Collaborator For Change: Mercedes / L'Amour
At Pink Moon, we place a high value on community and giving back. As a matter of fact, from the moment we decided to create our digital wellcare space, we knew we wanted to create a unique initiative that fused these two values together. Our ultimate goal was to create something that would allow meaningful and far reaching change birthed from collaboration.
For us, this meant putting a spin on the traditional affiliate program structure.
The amazing bloggers that we work with were chosen very intentionally. We have a lot of respect for the women we have partnered with, and, more often than not, have been admirers of their contributions to the beauty space for years.
We are honored to introduce you to Mercedes, the founder of L'Amour. You can find her on her podcast (Lin/Pink Moon was featured in August!), YouTube, Instagram, and Patreon. Fun fact: Lin met Mercedes some time ago at A Night For Green Beauty event in Chicago 5 years ago!
Pink Moon: Tell us a little bit about you and your platform.
Mercedes: I began making videos on YouTube about eco beauty and holistic health/lifestyle in the spring of 2014. I’ve had a lifelong interest in beauty and creative entrepreneurship, and after some acute health issues in 2008/2009, I found my way to green beauty as part of a broader “wake up” around what true health and wellness is really about. My video work spans product reviews and in-depth brand discussions, makeup tutorials, and forays into alternative health and healing topics like acupuncture, herbalism, flower essences and energy healing. In 2017 I started building a community on Patreon as a way to support the growth and development of L’Amour, I have been critical of blogger-turned-influencer marketing in recent years, and made a commitment to not include sponsored work under L’Amour. The L’Amour Patreon community attracts warm-hearted independent thinkers who want to support independent creative content, and also access a plethora of extra exclusive content I produce specifically for that platform. In late 2019 I launched my latest project, a podcast called Your Purpose is Beauty. An avid podcast listener myself, especially since becoming a new mom in 2018, I wanted another medium to connect with an audience in an accessible way. There’s currently a library of over 40 episodes, and I’m now working a transcription project to accompany every episode. The podcast is centered around eco/organic, luxury, and niche beauty product reviews and critique, as well as intellectual discussion about the beauty and alternative health industries. Through interviews with brand founders, beauty professionals, bloggers/influencers, and creatives, the podcast also explores why people have chosen beauty as their profession or passion. In addition (or hopefully be someday incorporated into L’Amour) I’m an on-and-off house music djette and hold a Masters and PhD in Urban and Environmental Sociology from Brown University.
Pink Moon: How has self care positively impacted your life?
Mercedes: I’ve dabbled in and pursued so many different healing modalities and practices over the years. At the root of that quest (which continues) is a yearning for self knowingness, self sovereignty, and freedom. Maybe a spiritual freedom or a consciousness freedom, I don’t really know. Many self care practices help one simply slow down, be present, get in touch with the self, listen, and discern. These are all things I have deeply needed in my life, and I’ve learned so many practices like acupuncture, herbal medicine, medical astrology, flower essences, chiropractic care, and there’s so much left to learn and explore.
Pink Moon: Since you are one of our Collaborators for Change, what charity have you chosen to work with? Why?
Mercedes: When Pink Moon approached me for the Collaborators for Change partnership, I knew immediately the charity I would choose would be The Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems. My father, who passed away in 2006, was a Professor of Sociology at Cornell University and a well-known scholar and activist around revitalizing community food systems through a concept he developed called civic agriculture. His research legacy has continued on through The Lyson Center, which is part of the Center for Transformative Action, a 501(c)3 affiliated with Cornell. They publish an open access journal called the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development which endeavors to bridge the work between practitioners and academics on the planning, community economic development, and ecological protection of local and regional agriculture and food systems. The Lyson Center also directs an initiative called the North American Food Systems Network which offers leadership and technical training, networking, and other professional development opportunities for those working in the fields of sustainable local and regional food systems. My father’s research influenced my own doctoral work in sociology – my dissertation was a qualitative ethnography on the class politics of Rhode Island’s local and alternative food movement, and explored themes around the moral policing of health, self-governance around health and food under neoliberalism. I continue to be passionate around rehabilitating and transforming every aspect of our food system, and supporting The Lyson Center is a way to both honor my father’s legacy and imprint on my own life as well as work towards a more just and equitable way to nourish ourselves and our communities.
Pink Moon: What are your favorite products in the Pink Moon shop (or what are you most interested in/excited to try)?
Mercedes: I absolutely love the Meant Do-All Wash and RiseWell toothpaste, for both kids and adult. These were two new discoveries I made through Pink Moon. The Le Coco Clair de Lune candle has been a beautiful home addition, just as we start ushering cooler temps and candle burning weather here in Chicago. I’ve heard a lot about Malaya Organics so I’m curious to try something from that line next, as well as the Ode to Self cleansing balm. I like to try all cleansing oils and balms, these are like my beauty kryptonite! I also think the AKT Therapy Elemental Sun Balm SPF 30 looks intriguing.