Hallmark Mahogany’s first-ever event will ‘ooze sistahood’ in Atlanta

The longtime greeting card brand has expanded into media and now into an event this weekend focused on Black women.
Hallmark Mahogany wants its messages to inspire Black women. Photo: Courtesy of Hallmark Mahogany

Credit: Courtesy of Hallmark Mahogany

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Hallmark Mahogany wants its messages to inspire Black women. Photo: Courtesy of Hallmark Mahogany

Credit: Courtesy of Hallmark Mahogany

Credit: Courtesy of Hallmark Mahogany

Twenty years ago, Alexis Kerr and her siblings purchased a Mother’s Day card with an illustration of a Black woman, a popping color scheme and surprisingly familiar words that resembled something she actually told her mama.

It never occurred to her that two decades later she would have full latitude to guide Hallmark Mahogany — the greeting card company’s brand that embraces Black culture — far beyond the store aisle. The brand’s first standalone in-person event called, Mahogany Moment, is set for Sunday, Oct. 1, at Atlanta’s Georgia Freight Depot.

With vegan chef Tabitha Brown as keynote speaker, the event will combine panel discussions with a marketplace, networking sessions, workshops and an outdoor wellness area. Mahogany Moment is designed to offer Black women innovators, artists and entrepreneurs a space to connect and cultivate their ideas, while sharing best practices for taking those ideas to the next level.

“Walking through those doors will ooze sistahood,” said Kerr, Hallmark Mahogany’s vice president. “It’s going to look like Black pride everywhere. It’s a creative playhouse, and we want to gather you, build that community and trust, and help you come out as your best self in the way that presents your art on the highest level.”

Mahogany Moment will include appearances from “Married to Real Estate” co-host Egypt Sherrod, model Cynthia Bailey, writer-producer Wendy Eley Jackson and business coach Marshawn Daniels.

Credit: Courtesy of Hallmark

Credit: Courtesy of Hallmark

Kerr, who grew up in Augusta, was envisioning the event in February as she tagged along with fashion designer Kenya Freeman to a photoshoot and asked about capacity at the site, which didn’t end up being the right size but did inspire her. Freeman will make a cameo appearance at Sunday’s event.

Imagining an event for about 300 Black women, Kerr said, she thought that putting successful professionals onstage could also also be an effective way to develop a pipeline of vendors and creative pros who can contribute to Hallmark Mahogany across multiple platforms and to its online retail store.

“I wanted to cultivate deeper relationships and peel back the onion with Black women, and nobody can do that like we can,” said Kerr, former head of multicultural marketing at Cadillac. “I wanted to make sure that we offered something that was not just empowering, but that we were helping sisters ... figure out how to turn their ideas into something.”

Joining Hallmark Mahogany in 2021, Kerr began thinking of ways to shift the brand beyond cards and merchandise. That included media and now this weekend’s event.

In 2021, for example, Mahogany co-sponsored the Verzuz battle between vocalists Chaka Khan and Stephanie Mills. Then last year, Mahogany released its first original movie, “Unthinkably Good Things,” on the Hallmark Channel. “Girlfriendship,” which came four months later under the network’s Fall into Love programming, was Keisha Knight Pulliam’s debut as a feature film director. The brand’s latest feature film, “Napa Ever After,” aired in August and was written by Jackson.

“We want to make sure that we’re intentional that both in front of and behind the camera are Black,” said Kerr. “It’s about building equity, and the way you do that is through ownership. Whether it’s Mahogany or not, we’re still doing other Black projects that are just really good films for everybody.”

Credit: Brandy Merriweather

Credit: Brandy Merriweather

In August, Mahogany teamed with Hallmark Media to launch of the parent company’s first original scripted podcast, “Crimson Hearts Collide.”

The eight-episode romance-mystery stars Malinda Williams, Keith D. Robinson and Amanda Seales. Kerr describes it as an alternative to the podcasts and online commentators with their exaggerated, brow-raising takes on relationships.

“We realized there was no space for us to have those happy endings and those joyous love stories,” Kerr said. “There’s always these viral, contentious conversations … and we just wanted a love story where Black women just enjoy that feeling.”

Beyond Sunday’s event, Kerr said, she wants Mahogany to continue to create products and services that customers can be proud of.

“We have cards that are for everyday people,” she said, “but we really got into that place where we couldn’t just be a part of the community. We have to consistently be part of the community.”


Mahogany Moment

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. $199-$249. Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta, Mahogany.com.

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