Mahogany began as a Hallmark card line created with Black customers in mind. From thematic elements to visual styling, these cards were designed to connect with their audience in a way that was genuine and allowed customers in the Black community to support one another in an authentic manner. Over the past 30 years however, Mahogany has grown far beyond a card line and has developed into a community in and of itself.
Alexis Kerr, Mercedes Lucero, Amanda Raymundo, and Dierdra Zollar will walk KCDW participants through the evolution of the Mahogany brand, paying special attention to creative product development and visual perspectives. You’ll hear what it takes to maintain an inclusive community through the trials of modern times such as the Black Lives Matter Movement. This panel discussion will highlight the key elements of corporate social responsibility and the importance of celebrating marginalized communities.
As vice president of the Mahogany brand at Hallmark, Alexis Kerr is growing Mahogany, a beloved brand that has built a relationship of trust with the Black community by honoring, celebrating and supporting emotional connections among Black families, friends and loved ones for more than 30 years. In this role, Alexis is responsible for elevating how consumers see and experience the brand, as well as expanding into new spaces in the marketplace. Within her first year, Alexis has created meaningful connections with Black women across a variety of touchpoints: an all-new Mahogany.com website that is a place for women to uplift and empower one another through a writing community centering the voices of Black women and a marketplace where shoppers will easily find Mahogany products; community activations that celebrate Black excellence; timely, socially relevant, and authentic social media posts that have dramatically grown Mahogany’s followers; and a partnership with the Hallmark Media Family Networks that will continue to bring Mahogany to life on television and podcasts.
Mercedes Lucero (she/they) joined Hallmark full-time after interning in Writing and Editorial in the summer of 2018. Currently as a Senior Writer, they serve as a liaison between the Writing Studio and Global Trends and Innovation Group as well as contribute to Mahogany, GoodMail, and GenNext strategies. When they’re not writing, you can find them snuggling with their kitty, Grace E. Jones.
Dierdra (Dee) Zollar is a Studio Editorial Director at Hallmark Cards, Inc. She has over 20 years’ experience in the social expressions industry--with specialized expertise working on the Mahogany Brand, for which she has both written and planned authentic, culturally relevant content. Dee has also been an avid ambassador for the Mahogany card line, participating in various public forums and events, including an appearance on the daytime talk show, “The Real” during a special Black History month segment in February 2022. She was also recently inducted in the KC Black Achiever’s Society for her contributions to diversity and inclusion at Hallmark and her volunteer work in the greater KC community.
Prior to Hallmark, Dee taught writing and literature courses at her undergraduate alma mater, Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, FL. In her down time, she enjoys the 3 R’s: reading, rom-coms, and relaxing at home with her husband and teenage son.
Amanda Raymundo is an Art Director, Graphic Designer, Hand Letterer and lifetime Doodler. She graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and is a SoCal native. She started working at Hallmark as a Graphic Designer and over the years worked on a wide variety of product – Hoops & Yoyo, Shoebox, Amplified Expression, Cultural Identity and as an AD created two new lines, Eight Bamboo and Golden Thread. She is currently the AD for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Mahogany and Tree of Life.