. If you feel as though there are deliberate roadblocks put up to stop you from succeeding, reevaluate your life and then adjust your route accordingly. Man or woman, there will always be someone trying to get in your way and it's time to start moving around them.
As mentioned throughout this article, Brittany is a mother to her beautiful 4 year old daughter. Both Brittany and her husband are of mixed races, making her daughter as mixed as we come. As someone who is also biracial, I was very interested in Brittany’s experience as a bi-racial mom, raising a multi-racial child. The first thing Brittany said when I asked her about her mothering experience was, “Her teacher said that she was a natural born leader, so I’m doing my damn thing when it comes to being a mom” and I think everyone can agree with Brittany that she is doing her thing. She then went on to tell me that even though her daughter is only 4, they still speak about race every day. Brittany explained that she thought it was very important to keep her daughter extremely aware of who she is and what she looks like because in this society race is at the forefront of everything. I’m not a parent, but I couldn’t agree with this thinking more! As a member of the mixed community, I can say that I have only recently begun understanding who I am and what I look like in terms of race and heritage. For anyone who has children who are mixed, know that it is never too early to start helping your child develop an identity they are comfortable in, that embraces the color of their skin.
Brittany had one of the best answers I’ve heard when it comes to listing one's greatest achievement, she simply said “just starting.” Brittany came from a working class family, who did what their employers said to do, so starting a business where she did what she wanted was a forgein concept to her. When the idea first came to her, she questioned whether or not starting her business would be possible, but eventually she went for it and it is now her greatest achievement at the present moment.
So many of the business women I interview always tell me what they deem their greatest achievement and then go on to talk about how it’s a hard question because they can be so critical of themselves. Brittany did the same thing when we spoke, but she went on to say that she is trying to be more grateful for all that she has accomplished. She explained that once a week she writes down one thing she's grateful/ proud she did. I loved this idea not just for business owners, but for everyone. I think that as a society we can be very hard on ourselves to the point where the journey of achieving a goal becomes an excruciating process. It doesn't have to be that way. If we all make a conscious effort to be more rewarding of ourselves, no matter how small the task may be, we will start to enjoy the journey of life more.
To wrap up this article a huge shout out goes to Brittany’s mom, for being her greatest female inspiration. She explained how her mother went to NYU & Columbia, graduating top in her class, while raising 3 kids and working full time. I think we need to get her on I Am Woman too, because she sounds like an amazing, smart & strong role model to have, am I right? Brittany continuously expressed how lucky she was to have such an amazing mom.
In the next 10 years, Brittany hopes to see herself running her business Mosaic the Label full time. She hopes that it will be bigger and better than where it is now. I know that I can’t wait to have her on again in the next 10 years to highlight her triumphs and continue the conversation on feminism and race!
Thank you all for taking time out of your day to learn more about Brittany Pogue Muhammed Acosta! If you are interested in what her business has to offer, head over to the I Am Business section of I Am Woman to find the article on Mosaic the Label.
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