I’m a mother of five and an active LGBTQI ally who has been recognized for my activism by Hillary Clinton, The Advocate, GLAAD, Family Circle magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine among others. I’m a regular participant at transgender and LGBTQI conferences, including the Trans Health, Gender East, and Transcending Boundaries conferences. I also sit on the Advisory Board of the Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project, where I advise on strategic partnerships and overall goals for the organization.
I also play an active role on the board of Community of Unity, a not-for-profit that provides Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs for underserved kids in NYC public schools. Over the past 15 years the organization has successfully graduated at-risk teens from some of New York’s most poorly performing high schools and has a 95 percent success rate with students. In everything I do, I’m committed to bringing often underrepresented voices and perspectives into the mainstream.
My background is as an entrepreneur and distinctive voice within the beauty industry, having co-founded two companies, Doobop—an online beauty marketplace, and Georgia by Jodie Patterson—an all- natural line of skin care. Both brands have garnered wide media attention over the years. “I’m just crazy about this new website,” said Oprah Winfrey when Doobop launched in 2014. The leading pop-culture site, Refinery29 wrote, “Doobop is genius and long overdue.” Beauty industry powerhouse Women’s Wear Daily listed Doobop as one of the top 10 new beauty brands designed for women of color and put us in the company of product line leaders like Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, and Shea Moisture creator Richelou Dennis. My brands have been profiled in five issues of O Magazine, and we’ve appeared in almost every major mainstream publication, including the New York Times, Glamour, Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Teen Vogue, More, Essence, Ebony, Uptown, and Domino. In 2014, Cosmopolitan awarded me Beauty Skin Expert of the Year.
The world of letters has always been a love of mine. I graduated from HBCU Spelman College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Literature, and went on to spend several years working at well-known publishing houses like Scholastic and The New Press.
Today, I write and speak on topics such as beauty, gender, entrepreneurship, family and identity. As a result, I’ve been granted exclusive interviews with the likes of actress Kerry Washington, supermodel icon Iman, and renowned activist Bethann Hardison. My writing can also be found in pop culture media outlets such as xoJane, Essence and Refinery29.
Before entering the beauty industry, I served as Director of PR for fashion designer Zac Posen, where I oversaw all press outreach, public appearances, speech writing, and Fashion Week management for the designer. For a number of years, I ran my own boutique PR agency, working closely with formidable brands like Nike, Virgin Records, Sean John, and Lincoln Center. I’m also a co-owner of the acclaimed Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater and helped develop the marketing and promotion strategy for its groundbreaking launch.
In 2012, I was honored to be chosen as one of Dell Computers’ Dell Inspire 100—a select group of world changers in the fields of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, education and media. The company then asked me to be part of a smaller cohort of ten women selected to work closely with Dell on content and market research for millennials. Within that role, I blogged and attended think-tanks on Dell’s behalf.
Also on my resume: I’m a former state-champion gymnast and circus acrobat who performed with the Big Apple Circus.
I live in Brooklyn, NY. Joseph Ghartey and I raise our 5 children with love, education, and family solidarity.