Writer: LeKeisha Edwards
The Vice President of Hallmark Mahogany, Alexis Kerr, is on a mission to motivate and empower Black women storytellers, artists, small business owners, and creators to transform their inspirations into action. Kerr and the team for Mahogany, a personal expression brand from Hallmark that provides an extensive offering of authentic and engaging greeting cards relevant to and inspired by African American culture, devoted their efforts and hearts to designing an event that would bring Black women together in a setting that allows them to learn, connect, and thrive. That event, the Mahogany Moment, will be held at the historical Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, October 1. Actress, entrepreneur, and vegan food influencer, Tabitha Brown, will headline the event, with additional guests to include Cynthia Bailey, Egypt Sherrod, Diedra Zollar, Melissa Mitchell, and more.
“The positive impact the Mahogany Moment will provide to Black women across generations is one I look forward to most,” said Kerr in her interview with Upscale, “Our goal was to create a dynamic, yet intimate experience, where you not only feel energized and focused with a clear plan on how you can activate your passions and dreams, but also one where you feel united with other Black women on a journey of encouragement and wisdom through family and community.”
The Mahogany line, introduced by Hallmark in 1987, has sought to enhance emotional connections between family, friends, and the community by capturing what is most beloved and valued about African American culture for nearly 40 years. Kerr was named the new Vice President of the Mahogany Brand in 2021, with a goal and vision of expanding the brand’s products and experiences in the market. “From day one, I wanted to find new ways we could build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our customers and the community, amplifying their voices, supporting their dreams, and celebrating their achievements,” Kerr adds, “and we achieve that by elevating their experience with the brand—not only through our greeting cards, but also in home décor, gifts, original movies crafted for Black audiences, and immersive, impactful spaces of inspiration, like the Mahogany Moment.”
Bringing decades of experience in brand and business growth, Kerr’s most recent position was head of multicultural marketing for Cadillac, where she grew the multicultural brand presence by 40 percent, while also consistently increasing sales and market growth. Though Kerr’s professional accolades reflect her dedication to reaching significant heights and garnering valuable outcomes, it is her commitment to putting the aspirations and authentic voices of diverse consumers first in every aspect of her work that is most important to her, “This is my job, but more importantly, this work is my heart. The people, the community, the culture– all deserve to have its stories told, to have their purpose realized, and their potential achieved. The relationship Mahogany has with the Black community is one of trust and we want to be there to show them exactly what they need to get where they want to go.”
Along with workshops, impactful panels, powerful one-on-one conversations, live on-site giveaways, gift bags, and a marketplace that amplifies Black-owned businesses, one attendee will also win a walk-on role in a future Mahogany film. Microsoft has also joined the moment by becoming a presenting sponsor of the event. “Microsoft is thrilled to collaborate with Hallmark, especially its Mahogany brand, which represents Black Empowerment and Black Excellence,” said Darrell Booker, Microsoft Corporate Affairs Specialist, “We both share a commitment to fostering diversity and innovation. This collaboration reinforces our dedication to promoting STEAM education, supporting emerging creators, and the wider creators’ community.”
Mahogany continues to discover and cultivate avenues of connection and deeper experiences with its consumers, introducing Mahogany.com in December 2021, a lifestyle destination where Black Women can trust their unique stories will be told and their collective culture will be celebrated. The launch of the Mahogany e-commerce site followed in September 2022.
Hallmark Media introduced its first movie franchise in August 2022, with Mahogany and Hallmark Media announcing its first, all-new original scripted podcast series in August 2023. In consideration of the initiatives the brand continues to expand upon, Kerr shared her vision for today and the future, “No matter what we are going through, even on our worst days, I want Mahogany to be a place that Black women can come to, be themselves, connect, and feel better.”