Brooklyn in the Spring with LaTonya Yvette
The community we have built through DÔEN is something that has grown through the most organic of means. LaTonya Yvette is one of the people we have been lucky to connect with through our inspiring network - a creative soul, a mother balancing life, work, and family with grace and humor. We met her at the Women's March in Washington in January; she had traveled there with our friend Jessica (who was featured in one of our first journal features), taking the bus down from New York where LaTonya lives in Brooklyn with her family. Events like the Women’s March have a way of intensifying connection from the outset - swept up in the raw, emotionally vulnerable spirit of so many different people uniting with each other to stand up for our rights as women, and as people. That day was pivotal and life altering and LaTonya was very much a part of what made it special - she will forever be a part of our story of the March. Read below for our mutual friend Jessica’s take on her good friend, and see more beautiful images of LaTonya and her babes.
"My first impression of Latonya was on Instagram, where I remember being instantly taken by her cool, definitive "city girl" vibe. A young, working mother to River and Oak, Brooklyn-based with a unique sense of style and one utterly infectious smile. Characteristics that were confirmed a couple years later after I landed in New York to visit my best friend and managed to carve out a couple afternoons to hang with Latonya too. To drink, walk the city, shop, talk, and picnic together with our youngest babes in tow amidst a secluded garden in the Lower East Side. A lunch date where her laughter easily outweighed my wit and I knew then and there she was someone I wanted to be connected to from here on out. The kind of person you take from acquaintance to kin effortlessly because your intuition tells you to. Someone I admire because she isn't afraid to be forthright, controversial, and unapologetic in her narratives online - a trait too many bloggers these days seem all too comfortable forsaking - and because of how seamlessly she manages to balance all the hats she wears as a working woman. She’s a stylist, writer, blogger, wife, mother, activist, friend. Whatever it is she's got on her plate, you can be sure Latonya's going to pour her entire being into it. Our most recent meet up happened this year under more significant circumstances: the Million Women March in D.C. A three-hour road trip took us from New York to Washington. We bunked together in a Baltimore hotel and helped pull each other through the array of emotions that came attached to the heavy reality of the Inauguration. We stayed up past midnight painting protest signs, unraveling the kind of raw conversation that comes along with late nights and cheap wine, and woke to catch a bus at dawn to find our ladies among a sea of people to march alongside that day. It's where Latonya met and befriended Katherine and Margaret. And later, as we made our way together to a hotel downtown, inside a bar cramped with all kinds of women united in this shared mission, new friendships took root. Seeing her featured in the Journal is so powerful considering how Latonya and DÔEN share many of the same core philosophies. To forge forward with unfaltering passion, honesty, and intention. To approach the world as women united, dedicated to making the world a better place, however overwhelming the task at hand keeps proving. And look damn good while doing it."
-Jessica Reed Kraus (writer, friend, mother)