Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Read This Young Mother's Inspiring Success Story

  1. Begin
    Opener
    Photo: Courtesy of Mater Mea.

    298

    SHARES

    comments
    See All Slides

    Founded by New York-based writer Anthonia Akitunde, mater mea is an online magazine that celebrates the lives of women of color as they balance work and motherhood. Using stunning photography and in-depth profiles, readers are immersed into the lives of awe-inspiring women in the most intimate of settings: at home.
    When Mengly Hernandez talks about herself, she often references a self-imposed wall that can create an air of chilly remove around the petite 32-year-old single mom, sometimes-model, and full-time stylist and entrepreneur.

    “I’m definitely more cautious,” Hernandez says. “I’ve always been a little more guarded, so I really take my time with people.”

    It’s a statement that has a really hard time sticking though, with each warm, husky laugh or offer to hook Mater Mea up with the Dominican hair products Hernandez swears by that she finds in Washington Heights, the neighborhood she calls home. But, when you consider that her 13-year-old son Ousmane is standing right next to her behind that wall, the desire to create some distance starts to make sense.

    Begin Slideshow