What Level is Your Design Business?

AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home

Episode 862 of A Well-Designed Business®
862: AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home

Today With Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today’s episode features Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic—a media and design brand celebrating African Diaspora cultures through their lifestyle magazine, podcast, and product lines. Jeanine and Bryan are helping us relearn history as we dive into their latest book, AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home. This is essential reading, not only for designers, but for everyone, and the conversation we have around it is an important one so that we can be an active part of the change in this country.

Pick It Apart

[2:48] Janine talks about how the AphroChic blog was inspired by a gap she saw among home décor blogs at the time that left out people of color.

[15:20] Bryan explains that design is diverse by nature, and is a human thing to do so it happens in cultures all over the world, yet here in America, Eurocentric design is the only story that has been told for many years, forgetting the work of the rest of the world.

[27:27] LuAnn asks Bryan and Janine for some meaningful ways those in the interior design industry can be a part of positive change.

[40:37] LuAnn shares that she was called out as a racist, and shares that she later learned that systemic racism conditions you to not notice. This is the work that white people must do, learn the actual history so you see, you know the real truth.

[44:58] Janine and Bryan discuss how their new book is a history book and sociology book hidden within a design book.

LuAnn Nigara and Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays’ Ah-Ha Moments

“Every aspect of what we’ve done has started with seeing a gap, seeing a space where we haven’t seen that representation, or that cultural story represented, and then working to fill it in, in some way.” – Jeanine Hays

“Design is diverse by nature because the world is diverse by nature.” – Bryan Mason

“Racism is itself a, not a single, monolithic, stagnant thing. It is living. It adapts, it changes from one situation to another.” – Bryan Mason

“True change happens when you really do understand the reality of what happened in history.” – LuAnn Nigara

“Systemic racism doesn’t just condition the oppressed, it conditions the oppressor.” – Bryan Mason

More About Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays:

Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason are the authors of REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul. Their media and design brand AphroChic celebrates African Diaspora cultures through their lifestyle magazine, podcast, and product lines available through Perigold and 1st Dibs. The couple resides in upstate New York in their lovingly named “AphroFarmhouse.”

A powerful, visually stunning celebration of Black-owned homes, featuring inspiring interiors and family histories of notable Black Americans—including chef Alexander Smalls and actor Danielle Brooks.

In their new book, AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home (Clarkson Potter | November 15th, 2022 | $35.00 | Hardcover), Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason explore the Black family home and its role as a haven, heirloom, and cornerstone of Black culture and life. Sixteen gorgeous house tours invite you into the intimate spaces of actors and musicians, the creative studios of artists and curators, the “boss” offices of entrepreneurs and executives, and homes filled with pieces handed down from generations past.

The cultural context found throughout AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home sets it apart from other popular coffee-table design texts. With engaging text and beautiful photographs by the late Patrick Cline, this book amplifies many issues currently faced by African Americans, including gentrification, redlining, and more, highlighting the Black Family Home as a missing piece in the narrative of both interior design and American history. Showcasing the amazing diversity of the Black experience through striking art-and-heirloom-filled interiors; stories of family and community; and histories exploring the obstacles Black homeowners have faced for generations, this groundbreaking book honors the journey, recognizes the struggle, and celebrates the joy.

Connect with Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays





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Other Shows Mentioned:

#14: Malene Barnett: Success Secret – Build Relationships

#556: Kae Whitaker: #BLM Grace For Lack Of Understanding, Grace for Anger

#596: Jamel Williams: A Call to Create Opportunity and Change at the University Level

#573: Cheryl Luckett, #BLM: See Something, Say Something

#703: Leyden Lewis: The Road to AD100 and Elle Decor Top 125 Requires Innovation and Authentic Creativity

#816: Elsie St. Leger: Addressing Racial Inequality in the Design Industry 

#732: Erica Courdae: Incorporating DEI Practices in Your Business

Other Resources Mentioned:

Wayfair Collaboration

Book: Reluctant Reformer by Robert Allen

A Big Thank You to Today’s Sponsor:

Today’s episode is sponsored by LuAnn University.

This is not just education. Not just the support of your colleagues. And not just a great experience. Each department and class is crafted to provide targeted, proven instruction in key areas for profit and growth—all specific to the interior design and window treatment industries. These are the things that you need to learn but always wonder where do I go to learn this.

Classes begin May 1st 2023 and registration will open April 2023.

You can see our current roster for all of our 5 week courses, as well as our brand new 3 hour intensives at luannuniversity.com

This reminds me of Jude Charles and how he uses genuine storytelling to connect to his clients. This is a thing. Good humans practice this. Relating to their potential clients and wanting them to understand how their services can help them. Jude has developed a course for LU, Storytelling for Creatives. He can teach you how to turn your stories, your experiences into the insights and ideas that help you connect with your potential clients, in a way that is genuine for you and meaningful for them. The registration for Spring 2023 semester opens this April. Just some food for thought.

Go to luannuniversity.com to learn more.

What Level is Your Design Business?