Sabrina Sooknanan ’19 kicked off her freshman year at MMC in 2015 with a bang, and hasn’t slowed down since. As a first-year student, she was involved in a wide variety of extra-curriculars, including becoming an Emerging Leader and founding and running a club on campus called Fresh U Marymount. The club produced a publication that featured original content for MMC freshmen, by MMC freshmen, and aimed to make the transition from high school to college in the “big city” a little easier.
Fresh U Marymount was one chapter of a national organization, and by Sooknanan’s sophomore year, the MMC chapter had grown to be one of the most active and highest ranked among all participating schools. In fact, Sooknanan was asked to join the national staff, overseeing other school chapters while still running the MMC publication.
It was after two years of running a successful publication and gaining management experience that Sooknanan decided to transform the original club into a new, more personal endeavor: Blended Magazine. Blended has creative freedom at its core and is dedicated to showcasing and promoting a mix of music, art, culture, and fashion in a variety of mediums.
Blended’s first launch party was hosted on campus in the Regina Peruggi Room in October 2017 and featured a talented lineup of emerging artists and performers (including spoken word, dance, and rap), as well as a display of pieces from local artists. The event was such a hit that Blended hosted its second event just a few weeks later, again highlighting the talent and creativity of local artists and performers, and also functioning as a screening premiere for Floating, a short film directed by students Flynn Osman ’21 and Tirece Cheshire.
By spring 2018, Sooknanan decided to launch Blended into a startup media company, with the help of Patrick Reynolds ’20 and Sarah La’Berge, who had been involved during the earliest stages of the club. “In the short time since our platform launched, Blended has worked with an abundance of rising musicians, local artists, fashion brands, and art collectives to produce both digital content and events in New York City,” she says. “Our focus as a media company is to shed light on the growing creative world and to serve as a platform for up-and-coming or rising artists.”
Today, Blended has three main focuses:
- helping fashion brands gain more exposure through the creation of unique lookbooks, such as this video created for social and sustainable fashion marketplace Relovv;
- creating original online content to promote emerging and current/established artists in local music scenes across the U.S., including Local Mic, a series dedicated to interviewing musicians. The magazine was even approached by Taylor Swift’s PR team over the summer! Recent interviews and original pieces have featured Noah Cyrus, Justin Jesso, and Emily Warren, to name just a few; and
- hosting creative events to showcase a variety of art, artists, and musicians.
One such event was Eclectic Youth, a pop-up art gallery designed to support local artists that Blended hosted this past November. The immersive experience featured a “storm room” and a “bloom room” completely designed by Blended staff. The work of 8 young artists, including several students from Marymount Manhattan and The New School, was on display and 100% of art sales went directly to the artists themselves. More than 100 guests attended and sponsors included Boxed Water, SOUND Sparkling Tea, Insomnia Cookies, and Blick Art Materials.
Blended continues to expand and take on a wide variety of projects and events that align with the company’s mission of serving as a platform for artists across all mediums.
A double major in Business and Philosophy with a minor in Journalism, Sooknanan is finishing up her senior year and working at a law firm specializing in intellectual property, in addition to serving as a Peer Leader on campus and applying to graduate school. However, none of that keeps her from pursuing her passions at Blended: “As CEO, I believe in doing the hard work and being a part of everything that Blended does. I love what Blended stands for, I love how many people Blended has brought together. I love my team and I look forward to what Blended is going to do in the future.”
More information about Blended can be found at: https://www.blendedmagnyc.com/