women entrepreneurs takeover afropunk brooklyn 2017

August 21, 2017

Community is the heart of AFROPUNK and what better way to bring people together than food and art?

Two staples of AFROPUNK are the Bites&Beats Food Festival and the Spinthrift Market. Bites&Beats is an event within the event, combining tastes from around the world with food trucks and pop-up restaurants. The Spinthrift Market showcases and celebrates the best of NYC’s makers community. For the DIY-minded, an array of one-of-a-kind and bespoke items inspired by African art and textiles. You can indulge in jewelry, natural beauty products, apparel, housewares, books, prints and more.

We spoke with one of our Bites&Beats vendors and one of our Spinthrift market vendors about their businesses and involvement in AFROPUNK Brooklyn.

La NewYorkina

Mexico native Fany Gerson decided to create La NewYorkina after a lifelong love affair with treats. While her parents urged her to pursue a career in the arts, Fany knew she had to pursue her passion and decided to go to culinary school instead. Inspired by a dream she had where she opened an ice cream shop in NYC, Fany decided to take a risk and begin making Paleta’s. Her good friend Hannah and her applied to the Hester Street Fair and got in. With no idea how the public would respond to their delicious desserts, the two made around 850 paletas. They sold out in just a few hours!

Today you can try Fany’s paletas at her stores in the West Village and Astor Place. She’ll be vending at AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 where you can cool down and taste the amazing flavors of Mexico including mango chile, hibiscus, coconut, passion fruit and avocado.

  1. How old is your company? We’ve been making paletas since 2010.
  2. What does AFROPUNK mean to you? To me, AFROPUNK is a celebration of culture, diversity, freedom and pride. It’s an awesome festival that encompasses so much and we are beyond excited to be a part of it.
  3. What is special about your food? Our mission at La Newyorkina is to share the sweetness of Mexico, so our food is rooted in Mexico where I am from. We make everything by hand and use only all natural ingredients. The flavors are exciting and diverse.
  4. How does AFROPUNK line up with your company’s vision? AFROPUNK is strongly rooted in culture and so are we. We are also pushing boundaries in flavor and textures. Some are have salty, spicy, and sweet all in one. It celebrates Mexico and traditions but it’s innovative at the same time.
  5. Out of all your popsicles, which flavor is the most AFROPUNK? Probably the mango chile 😉



“Afro-Celestial” artist Nikki Moon aka HeySheDraws, portrays the strength and beauty of people of color in her otherworldly drawings and paintings. She recently added handmade gemstone jewelry to her repertoire. The Long Island Native, now living in Maryland received a degree from Bowie State University in Elementary Education. When she is not working on her own fabulous creations, the AFROPUNK alumni spends her days as a K-5 art teacher.

As long as Nikki is creating smiles and inspiring others with her work, she is doing her job. Check her out at this year’s AFROPUNK Brooklyn!

  1. How old is your company? About 3 years old.
  2. What’s special about your product? My artwork is a unique combination of afrocentrism and metaphysics/outer space!
  3. What does AFROPUNK mean to you? Afropunk to me is way of life. Living for oneself and one’s people. Celebrating oneself and one’s people. Connecting the black community one punk at a time.
  4. How does AFROPUNK line up with your company’s vision? My vision for my business is to simply create smiles and inspire. Having attended AFROPUNK in the past I know that in a similar way to my vision, the festival made me smile and feel inspired in ways that I had never been before.
  5. What inspired you to self start? Realizing that I’ll never be satisfied until I’m putting my artwork first.

Check out our full list of Bites & Beats and Spinthrift Market vendors here!