When Brittany Pogue-Mohammed Acosta, a 35-year-old New Yorker, was shopping online for clothing for her daughter, she came to the realization that there was little to no diversity when it came to the popular characters found on merchandise for children. Most of the characters on clothing she found in her daughter’s size featured predominantly white characters. Brittany is no stranger to feeling underrepresented. She is Trinidadian and Irish. Her husband is Black and Puerto Rican. She knew she wanted her daughter to have a different experience than she had. Brittany knows how important representation is since both her and her husband are mixed and often times being mixed is overlooked instead of celebrated. Being mixed is also vastly underrepresented in the media and mainstream. Speaking on her shopping experience, Brittany stated, “I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that only sold items geared toward those that identified as mixed race? After a little bit of research, I couldn’t find what I wanted and after a month and a notebook full of ideas I decided to do it myself.” This was the moment that inspired Mosaic The Label, Brittany’s clothing and accessory company, whose motto is “The Parts Make the Whole.” Brittany explained, “Our mission is to provide a single place for all things racially and ethnically diverse.”
Mosaic The Label carries clothing and accessories that celebrate being mixed or not fitting into one particular box. Mosaic the Label also confronts issues people of mixed race often face like being confronted and questioned about their identity. Or feeling like their identity is misrepresented or barely represented if at all . There are items that say “Mixed Kid on the Block” and “Please Tell Me Again How I Don’t Look Black.” If you browse through Mosaic The Label’s Instagram page or website, you will find magnets, keychains, shirts, and more that celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. People of mixed race usually feel like they have to choose one race or the other but Mosaic The Label believes in celebrating all the parts of ourselves and being proud of who we are as a whole.
Brittany explained, “I grew up in The Bronx in a predominantly Black and Hispanic area. So, for much of my childhood and beyond everyone just assumed I was either Puerto Rican or Dominican. But because my parents were so proud of who they were and where they came from, they ensured their kids knew as well. So I spent a lot of my time correcting people with my correct racial identity.” She continued, “My family and I ate homemade Trini food from my Uncle for dinner each night and took a trip to Indiana nearly each summer to visit my mom’s Irish side of the family. I had a very happy upbringing but we were in the vast minority where we lived. It wasn’t easy not fitting in completely to one group or another. But all my life I have been very adamant regarding not choosing a side. Society would like me to check one single box but I refuse to do so. I am who I am and I control how I identify.”
Brittany is on a mission to raise awareness about the issues associated with being mixed and to ensure that there is much more representation. She wants to inspire others to feel confident in their identity. As of right now Mosaic the Label sells accessories and clothing but Brittany, who works in publishing and has always wanted to be a writer, hopes to expand and publish a children’s book in 2022.