Tell us about you! What was your childhood and young adulthood like? What were some key moments in your early life that brought you where you are now?
My story is about a journey to self-love and acceptance. And it is also about the power of creativity, imagination, reinvention and bridge-building.
Growing up as a dark-skinned Black girl in a subsidized housing community of 1970’s Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, I never had a sense of myself as being beautiful.
My love for fashion and style, however, was endless. I lived and breathed it. I remember being 3 years old and tying my mother's scarves around my head, creating different styles. It was genetic; my mother had a great sense of style and loved expressing herself through fashion. My dream was to become a fashion model.
Tell us about your relationship. What's your partner like? How did you meet?
My husband of 17 years is my partner and best friend. I’m fortunate to have a loving and caring partner in my life who desires to make a difference in this world. We’re not perfect - but we count our blessings.
We met on a blind date through a mutual friend. We always laugh at the fact that I had no idea he was white prior to us meeting.
What made you want to start or grow a family?
My husband is partially blind. He has a disease called Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) where he gradually loses his vision. Not knowing how long he would be able to hold onto to the limited vision he has, it was important to me that he would have the opportunity to see his children. After being married for several years, we decided to start a family. We have one amazing daughter who is now 12 years-old.
Which of your abilities or experiences are you most proud of? What was a recent time when you got strength from those abilities/experiences?
One of those experiences is the shaving of my head. Part of my journey of self-love and acceptance was learning to love me as I am. I shaved my head because I used my hair as a security blanket trying to mask insecurities snd live by an unrealistic standard of beauty. When I finally took the leap and shaved my head, it was the most liberating experience of my life. I was finally living by my own standard of beauty. When I looked in the mirror, I saw Demeatria and learned to love what I see.
How do you think about doing your best work while being a parent? Has that understanding shifted over time?
I feel some of best work was created after the birth of our daughter. She’s my inspiration to continue pursue my passion and dreams.
What is your conception story?
As soon as my husband and I made the decision to have children, I got pregnant immediately. It was a blessing.
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant. We'd love details!
I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a friend checking out an exhibit when I got really ill. I was in the bathroom stall vomiting when someone knocked on the door and asked if I was ok. That was the day I learned the museum had medical staff on hand. After my episode, I immediately called my husband and told him what happened and he said with excitement “you’re pregnant!!” He was right.:-)