Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Brittany Pogue-Mohammed Acosta of Mosaic the Label Is Helping To Change Our World
You have to plan way in advance. Holidays and other big retail days always sneak up on you so it’s important to set out plans months in advance. I’ve missed so many important dates because of poor planning early in my business.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brittany Pogue and Mohammed Acosta of Mosaic the Label.
Designed for mixed kids, by mixed kids. Mosaic the Label designs lifestyle products for the ethnically and racially diverse. Born out of a need to ensure her daughter saw her whole self reflected in the world around her, Brittany set out to create a space where diverse individuals (and those who love them) can show pride in their background by creating products designed just for them — all parts of them, not just “the good side”.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My daughter has played a huge part in where I am today! As a first time mother and native New Yorker obsessed with fashion, I found myself constantly shopping for my daughter who was 3 years old at the time. While shopping, I noticed shirts designed with a character that represented only one race- either White or Black. Because both of her parents are biracial, and she is multiracial, I was torn. I have always been staunch in not having her pick a side of her ethnic background and by purchasing one of those shirts, I would be sending her the message that choosing was ok. That was the inspiration for creating Mosaic the Label. I wanted to create products that catered to mixed individuals. I wanted adults and children from all over to be able to show their pride in being mixed while not choosing one side or the other.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
My favorite stories are always the impact Mosaic the Label has on its customers and community. We hear from our community all the time about how our products make them feel seen, how they are able to show pride in their mix, and how their children feel as though they have a place in the world through our products.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In my very first set of orders that I packed, I messed up a lot of them! I had so many to pack and wasn’t paying attention and I packed the wrong item on a few of the orders. I felt so bad and had to replace the items right away. My husband was talking to me while I was packing so no he’s banned from my packing room! He’s too much of a distraction! I learned that I need to really focus and double-check any orders I send out.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
We are founded on the principle that the parts make the whole. We want society to accept us as we are and not force us to choose one of our ethnicities. By creating products for the ethnically diverse and the multi-dimensional people of the world, we are proving to them that they do have a place and that it is ok to live in the in-between. Our community is stronger than ever and we are able to support one another through shared experiences.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
One of my customers and supporters told me a story of how she bought her son one of our shirts and he wore it with such pride to school the next day. He felt great to be able to express his true self and wear his identity on his sleeve. This is why we do what we do!
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- Changing the options to race-based questions where there is always the option to choose two or more or add in your own racial identity.
- Stop assuming we are not the mix we say we are. We hear stories time and time again about how mothers of mixed-race children are assumed to be the Nanny. This assumption can be extremely damaging and it should not occur in our modern society.
- Offer more events/community events that embrace a variety of cultures.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership is leading by example. One way I show leadership in my company and my family is I walk the walk and talk the talk. Not only do I tell my daughter that she doesn’t have to choose a side, but I also started a brand founded on that principle. She is able to see her mother be a business owner and a woman of color. She knows this is possible and will be able to do the same if/when she wants.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- You have to plan way in advance. Holidays and other big retail days always sneak up on you so it’s important to set out plans months in advance. I’ve missed so many important dates because of poor planning early in my business.
- You are only one person. Take all the help you can get! You are only one person and if others around you are offering help- take it! I am always biting off more than I can chew so now I take the help when I need it.
- Learn from your mistakes. You will always make mistakes when first starting out so the important thing is to ensure you learn from them. I’ve ordered products that I would never order again- I only know that because I made the mistake in the first place!
- You will evolve. Many times we set out with an idea and think we have to stick with it. But businesses and ideas change and evolve. Allow for that evolution and embrace it! I’ve tried to do something new every year for my business to continue to grow and evolve.
- Listen to your community. These are your biggest supporters and they know what they want! Be sure to listen to them and react to them. I have put out numerous products based on feedback from my community and they have each done so well!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d love to see a national holiday that celebrates mixed-race people! There is Loving Day in June and I’d love to see that become a national holiday.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’d say it has to be — plan the work and work the plan. I am a big planner and I am able to accomplish so much because I have a plan and stick to it. I think it gives you a roadmap as to what you want to accomplish. You only ever get to your destination the fastest way possible by following a map! This has had a huge impact on my business and has allowed me to do so much and get so far in a very short amount of time.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I’d say, President Barack Obama. He is incredible, did so much for this country, and is such a role model for the BIPOC and mixed-race community. My late mother loved him so that would be a monumental moment in my life if it ever did happen!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Please check out our website at https://mosaicthelabel.com/ and we are on Instagram and Tik Tok as @mosaicthelabel.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Brittany Pogue-Mohammed Acosta of Mosaic the Label Is Helping To… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.