Hi! I’m Mallory Whitfield!
I’m a diversity & inclusion keynote speaker with decades of experience on stage. My goal is to empower audiences to rediscover their authentic voice, be more compassionate to themselves, and more inclusive of others.
I have over 15 years of experience as a creative entrepreneur and in digital marketing & communications. I got my start as an entrepreneur selling my handmade clothing and accessories at craft shows. I even wrote a book about what I learned during 10+ years of selling at craft shows. I first created this very website, MissMalaprop.com, way back in 2006. (Though it looked a lot different back then!)
In July 2019, I wrote, performed & produced the world premiere of my one-person show about diversity & inclusion, which offers a sequin-filled, entertaining perspective on how we can spread joy, hope, and allyship for a kinder, more inclusive world. This performance offers empowering alternatives, delivered in an entertaining show that’s part stand-up, part TEDx Talk, part puppet show, part dance party and all fun.
I also produced and hosted the Badass Creatives podcast, which featured interviews with a diverse range of artists, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.
I’ve been making things and dreaming big for as long as I can remember.
I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and learners. Growing up, my parents and grand-parents owned their own businesses. I remember the stories of how my grand-father taught himself trigonometry and calculus from books, and the value of self-education has always stuck with me.
I was always an over-achiever, getting top marks in school and reading everything I could get my hands on in my spare time. I was Internet-addicted by my tween years, at a time when the Internet was just getting started. I dropped out of high school halfway through my junior year, started college early, and graduated Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 2004. (I was three production credits short of a theatre minor.) And yet, the most valuable knowledge I have didn’t come from traditional means but from books, friendtors (friends + mentors), online courses and the handiest self-education tool of all: Google.
In 2004 I started my first business and dipped my toes in the craft show scene, selling my handmade clothing and accessories. Later, as my dreams turned to owning a retail store dedicated to handmade and eco-friendly goods, I stepped up my game, selling my work alongside that of other talented artists at craft shows, festivals and local events of my own making around New Orleans and beyond. I even wrote a book about how to make money at craft shows from what I learned during 10+ years of selling at craft shows.
In 2006, I started blogging here at MissMalaprop.com, though my earliest memories of blogging are on LiveJournal starting in 2001. Through trial and error, and a whole lot of Google searches, I taught myself all I could about blogging, HTML, WordPress, social media marketing, SEO, affiliate marketing, and so much more.
One day in early 2014, I realized I’d taught myself enough to land a job in digital marketing, which is how I wound up working for 3 and a half years for one of the leading marketing agencies in New Orleans, FSC Interactive. In August 2017, I embarked on a new role as Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
These days, I speak frequently on topics related to diversity & inclusion, creativity, and personal branding. If you believe that art, creativity, innovation, and kindness have the power to change the world, then we should be friends.
Ever since I was little, all I’ve wanted to do is change the world. Join me?
Cool stuff I’ve done…
- In 2016, I was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists and professionals in New Orleans.
- In 2016 I was also nominated for the 2nd annual Ada Lovelace Awards, which recognized women for their outstanding contributions to the New Orleans tech community. The following year, after I joined LookFar, I spearheaded the expansion of the 3rd and 4th annual Ada Lovelace Awards, which now honor women in tech from across the Gulf South region. Through a combination of direct email outreach, PR, and social media promotion, we doubled the number of nominees from the previous year, expanding to include honorees from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.
- I was one of the founding members of the New Orleans Craft Mafia, a collective of indie craft artists created in 2005. I’ve organized and promoted group events, including our long-running Last Stop Shop holiday art market.
- I’ve been jamming out with the best bunch of weirdos in the world since 2006 as part of Noisician Coalition, and have had the pleasure and privilege to perform at Voodoo Experience and march with the Krewe of Muses and the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus during Mardi Gras.
- I won 3rd place in Etsy’s nationwide Upcycling Contest in 2007 for an outfit I made using FEMA blue tarp.
- I created Tech School, a second stage of hands-on, how-to panels at the Rising Tide Conference in 2011 here in New Orleans.
- I’ve been featured in a few books, including Fashion Unraveled – How to Start and Manage Your Own Fashion (or Craft) Design Business.
- In 2014, I graduated from the New Orleans Drag Workshop; you can occasionally find me performing around New Orleans as my alter ego, Glamdromeda Strange.
- I’ve also been a member of the Bast Alpha Garrison of the 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization dedicated to the construction and wearing of screen-accurate Star Wars costumes.